Maurice Hurt was supposed to spend the 2011 season on the practice squad, honing his ability and learning the NFL game so that he could challenge for a backup tackle spot in 2012. If he couldn't make it, another year on the practice squad may have been in the cards for the 2011 seventh-round draft pick.As they said in the old insurance commercials, life comes at you fast. After some injuries along the line, Hurt went from being a practice squad tackle to a starting left guard in a three-week period.For a seventh-round draft pick who made such a fast transition, Hurt didnt play badly. But not completely embarrassing yourself is not a very high bar.It would seem that the coaching staff was not completely enamored with his performance. They drafted one player at his old position, sixth-round tackle Tom Compton. And they took two players at his new position, drafting guards Josh LeRibeus in the third round and Adam Gettis in the fifth.Further putting a squeeze on Hurt is the fact that LeRibeus played center during the teams recent rookie minicamp and Gettis could be flexible along the interior line as well.Mike Shanahan likes players who can play in multiple positions. Anybody that comes in, if you dress seven guys or eight guys, that whoever that six is youve got to play center and guard and you have to play it well, he said of LeRibeus lining up at center. So that is a big plus.The flip side of that is that being able to play only one position would be a big minus. The Redskins have Hurt listed as a guard on their roster. Can he master the tackle position and still be able to contribute at guard?He could be on the practice squad as he was on the 45-man roster for eight games, the maximum number of games a player can be active and maintain eligibility for the PS. But that would be quite a step down.Hurt will be up against a numbers game. Hell be competing against the three draft picks, free agent signee James Lee, and holdovers Erik Cook, Tyler Polumbus, and Willie Smith for four or five spots. The more Hurt can do, the better his chances sticking will be.
When you’re fighting for a playoff spot, it’s not only about what happens to you. It’s also about what happens to the teams you’re competing against for that playoff spot. And one of the Redskins’ main competitors got some very bad news this morning.
The Giants, who are in the No. 5 spot in the NFC, the first wild card spot, got word today that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has had sports hernia surgery. The recovery time is at least four weeks, probably more like six. The Giants’ season is likely to be over by the time six weeks elapse, barring a playoff run without one of their best defensive players.
Pierre-Paul has helped solidify what was a shaky Giants defense last year. He has seven sacks and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. He has been heating up down the stretch with 5.5 sacks in his last three games.
His loss is a big blow for the Giants. They are a game ahead of the Buccaneers, who hold the No. 6 spot, and a game and a half ahead of the Redskins, who are currently seventh.
The Redskins play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins have to pick up just one game on the Giants over the next three to have a shot at passing them in the season finale.
The chances of that happening looked pretty good with Washington playing playing three teams with losing records in the Eagles, Panthers, and Bears and the Giants going against division leaders Dallas and Detroit in addition to the Eagles. With the Giants now without Pierre-Paul, the Redskins’ probabilities got tilted in their direction a little bit more.
Just finishing ahead of the Giants wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot but it would come close. It would mean that the Redskins would have at least nine wins and the Redskins’ tie means that two teams would have to get to 10 wins to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bucs have to win three more games to get to nine wins and the Packers and Vikings would have to run the table.
CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.
Below is a breakdown of the Redskins run game against Arizona - a game coach Jay Gruden admitted did not feature enough carries for Robert Kelley.
The Redskins had a lot of success with their GAP runs early in the game.
In the first half they were successful on 75 percent of their GAP runs.
As the game wore on the Redskins moved away from what had been successful and only ran two GAP runs in the second half.
As the Redskins power run game vanished, so did their prospects for winning the game.
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