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Redskins' Barry likes what he's seen of Preston Smith


Redskins' Barry likes what he's seen of Preston Smith

Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry has only been around rookie outside linebacker Preston Smith for a short period of time but he likes what he sees so far.

“For a 270-pound man, he carries it very well,” Barry told Larry Michael on Redskins Nation. “He walks in the room and you’re like, maybe he’s 240, 245, maybe 250. And then when you get him out on the field an you get him moving around, he’s a very good, fleet on his feet athlete. And then you put him on the scale and you’re, holy cow, he’s 270 pounds. He’s a big, long athlete.”

Plenty of big, long athletes come into the league every year but many of them can’t cut it in the NFL. That even holds true for second-round draft picks like Smith was this year. They can be well served by having a good role model in the building and Barry believes that Smith has an ideal one.

“Ryan Kerrigan comes to work every single day,” said Barry. “What a true competitor he is. It doesn’t matter if it’s February, if it’s May. He shows up and just works. He’s been in this building every single day that I’ve been here, since I’ve been hired. It’s impressive the way he goes about his business.”

Smith can benefit from what Kerrigan does by observing him and other veterans as they go about their business.

“When you coming into this league, like we said, Preston Smith is walking around the building, he doesn’t know where to go, he doesn’t know what to do,” said Barry. “Every team’s not like this in the sense that you have great veteran leadership. With our team, as I’m finding out with these guys, you’ve got the Jason Hatchers, you’ve got the Ryan Kerrigans, you’ve got the DeAngelo Halls. I told Preston Smith this, if you don’t know what to do, watch those guys.

“Watch Ryan Kerrigan in the meetings, look how he takes notes, look how he pays attention, watch him in the weight room, how he works his ever-living butt off. Look at him in an individual period here on Phase 2 when we can actually go out on the field with the guys, watch how they work. If you don’t know what to do, watch them. That’s how you become a great pro.”

Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan alluded to the importance of having a good locker room with good role models last week.

“I’m not worried about just the one-year bang,” he said in his post-draft news conference. “I’m worried about the guy gets the second contract and is going to be able to build the core of the Redskins going forward. And each year we get better and better because of it that when guys walk in here in this locker room and this weight room and they see these young guys growing up and getting better, they follow in that and that’s what makes them better.”

So McCloughan is hoping that Smith can learn how to be a pro from Kerrigan and then in a few years when Smith has established himself another rookie can come in and learn by doing what Smith does.

It’s a good plan on paper; we will see if the organization can pull it off. 

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The Kapri Bibbs touchdown vs. the Cowboys was the very definition of team football

The Kapri Bibbs touchdown vs. the Cowboys was the very definition of team football

The obsession over how football is a team game, and how all 11 guys on the field matter on every single play, can be nauseating at times.

Plenty of things in an NFL contest happen because of one player beating another player. In other instances, it's about a single dude just absolutely screwing everything up all on his own (most often that dude is Blake Bortles).

But on Kapri Bibbs' 23-yard opening-drive touchdown catch vs. the Cowboys in Week 7, a ton of non-ball-carrying Redskins did in fact chip in to help get Bibbs into the end zone. It was one of those plays that just makes you want to scream FOOTBALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!

The first two 'Skins who deserve recognition on the score are Shawn Lauvao and Brandon Scherff.

Lauvao, who was returning from injury, leaked out with Scherff and Chase Roullier to serve as Bibbs' personal, giant escorts to the goal line. He then showed excellent awareness to peel back and seal off Dallas D-linemen Antwaun Woods, which ended any hopes of a Cowboy catching Bibbs from behind.

The true hero, though, was Scherff. The human wood chipper got pieces of two opposing linemen before breaking out to the next level, diving and knocking Kavon Frazier out of Bibbs' path. Without Scherff's insane effort, the screen pass doesn't even result in positive yardage, let alone six points.

Here's a still image of the first two, key blocks:

Large Redskins weren't the only ones getting the job done in hand-to-hand combat, however. For a screen to elevate itself from solid play to major chunk play, you need receivers doing work well past the line of scrimmage, too.

Well, this screenshot of Josh Doctson and Brian Quick holding blocks at the sticks definitely qualifies as doing work:

And, lastly, there's the center, Roullier. The man who started the entire sequence with a snap from the 23-yard line eventually found himself at the 12, displacing Byron Jones to ensure that the home team's tailback would finish things dancing instead of getting up from the ground:

To enjoy the full FOOTBALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!-ness of the six-pointer, head to the 23-second mark of this video. Then, take a moment to reflect on all those poor Cowboys who thought they were going to tackle Kapri Bibbs throughout the course of that highlight, because they never really had a chance and that's just so sad for them.


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What exactly was Alex Smith thinking when he went out of bounds on the last drive?

What exactly was Alex Smith thinking when he went out of bounds on the last drive?

FEDEX FIELD -- Late in the Redskins win over the Cowboys, when the contest was still very much in question, Alex Smith made an incredibly poor decision. 

It was situational football at its peak. The Redskins had the ball with under 90 seconds left and a three point lead while Dallas had just one timeout left. A first down would end the game, but beyond getting a new set of downs, forcing Cowboys coach Jason Garrett to use his final timeout was the next highest priority. 

Somehow, Smith achieved neither. 

On third-and-9 from his own 36-yard-line, Smith took the snap and worked left on a play-action bootleg. There was room to run for a modest gain, but it seemed obvious Smith would not pick up the first down. 

Only Smith didn't see it that way. 

"I knew a first down would end the game and I did have glimpses of myself getting the first down whatever it took," the quarterback said. 

Instead of getting the first down, Smith got dragged out of bounds by Dallas LB Sean Lee. That stopped the clock for the Cowboys, and allowed Garrett to save his final timeout. 

Barring a turnover, it was the worst possible outcome on the play. 

What makes the situation so strange is that Smith is a very smart player. A 14-year veteran, Smith is known as a guy that won't make mistakes to hurt his team and gives his squad a chance for a win every week. Only late in the game, Smith tried to make the play to go for the win, and made a huge mistake instead. 

"I all of a sudden found myself pretty awkward on the sidelines there and can’t have it," Smith said. "[I] could have obviously cost us the game in hindsight at that point, I think kinda abandon ship and go down there on the sideline.”

The good news for Smith, and for the 4-2 Redskins, is that Cowboys kicker Brett Maher plunked the upright on his game-tying field goal attempt. An attempt that might not have happened if Smith stayed in bounds. 

In the end, it didn't cost the Redskins.