The Washington Redskins walked away from this year’s draft with 7 players from rounds 2-7, and they acquired an array of talent. Several of the guys fell in the draft because of their behavioral issues in college, some fell because they spent some time on the injured list for severe injuries. But off of pure talent alone, Mike Shanahan & Bruce Allen may have acquired one of the better groups of players in the entire league, but their mental composure and their ability to stay off of the injury report will be what takes them as far as we hope they can go. Read the rest of this entry »
Before I begin, I would like to say I’m glad to be contributing something here on THN again. I’ve devoted a lot of time to school and my own site since I last posted here. I also want to say I’m glad Mark is doing well and I hope his recovery is full and never leads to a repeat.
Fred Davis is once again officially a member of the Washington Redskins. Davis became an unrestricted free agent this offseason, free to be courted by other teams who wanted to offer a contract for his services. The Redskins not once removed themselves from the discussion with Fred, who used agent Drew Rosenhaus’ infinite wisdom to have some fun with his free agent experience.
Fred’s initial interest was from the Cleveland Browns, but ultimately Davis and the Browns agreed on only one thing, that they couldn’t agree to terms. Davis also said at the time that money wouldn’t be the deciding factor in his decision on where to play.
Last weekend, Davis was wined and dined by Buffalo Bills brass in Washington, DC. Teams that fly out to a player’s home usually have great interest in that player and are as serious as they can be about signing him. Many Redskins fans felt Davis was wrong for going through with this, but I said then what stands true today: Fred Davis was simply lavishly soaking in the fact that someone was willing to buy him the best meal in the city and sing his praises for hours on end. Who wouldn’t want that kind of treatment? A lunatic, that’s who!
Davis eventually spent the week in Buffalo to meet with the Bills at their facility and get accustomed to a possible workplace. The New York Jets expressed interest and had a meeting set up for today but Davis decided to cancel that meeting the other night, leaving his choices between the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins.
This morning, fans awoke to news that Fred Davis had agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Washington Redskins. This is significant for the following reasons:
- Fred Davis took significantly less money ($700,000 less this season) to play for the Redskins this year instead of the Bills for 2 years.
- Fred Davis proved to his teammates and coaches that Washington is where he wants to play.
- Fred Davis proved to the Redskins fans that he wants to suit up in the burgundy and gold.
- Fred Davis knows his best opportunity for individual and team success out of his options is with the reigning NFC East champion Washington Redskins with young playmaking quarterback Robert Griffin III.
- Fred Davis proved that money would not play into his decision of where to play (for this year).
That last point sticks out. Fred Davis knows that if he plays well this year and stays out of trouble and continues to prove himself a professional, he will get the payday he wants next offseason. The Redskins are slated to have roughly $30M give or take $5M next offseason to spend on contracts, so Fred Davis will be able to make that money here, and the Redskins likely would be willing to pay him more than anyone else would.
So while Davis didn’t really let money play into his decision this year, Drew Rosenhaus surely let Fred Davis know what he could expect financially next year if he performs and stays on the straight & narrow.
But what fans can rejoice in, is having one of the biggest threats to opposing defenses back on the field for Robert Griffin III’s second year, bringing a guy who can command extra attention every play in order to help wide receivers on the outside. Fred’s athleticism and size creates a mismatch against most linebackers and safeties in the league, allowing the Redskins to take full advantage of the matchups they have each and every week.
Last season, Fred Davis was rumored to not have a very strong rapport with Robert Griffin III based on what fans and media saw at open practices. The duo proved immediately against the Saints in week one that they not only had a rapport, but they had chemistry, communication, and trust as well. Davis is very good at running routes, but more importantly, he runs after routes, and also knows how to find soft spots when the play breaks down in the pocket and Griffin has to scramble. Davis displayed this several times before injuring his Achilles.
So Redskins fans, welcome back Fred Davis!
