Quarter Season Grades
Wow, hard to believe we're a quarter of the way thru the season. If you can say you had the Redskins at 3-1 thru 4 games either you're a genius or a liar. Either way, here they sit, 1 game out of first in the division with the chance next week to put the 1st nail in the Eagles coffin.
1st Quarter grades:
QB: A-, Campbell has been better than most expected, is protecting the ball and is getting it into the hands of his playmakers. He needs to improve on finishing drives, tempo and moving thru his progressions quicker but if he stays on this pace he will easily be a top 10 QB by the end of the season.
RB: B-, The running game, surprisingly has been pedestrian. Other than against Dallas, Portis hasn't been a dominating force & Betts has done a good job when in there but not a difference maker. The next 4 games should provide some good matchups for Portis to get things going.
WR: A, Moss is off to a great start, Randle El is making key catches to extend drives, Thrash is always the consummate pro and Thomas has shown a couple of flashes. If Thomas and Kelly ever get integrated fully into the offense and become play makers it could be something special.
TE: B, Cooley has made the plays when given the chance but hasn't been targeted very much. Yoder is good for the occasional TD catch but Fred Davis has yet to make any impact. As defenses give Moss more attention, look for Cooley to have better numbers throughout the season.
OL: B+, Campbell has been kept relatively upright, few killer penalties (outside of Rabach in Dallas) and consistent play from the tackles have been keys to early season success. Jansen provides starter quality depth and Thomas seems to be fully recovered from his injury.
DL: C-, Way too many rushing yards in the first 3 games. Taylor and Carter haven't provided the pass rush many anticipated, but injuries are a factor. It would be nice to see Golston or Montgomery become a consistent force on the line rather than just sparks (not even flashes) of greatness.
LB: B, They've been solid, but not special. McIntosh has played very well after recovering from surgery causing turnovers in 2 games. Fletcher is again the rock of the defense. Washington is aging before our eyes and his position will need to be addressed during the offseason.
CB: A-, Rogers and Springs have been as close to lock down as possible thus far. Torrence is much improved from last year. Smoot is the weak link, but as weak links go, he's not a scrub.
S: A+, We haven't seen any big, impact plays from Landry, yet. They are coming, it's just a matter of time. The star of the rookie class has been Chris Horton. He has a nose for the ball, is a solid tackler and doesn't make the big mistake. Doughty provides a good 3rd safety to the secondary.
ST: C, Brooks has strung together 2 solid games, Suisham still needs to avoid the lack of concentration misses and Randle El needs to stay pointed north-south and quit dancing.
Coaching: B+, Zorn has acclimated himself well to play calling and as the leader of the team. For those who ripped the hire because of the process should be getting full on crow by now. Greg (only 1 G necessary) Blache has made all the right calls defensively and has no-one missing Grilliams.
With 3 of the next 4 games VERY winnable (@ Philly, Rams, Browns, @ Lions) there's a really good shot to get to mid-season no worse than 6-2.
Re: Quarter Season Grades
Believe it or not Clinton Portis is tied for 4th in the league with 369 yds, top 5 should be enough to warrant an "A"...but I would have to agree with most of the grades...However I think that the LBs is a weakness of our defense because Marcus Washington has lost it...replacing him should be a priority in the offseason, it's just a matter of time before other teams notice this and start to expose him...Gregg Blache does a good job of not having his players weaknesses exposed he deserves an "A" alone, he's doing an excellent job replacing the arrogant, complicated, Williams.
Re: Quarter Season Grades
-Campbell's quick growth in the offense is a big surprise to me. I thought we would be waiting until midseason before he really started to take off. After the rough start in NY he's been everything we hoped he would be and then some.
-Moss is back to his 2005 form and here's a scary thought... he might be even better than he was back then. He's developed a nice chemistry with JC and that relationship should only continue to grow. Moss is playing with a serious chip on his shoulders it seems.
-Portis simply wore out Dallas and he seems to be just hitting his stride.
-Randle El and Cooley have been solid compliments to Moss and both are on pace for nearly 70 catches each.
-The OL has been very solid.
-The secondary has done an amazing job the past 3 weeks in limiting some pretty high powered attacks. Yeah Romo threw for over 300 but most of that was in catch up mode. I like that Blache plays aggressive with the corners and we're not seeing the big cushions that GW played with last year. Blache is not as aggressive or inventive as far as blitz packages go, but it's hard to argue with the overall results so far.
-I'm starting to become a Horton believer. That pick yesterday was a great play on his part and tells me more about him than the 2 previous picks he had off tipped balls.
-Landry might not be getting the highlight reel plays, but he is quietly having a big year and has filled the big shoes of Sean Taylor quite well. His range gives the secondary alot of flexibility as far as disguising coverages goes.
-Rockly and Rogers are both officially back and may be better than ever. I'm still amazed at their quick progress in coming off major knee surgeries.
Special Teams: B
-Suisham nailed all 4 kicks yesterday and we needed them all. He's now 8/11 on the year. Brooks was very shaky early on as we know but he seems to be settling in. The punt return game has been pretty mediocre, but Rock has done a nice job on kicks.
-What else can you say about Zorn? The hiring process that brought him to the head coach position was curious at best, but results are what matters and right now nobody can argue with the job he's done so far.
-The team is loose and plays their best ball late in the game. I attribute that to two things. #1, Zorn's aggressive style and loose attitude. I think under Gibbs he was so tight and tense at times and the team fed off that, and I think at times they felt the added pressure. With Zorn they are feeding off his looser attitude and they are just playing ball and not worrying about losing. In this league you have to play to win, and Zorn definitely brings that to the table while too often under Gibbs he was too conservative. I love Gibbs but the contrast between him and Zorn is so obvious now. #2, the rough training camp has this team in great shape and they aren't wearing down at the end of games.
Re: Quarter Season Grades
I wouldn't count Marcus Washington out yet. He's playing through an injury. I'm not saying that I wouldn't sign or draft a linebacker though.
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