December 20, 2010

Redskins Roundup: Youth Movement

One half of good good football and it would be the norm in DC to get excited over the performance of Rex Grossman today. Four touchdowns and 300+ yards passing are certainly noteworthy, but there's a reason he threw the ball 43 times and it's because the Redskins ignored the run early, falling behind 27-7 before Grossman got comfortable.

I found it ironic that Grossman entered the game down 7-0 and threw three straight passes. Donovan McNabb came out against the Eagles just hours after signing a contract and Kyle Shanahan had him run it three straight times. The level of trust they have in McNabb must be completely non-existent.

With the Redskins defense on their heels right away it would have made sense to establish the ground game. They didn't and before they could blink it was 13-0. By the time they found a rhythm in the passing game it was all but over. Credit to Grossman for making it a game late, but let's be honest he would have been in a more manageable situation had Ryan Torain received more carries in the first half.

Torain had 11 carries just a week after rushing for over 170 yards. The commitment, or lack thereof, to the ground game is appalling.

Going back to Grossman, one game really doesn't indicate what kind of player he is. His track record shows wild inconsistency and one good effort against a mediocre team with a horrid secondary isn't going to make him the starter for next year. I could go on, but when John Keim writes my thoughts for me, why would I?

Switching over to the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys dropped 33 points and 434 yards on Jim Haslett's unit. What else is new?

DeAngelo Hall gambled one too many times, Jason Witten was open on what felt like every other play, and the Cowboys rushed for 134 yards (4.3 YPC). Plus, the tackling was once again horrific. This defense rivals the 2006 squad when it comes to mastering the art of how not to tackle.

Brian Orakpo (hamstring) and Reed Doughty (head) both got hurt, forcing the Redskins to insert cornerback Kevin Barnes in at safety and Chris Wilson at outside linebacker. Middle linebacker Rocky McIntosh tweaked his hammy and so rookie Perry Riley played as well.

Barnes is a physical defensive back who laid a big hit on Tashard Choice in the first half. He has height and isn't afraid to lower the boom. It will be interesting to see if the Redskins try and work him in more over the final two weeks.

Riley had a key third down tackle on Jason Witten to force a Dallas punt in the fourth quarter with the Redskins trailing 30-22. He took a nice angle on the tight end after a catch and brought him down. No one else could tackle him, so it stood out.

Anthony Bryant played nose tackle for Ma'ake Kemoeatu. While he's better than Kemo that doesn't entail that he should be starter. The Redskins must find someone in the middle next season with size who can penetrate into the backfield and occupy double teams.

The other player of note was Will Montgomery playing right guard. Artis Hicks has been a huge disappointment there, but Montgomery has played well at both RG and center. In the least, he's a quality reserve lineman.

Against the Cowboys, Washington began to examine the unknowns they have on the roster and it's vital they endorse a youth movement in the months to come. With their record at 5-9, there is little to play for at this point. The prospect of having to stop Maurice Jones Drew this upcoming week is unpleasant. The Redskins' defensive woes will only get worse as the final game is against the Giants who will likely be fighting for a play-off spot.

2010, good riddance.

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