There’s a bug going around Redskins Nation right now. We’re all violently ill with extreme pain in the stomach. Good news is, we’re not diagnosed with anything serious. We’ll be okay. We will recover. In about 5 days.
The bad news is Read the rest of this entry »
Sick. I’m so sick. I feel like I’ve been knocked out, concussed, and am now nauseated… oh, maybe that’s Robert Griffin III.
Before I start, allow me to link you to my keys to the game.
1. We didn’t throw the football. We tried, a little, but we didn’t throw, especially not when we should have. Read the rest of this entry »
Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. After taking an early lead with a nice forced fumble and recovery for a TD, everything just seemed to fall to pieces, even if we were still up for a while. But I’ll do this in order, praise the proper players, and then unleash on everyone who did us wrong. Read the rest of this entry »
Robert Griffin III has arrived on the scene, and what a spectacular entrance he made.
But this isn’t all about RGIII and what he was able to do (which we’ll get to momentarily), it was about the Washington Redskins after everyone in the world of analyzing our team from the outside predicted we’d win only 2 or 3 games. Well, now those same analysts are ignoring that the Redskins’ depleted, garbage secondary couldn’t hang with your average offense, let alone the best offense in the league. Those same analysts are maintaining the Redskins are a 2-3 win team, only now, one of the losses has to come against a team they were almost sure we would beat before. Read the rest of this entry »
Now, we’ll evaluate the Defensive Line.
This is a unit that was in disarray in Mike Shanahan’s first year with the team, and that was a huge contributing factor to the entire defense being ranked 31 overall last year in terms of yards allowed. The Albert Haynesworth debacle really hurt, and while I thought Anthony Bryant proved to be a somewhat stable nose at times, it was clear an upgrade was needed. Defensive End also had to get better, and even more with the eventual release of veteran Phillip Daniels. The Redskins went into the offseason and draft with the mindset to improve the line, which should help improve the play of the other levels… and this proved true.
Stephen Bowen: Bowen was an incredible surprise this season for many. I noted often that this was a guy who contributed strongly when he got on the field in Dallas, and with an increased load, hopefully he’d pan out. Well, he toppled the sack totals of the entire D-Line LAST year in his first season with Washington, and he really helped plug gaps and provide space for not just Brian Orakpo on the edge, but the ILB’s blitzing up the middle. He has a very strong push and a really good knack for sniffing out the play early in order to disrupt things in the backfield. Everyone will tell you he needs to do better, I’m sure he’d be the first to say it… but anything better than his solid outing this year would net him the respect of every single offensive lineman he goes up against. Throw in the adversity he dealt with this season having lost one of his premature twins and the other fighting for months to be healthy enough to come home (the child is safe, strong, and healthy now, thankfully) and you’ve got a physically dominant guy, who is young, and has tremendous character. Bowen will be a leader on this defense for years to come.
Adam Carriker: Adam is a guy who, in St. Louis, never seemed to maximize his potential. He had very high expectations entering the league, but he never seemed to fit as a DT/DE in the 4-3. Stabling off his weight between 295 and 305, Carriker seemed to play more natural, with higher energy, and he really fits as a DE in the 3-4 helping to penetrate with his initial burst of power but commanding attention from blockers to help free up someone else. It’s safe to say that Carriker has been one of the better performers on this defense, and this past season was a huge step into an even brighter direction having had teammates around him who fit the scheme.
Kedric Golston: Golston got injured towards the end of the year, but he had been playing at a real high level. This is a guy who has stuck on this team for a while now, and his move to DE in the 3-4, like Carriker, appears to suit his strengths greatly. This is a scrapper, with a high motor, and he is capable of recovering to chase the ball-carrier down. He’s got to work on his gap technique a bit more, especially against the run, but he’s still a young guy as well, who seems to get better year after year and is getting a lot more comfortable, especially in a good rotation when legs are able to stay fresh.
