As noted here earlier this week, the 2012 Redskins have allowed more passing yards through their first five games than they have in their history. Although the secondary carries much of the blame, they haven’t been getting much help in terms of pass rush.
The Redskins have only eight sacks through their first five games. Since they started keeping sacks as an official statistic in 1982, only seven editions of the Redskins have had fewer sacks than this one at this point in the season.
Ryan Kerrigan has 3.5 sacks, the only player on the team with more than one. Last year the defensive line contributed 18 sacks. Against the Falcons, Barry Cofield picked up the line’s first sack of the season.
Certainly the losses of Brian Orakpo (9 sacks last year) and Adam Carriker (5.5) to injury haven’t helped things. But their replacements haven’t performed at nearly a fraction of the levels of the players they are replacing. End Jarvis Jenkins has no sacks, linebacker Rob Jackson has none, and linebacker Chris Wilson has a half.
Wilson’s inability to get pressure is particularly puzzling. He is the one in there in nickel situations and he is one the team because of his supposed ability to get to the quarterback.
The pass rush problems are a big factor in the pass defense problems but consider that the 2005 team had only five sacks through the first give games but had allowed only 891 passing yards, a little more than half of what the current team has allowed.
In other words, it takes a total team effort to have a pass defense this leaky. Either the front or back end is going to have to step up and get it done.
NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith made a visit to Redskins Park today, and the team elected their union representatives.
Kedric Golston will serve another year as the team's liason to the union. Three alternates were elected as well: Kirk Cousins (an alternate last season), Will Compton and, surprisingly, Josh Norman.
Norman was critical of Smith and the union in an ESPN piece in August. "[The NFL] is a dictatorship, and [NFLPA director] DeMaurice [Smith] is in cahoots with those guys," he claimed.
The cornerback's election today marks what would appear to be a turn of events.
"We always love to have veteran leadership as player representatives, and this team is no different with Kirk and Kedric returning," Smith told CSN Mid-Atlantic. "As for Josh, we love players who are both smart and passionate, and he, as well as the other players, fit that bill."
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Nearly a week after the Redskins win over the Giants, news broke that Washington CB Josh Norman has been fined for roughness in the New York victory.
UPDATE: Per ProFootballTalk, the fine was for a fourth quarter hit on Sterling Shepard and being a repeat offender.
For much of the Redskins-Giants game, Norman covered Odell Beckham almost exclusively. Not many moments stand out for being particularly physical save for a play early in the game when Beckham jumped in the end zone. The motion took him above Norman, but rather than letting Beckham come down to the ground, the corner grabbed and carried the receiver for a few yards.
Norman was flagged for roughness on a hit against Giants receiver Sterling Shepard. It's likely that hit triggered the fine. It's also worth pointing out that referees gave Norman a specific warning before the game about rough play, so it's possible being flagged for roughness despite the warning made an impact in the league offices as well.
There is one other physical moment that stands out from the Giants/Redskins matchup - when Beckham violently swung his helmet at the Giants' kicking net. Beckham got the worst of the altercation though as the net flew back at him and socked him in the face.
Expect many questions about the fine to come.