Can the Redskins and Robert Griffin III survive and even thrive if Tyler Polumbus ends up playing right tackle instead of the ailing Jammal Brown?Many Redskins fans and analysts are cringing at the thought of the journeyman lineman taking over a key spot on the offensive line. They fear that Griffin will not get a chance to succeed, as he will spend most of the season running for his life.But are people saying this because they have really examined what he has done? Or is it because Polumbus was signed off of the street by the Redskins in the middle of last year and they really havent heard of him?Lets take an objective look at what Polumbus has done on the field the last couple of years and what the offenses of the teams he was playing for were able to do when he was in the lineup at tackle.2011Polumbus started three games at right tackle for the Redskins last year and one at left guard. Were only going to look at his games at tackle here.He started at right tackle and played every snap against New England at FedEx Field, and at the Giants and Eagles. According to the folks at Pro Football Focus, in those three games he gave up no sacks, three QB hits, and 10 QB hurries. Two of the hits and six of the hurries came against the Eagles, where he was lined up against Jason Babin most of the game.Earlier in the season, Brown started and played every snap against the Giants and Eagles. He gave up a total of one sack, three hits, and four hurries in those two games, a total of eight pressures. Against those two opponents Polumbus gave up no sacks, three hits and eight hurries, a total of 11 pressures.How did the Redskins offense do when Polumbus played? Lets take a look, with the caveat that we are dealing with a small sample size of three games.In the three games with Polumbus at right tackle, the Redskins averaged 141 yards per game rushing; in the other 13 games, they averaged 92. With Polumbus, the Redskins gave up 1.3 sacks per game; without him the averaged was 2.8.Again, take into account the small sample size, especially the fact that the Patriots defensive was one of the worst in the league last year (although they were in the middle of the pack in the two areas were looking at, 14th in sacks and 17th in rushing yards allowed). But the Redskins offense did not come apart at the seams when Polumbus was playing right tackle.2010We have a larger sample size to look at during Polumbus 2010 season in Seattle. He played six games at left tackle and one at right tackle. Polumbus also started three games at left guard including two playoff games but, again, were going to disregard those games and focus on his play at tackle.In his seven games at tackle, Polumbus gave up five sacks, four hits, and 11 hurries. Two of the sacks and five of the hurries came in one game, when Seattle visited the Rams and Polumbus was matched up against defensive end Chris Long.When he was at left tackle, he was filling in for rookie Russell Okung, the sixth overall pick in the draft. In the nine regular season games where Okung played all of the snaps (he started one game but left after being in for nine plays), he gave up four sacks, five hits, and 14 hurries.We do have a better sample size to work with when it comes to the teams performance while Polumbus was in the lineup as he started almost half of their regular season games.Seattles rushing performance was virtually the same with our without Polumbus at tackle, with an average of 88 yards per game with him and 89 without him. On average, however, the Seahawks pass protection was considerably leaker. They have up an average of 3.4 sacks per game with Polumbus at tackle and that dropped to 1.2 per game without him.The with Polumbus average was pushed up by a bad two-week stretch. They gave up five sacks to the Cardinals in Week 7 and the Raiders sacked Matt Hasselbeck eight times the next game. Individually, Pro Football Focus charged Polumbus with one sack in each of those games.Can they survive?Based on this limited look, it appears that an offense can function with Tyler Polumbus at tackle. Given his struggles against top ends like Long and Babin, the coaches should consider giving him some help when he is lined up against the better right-side pass rushers. But the rushing game seems to function reasonably well with Polumbus in the lineup rather than the more heralded Brown and Okung.Again, this is a small sample size but it seems to be a more systematic way of looking at it than the Tyler Polumbus is at right tackle, the offense is doomed level of analysis that we have been getting.
Even though it was a bright, warm Wednesday in Ashburn the Redskins held their OTA session in the practice bubble because recent rains have left their outdoor fields to soggy to use. Here are my observations from the practice:
—A few Redskins were not present and a few who were there were not participating in the drills. Jay Gruden said that OT Trent Williams is rehabbing in Texas and that LB Zach Brown is in the process of relocating to the Washington area. RB Chris Thompson and OT Morgan Moses were present, but both were spectators.
— It should be noted that even though Moses didn’t practice and is still rehabbing after ankle surgery, he still participated in the sideline-to-sideline running the team does at the end of practice.
—At rookie camp, RB Derrius Guice was first in line to do every drill. Today, he gave way to the veterans to all take their reps and then he went first among the rookies.
— “Fat Rob” Kelley never really was fat but he is now lean and mean. He also seems to be a half step quicker than he was in the past. Added competition in the form of second- and fourth-round picks being added at your position will do that to a player.
—The “starting” offensive line from left to right was Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, and John Kling. The interior could well start the season; the tackle position awaits the returns of Williams, Moses, and Ty Nsekhe.
—RB Byron Marshall, who was on the team briefly last year before getting injured, looked very quick with good acceleration.
—CB Josh Norman was back with the group fielding punts. I seriously doubt that he will handle any kicks in games, even preseason games, but perhaps with DeAngelo Hall being gone he wants to be available as an emergency option. Also back with the punt returners were CB Danny Johnson, CB Greg Stroman, WR Maurice Harris, WR De’Mornay Pierson-El, and, of course, WR Jamison Crowder.
—S D.J. Swearinger spent most of the special teams practice on the sideline working on catching passes with his hands extended away from his body. A little while later, he had a chance to make an interception with his arms extended. Of course, he dropped it.
—It seems like QB Alex Smith and Crowder have some good rapport built already. Once on the right sideline and a few minutes later on the left, Smith threw a well-placed ball into Crowder, who was well covered on both occasions.
—Eventually, CB Orlando Scandrick caught on and he swatted down a quick out to Crowder.
—With Brown out, Josh Harvey-Clemons was with the first unit at inside linebacker. He’s still skinny but less so than he was last year. The second-year player was impressive in coverage, staying with Crowder step for step on a deep pass down the middle.
—The play of the day was a deep pass down the right side from Smith to WR Paul Richardson. Stroman was with the receiver step for step on the 9 route but Smith laid the ball out perfectly and Richardson made a lunging catch. Even though it doesn’t have to under the new rule, the catch did survive the ground.
—WR Cam Sims had a few impressive plays. On one, QB Colt McCoy lofted one high in the air down the right side. Sims kept his focus on the ball while two defenders lost it and made the catch.
—WR Trey Quinn had his moments. He made a good grab while being bumped by Scandrick. But a while later he dropped a fairly easy one.
—The running backs all looked good but Guice looked the best of all of them. He had an ability to cut and maintain his speed that not many have. With the warning that they were playing with no pads with no contact and not at full speed, Guice’s vision appeared to be outstanding.
More 2018 Redskins
- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys
NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that allows players to remain in the locker room if they prefer but requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance.
This new policy subjects teams, but not players, to fines if any team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem.
Teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction separately though.
The NFL has released it's new National Anthem Policy. This is simply disgusting. Forcing players (if on the field) to stand is not what this country is about.— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) May 23, 2018
Do away with anthems, period. pic.twitter.com/UXznszUyut
The NFL Players Association released it's own statement after the news was made official.