Quick Links

Need to Know: Does Morris need the read option to thrive?

morris-breaks-tackls_0.png

Need to Know: Does Morris need the read option to thrive?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, July 18, seven days before the Redskins start training camp.

Does Morris need the threat of the read option?

One of the big questions surrounding the 2013 Redskins involves changes to their offense. If the Redskins run less of the read option attack that was so successful for them last year, will Robert Griffin III be less effective?

The secondary question there involves 1600-yard running back Alfred Morris. How much did his effectiveness rely on the read option and the threat of Griffin taking off with the ball? While we won’t know until they line up in September, there is some pretty strong evidence that Morris could still thrive in a more conventional attack.

For one thing, look at what Morris was able to accomplish when Griffin was out and when he was playing hurt. When Kirk Cousins started for an injured RG3 in Week 15 against the Browns, Morris picked up 87 yards. In the last two games of the season when Griffin was playing with a bulky knee brace and wasn’t much of a threat to take it to the house on any given play Morris rushed for 91 and 200 yards. That’s an average of 126 yards per game in those three games.

That deals with the RG3 threat but what about Morris running on read option plays? He averaged 4.8 yards per carry for the season. On non-zone read runs his average was a very healthy 4.6 yards. And he averaged less than four zone read runs per game.

Again, we won’t really know how things will shake out when the season starts. But the evidence indicates that Morris is a solid running back who doesn’t have to rely on other players or a scheme to be very productive.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Can LeRibeus get more snaps?[nbcsports_video src=http://player.theplatform.com/p/9KPFDC/TMRr3YD6Euak/embed/select/WhEE9ggF63UW?params=zone%3Dredskins&autoPlay=false service=rsn_iframe width=590 height=333]

In case you missed it

Days until: Training camp starts 7; Preseason Monday night vs. Steelers 32; Eagles @ Redskins 53

Quick Links

Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked - and what didn't - against Arizona

Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked - and what didn't - against Arizona

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 their power running game vanishing, mirrored their prospects for winning the game.

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!

Quick Links

State of the Redskins: Playoff chances trending in the wrong direction

State of the Redskins: Playoff chances trending in the wrong direction

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 14 of the NFL season.

Record: 6-5-1, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-2
vs. NFC: 4-4
vs. AFC: 2-1-1
Home: 4-2
Away: 2-3-1

Rankings and changes from Week 13

Offense (yards/game): 418.6 (2nd, no change from Week 13)
Defense (yards/game): 369.6 (23rd, +2)
Points for: 303 (10th, -1)
Points against: 295 (20th, -2)

Passer rating offense:  99.8 (8th, -2)
Opp passer rating: 95.0 (22nd, -3)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (5th, no change)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.6 (29th, +2)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 9.8% (10th, no change)
Playoff chances per FO: 41.5%, -14.1% from last week

Trending the right way: Not much, really. Their ranking in rushing defense improved a couple of notches but mostly because other teams got worse, not because the Redskins put the clamps down on the rushing game.

Trending the wrong way: For the first time in a few weeks the Redskins’ playoff chances are below 50 percent. Two straight losses will do that.  

Top three storylines:

Letting them have it—Jay Gruden is usually supportive of his team after a loss but that was not the case following the Cardinals game. He could be heard speaking to the team in angry tones in the locker room following the loss. We will see if this rare tirade jump-starts the Redskins’ stretch run.

Dealing with injury issues—Not only do the Redskins have to be concerned about the condition of Jordan Reed, whose status is unclear as he rehabs from a shoulder injury he suffered on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas, their starting center is in the concussion protocol. If Spencer Long can’t go the Redskins may have to add a center to back up John Sullivan.

Help wanted—The Redskins need other teams to lose if they want to make the playoffs. They need a little help if they win out to finish 10-5-1; they need more help if they finish at 9-6-1. Scoreboard watching starts at 4:25 on Sunday when the Bucs, a half-game ahead of Washington, host the Saints and continues on Sunday night football with the Cowboys at the Giants.

Next three games

Sunday @ Eagles (5-7)—The Redskins handled them well in October; the final score did not indicate how Washington dominated the game. The Eagles look more like a rebuilding team than a playoff contender and the Redskins could elimate them for all practical purposes

December 19 vs. Panthers (4-8)—The season of the defending NFC champs officially came off the rails on Sunday night when Cam Newton started the game on the bench because he didn’t wear a tie and he ended it looking at the wrong end of a 40-7 beatdown by the Seahawks. Still, the Redskins have never beaten Newton so this is not one that will come easily.

Christmas Eve vs. Bears (3-9)—There is no such thing as an easy game in the NFL but if the Redskins can’t manage to win this one they don’t deserve to make the playoffs.