Redskins

Quick Links

Need to Know: Will the Redskins tackle better in 2014?

mccoy-jumping.png

Need to Know: Will the Redskins tackle better in 2014?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, July 14, 10 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

—The Redskins’ top six tacklers last year were inside linebackers Perry Riley and London Fletcher, cornerbacks Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall, and safeties Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty. Those same six also led the team in missed tackles (per Pro Football Focus). Wilson, Doughty, and Fletcher are gone as of this year; will the team miss fewer tackles? Doughty, who missed 13 tackles last year, will be replaced by Ryan Clark, who also missed 13 with the Steelers last year so that could be a wash. We don’t have a track record on Keenan Robinson, the solid favorite to win Fletcher’s old Mike linebacker job, so we really don’t know how that will work out. David Amerson will take Wilson’s spot; here is where the Redskins have a shot at improvement. Wilson played 982 snaps and missed 16 tackles, one miss every 61 snaps. Amerson missed seven tackles in 694 snaps, a miss every 99 snaps.

—If you want to put Alfred Morris’ decline in yardage from over 1,613 yards in 2012 to 1,275 last year under the microscope, you really don’t have to look past his first down carries. If you look at Morris’ 2012 season, he could have been a very valuable runner based on his first-down carries alone. He carried 202 times on first for 1,037 yards (a 5.13 average) and 10 touchdowns. Last year, his production fell to 164 attempts for 747 yards (4.55 average) and five touchdowns.

— While the numbers go on Morris’ stat sheet, anyone who watched the games last year knows that he was hardly to blame for many of the issues. Frequently, Morris couldn’t get going due to predicable play calling and/or suspect blocking. He gained one, zero, or negative yards on 48 of his first-down carries. If you take out the zero-yard and negative plays his average would jump to 6.0 yards per carry. The takeaway here is that if they can give Morris a fighting chance to get moving forward they can find themselves in second and four a lot more often than they face second and 12.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Timeline

—It’s been 197 days since the Redskins played a game; in 55 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 24; Final cuts 47; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 63

Open Mic: Is RG3 back to his old form?

Your browser does not support iframes.

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

usatsi_10433251.jpg

Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

 

Quick Links

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

perine_vs_nyg_youngentob.jpg
Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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.