Here is my review after looking at the recording of the Redskins-Bengals game. The first half is here, the second half will be posted at 4:00 p.m.First quarterOn the first snap of the game, all 11 defensive players were within seven yards of the line of scrimmage. From the snap of the ball that was a touchdown, assuming that Sanu could throw a decent pass. He could.It was pitch right to Alfred Morris on the first play of the game, pitch left on the second. Ten yards on each play. Among others, Leonard Hankerson did a good job blocking on the first run, Josh Morgan did the same on the second one.Its hard to see how Trent Williams could have sustained a bone bruise on that second run. He stayed engaged with his man as Morris ran past him and then went to the ground. Many thought the injury could be somewhat serious as it looked like a classic scenario for ligament damage.There must have been some sort of a protection mixup on Rob Jacksons interception. Ryan Kerrigan just went through virtually untouched and hit Andy Dalton as he was throwing a little swing pass. Jackson saw the gift fluttering through the air and pounced on it, becoming just the fifth player in NFL history to get a zero-yard interception return for a touchdown.The Bengals had to overcome a second and 18 to start the drive that led to their second TD. They got most of it with a Dalton scramble. The score itself came on second and 20. Madieu Williams did hit Dalton on the blitz but he was a step and a half away when the QB released the ball. It didnt look like Josh Wilson, who had single coverage on receiver Armon Binns, misplayed the ball. He got caught flat-footed when Binns made his cut and he had no chance after Dalton threw the ball. Perhaps he could have taken a better angle and cut off the receiver after the throw but even that seems doubtful.After being sacked with 2:46 left, Griffin is in a pile that includes a few Bengals and tight end Logan Paulsen. The offensive linemen, all five of them, are standing and looking at the pile, all but Jordan Black at least five yards away. Although it was more of a coverage sackGriffin pumped, apparently looking to go deepthe optics here are not good.The next play was one of a few where Black looked truly awful. Carlos Dunlap made him look like a statue as he sped around him to RG3. Black wasnt perfect the rest of the way by any means but he did seem to realize that he had to do better.Second quarterTwice the Bengals caught the Redskins bunched up in the middle of the line on third and short and went to Andrew Hawkins on an end around. They easily got the first down both times.The Bengals fake field goala highly questionable call to begin withnever had a chance. Madieu Williams just stayed home and the holder turned runner ran right into him.On the fumbled pitch (which they still are calling a sack but its not as Griffin had no intent to pass) it looks like Griffin simply should have held on to the ball since Dunlap was on him so quickly. I am not sure why Morris didnt recover the ball. They had several replays, some of them from the right angle to see what happened but they stopped them before the recovery. The all-22 view comes out tomorrow, maybe we can see then.And, as the announcers pointed out, Griffin did grab Dunlaps facemask as the defender was on top of him in an apparent effort to keep him from going after the ball. Smart move or a dirty one? It didnt matter as Dunlap ultimately recovered the ball anyway.Niles Paul got off a nice block to spring Brandon Banks on that 55-yard return late in the first half. He didnt knock anyone to the ground but he got himself into position to get between the ballcarrier and the would-be tackler.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Redskins offseason thus far comes from the lack of change. Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky are all coming back.
One name that is less certain, and is widely loved, is defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.
For Tomsula, there is no pressure on him to perform better. His work in developing Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle probably ranks as the most impressive on the team.
"Jim [Tomsula] is definitely my favorite coach I've ever had," Redskins defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said this week. "I don’t really count [University of Alabama] Coach [Nick] Saban because he wasn’t my position coach, but as a position coach, love Jim Tom."
The Alabama product's comments came during a charity even at National Children's Hospital, and they came during an interesting time for the Redskins defense. The organization spoke with a number of highly sought after defensive coordinator candidates in the last few weeks, but stuck with Manusky at the position. The team claimed, through an unnamed source in a Washington Post article, that the meetings were just to gain different perspectives. Interesting.
Now that Manuksy is back, however, the future for Tomsula becomes one of the biggest questions for the club.
It sounds like Allen is prepared for any outcome.
"I don’t know if he will be back. I would love to have him back but he has a family, definitely he’s a big family guy and his family is in Florida," Allen said. "I can completely understand his reasons for not coming back."
Any conversation with Tomsula always centers around family. He's one of the few coaches that remembers reporters' kids' ages and often asks about them. It's a genuine thing for Tomsula, and it's impressive.
He is also close friends with Manuksy, and the coordinator's return could help in keeping the fiery D-line coach. If Tomsula does leave Ashburn, he's already made a significant impact for players like Allen.
"Regardless what happens I wish him nothing but the best and I’m just glad I got to spend two years with him."
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The Redskins need a stud wide receiver. Badly.
Antonio Brown is a stud wide receiver. Undoubtedly.
So, Washington should pick up the phone, call Pittsburgh and figure out a way to work out a trade for Brown, right?
It's not that easy.
There are plenty of obstacles between Brown becoming a member of the Redskins, as Washington would have to clear out quite a bit of salary to make room for him and also weigh whether he'll fit into their locker room.
Another thing worth considering, too: What's the point of acquiring Antonio Brown without a QB to maximize his talents?
There are serious questions about whether Alex Smith will play next season, or ever again. That means, barring a drastic move, the Redskins will go into 2019 with someone like Colt McCoy or an unproven youngster starting under center.
Sure, you could argue that Brown would make that passer's life a lot easier. He would, to an extent. But ask someone like Odell Beckham or Larry Fitzgerald what life is like on the outside, even as an elite talent, when the guy getting you the ball isn't properly equipped to do so.
Brown is one of the best pass catchers of his generation and will likely end up as one of the best of any era. Whatever offense he's lining up for next season will be better thanks to his presence.
However, this is a guy who's grown frustrated in a franchise that's made the postseason four of the past five years and is unhappy in a place where he's paired with a top-tier signal-caller.
The Redskins, on the other hand, have neither the track record of success or a settled situation at QB, so it's fair to be very skeptical of how he'd handle a move to D.C.
Now, for this organization to break out of football's middle class, an area they're stuck in, going after a star and taking a risk is absolutely worth trying.
Unfortunately, the quarterback depth chart will affect every potential move. And when that potential move involves heavily investing in a premier wideout, the quarterback depth chart should probably dissuade anyone from ultimately making that move.
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- 2019 NFL Draft: Latest Mock Draft update
- Coaching Updates: Manusky's back, but what about the others?
- Cap Casualties: Which Redskins may not return in 2019?
- Offseason Champions: The fix is clear