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LaVar Gibbs and Bold Predictions

LaVar Gibbs and Bold Predictions

LaVar, Gibbs, and Bold Predictions

Arrington

Before getting started here, a few non-words about Arrington. It’s really simple—he’s not playing because he’s not playing within the defensive scheme. Will he be back next year? Next year is 13 games away, possibly more, and too much is going to happen to make anything but a wild guess about whether or not Arrington will wear the B&G next year. Not that I’m foreign to making a wild guess from time to time, but I’ll pass on this one.

Gibbs

We’ve discussed media templates here before and one of the prime ones surrounding the Redskins is some variation of “the game has passed Joe Gibbs by”. He was stuck in the 1980’s world both strategically and mentally, with a game plan that went out of vogue with disco music.
 
Like most of the templates, this wasn’t made up out of thin air, there once was some basis in fact for it. Even Jon Jansen said that the team was running plays from 1992. The awful results from the offense last year speak for themselves.
 
A template, however, is static. Joe Gibbs is dynamic. As soon as the 2004 season ended, he got down to work in a way that few of us ever will get down to work on anything. For most of the offseason, the work days of Gibbs and his coaching staff started at 12 hours and usually went longer, six and seven days a week. They looked at what was wrong with the offense from every possible angle--plays, game plans, personnel, game management, everything. Gibbs got some new weapons, jettisoned some old ones, went into OTA’s and minicamp and installed the revamped offense.
 
Some elements, like a max protect pass package, are old. Others, like the shotgun, are new to Gibbs. The Redskins haven’t lit up the world offensively, but they have scored enough to win three games out of three and rank 14th in the NFL in offense. That may not be very impressive, but it is better than 17 other teams, including Mike Shanahan’s Broncos.
 
And it means that Joe Gibbs gets it. He can adjust, he can get it done. It doesn’t mean that the Redskins will go undefeated this year; it doesn’t mean that they will even win a playoff game. It just means that those who said that the game had passed by Gibbs were wrong.
 
I don’t expect the legion of Gibbs doubters out there to suddenly grow a pair and come out and admit that they were wrong like Terry Bradshaw did on FoxSports.com.
It's damn impressive what the Redskins have accomplished thus far.
Let's go back to last year. Remember, at the end of last season, Gibbs came out and said, "Let's not be so quick in writing off Brunell." Patrick Ramsey, yes, he's pretty good, but Brunell can still play.
Now, I was one of those guys who openly questioned Gibbs when he said that. Did he really believe that? I was saying, "Hey, get the young kid in there. You can't win with Brunell."
Why did I do that? Because I'm following into a trap like everyone else. Pick up the papers back in Washington. The writers thought Gibbs was dead wrong about Brunell. I've learned my lesson. There is no way I know more about what's going on in Washington than Gibbs. I just see it from a studio and I'm impressed that the Redskins are 3-0 and in first place.
Such statements as Bradshaw’s are nice but not necessary. As long as they drop this outdated template, that will be fine with me.
 
Bold Predictions
 
Whenever the Redskins play an AFC team I feel like it’s a game that’s being played on the moon or something. It’s very foreign and very hard to figure out. When you play a team only once every four years there just isn’t much to go on.

But, hey, I’ve made a living here on making a lot out of not very much, so here goes.

I do know one thing for sure—this is a statement game for the Redskins. Win and a quality road victory (make that a second one after Dallas) will force the detractors to take some notice.

The Broncos, after years of having a reputation for being a high-powered offense but a mediocre defense and something of a soft underbelly, are now playing it rough. It’s back to the days of the Orange Crush with the defense leading the way. Or make it the Brown Crush (sorry, can’t come up with anything more poetic there) as ¾ of their starting defensive line played for Cleveland last year. Wherever they came from, they are ranked fourth in run defense and sixth in overall defense. They physically beat up on the Jacksonville Jaguars last week and the Jags are quite physical themselves.

The Redskins still aren’t a smooth-running offensive machine and it’s unlikely that they’ll score a ton against this defense. Without some help from the defense (more on that in a minute) it’s hard to see the Redskins putting up more than 14-17 points, whether Champ Bailey, who missed last week’s game and is listed as questionable this week, plays or not.

And that could be good enough to win. The Denver offense is middle of the pack at best. It’s not as good as the Seattle offense that the Redskins beat last week. Shaun Alexander is better than either of the Broncos’ backs, Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram are better than Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie and Matt Hasselbeck is much better than Jake Plummer.

This is the week that Gregg Williams does less talking about the blitz and faking the blitz and starts bringing it. Plummer is at his most effective getting outside of the pocket and making plays on the move. If you force him to make decisions quickly and get rid of the ball, he can be rattled.

