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Slingin Sammy 33 10-04-2011 01:29 AM

Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
Overall thoughts on where we are vs. last year and with the previous regime: I’m very pleased with the progress the Redskins have made in 2010 and 2011. The Free Agent strategy and Draft strategy has been excellent, yielding us several new players who are solid contributors. The transition to the 3-4 has worked better than I expected, due to the FO being able to fill the key needs to execute the 3-4. Upgrades at DL with Bowen, Cofield and Jenkins, OLB using Rak primarily to “get after it” without out much read/react or coverage responsibility (we saw how that worked out on Sunday), Kerrigan performing above expectations, and OJA brings experience and range to the FS position.

Offensively, the changes made to the interior OL and J. Brown’s improved health/play make doing a review much easier, because instead of identifying major problem areas at each position group determining the root cause of play breakdowns is simplified because most positions are playing above average with an occasional mistake. Our RBs, a liability in 2009, are now strength. We have a lot of reasons to be excited about the long term future of the Redskins.

We do have to keep our success in perspective based on our opponents. A NYG team with injuries and WR issues, a mediocre (at best) AZ, a Dallass team riddled with injuries and poor OL play, and well….the Rams. We’ll get a test from a desperate Iggles team. Our schedule appears to break our way this year as we won’t see any of the top flight teams in the NFL outside of the Pats in Week 14 and possibly a Jets team that could rebound by Week 13. We’ve got an opportunity to make a playoff run, but we’ve got to clean up issues at playcalling on O and at QB.

[B]The Good[/B]
[B]Rocky[/B] is playing fast, anticipating plays, reading and attacking ball-carriers. Not having 300 lbers on him all game is helping him show why he was a 2nd round pick and highly regarded coming out of college. His running down a screen in the 2nd qtr, his delay blitz pressure, and 5 tackles are examples of a rejuvenated and effective Rock.

[B]Kerrigan [/B]is off to a DROY first quarter of the season. He continues strong with 5 tackles, 1 assist, a sack, and a forced fumble. Rak is still the more dominant force, but having two exceptional OLBs make for a very good 3-4 D….and one heck of a 4 man pass rush in nickel/dime.

[B]Run Game[/B]
Numbers don’t tell the whole story…but they sure don’t lie. 196 yds on 40 carries.
Run game was effective and closed the game late when given the chance (more on that later). Another testament to the offensive position coaches coaching the run game up. Those yardage numbers don’t get put up without vastly improved OL play, RBs making the right reads and staying within the system, and the TEs and WRs selling out for the run game. Great job.

[B]Defensive playcalling[/B] was good all game and Haslett made the correct change from his mistake last week on 3 & 21. On four 3rd/4th and long occasions (3 & 22, 3 & 16, 3 & 13, 4 & 13 late in the 4th) Haslett showed the same Cover 0 blitz we used against the Cowgirls….however this time he rushed four and dropped 7 in coverage (once he sent 5). It worked each time. Great adjustment and correction. That’s what a good coaching staff does, it evaluates game film and looks to improve any mistakes, especially in situational playcalling.

On the TD play, Haslett brought pressure, which isn’t a bad call in that situation. The D is on a short field and he took a gamble. Good play design by McGenius to get Jackson on Rak. Rak in coverage is a mismatch and the Rams capitalized (even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while).

[B]Good Numbers[/B]
9-18 on 3rd down on O
6-18 on 3rd down on D
196 rush yds, 4.9 ypc
0 sacks
ToP: 35-24
7 sacks

[B]The Bad[/B]
[B]Fox Presentation[/B] – FAIL. Repeated video problems in the 1st qtr. Several other times cut to plays in progress or just before snap. Someone needs to let Tim Ryan know that when defenders drop into coverage it’s not a “Zero Blitz”. Someone else mentioned this in the gameday thread, when a receiver (TH) drops the ball it doesn’t constitute the “defense stopping the Redskin offense”.

