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Answering your tweets: Rambo, Orakpo, and the hurry-up offense

Answering your tweets: Rambo, Orakpo, and the hurry-up offense

Lots of great questions this week, let's get started:
@Rich_TandlerCSN Rich, did we miss on Rambo or is he just getting a "sit, watch, this is what we expect of you" teaching lesson?

— Greg Barackman (@Flybear2Greg) October 3, 2013
(similar question from @kylewis09) It's a bit of a stretch for to call a sixth-round pick a "miss"; evidently Alfred Morris' success raised the bar for late-rounders considerably. I think they gave Rambo a shot at starting but he proved not to be ready. I don't think we've seen the last of him this year and certainly not for the rest of his career. Like most sixth-rounders he needs time to develop and if he can develop into being a competent starter it will be a huge hit for the Redskins. If he ends up playing special teams and playing in rotation and spot starting the rest of his career, that's about what the level of expectation for a sixth-rounder should be.
@Rich_TandlerCSN how does Aldrick Robinson go from training camp success to last on depth chart? Thanks — Steve Bailey (@scbailey1) October 3, 2013
He was last on the depth chart even in training camp. Robinson was never going to be ahead of the top four on the depth chart. But he did have a chance to earn more snaps than he's been getting. But he simply has to make that play in the end zone against the Lions. That's why he's here. A player like Robinson isn't going to get a ton of opportunities once the games start to count. The only way he can earn more snaps is to make plays when he has the opportunity. But his mistake possibly cost his team the game and he's going to have to do a lot to make up for it.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Will return of RJax & Jenkins bring new defensive looks or blitz packages?

— J.H. (@Kona302) October 3, 2013
(similar questions from @MrBoonsta, @Joe_V_, @MC_Brooks) Anyone who is looking for the return of Jarvis Jenkins and Rob Jackson to transform the defense is probably going to be disappointed. Jenkins will start if not immediately then in a week or two. But he's a marginal starter at a position that doesn't have a huge impact on a 3-4 defense to begin with. Jackson is a reserve and the two players in front of him, Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo, are two of the very few bright spots on defense. Jim Haslett will work to get Jackson on the field in some packages with the other two OLB's and maybe even rookie Brandon Jenkins to generate pass rush. But don't look for Jackson to get any regular snaps on the inside; at 6-feet-4 his height would work against him when it came to fighting off blocks.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Why not make the no huddle more prevalent to start games and avoid early deficits?

— Marshall (@MWharam7) October 3, 2013
(similar questions from @Not_Dannyy, @cpredford, @cmcochran0)

The Redskins did get a spark from the hurry-up offense, no question about it. But would they get that spark if they ran it more? Maybe, but it's no sure thing. I asked Kyle Shanahan about it after the Eagles game and he said that you don't just slap the no-huddle on top of your offense; your offense has to be tailored to it for it to work consistently. If going no-huddle was a magic potion for moving the ball than the huddle would become a thing of the past for all 32 NFL teams. It's best used as a surprise tactic on occasion. Should they pull it out more than they have? I think so. Robert Griffin III seems to be perfectly suited to running it and in the small sample size we have, it was effective.
@Rich_TandlerCSN What kind of contract will the Redskins be looking to give Brian Orakpo after this season?

— John The Faptist (@MC_Brooks) October 3, 2013
(similar questions from @DaveWillHTTR, @RTubman) It's too early to tell. If Orakpo keeps up his current pace and ends up with 12 sacks and leads the team in hits and hurries like he is now, he's probably looking at something with an $8-$10 million per year range, let's say 5 years, $48 million with $18 million guaranteed. If he falls off, he's looking at $8 million/year and down. If he blows up and posts 16 sacks and picks off a pass or two and scores a touchdown, then we're talking something in the neighborhood of Clay Matthews' $13 million/year extension. The could franchise him if they want to keep him and can't come to a deal; that would cost the Redskins something around $10 million for 2014.
@Rich_TandlerCSN wouldn't you think ahmad black is an upgrade over a gumbs or pugh? is he that much of a liability in coverage?

