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Fan questions: Why not more hurry-up offense?

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Fan questions: Why not more hurry-up offense?

A lot to talk about after the Redskins loss on Sunday night so let's jump into one from the Real Redskins Facebook page (drop on by and hit the Like button!)

Jenkins did play six snaps on defense on Sunday in his first game back form his four-game suspension. He might have played a few more snaps but the defense was only on the field for 54 plays. Jim Haslett said last week that he still considers him to be the starter so I'd look for him to work his way in for more and more plays and he should be starting and playing 40+ snaps per game by midseason if not sooner.
@Rich_TandlerCSN .. Any chance they hire Art Briles or Philip Montgomery as OC or HC in 2014?

— Mike V (@mikev1975) October 14, 2013
Although it's too early to talk about the future of the current coaching staff it is something that is out there and, with Mike Shanahan going into the last year of his contract in 2014, it is legitimate to ask. First thing, if Mike is here he will have Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator unless Kyle gets a head coaching job (unlikely in the short term, IMO). If Kyle should leave I think that Shanahan would turn to someone he has worked with in the past, someone like Gary Kubiak if he's available, rather than to a college coach. If Mike Shanahan is gone, it's hard for me to see Dan Snyder hiring a head coach who doesn't have NFL coaching experience at least as a coordinator.
@Rich_TandlerCSN why do #Redskins refuse to use no huddle as regular part of gameplay?

— marioc (@marioc) October 14, 2013
I asked Kyle Shanahan about that after the Eagles game and you can find the full article here. But, short version, he said that it just wasn't their offense, that a no-huddle approach didn't fit what they do. Mike Shanahan added some detail yesterday, saying that they like to vary formations during a series and the no-huddle doesn't allow them to do that. My view is that while the no-huddle is a nice wrinkle it's not a cure-all for the offense. The Redskins had no problem moving up and down the field on Sunday as they racked up over 400 yards of offense. What they needed was some better blocking by the line, some more accurate passes by the quarterback, and some better play calling and execution in the red zone. The no-huddle is fine as an occasional change of pace but it's not a substitute for solid fundamental offensive football.

These are related and popular questions so we'll look at them together. As far as Davis goes, they say he isn't earning snaps in practice. My view is that it's a long season and I'd wait before writing off Davis; he could still contribute down the road.  I wondered why they don't use two pass-catching tight ends in my Six Pack yesterday. Both Mike and Kyle Shanahan were asked about it last week and Kyle's answer did shed some light on it.  "But, I mean, it’s tough to get two real pass-dominant tight ends who are not liabilities in the run game," he said. "It’d be nice to go out there and just get great wide-receiver-type tight ends, and that will help your pass game, but then you’re going to get a lot more pass coverages. The D-line is going to rush the quarterback a lot more because they know you’re not going to be in positions to where you really have an advantage in the run game." So, in short, if Reed and Davis could block better they could be on the field together. As of now they can't so they're not.
@Rich_TandlerCSN how soon can we get a replacement #specialteams coach

— Peach E Pie (@Peachahontas) October 14, 2013
It doesn't seem as though Shanahan is inclined to throw Keith Burns overboard after just five games.  "Keith Burns is a very excellent football coach,” he said yesterday. “Very capable . . . I feel very confident that he'll get the job done even though he started out a little bit rough." So I wouldn't look for a change there any time soon.

I picked this one to represent all of the O-line questions I got. First of all, for the immediate future, nobody is about to be benched. The line has been playing pretty well this year before having a bad night in Dallas. That would be a knee-jerk reaction and that's not something we see much of from Shanahan. As far as drafting a right tackle, the short answer is that there hasn't been one they liked on the board when they drafted. The simple truth is that in the zone blocking scheme only needs to have a premium offensive lineman at left tackle. The other four positions are composed of players that are not highly coveted by other teams. That means that lower-round picks and relatively inexpensive free agents are slotted for the "other" four OL positions. This leaves more money and higher draft picks to expend on other positions. The shorter answer is if they want to move on from Tyler Polumbus this offseason they  will either go to sixth-round pick Tom Compton or go shopping in the bargain free agent market.
@Rich_TandlerCSN should #CaptKirk have started this season until #rgiii was ready ?

— Peach E Pie (@Peachahontas) October 14, 2013
I've addressed this on Twitter and on Facebook so I suppose I should talk about it here. Robert Griffin III was not going to get ready to play by watching from the bench. The only way the franchise quarterback could get ready to play was to play. Could the team have won another game or two with Kirk Cousins at QB? I'm not so sure that he could have unless he could have brought down LeSean McCoy, covered Randall Cobb or Calvin Johnson, or tackled Dwayne Harris. But even if he could have it would have been very shortsighted to keep Griffin on the bench. Let's say they kept him out until after the bye. Then you're seeing the RG3 we saw against the Eagles or Packers--pretty much immobile, making questionable decisions, displaying very sloppy mechanics--against the Cowboys. Griffin was far from perfect against Dallas but he played well enough to give them a shot if the special teams don't gift wrap two TD's for the Cowboys. He needed to play to improve. No question, he needs to improve more if this team is going to start winning but this has been handled they way it should have been. To keep Griffin on the sideline when he was healthy enough to play would have represented the kind of short-term thinking that has been the hallmark of this franchise for most of the last 20 years.