[B]Help from the Rams [/B]
While our D played well, we have to keep in mind we got a great deal of help from the Rams WRs and poor OL. Sims-Walker dropped at least 2, 1 was for a TD. Their TE (not even gonna try the name) dropped a 25 yd catch that would’ve put them at least in FG range, Kendricks dropped a TD. Bradford also threw high to Kendricks for what would’ve been another TD in the 4th qtr.

We only produced 17 pts (3 in 2nd half) against the 31st ranked scoring D.

[B]Special Teams[/B] miscues – It’s time for Danny Smith to be the Special Teams “guru” he’s supposed to be. So far in four games we’ve had a missed assignment on a chip shot FG, a muffed hold, a poor return game, and two of the exact same undisciplined penalties on punt coverage. If Smith can’t get this fixed, we need to look for a new ST coach in the off-season.

[B]Bad Numbers[/B]
10 penalties for 96 yds
3 fumbles
In 2nd & 4th quarters we had 8 possessions with five 3 & outs and a 1st play INT.
Rex: 15-29 143yds 1TD 2 INT 51.7 comp % 48.5 QB rating

[B]Offensive Playcalling[/B] – not as offensive this week, but still needs to improve.
Overall this week was definitely an improvement from the mess last week. Good commitment to the run and run/pass balance. We finally saw a draw called and it was effective. Haven’t seen many, but hope to see more. Good call on 3 & 1 early in 3rd Qtr on the pitch to Helu off the FB dive.

The best called series of the game was the final series to run out the clock. On 1st down a power run with Chester pulling and Cooley leading, give to ATV for +1. Kyle came back to it the next play…same exact play +7. On 3rd & 3….same exact play, gain of 4, game over. Confidence in the strength of the team and a hot RB. Is it boring, yes. Did the D know it was coming, absolutely and they couldn’t stop it. There was a mismatch the Rams couldn’t compensate for without getting burned somewhere else and KS stayed with it. It’s this type of play the puts the game in the players’ hands, “hat on a hat” football. The OL loves this stuff and they earned that confidence. TW was the #4 pick, Chester got a hefty contract, let those guys go make plays. I’ve been screaming for some power running…it was effective and great to see. Brought back memories of 4th & 1 vs. Miami.

But…..KS still raises some eyebrows with his calls. His opening script was not very good. Play-action on 1st, I get it, good play to Moss. Next play, is essentially the same play to the other side. 2 & 8 is another PA, Sellers & Cooley are within 2 yds of each other and Rex makes a poor throw sailing the ball over Sellers’ head. 3 & 8 Rex is rolling left (KS has seen Rex play…a lot….if there is anyway we can never see Rex roll to his left again that would be a good thing) and winds up making a very dangerous throw back across his body. It’s hard to see the downfield routes from the TV view, but from what I could tell what was run on three consecutive plays was the Waggle Pass, a staple of the WCO, out of slightly different formations. I believe the X in at least two of these plays is running a deep comeback rather than a Go. Unless there was really some reaction that KS was trying to see from the Rams, you don’t run the same pass plays consecutively, unless it’s a physical mismatch the D can’t cover for.

Early in the 2nd half on 3 & 9, after a failed screen on 2nd down, another screen call to Davis comes up short setting up the FG. Dislike calling screens on consecutive plays.

3rd & 1 in the 3rd qtr. Run is working well, why call a boot with a 17 point lead and the “fleet of foot” Grossman on the edge. Hell, we got a generous spot for him to make the 1st.

At about 5:30 left (Rex INT), 1 & 10 you call play action???? I understand being contrarian and trying to catch the D off-balance, but you just can’t do that with Rex at QB. The run game is working, take time off the clock or force the Rams to use up their timeouts. Looking at this objectively, you have one player who is unsteady and 10 other players that have been playing effectively, why would you call a play to put the outcome of the game in the hands of the 1 unsteady player when you don’t need to. Sometimes run, run, run OR run, run, pass is OK. Especially nursing a 7 point lead late in a game.

On the next drive Kyle gets 1st & 2nd down right, but on 3rd & 3 we go shotgun and Grossman makes another poor throw. If Rex makes a good throw it’s a 1st, but the playcall is still bad because of the reasons above and if you want to pass in this situation, go play action and have Rex rolling right, to his throwing side.