— Bill Lancaster (@bigbillnocmd) October 3, 2013
(similar questions on acquiring players from @danielleclaud, @Volsman 22, @Rockylee85)

I'll admit that I'm not that familiar with the play of former Bucs safety Black. I do think that the fact that the 0-4 Bucs cut him says something. So does the fact that he has over 100 snaps from this year on tape and no team in a league where safety play is generally pretty bad decided to claim him. Perhaps he would be an upgrade but I have very rarely seen the waiver wire as a solution to in-season problems. The Redskins did bring in 18 street free agents to try out but they were merely collecting data in case someone gets injured and a need arises. As they did last year, they will attempt to pull out of their issues with the players who for the most part have been with them through OTAs, minicamp, and training camp. Rarely are solutions found on the street.

That's all I have room for here. If I didn't hit your question here I'll try to answer on Twitter.

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins vs Eagles Preview: 5 things to know as Washington gets desperate

Redskins vs Eagles Preview: 5 things to know as Washington gets desperate

Losers of two straight games and for the first time in a month outside of the playoff picture, a desperate Redskins squad travels to Philadelphia for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday. All the action kicks off on CSN with Redskins Kickoff at noon, but to get ready for the action, here are five storylines to watch:

  1. Getting back to good, or at least decent - Two weeks ago the Redskins seemed like a dangerous playoff squad with a strong offense and an improving defense. After two straight losses where Joe Barry's defense has given up 62 total points, the questions are mounting for Washington. Can the defense get stops on 3rd down? Generate a turnover? The good news for the Redskins is that the Eagles are struggggggling. Their offense has not score more than 15 points in three straight weeks. 
  2. Feed the fat one - After giving Rob Kelley just 28 carries in the last two games, Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay owned up to the Redskins lack of run game, "I definitely feel like I could’ve been more patient on some of those early down and distances where you get a little bit pass-heavy. And that’s something that as a decision-maker and as a coordinator, I have to do a better job." In a Week 6 win Kelley and Matt Jones piled up more than 200 rush yards against the Eagles. The 'Skins offense likely won't feature Jones, but expect McVay to feed Fat Rob plenty on Sunday.
  3. Playing in pain - The Redskins offense features a number of dynamic playmaking threats, but arguably the best is tight end Jordan Reed. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Reed separated his left shoulder, and though he finished that game he was forced out of action in Arizona. Expect Reed to be back Sunday, and expect Kirk Cousins to look for him early and often. On the season, Reed has more than 600 receiving yards and five TDs.
  4. If it ain't broke - Kirk Cousins has had more success against the Eagles than any other team in the NFC East. In four career games against Philly, COusins averages 336 yards per game passing to go with a 101.3 QB rating. He's thrown 10 touchdowns against the Eagles to just two interceptions. The biggest win of his career came last year when Cousins and the 'Skins clinched the NFC East title at Lincoln Financial Field. Cousins suceeds against the Eagles, and there's no reason it should stop Sunday. 
  5. Don't fly away - Rumors are starting to circulate that the Eagles would like to bring back DeSean Jackson next season. It's well known that Jackson will probably hit free agency after this season, and if Philly did pursuit their former playmaker, it would make sense. But between now and then, Jackson has another opportunity to torch his former team and help the Skins pursue a Wild Card bid at the same time. In his past two games, Jackson and COusins have connected on deep patterns, and there's little reason to tbink the same won't happen Sunday.

Numbers & Notes

  • If tight end Vernon Davis catches three passes he will become the 12th tight end in NFL history to record 500 career receptions.
  • With two more catches, wide receiver Jamison Crowder will set a single-season career high in receptions. He caught 59 passes in 2015.
  • If the Redskins win would mark five straight victories against the Eagles for the Redskins for the first time since a six-game winning streak in the series across the 1981-84 seasons.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!