Tony McGee on Tampa Bay & Redskins
It is good to be back with you this week after a victory against Tampa Bay. Despite the fact that it was still another close, down to the wire win against one of the leagues lower ranked teams, I think you can take many more positives out of this game then you could the first victory this year against St. Louis.
Defensively, I thought the Redskins played much better. The cornerbacks played much better throughout the game this week, London Fletcher is having an all pro year to this point, and Orakapo looked a lot better playing more outside this week. Defensively, I donít have many issues as they really just held the Buccaneers to 6 points (as the offense gave them first and goal).
Right now, the one thing with the defense is still the pass rush. For my top three things that this team needs to be working on and fixing, that is right up there. They have not had a consistent pass rush in far too long. In addition to that, they need to rush the ball better and get better production out of their #2 receiver, which Iíll get into momentarily.
On Justin Tryon and Fred Smoot, I think Smoot is probably on his way out. I think they wanted Justin Tryon on the field because he is the fastest of all the cornerbacks on the field. Fred Smoot has been beaten too consistently, and with the drafting of Kevin Barnes as well, the writing is on the wall for Fred Smoot. It is very telling when a veteran gets sat down for a young player.
Rushing the ball, I thought the Redskins ran the ball much better this week. It was nice to see Jim Zorn put some trust into his offensive line, and not have them play back on their heels the entire game and establish themselves. As far as Clinton Portis goes and his issues falling down, I just donít think he is the type of back he used to be. I think he was able to be used more as a scat back, where he is now strictly a power back. I donít think that he possesses that same type of balance that he used to. I know the Redskins have brought in another running back to work out this week, when they already have five on the roster. To answer the question directly though, his overall issues are a combination of play calling, the offensive line and himself. There is so much that goes into the numbers that he has right now.. I think, however, he has played a pretty good season to this point. Iím a little perplexed as to what theyíre attempting to do there with Chris Henry (although at this point I know they did not sign him). I think the Redskins are realizing that Ladell Betts is a better receiver than he is a rusher and 2006 may have been just a good run for him. They appear to be looking for someone who is a good combo back like Clinton Portis. An additional person that can run, block and catch the ball out of the backfield. Iím not sure anyone else in that backfield can do all three things well.
With Jason Campbell, I thought he had a terrible first half, and a very good second half. Putting aside the turnovers, Campbell has thrown for over 600 yards the last two weeks, and has really pressed the ball quite a bit. I can deal with the interceptions, but he needs to be more aware on the fumble, its something he has dealt with quite a bit. In addition, I think on one of those interceptions that Malcolm Kelly should have made a better play on the football.
Looking at the second year trio of Fred Davis, Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, something needs to change. I am going to take Fred Davis out of the equation for this discussion and look at the two wide receivers. I wouldnít be opposed to sitting one of these two guys right now in favor of Marko Mitchell to see what you have there. I am a big fan of Marko Mitchell, and at this point, he cannot be any worse then Kelly and Thomas have been. I really would like to see Mitchell active this weekend and get some looks in the game. These two have had nearly a year and a half, and while Kelly has done some nice things in practice, it needs to translate over into the game itself and it has not to this point.
Finally, taking a look at Jim Zorn. I have not heard anything further on Mike Shanahan being in DC, the talk has died down a little bit after a win, which it usually will. However, if the Redskins donít do well against Carolina, I would expect that talk to pick up. There are many people in the Redskins organization who are viewing this as a real test. Yes, the Carolina Panthers are 0-3, but they are still a test for the Redskins. The front office, in my opinion, is going to see how the Redskins handle this week. If they can beat Carolina and win a game at home next week against a bad Kansas City team, yes they still have work to do, but theyíd be 4-2 and right in the middle of things. I liked what Jim Zorn did last week with Jason Campbell and letting him play out the game. I think thatís the right move, as those two are going to succeed or fail together. I also liked that Zorn tried to really establish the run this week. The NFL has become a ďpass to set up the runĒ type league, but Iím still in favor of running to set up the pass. It allows the offensive line to set a tempo in the game and control the line of scrimmage. I hope to see more this week like we did last week in the second half against Tampa Bay.
Re: Tony McGee on Tampa Bay & Redskins
Thanks for the analysis.
Curious if there are any thoughts about the 3 man DL that we used 100% effectively against TB on 4 3rd downs, I missed the questions.
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