The other DE’s didn’t play enough this season to warrant a fair grade, although I can say that Balmer seemed to be a very comfortable fit in this scheme as well, and it will be interested to see if he is competing for a starting spot at either position next year, especially with a healthy Jarvis Jenkins returning to the lineup.
Barry Cofield: Cofield is a guy who Mike Shanahan said from the get-go, had a very high motor and played in as many snaps as possible, and would prove to be a unique fit at NT if he was comfortable, but they were confident would make for a dominant DE if NT didn’t pan out. Both Mike Shanahan and Jim Haslett have said of Cofield in recent weeks that next season, he could prove to be the best NT in the entire league once he settles with this year under his belt, and entire offseason to practice, and having the DE’s around him in a better rotation. From what I saw this year vs. both the run and the pass, I’m confident that Cofield already played up to the level of a top 5 NT, and it’s really believable that with the obvious improvement that should come with time spent in this scheme with these teammates, that Cofield will be among the very best at NT.
Chris Neild: This is a kid who started off the season tremendously. In his first game, against the Giants, Neild registered 1.5 sacks, which is very high for a defensive lineman in the 3-4, even higher for a NT. He stabled out as the year went on, but he continued to plug gaps when he did play and showed a good burst. He eventually looked like he was getting beat a little too frequently, but as a rookie in one of the most important positions on the defense, he really didn’t look terrible, showing some flashes of brilliance which we hope he will capitalize on soon.
What do I think the D-Line is graded overall? B+. This is a unit which was very strong all year, even with multiple injuries and replacements. When a healthy group returns next year with even greater rotation, they can be among the most dominant in the league, and should really wreak havoc on offenses week after week. They will only make the jobs of those behind them easier, and should eventually provide the linebackers with lanes to blitz through and stockpile stats. DB’s, naturally, would feast on mistakes this causes… and while this still sounds a bit like wishful thinking because we don’t know for certain that Jarvis Jenkins will play 16 weeks at the level he looked like he would be playing and we pray he will perform at, the writing is on the wall for this unit playing strong enough already to do some good things.
Next up: Offensive Line
This is a group that saw some change in the offseason last year, with the addition of Purdue DE converting into 3-4 OLB Ryan Kerrigan. The Redskins also added veteran inside linebacker Keyaron Fox for his experience in the 3-4 system. This isn’t a group that was horridly weak to begin with, rather just not an immediate fit for the 3-4 defense. This year, the pieces were in place, and the guys who didn’t fit the scheme were out of here. Read the rest of this entry »
Over on my blog, Don’t Laugh, People, I’m evaluating the 2011-12 Washington Redskins. Every day over the next week+, I’ll be evaluating the Redskins in groups. Players, phases, and coaches will all be evaluated. I’ve decided to contribute this material here at TheHogs.net since Mark has been cool enough to allow me to post here and opened avenues to new audiences.
First up: Secondary…
We swept the Giants this year, with a very solid game against the Giants yesterday, following up on a very good performance in a shootout against one of the best teams/offenses in the league in New England. That was following a decent performance through 50 minutes against the Jets with Rex having a very off day. And that’s following a very good win against a young Seahawks team who just seems to give everyone fits.
Rex Grossman’s play has been up and down, as expected, and he still makes way too many mistakes, and some of them crucial. But under Rex Grossman, this offense seems to take a little flight. It’s true that receivers like the ability to go deep and not have to get smacked around in the middle after a 5-yard slant. It’s also true it opens up those 5-yard slants to keep defenses honest to the threat. Rex Grossman gives us a chance to be a lethal offense… but that’s it… a chance. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: Barry Cofield, Brian Orakpo, Chris Chester, chris cooley, DeAngelo Hall, Donte Stallworth, fred davis, Jabar Gaffney, Jammal Brown, Jarvis Jenkins, Kyle Shanahan, Leonard Hankerson, london fletcher, Mike Shanahan, O.J. Atogwe, Perry Riley, Rex Grossman, Roy Helu, Ryan Kerrigan, santana moss, Trent Williams