KS is in a difficult situation with Rex’s limitations, I understand he wants to keep the playbook opened up but you just can’t because Rex will cost us games.

[B]The Ugly[/B]
Which leads me to our favorite subject.
If we’re in a position to make a playoff run, which based on our schedule I believe we can, we must have at worst a game-manager at QB who will not make mistakes that cost us games. I’ve seen folks reference Dilfer and Brad Johnson winning SBs as game managers in comparison to Rex. The huge difference is that both Dilfer and Johnson were incredibly smart, conservative QBs (at those points in their careers) who understood their roles and would not lose games. Grossman makes many mistakes and will put the D and OC in bad situations repeatedly.

Here are frequent arguments for keeping Rex as the starter:
1) We’re 3 – 1, you can’t change the starting QB.
Response: Last I checked there is no rule that says you can’t change QBs at 3-1.
Response 2: We are 3 -1 in spite of Rex, not because of Rex.
Response 3: If not for bad playcalls and poor QB play last Monday night, we’d be 4 -0.

2) Beck won’t/might not do any better:
Response: Based on the mistakes Rex is making he can’t do worse.
Response 2: Some folks have defended both Haslett’s 3 & 21 call and Kyle’s over-aggressive playcalls as having to “be aggressive”, “keep the pedal down”, or “you have to take chances, win some, lose some” in the NFL. I argue that those same folks should be asking for the aggressive move to improve the team short and long term.

3) Beck struggled against Tampa Bay
Response: Rex has struggled for the last four games.

4) If you make a QB change you’ll disrupt the team.
Response: If the Rams & Cards make a couple of plays they should have thanks to Rex, the team would be pretty damn disrupted at 1-3.
Response 2: The players are professionals and want to win. They want the best player at QB to help the team win.

I have no ax to grind with Rex and I’m not making a knee-jerk, emotional judgement. I’m going by what I’ve observed. Here’s why I believe Beck needs to replace Rex until Beck plays himself out of the position:

1) Rex has 14 turnovers in 7 starts for the Redskins
2) Skins are 25th in completion %, 23rd in QB rating, tied for 5th in INTs, 7th in INT %
3) Rex continues to roll left and make dangerous throws across his body in the middle of the field.
4) Rex continues to struggle to read the D and make the correct throw.
5) His footwork and fundamentals are lazy and poor.
6) Beck provides better mobility in the boot/waggle game.
7) Beck has an unknown upside, but he was highly regarded by MS coming out of the NCAA. Rex has started in the NFL and is a veteran. I expect he has reached his full potential. It’s highly doubtful he will progress or improve.

Here are some plays that highlight what I’ve mentioned:
1st Qtr, 3 & 8: Rex rolls left and throws back into the middle, across his body and off-balance to Moss. Fortunately the Rams defenders aren’t quite close enough to capitalize.

Next series, 1 & 10. This is the dropped INT by the Rams. KS has a good play design with a 15 yd dig from the Z and Hightower circling underneath. The OL protection is fine. Rex is taking what should be a 5-step drop because of the deep routes. On a 5 step drop the QB should be 7 yds deep. HS kids do this. Rex’s footwork is slow and lazy. He doesn’t take the full 5-step drop, shorts it at 4 and a hop, and winds up only 5 yds deep. Because of his poor drop he has to throw off his back foot rather than step into his throw. The throw is behind TH and should’ve been picked. We’re playing the Rams and get a break. Two plays later on 3rd & 8, Rex makes a proper drop and is able to step into his throw for a 1st on the Dig. It’s not acceptable for Grossman to be inconsistent with something as simple as proper footwork. It may not sound like much, but proper footwork is the base for everything a QB does.

Next series after the TD to Moss, 1 & 10. PA call, Rex is rolling right, off balance, shoulders not squared, feet not set before the throw and his pass is tipped on what should’ve been a 10 yd gain. Two plays later on 3rd down Rex is throwing off his back foot again to Davis. With a better throw Davis may make the catch for the first, rather than having the pass defensed.

