Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, November 19, six days before the Washington Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers.
Five notes from Mike Shanahan’s Monday news conference, with comments:
1. Shanahan had this to say about the end zone interception that killed the Redskins’ miracle rally possibility: You’d always rather have it fourth-and-one than an interception, we all know that, so you’ve got to be able to throw the ball away at the right time. But he’s trying to make a play.” Comment: So, he was trying to make a play? I thought Griffin said he was trying to throw it away.
2. On the development of Robert Griffin III: "There is going to be some growing pains. It’s not going to be automatic. We didn’t expect it to be automatic. But there will be growth in what we do with him as time goes on and I think he’ll keep on getting better and better.” Comment: This is the realistic view. I think Redskins fans got spoiled by Griffin’s rapid development last year. He was a raw product coming in out of Baylor and he caught some lightning in a bottle. We’re seeing sort of a double dose of growing pains this year.
3. Asked about keeping the players believing in his plan: “Well, as I shared with you a second ago, we talked about the Minnesota game – you’ve got to be able to close that game. We talked about Philly, we had a chance even though it was in the fourth quarter to come back and have a chance to at least tie it up and go into overtime, and it’s disappointing we didn’t get it done. We’re playing some good football teams. We’re not finishing games. Like I said, when you’re No. 1 in the National Football League rushing, it means you’re doing some things good.” Comment: Two things here. He said they have played “good football teams”. The Vikings are not a good football teams. The Eagles aren’t very good, either. And being at the top of the league in rushing in a passing league doesn’t mean what it used to. The Seahawks (10-1) and Chiefs (9-1) are among the top 10 rushing teams. So are the Texans (2-8), Bills (4-7), and Raiders (4-6).
4. Asked about comments from Griffin and others that the Eagles know what’s coming: “This year they’re saying hey we’re going to play a little more passive. You’re going to have to earn your right in that running game, which we’ve been able to do, and you’re not going to always get that deep ball so you’ve got to dump it off and be patient. That’s part of the NFL. No matter what quarterback you’re going against. No matter what system you’re going against. You’ve got to be able to relate or adjust your game plan accordingly.” Comment: Let’s get past the fact that he didn’t answer the question at all. The last part is something of an indictment, where he says you “adjust your game plan accordingly.” It doesn’t appear that the Redskins did that against the Eagles for most of the game or if they did it didn’t work. They didn’t score until Griffin scrambled and launched a pass to Darrel Young, who got free when two defenders collided with each other. A nice effort by the two players but not the result of a great play design.
5. Does Shanahan think that direction of the program still positive? “I really do. I really do and I think you’ve got to take a look at a number of things when you take a look at the direction of a football team. I think when you take a look at the offensive numbers and that just doesn’t happen naturally with a lot of new players. We talked about it last year – we had six new players on our team and putting up the numbers that we’re putting up are pretty impressive, especially with losing the $36 million salary cap over those two years’ timeframe.” Comment: Of course in a setting like this Shanahan is going to accentuate the positive and point out obstacles like the salary cap penalty. Although he said earlier in the press conference that he didn’t talk about his job status or security, he took advantage of the question to lobby the media and public at large, if not Dan Snyder, for more time to get this fixed.
Stat of the day
—The Redskins' five offensive linemen have played a combined 3,675 of a possible 3,675 offensive snaps this season.
—Days until: Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 6; Giants @ Redskins 12; Chiefs @ Redskins 19
—Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability
In case you missed it
- Morris could take rushing lead
- Shanahan will talk to NFL about Williams incident
- Hankerson may need LCL surgery
- One play a microcosm of Redskins’ problems
- McCoy’s impact greater than his stats indicated
- Slow starts plague Redskins
- Redskins pile up yards but losses mount, too
Shanahan on RG3: I think he’s done a good job