And a rattled Jake Plummer means turnovers. Last year, he threw 20 interceptions, not a bad number for a guy who started 16 games at all. However, they tended to come in bunches. Plummer had six games in which he threw no picks. But seven times he had games with two or more completions to the other-colored jerseys.

If the Redskins can coerce one of those multi-INT efforts out of Plummer on Sunday, they will win and they could win easily. If not, it will be yet another game that goes into the final minutes, or extra minutes, until it’s decided. If that happens, it’s anyone’s game.

The call here is that Gregg Williams will get inside Plummer’s head and he will throw those two or three picks. Champ Bailey will play and will get beaten by Santana Moss. Clinton Portis won’t have a spectacular game in his homecoming, 80-90 yards or so. It won’t be spectacular, but it will be successful. Nick Novak kicks another late field goal and the Redskins hold off a late Denver bid and win.

Redskins 17, Broncos 13







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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—First round of draft could fall into place

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—First round of draft could fall into place

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 21, 96 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 39
NFL free agency starts 47
First Sunday of 2017 season 232

The Redskins week that was

A look back at the week with some of the top posts on RealRedskins.com and on CSNmidatlantic.com.  

An early look at 1st-round draft possibilities for the Redskins—This post marked 100 days until the draft and now were a few days closer. It’s very early but the preliminary big boards make it look like the Redskins are likely to have a defensive lineman such as Solomon Thomas of Stanford or Mailk McDowell of Michigan State wind up as the best available player so that both the fans a Scot McCloughan can be happy.

Cap room a dilemma for Redskins McCloughan?—There is plenty of talk about how expensive Kirk Cousins’ contract or franchise tag will be and how the expense could affect the ability to spend in other positions. But the team has $62 million in cap space. If they don’t spend a good chunk of it on Cousins what will they do with it? They could bring back Pierre Garçon, Chris Baker and make new deals for eligible 2014 draft picks like Bashaud Breeland and Morgan Moses and still have a lot left over. If they don’t spend it a quarterback, what will they do with it? I do know that if they have, say, $20 million in cap space left and they are around .500 again, the fans and media will not be happy.

Projecting the Redskins 2017 roster—Offense—The changes on this side of the ball will feel more like reloading than rebuilding. I’m assuming Cousins will be back one way (long-term deal) or another (tag). At least four out of the five O-linemen are set and the tight ends will get set if McCloughan can lure Vernon Davis back. We’ll see if the running back corps gets shaken up in the draft or in free agency. The one area that could be wide open is receiver and even that could remain relatively stable if Garçon returns.

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend—I think fans generally have become much more apathetic about Pro Bowl selections compared to, say, seven or eight years ago. Playing in the exhibition game is an “honor” that so many choose not to accept or, as was the case with Brandon Scherff, Ryan Kerrigan, and Jordan Reed, they are too injured after a 16-game season to take part. Meanwhile, alternates Cousins, Josh Norman, and Jamison Crowder (as a kick returner) have not yet heard their phones ring. Why does the NFL even bother with the Pro Bowl? People still watch it. Ratings for the last edition (4.5) were about a point lower than the MLB All-Star game (5.4) and a tick above the NBA All-Star game (4.3). Those are not huge ratings but big enough to turn a profit.  

The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins—I think that the first offer that both sides make here is going to be critical. If the Redskins lowball Cousins again it will set a bad tone. If Cousins’ offer is too high the Redskins could think that Cousins is determined to leave. And both sides need to be willing to negotiate. If any of that took place last year there was very little. With no give and take the talks will go nowhere. 

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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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Report: One more potential defensive coordinator is off the market for the Redskins

Report: One more potential defensive coordinator is off the market for the Redskins

Well it looks like the name many considered to be the Redskins top choice at defensive coordinator is off the market. Adam Schefter broke the news of Gus Bradley to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Redskins interviewed Bradley early in their process of selecting a new defensive coordinator. His latest gig ended poorly after he was fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Bradley's best success came as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks.

When he served in that role with Seattle, Bradley worked with Scot McCloughan. And prior to his coaching stint in Seattle, Bradley coached in Tampa, where he worked with both Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden.

Those connections, and his success in Seattle, had many fans hoping Bradley would take over for Joe Barry, who Washington dismissed more than two weeks ago.

The connection between Bradley and the Chargers comes as no surprise, and it leaves Washington still in need of a defensive boss.

Mike Pettine probably jumps to the top of the ranks of other coaches the Redskins have interviewed, but it still seems internal candidate Greg Manusky could be in position to move up to coordinator. Manusky spent the 2016 season as outside linebackers coach and has prior coordinator experience.

The Skins have also interviewed Dennis Thurman, last of Buffalo, Jason Tarver, last of San Francisco, Rob Ryan, also last in Buffalo, and John Pagano, last with the Chargers.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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