At approx 12:30 to go in the 2nd qtr, 1-10. PA call again, Rex’s roll to the left is very awkward and off balance. The completion is made for + 4. Next play will be a waggle to the right. Rex looks into what is a very good indication of a blitz defender coming into his waggle. This calls for either an audible to a run or a hot route call. No change is made and Rex can’t make the throw over the defender.

At approx. 1:39 left in the 2nd qtr, on 1 & 10, Rex misses an easy speed out throw.
Same series on 3 & 1, Rex should easily have a pre-read of Zone coverage underneath, knowing Davis is coming underneath the coverage with only 1 yd for a 1st, Rex should look off to Moss and hit Davis who was wide open. Instead Rex forces a pass right into the Zone coverage for what should’ve been another INT (but again, it’s the Rams).

In the 2nd half, calling for the snap, then trying to change a route…..
The INT, I don’t need to go over that.
Late in the 4th , 3 & 1, high throw over Moss for the 1st.

With two weeks to prepare Beck, I believe a change is needed. Best case, Beck plays solid, give us more mobility, reduces turnovers and we go into next season with at least a mid-tier QB on the roster. Worst case, he stinks it up worse than Rex and we put Rex back in to finish out the year and we know we still have nothing at QB. Based on Rex's current play, we stand a remote chance to make the playoffs. However, with a game manager that can run a bit I believe we're better than 50% to make it in.

Ruhskins 10-04-2011 01:51 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
Good post SS33. Given your post about the whole QB situation, here is my thinking why Beck won't come unless there is a complete and total meltdown by Rex in a losing game (kind of a conspiracy theorish view).

I feel MS is not much of a gambler when it comes to QB decisions. You are right, Beck could come in and be a better game manager than Rex. But if Beck comes in and loses against the Eagles, all the flack will be on MS (even fans, who LOVE to blame the players for everything, will get blame MS). If Rex comes in and loses the Eagles game, all the flack will be on Rex and very few people will blame Shanahan.

If MS was a gambler with his QB decisions, he would not have gotten McNabb last year. But he chose the safer route, and in the end not many people are blaming him for getting McNabb. But let's say that MS would have stuck with Campbell or some an unproven QB. All the blame would have fallen on MS.

Despite all this babbling I just typed, the $60,000 dollar question is...what does Kyle want? Remember, Grossman is sort of his guy right now, but I'd be curious to see who would Kyle wants to start. I think KS is stubborn (hence the ton of passing calls when we should be running), so I wonder if KS is keeping Rex in the starting lineup.

Bucket 10-04-2011 02:06 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
Is it me.. Or is Rex a bit tubby? I remember him running pretty well in Chicago.. Now he's like Mcnabb 2.0

Chico23231 10-04-2011 07:03 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
SS33 i agree 100% with everything you said. Your review confirmed alot of what I saw on the field in regards to playcalling. Thanks

53Fan 10-04-2011 08:26 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
Love your reviews Sammy. Great stuff!

freddyg12 10-04-2011 08:34 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
[quote=Ruhskins;844628]Good post SS33. Given your post about the whole QB situation, here is my thinking why Beck won't come unless there is a complete and total meltdown by Rex in a losing game (kind of a conspiracy theorish view).

I[B] feel MS is not much of a gambler when it comes to QB decisions.[/B] You are right, Beck could come in and be a better game manager than Rex. But if Beck comes in and loses against the Eagles, all the flack will be on MS (even fans, who LOVE to blame the players for everything, will get blame MS). If Rex comes in and loses the Eagles game, all the flack will be on Rex and very few people will blame Shanahan.

If MS was a gambler with his QB decisions, he would not have gotten McNabb last year. But he chose the safer route, and in the end not many people are blaming him for getting McNabb. But let's say that MS would have stuck with Campbell or some an unproven QB. All the blame would have fallen on MS.

