Quick Links

Need to Know: Is Garçon as good as Bryant?

garcon-vs-packers.png

Need to Know: Is Garçon as good as Bryant?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 9, four days before the Redskins visit the Cowboys on Sunday night.

Nickel coverage

Five things you need to know about the Redskins-Cowboys matchup on Sunday night.

1. After being in the hole all season, the Redskins have managed to work their way back up to even in turnover ratio. They have seven takeaways (2 INT, 5 fumble recoveries) and have given it away seven times (4 INT, 3 fumbles lost). The Cowboys are a plus-three in turnover ratio. Of course, it’s not always quantity, it’s often a matter of when the turnovers occur. Tony Romo’s late interception against Denver was very costly and a Robert Griffin III fumble against the Lions was damaging to the Redskins’ chances in that game.

2. Romo is averaging 285.0 passing yards per game and Griffin is just inches behind him at 284.8 (numbers are net, including yards lost due to sacks). The difference is that Dallas’ offense is designed for a lot of passing and the Redskins’ is not. In 2012 the Cowboys averaged 41.1 passes per game and the Redskins averaged 27.6. This year it’s Washington with more attempts at 42.5 per game while Romo has averaged 37.6.

3. The Cowboys start their average drive on their own 28 yard line while the Redskins start at the 23. More goes into than this but Dallas is averaging almost more yards per kickoff return than the Redskins, 27.0 yards to 20.3. Last year the Redskins averaged 23.5 yards per kickoff return. Anyone miss Danny Smith yet?

4. Everyone knows that Dez Bryant has been a beast for the Cowboys this year but he’s tied for 16th in the NFL with 29 receptions and 10th in yards with 423. It would not be shocking if the best receiver on the field on Sunday night turns out to be Pierre Garçon, who has the same number of catches as Bryant having played in one fewer game. The Redskins receiver is averaging  84.8 yards per game while Bryant is averaging 84.6.

5. The early-week talk around Redskins circles is that they should run the ball and control the clock to keep Romo, Bryant, and company off the field. But that could be easier said than done. Dallas has allowed 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, 13th in the league. It may be better to attack through the air as they are giving up 8.2 yards per pass attempt, 25th in the NFL.

Stat of the day

—If it seems like Alfred Morris is getting stonewalled a lot more this year than the he was last season, it’s because he is. In 2012 one in every 5.8 rushing attempts for Morris resulted in a gain of zero yards or a loss of yardage. So far this year he is getting zero or negative yards every 4.6 carries, about 20 percen more frequently.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Timeline

—Former Redskins long snapper and current Comcast SportsNet NFL analyst Trevor Matich was born on this date in 1961.

—Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys 4; Bears @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Broncos 18

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00 (open to media for first 30 minutes); After practice (approx. 3:00) news conferences from Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan.

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 24, 36 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:

NFL free agency starts 44
—NFL Draft 93
First Sunday of 2017 season 229

Gruden's fate rests on Manusky, McCloughan

In his press conference the day after the Redskins lost to the Giants to end their season, Jay Gruden talked about the decision-making process that would unfold if there were changes in the coaching staff.

“Ultimately I would think it is my call – our call,” he said. “Bruce [Allen] will have some input, Dan [Snyder] will have some input, Scot [McCloughan] will have some input, but from a staff standpoint, I like to think I have a lot of pull on that one.”

That doesn’t make it sound like he was completely free to replace the fired Joe Barry and new Rams head coach Sean McVay with whomever he chose. Others could make suggestions and have input and possibly veto power.

The decision to make Greg Manusky the defensive coordinator likely was influenced by and/or had the approval of, McCloughan. Manusky ran the defense in San Francisco when McCloughan was the GM there. McCloughan was instrumental in getting Manusky to come to the Redskins to coach the outside linebackers a year ago, after he was fired as the Colts’ defensive coordinator.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Greg Manusky

Having McCloughan’s approval for the hire provides Gruden with some degree of security. If it doesn’t work out, if the Redskins upgrade the talent on defense and still don’t get better results, the heat will be on McCloughan as well as Gruden.

Still, Gruden will be the one in the spotlight this season. When the annual media lists of coaches on the hot season in 2017 come out, Gruden is sure to be atop many of them. It’s simple math, really. In Gruden’s three seasons the team has gone 4-12, 9-7, and 8-7-1. A return to double-digit loss territory would be a regression and there would be legitimate concern over whether Gruden is the guy who can make progress and then maintain it and build on it.

Did Gruden get his first pick for the job? Probably not. It seems that Gus Bradley was the favorite, having built the aggressive Seattle defense and having ties with McCloughan from there and with Gruden and Allen from Tampa Bay. But he decided to head west and take over the Chargers’ defense, perhaps wondering about Gruden’s job security. If Bradley didn’t top the list, then Gruden’s top choice probably was Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. But he is under contract and the Bengals denied permission for him to talk about making a lateral move.

More Redskins: Redskins stay in house

Wade Phillips decided to go to the Rams, who have decidedly better defensive personnel than the Redskins, before he had a chance to meet with Washington. We’re not sure how seriously Gruden pursued Phillips but it’s possible that he would have taken him over Manusky if he had the chance. That means that Manusky was at best Plan C or Plan D.

But that’s water under the bridge. Gruden’s fate now lies in the hands of Manusky and in the hands of McCloughan, who must set out to get the new defensive coordinator a significant talent upgrade. If Gruden gets a better defense and can maintain a top offensive attack (given Kirk Cousins’ contract status, he needs McCloughan’s help there, too) and the Redskins can take the next step he should be expecting to start serious extension talks in 2018.

If the Redskins spin their wheels and end up around .500 again or if they regress and post double-digit losses like they did for five out of six years from 2009-2014 they could be cleaning house and starting over again. That wouldn’t be a good scenario for anyone. The organization is counting on Manusky, who was Plan C, and McCloughan to help Gruden get things on track.

Tandler on Twitter

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.

Quick Links

The Redskins newest coach has a rap video in his honor

The Redskins newest coach has a rap video in his honor

On Monday morning, the Redskins made several new coaching hires official, including Jim Tomsula as the new defensive line coach.

Tomsula was out of football in 2016 after serving as the 49ers head coach for the 2015 season in which the team finished 5-11.

Despite struggling as a head coach, Tomsula gained an odd, if not heavy cult following. It made little sense considering he has the look and demeanor of someone who was put on this earth to coach football and coach football only. But through the glories of the internet came this:

The Jimmy Tomsula rap song.

RELATED: MOST IMPORTANT REDSKINS' FREE AGENTS

It's just a demo, and I suppose the full version could be out there somewhere since this song is over a year old. But there's something hypnotizing about 60 consecutive seconds of "Open up my shirt like im Jimmy Tom-Sula."

How long before we begin hearing this song at FedEx Field on Sundays?