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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

There is nothing quite like January playoff football and Sunday night's Vikings vs. Saints game further proved this point.

In case you have been off the grid the past 12 hours, the Minnesota Vikings literally got a last second win against the New Orleans Saints.

With 10 seconds left in the fourth and facing a 3rd and 10, quarterback Case Keenum heaved the football near the sideline to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who dodged two defenders while managing to stay inbounds for a 61-yard touchdown as the clock expired. 

It was one of the most remarkable playoff walk-off wins, if not the most remarkable one, in football.

So, where does it stand among the others?

RELATED: FORMER TERP PLAYS HERO IN VIKINGS' MIRACLE PLAYOFF WIN

Broncos vs. Steelers 2011 AFC Wild Card game: Remember Tim Tebow's 80-yard overtime touchdown to Demaryius Thomas during the 2011 Broncos vs. Steelers AFC Wild Card game? It was the first and last snap of overtime and it was wild.

Mile High Miracle: On third and three with 43 seconds left in the game, Ravens' Joe Flacco launched one towards wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who got in front of the Broncos receiver and ran the ball in for a 70-yard game-tying touchdown. The Ravens would eventually go on to win the game in double overtime. Some could argue it was the defining moment in the Ravens' Super Bowl run. 

Cardinals vs. Steelers Super Bowl XLIII: Under the brightest lights of all, Ben Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds in the fourth in the back of the end zone for a toe-dragging, Super Bowl-winning catch. 

RELATED: WHAT REDSKINS CAN LEARN FROM THIS WEEKEND'S PLAYOFF GAMES

Saints vs. 49ers 2012 NFC Divisional game: Sunday's loss wasn't the first time the Saints have experienced a fourth quarter letdown. Back in 2012, Alex Smith threw one to the endzone on 3rd-and-three with 14 seconds left that sealed a win.

While these are only a few, we can't wait to add more to the list in years to come.

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Redskins can't base Kirk Cousins decision on the makeup of the final four

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USA Today Sports Images

Redskins can't base Kirk Cousins decision on the makeup of the final four

For many fans who would like to see the Redskins move on from Kirk Cousins, the case was closed by the results of the divisional playoff round.

When the dust settled from the weekend, three of the four winning quarterbacks were Nick Foles, Blake Bortles, and Case Keenum. In Foles and Keenum, two journeymen who were free agents last March, available to any team that had a million bucks or so of salary cap space. Bortles was the third overall pick of the 2014 draft but he was widely viewed as a big-time bust.

MORE REDSKINS: WHAT CAN THE REDSKINS LEARN FROM THE PLAYOFFS?

So, to some the lesson was that you can roll any random quarterback out there and if you have some other pieces in place you can get to the final four.

Not so fast, my friend. Such thinking is based on a small sample size. This year is very much an outlier in terms of the quarterbacks who make the conference championship games. Let’s expand the sample size and look at the final four QBs standing in the previous six seasons.

2016: Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger

2015: Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Peyton Manning, Brady

2014: Russell Wilson, Rodgers, Brady, Andrew Luck

2013: Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, P. Manning, Brady

2012: Kaepernick, Ryan, Joe Flacco, Brady

2011: Brady, Flacco, Eli Manning, Alex Smith

There are 13 different quarterbacks here. Ten of those, Ryan, Rodgers, Brady, Roethlisberger, Newton, Palmer, Wilson, the two Mannings, and Luck, are true franchise type quarterbacks. Of those, five were first overall picks in the draft, Ryan was the third pick, and Roethlisberger was the 11th, and Rodgers went later in the first round. Only Wilson and Brady were late-round finds.

Of the three others, Smith (1st overall) and Flacco (18th) were first-round picks. Kaepernick was a high second-rounder.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

At the time of their playoff games, all of the 13 quarterbacks were on the teams that drafted them. None of them were looking for work the previous March, or at any time, for that matter.

As the Redskins decide if they should make a desperation attempt to retain Cousins or let him walk and start over at the most important position on the field, which data point should they consider? The most recent season in front of them, or the six prior years (and many more before that)?

Let’s say you’re looking to sell your house and you want to figure out a fair price. One comparable house down the street recently had sold for $200,000. But the previous six houses that sold in the last couple of months all went for around $300,000, Are you going to price your house based on the most recent sale? Or are you going to factor that in but pay much more attention to the six previous sales?

You have to step back and look at the larger sample size before using a particular set of facts as even a partial basis for a major decision with far-reaching ramifications.

With all that said, there are other factors at play besides what other teams have been able to accomplish. There are plenty of valid reasons for moving on from Cousins and those may outweigh the case for keeping him. But pointing to three quarterbacks on four teams and saying, “case closed” is way too simplistic an approach.

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