Despite all this babbling I just typed, the $60,000 dollar question is...what does Kyle want? Remember, Grossman is sort of his guy right now, but I'd be curious to see who would Kyle wants to start. I think KS is stubborn (hence the ton of passing calls when we should be running), so I wonder if KS is keeping Rex in the starting lineup.[/quote]

You could argue he's a gambler simply cause he's playing REx! what caught my attention about your comment was MS' handling of Plummer v. Griese. He went back and forth a bit on that, so he's definitely not been shy in the past about pulling his qb.

freddyg12 10-04-2011 08:35 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
[quote=Bucket;844629]Is it me.. Or is Rex a bit tubby? I remember him running pretty well in Chicago.. Now he's like Mcnabb 2.0[/quote]

Sally Jenkins made this same point last week, said he should lose some weight. I didn't realize he had an injury in 05, ankle I think, that's made him slow ever since.

Ruhskins 10-04-2011 08:46 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
[quote=freddyg12;844646]You could argue he's a gambler simply cause he's playing REx! what caught my attention about your comment was MS' handling of Plummer v. Griese. He went back and forth a bit on that, so he's definitely not been shy in the past about pulling his qb.[/quote]

You know I completely forgot about the Plummer/Griese situation. Honestly, I don't think MS is shy about pulling his QB. I just feel that with an upcoming divisional game, it would be a huge disaster if he starts Beck and they lose. I have no doubt though that a loss by Rex would result in him getting benched for Beck.

Chico23231 10-04-2011 08:50 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
The difference in the Oline play has been night and day comparing this year to years past. You can see it in the Rushing game the way guys get out and get moving. But the most interesting to see is the pass protection, its been very good. Excuses in the past for QB play is "well the guy is under pressure", Rex cant use that this year. Bad decisions not helped by Kyle's play calling.

Ruhskins 10-04-2011 08:53 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
[quote=Chico23231;844667]The difference in the Oline play has been night and day comparing this year to years past. You can see it in the Rushing game the way guys get out and get moving. But the most interesting to see is the pass protection, its been very good. Excuses in the past for QB play is "well the guy is under pressure", Rex cant use that this year. Bad decisions not helped by [B]Kyle's play calling.[/B][/quote]

And this is what concerns me about the whole QB situation. Kyle thinks he still has Schaub throwing to A. Johnson out there. Even if Beck is slightly better than Rex, they both are not QBs that are going to put the team on their shoulders and win a game. With the RB group we have, we should be running all over people when we have the lead.

Mattyk 10-04-2011 08:57 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
[quote=Bucket;844629]Is it me.. Or is Rex a bit tubby? I remember him running pretty well in Chicago.. Now he's like Mcnabb 2.0[/quote]

He was never a runner.

Plus he broke his ankle a few years ago which pretty much killed what little mobility he had.

Mattyk 10-04-2011 08:58 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
Good breakdown SS33. I too would like to see us scrap any plays that involve Rex rolling out to his left.

freddyg12 10-04-2011 09:11 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
[quote=Mattyk;844672]Good breakdown SS33. I too would like to see us scrap any plays that involve Rex rolling out to his left.[/quote]

likewise, good job SS33! You make a case for Beck, but he looked pretty bad in his last preseason start. I think the Shans are going to coach up Rex until he has a disaster of a game and then he's pulled for Beck.

I hate always second guessing play calling, but I have to agree w/you on Kyle's pass heavy trend. I would really like to see more runs on the 3rd & 4, 3rd & 3 plays.

53Fan 10-04-2011 09:15 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
[quote=Chico23231;844667]The difference in the Oline play has been night and day comparing this year to years past. You can see it in the Rushing game the way guys get out and get moving. But the most interesting to see is the pass protection, its been very good. Excuses in the past for QB play is "well the guy is under pressure", Rex cant use that this year.[B] Bad decisions not helped by Kyle's play calling[/B].[/quote]

I think that's our biggest problem. I mean I'm sure KS has some good things in mind even though I disagree with some of his calls, but if he's challenging Rex to make the plays, he's barking up the wrong tree. Someone posted we were #6 in the NFL in rushing attempts. Great. If we were #5 we might be 4-0.

hooskins 10-04-2011 09:19 AM

Re: Slingin Sammy 33's Rams Game Review
 
Ok so I understand Rex isn't the best rolling out to his left but that cuts the PA bootleg plays to 1. You can't keep the D honest on a stretch right the same way you can with the left.


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