The Redskins biggest problem against the Bengals, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said Thursday, was the same one that cost them a week earlier against the Bengals: Big plays.The one difference last Sunday, though, was that all of the big plays were the result of poor execution by the secondary. Haslett also mentioned injuries safety Brandon Meriweather has yet to suit up because of a knee injury and cornerback Cedric Griffin left the game in the first quarter and technique as issues, as well.We have to play better technique, No. 1, Haslett said. It would be good to get guys healthy, get some guys back. But like I mentioned last week, and it holds true again this week, we gave up the three big plays against Cincinnati.Tampa Bay, the Redskins opponent on Sunday, ranks 24thin points per game (20), and quarterback Josh Freeman has completed only 51.3-percent of his passes. But Freeman and the run-oriented Buccaneers offense has shown the ability to make big plays in the passing game, completing two plays of 40-plus yards and nine of 20 yards or more in the seasons first three games.On Thursday, though, Haslett still was explaining what went wrong against the Bengals.The first miscue came on Cincinnatis first play from scrimmage. The Bengals lined in the wildcat formation and the Redskins did not adjust properly.We didnt get lined up right, Haslett said before adding that the team also was not prepared for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to uncork a perfectly placed deep pass.We actually knew the receiver could throw, Haslett added. We just didnt know he could throw 50 yards on a rope.On 48-yard touchdown pass that put the Bengals ahead 14-7, cornerback Josh Wilson simply misplayed Armon Binns. Wilson did not have any safety help on the play and, therefore, no room for error.And on the decisive touchdown a 59-yard pass from Andy Dalton to Andrew Hawkins rookie Jordan Crawford simply got beat. Crawford, who was playing for the injured Griffin, bit on a double move by Hawkins.So, to review, the Bengals' first big play was poor preparation. The second was poor technique and the third was poor execution exacerbated by an injury that put a young player in a difficult spot.Theyll get better, Haslett said. We covered our butts off against New Orleans in the first game against maybe the best offense that played in the National Football League. So I know they can do it.
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 27, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp on June 13.
It’s been 146 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 106 days.
—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 17
—Training camp starts (7/27) 61
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 75
The Redskins week that was
How well will the Redskins' defense adjust to six new starters? The Redskins unquestionably got an infusion of defensive talent but as we have seen in the past that does not guarantee better results. Throw a new defensive coordinator into the mix and it could take some time for this unit to reach its full potential. I think that there will be struggles early in the season and a better (but not dominant) unit by the time November rolls around.
Which Redskins will surprise in 2017? Every player carries expectations into the season. Some will be better than we believe right now (think of what many thought Vernon Davis would do last year) and some will play worse (Josh Doctson). I take out the crystal ball to figure out who will exceed expectations and who will fall below them.
Don't count out 3rd straight franchise tag for Cousins—Yes, Bruce Allen said that he is willing to franchise tag Kirk Cousins for a third time next year, a move that would cost $34 million for one season. But I think that’s a total bluff; the Redskins’ salary cap situation for 2018 would make such a move very difficult for them to pull off. The best hope for Cousins being a Redskin in 2018 is getting him signed to a long-term contract by July 15 of this year. The tone of the conversation regarding a new deal has been positive lately but the team must come up with a serious offer for a deal to happen.
For Redskins, finding a nose tackle needs to be a priority—Well, it’s up to Jim Tomsula to “make” a nose tackle. Phil Taylor is a true NT and he will get a shot. But he hasn’t played a snap since 2014. Undrafted free agent Ondre Pipkins also has nose tackle size at 6-3, 325. But he is a long shot, as are the Redskins’ chances of being significantly better against the run if they don’t find someone, anyone to be an adequate solution as the nose tackle.
Did Vernon Davis make the NFL change celebration rules? Although I prefer the John Riggins way of celebrating a touchdown—hand the ball to the referee because you’ve been in the end zone before and you expect to be back again soon—elaborate celebrations don’t bother me. After a TD in a game I’m covering I’m focused on writing about the scoring drive. When I’m watching at home, my attention goes to Twitter or to the refrigerator. I do think that it was dumb for the Redskins to lose 15 yards of field position because Vernon Davis put a jump shot over the crossbar so that’s why I’m glad that the NFL changed the celebration rules.
Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is always open to some coaching no matter who it comes from. On Friday that coaching came from Veronica, an 85-year old woman who works at Congressional Country Club and is a die-hard Redskins fan.
Cousins posted a picture of the pair together on his Instagram account Friday afternoon.
Why I love playing for Washington... Just met Veronica, an 85 year old employee at Congressional Country Club, has worked there for 53 years and is a diehard Redskins fan. She had 3 thoughts to share: 1. She coaches me from her couch 2. Wants to be sure I get the ball out when I drop back 3. Wants the new receivers to get involved in the offense I'll see what I can do!
Veronica made some solid suggestions, especially the one about him getting the ball out of his hands quicker.
Despite the rocky contract situation with the team, there's no question that Cousins loves the passionate Redskins fan base.