It almost seems hard to believe considering the mushy love affair going on in the DMV regarding a certain rookie quarterback, but there was a time when seemingly every Redskins fan wanted the team to "Suck for Luck", as in then Stanford star Andrew Luck. Lose enough games, get the signal caller some consider the best passing prospect since Peyton Manning or John Elway.We all know that didn't happen - and nobody from Annapolis to Anacostia to Ashburn seems upset with "settling" for Bob Griffin. That doesn't mean local folks aren't paying attention - or making comparisons -to the "other" first-year passer, the only player drafted ahead of RG3s. Certainly the NFL scribes noticed, excitedly so, after Luck, starter for the Indianapolis Coltsdirected touchdown drives on three of four possessions he presided over in his preseason debut on Sunday. Historians will note hisfirst professional play was a 63-yard touchdown pass to running back Donald Brown. Luck finished 10 of 16 for 188 yards and two touchdown throws. Yeah,the "other"QBdid stuff."Andrew Luck opens career in brilliant fashion", screamed a SI.com headline. The hometown Indianapolis Star went with "Andrew Luck passes first test, wows in professional debut as Colts roll." Peter King's latest MMQB column for SI.comleads off with a recap of the rookie quarterbacks. RG3 is mentioned, but this was Luck's spotlight.Luck was eerily terrific Sunday afternoon before a crazed crowd in Indy. Just as Peyton Manning had thrown a touchdown pass on his first preseason pass as a rookie 14 years ago, so did Luck, on a short pass and long run by Donald Brown against St. Louis. I remember sitting with Luck at the Scouting Combine in the hotel room of his agent, which overlooked Lucas Oil Stadium. Just as nothing seemed too big for Luck at Stanford, or at the Combine, or early in camp for the Colts, Sunday's contest looked like just another game of football for 25 minutes of the first half. Four possessions, three touchdown drives."Let's not get too excited about anything,'' Luck said afterward, "because nobody goes back and looks at the preseason record for anything." Good point. But that's not going to stop Hoosiers from waking up with big grins this morning.After RG3 did his thing with poise and accuracy against the Bills, Redskins nation also did the grinning thing, so everyone is happy. One preseason week in, this much we know: neither of the heralded passers sucked. Ben Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.
Matt Ryan spoke to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco about the loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl and how the Falcons will rebound in 2017.
In the process, he took a shot at former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's play-calling and put some of the blame on his style of coaching for the disastrous fourth quarter.
"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in," Ryan said. "As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.
"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."
Those are some harsh words from Ryan and not exactly a ringing endorsement of Kyle Shanahan. This loss will surely haunt him should he never get back to another Super Bowl.
"There's always going to be a little sting," Ryan said. "You never lose that. Hopefully we've got four Super Bowl victories after this one, but that doesn't mean we won't still be like, 'Damn, let's talk about the other one we should've had."
Redskins fans may be able to relate to Matt Ryan's pain as some were vocal about Kyle Shanahan's play-calling during his time in Washington. Maybe Kirk Cousins takes notice of Ryan's comments as well before he considers San Francisco next off-season.
Redskins running backs over-under
The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats.
Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards
Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over
Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under
RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?
Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns
Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under
Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under
Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards
Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under
Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under
MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough
Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions
Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over
Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under
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