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Game Blog Vs. Rams First Half

Game Blog Vs. Rams First Half

Tandler’s Redskins GameBlog
Redskins vs. Rams

First Half

I went to the Redskins’ 2000 win in the Edward Jones Dome (not sure what it was called at the time) and it was loud. I’ve always thought that people who talked about putting in ear plugs in domes were wimps of some sort, but they may have had a point, I was thinking as the Rams took a 10-0 lead. Today, however, there isn’t nearly as much juice there. The Rams not being the defending Super Bowl champs certainly has something to do with it. So does Clinton Portis’ 47-yard TD run and Dexter Coakley’s gruesome injury.

Up just 7-0, the Redskins had better not let the Rams hang around for too long. They are now just one mistake or one fortunate play from being tied in a game that they have thoroughly dominated.

These referees are quite the huddlers. They discuss everything at length. They do seem to be getting it right.

What a costly, costly facemask by Sean Taylor. That’s just not smart football. Neither is the defense letting Fitzpatrick run around and around and score the tying touchdown. He’s not fast, he’s not elusive, and somebody has to tackle the guy. That was a bad drive for the Redskins defense. The Rams are picking up the blitzes and making them pay for the single coverage on Holt. Maybe it will wake up the offense.

Chris Cooley might be the second best receiver on the team when it comes to yards after the catch. He can bull through that first tackler in the open field and scamper for a bunch more.

Rock Cartwright can run, too. I hadn’t seen that second gear he has once he broke past the line on that third down play. Of course, he rarely gets in the open field like that.

This is not the solid effort that the Redskins needed. They couldn’t punch it in after a first and goal at the five, Moss picks up a 15-yard penalty for whining and then Hall kicks it out of bounds. One completion and the Rams are back in Redskins territory. They may win, but without a second-half turnaround they won’t get any bounce out of it. They’re playing like a 5-6 football team.

This offense just wasted a great opportunity with sheer stupidity. After Cartwright’s nice run to get them near midfield a bubble screen to Taylor Jacobs cost them 37 seconds. Nobody could get lined up and then when they finally did get ready to snap it 27 seconds after the play ended (you see offenses get plays off in less than 10 seconds) there was a false start. To keep teams from doing that intentionally to stop the clock, there is a 10-second burn off the clock by rule when that happens. Sheer bumbling by the offensive unit.

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Need to Know: Redskins stay in house for both coordinator jobs

Need to Know: Redskins stay in house for both coordinator jobs

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 23, 37 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.


Days until:

NFL free agency starts 45
—NFL Draft 94
First Sunday of 2017 season 230

Staying in house

­There are reasons to dislike the hire of Greg Manusky as defensive coordinator but the notion that he got the job because he is buddies with Jay Gruden really doesn’t hold water. They had no connection prior to last year and with them working on opposite sides of the ball they didn’t work side by side. I’ve heard the two have a friendly relationship but it’s not like he’s out of the Tampa Bay Yacht Club or anything.

I know that everyone is obsessed with yardage rankings, which is a pretty weak indicator of the quality of a defense. Since you want to know, in Manusky’s nine seasons as a defensive coordinator his defenses have finished ranked 18th in yards allowed on average. In reality, Football Outsiders’  DVOA is a more accurate measure of the effectiveness of a defense since it takes the strength of the opponents into account. There isn’t much difference there, Manusky’s average DVOA ranking was about 17. In other words, he’s run middle of the pack defenses. Sure, you'd like them to do better but having a defense that's around average would represent an improvement over most of the last seven seasons.

How has his talent been? Three different players have been first-team All-Pro selections. LB Patrick Willis made it three times, S Eric Weddle and DE Robert Mathias once each. Players under him made the Pro Bowl 13 times with Willis (3), Mathis (2), and DE Justin Smith (2) making it more than once. His defenses had three Pro Bowlers on one occasion when LB D’Qwell Jackson, CB Vonta Davia, and S Mike Adams all made it. That year the Colts defense was ranked 11th in yards and 13th in DVOA.

It remains to be seen how much the Redskins will change schematically. Manusky has run both 4-3 fronts and 3-4’s so the Redskins could make a switch. Even if they go with a 3-4 base the unit is likely to be more aggressive than it was under Joe Barry. Some fans seem to be worried that promoting an assistant coach means that thinks will be done the same. Let me ask you this: If your boss was fired for not getting the job done and you were promoted into his position, would you do things the same way he did? I didn’t think so.

­There will be continuity on the offensive side of the ball as Matt Cavanaugh is going to get moved into the offensive coordinator job. It’s Gruden’s offense anyway so there would not have been much change even if they had brought someone in from the outside. It seems likely that Gruden will call the plays, although we won’t know for sure for a while. The only immediate question on that side of the ball is if Wes Phillips will stay on as the tight ends coach or if he will follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. That should be resolved over the next several days.

Tandler on Twitter

This was in response to a tweet saying that Kyle Shanahan is likely to get roster and personnel control when he becomes the head coac of the 49ers.

In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.

Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.

“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.

But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?

Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.

So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?

It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”

There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it. 

MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington