Warpath  

Home | Forums | Salary Cap Info | Shop | Donate | Stay Connected




Go Back   Warpath > Redskins Forums > Redskins Locker Room


Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

Redskins Locker Room


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-23-2009, 12:49 AM   #1
Living Legend
 
GTripp0012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Evanston, IL
Age: 26
Posts: 15,994
Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

It would probably not be an accurate statement to say that Jim Zorn is not a good playcaller. There's 18 games of evidence to suggest that he mixes his personnel well, understands route combination and protection schemes, and knows what defenses will do as well as the strengths and weaknesses of his own team.

But if you really wanted to make the argument that he should have his playcalling duties forcefully revoked, you could make a pretty good argument based off of the Rams game alone. Zorn does not have a macro-level excuse for not scoring points. It's true, when Jim Zorn put the ball in the hands of his quarterback, the players around Jason Campbell did not execute. Devin Thomas dropped a touchdown. Mike Sellers dropped a touchdown. Casey Rabach blew a block that lead directly to a wasted third down play. Let's get it out of the way: the players did not execute.

But it's not excusable to get into the red zone three times in the games' first three quarters and take only three shots at the end zone with the passing game, which is the bell cow of the offense. The Redskins DID NOT need to score a touchdown every time they were there, in fact, on the second sequence, it's hard to blame the playcalling for not scoring. A run and two passes into the end zone is exactly what the team needs to be doing, and the fact that it didn't work can't be pinned on Jim Zorn.

But it actually looks worse when you consider that the Devin Thomas dropped pass was not actually designed to be a QB read play at all. No, the first read in the play certainly looked like a swing pass to Portis, designed to get the ball out of the quarterbacks hands quickly. So, for those keeping track, the first trip to the red zone, here was the approach to get in:

  1. Stretch left to Clinton Portis
  2. Shovel middle to Clinton Portis
  3. Swing right to Clinton Portis
And for good measure, the third sequence (following the well-called second sequence):

  1. Zone left to Clinton Portis
  2. Draw middle to Clinton Portis
  3. HB Pass with Clinton Portis to Chris Cooley
Well, it's pretty obvious that Zorn has Clinton Portis on his fantasy team.

I do have an operative theory on why all the Redskins passing in the red zone is short passing: since teams are more prone to blitzing when the field is shorter, Zorn's probably correct to think that if he is going to put the ball in the air, you probably don't want Campbell holding onto it. But doesn't that fade ball that seemingly everyone who calls a Redskins game likes offer you the best of both worlds? Maybe Campbell's not a great fade ball thrower (lots of QBs are not), but then you would think about letting him go through a full progression?

Anyway, I've wasted a lot of words on red zone playcalling, but I believe that the situational playcalling issues are a symptom of a greater coaching issue. Namely, I think Jim Zorn is suffering from a Norv-style disorganization issue. It's easy to call a game when you have a script, and it's easy to call a game right after making halftime adjustments (Zorn does both these things well), but a lot of his situational calls seem not to be premeditated. Zorn isn't far ahead enough of the action on the field right now.

Before we suggest that he would make a good coordinator and not a good head coach: I don't buy that. Does he have too many hats? Probably. Is that because of poor organizational design? I think so. But the issues he is showing right now are that of a poor coach, whatever his role.

Luckily, I'm of the opinion that if the Redskins are truly a 10-win team, they'll win that many games in spite of their coaching. It's really hard for a coach that was good enough to reach this level to be so completely clueless as to consistently cost his team games. Zorn might have specific problems with his coaching style, but this team has played like an average, 1-1 type team. They are 1-1, in part because as poorly as Zorn did as a playcaller on Sunday, he was worth his weight in gold as a strategist. If the Redskins manage to fall to the hapless Lions next week, you can probably determine that Zorn is not the biggest issue, something else will be glaringly obvious that takes the heat off of him.

I'll suggest that the offensive line might soon be an issue again, although, as long as Chris Samuels and Stephon Heyer are both healthy, the Redskins should be airing it out in the motor city. But the offensive line was probably more responsible for the 9 points than Jim Zorn was. Zorn's mistakes were just less excusable for a second year coach than an offensive line that lost it's most veteran player.

Lineman Yards

Three Redskins backs (Portis, Mason, Betts) have combined for 3.6 yards per carry this year (Portis leads the field at 4.0, but he's also the only guy who ever gets to run behind Sellers). Lets take a look at the two-game numbers for Lineman Yards and see who is above the YPC threshold, and who is below:

1. Mike Sellers, 5.7 LY (18 attempts)
2. Chris Samuels, 4.3 LY (16 attempts)
3. Fred Davis, 3.8 LY (5 attempts)

---------------
Redskins YPC average: 3.6
---------------

4. Will Montgomery, 3.6 LY (9 attempts)
5. Derrick Dockery, 3.5 LY (26 attempts)
6. Randy Thomas, 3.4 LY (5 attempts)
7. Casey Rabach, 2.9 LY (14 attempts)
8. Stephon Heyer, 2.6 LY (11 attempts)
9. Chris Cooley, 2.2 LY (9 attempts)

I've found someone who hates Chris Cooley. But in all seriousness, only Dockery provides a really relevant sample at this point, and Lineman Yards thinks he's doing an average job. I think the Sellers picture is very clear: the Redskins are only a good rushing team when they run behind Big Mike. When they go singleback, they might as well be a passing team. The fact that Sellers has more POA attempts than anyone who isn't Derrick Dockery suggests that the Redskins realize this.

The Quarterback

It's not a good offensive trend that the Redskins can not run the ball, but consider: Jason Campbell's offensive numbers look like they did last year...at the point when the Redskins still could run the ball.

When the Redskins are in shotgun, they offer little threat of a handoff. But Jason Campbell has still been every bit as effective from these shotgun formations as he was last season. So if the argument against Campbell is that he needs a running game to produce any offense, this argument is down to it's very final stand: # of points on the board. The Redskins have not been able to put up points without the benefit of the running game over the last 11 games.

So here's a more fundamental question: lets assume that the Redskins are only going to be able the ball situationally this year, and that they won't be able to "run to win" so to speak. Can the Redskins win double digit ball games without the benefit of a strong running game?

Remember, Campbell has been here before. In 2007, the Redskins had a worse running game then they have right now. The culprits were replacements at RG and RT because Jon Jansen and Randy Thomas missed nearly all of the season. Oh, um...gee. With Thomas out, and with Heyer entrenched at RT, the Redskins can't really expect to be able to pound the rock with any sort of regularity.

That Redskins team won 9 games, but only 6 with Campbell as the starting quarterback. Todd Collins' 3 starts happened to coincide with the strongest part of the season for the Redskins defense, but in fairness, he did raise the level of QB play over the embryonic version of Jason Campbell. He also got a contribution from the running game...go figure.

Campbell's not a developing quarterback anymore. He's still learning the finer points, but at this point, it's much more of a "what you see is what you get" situation. Campbell has emerged as a leader on offense, but before he can make a full offensive takeover, the touchdown production needs to be there. And with only 3 throws into the end zone out of 14 total plays in the red zone, all Jim Zorn is doing is impeding the inevitable.

And I've been impressed with what I'm seeing. Campbell's YPA figure through 2 games is up a yard from last season. That's the big one, but perhaps just as meaningful: the sack rate is down to a career low 4.7. All of Campbell's rate stats are well above the league average, except for the big one: TD%. Jim Zorn: it's time. This week. Jason Campbell has played well enough in two games this year to suggest he's made the jump to the next level, but we've got to see it for ourselves.

The Receivers

2007 was also the last time that the Redskins got a quality season from a third receiver: Keenan McCardell. This year, Antwaan Randle El has slipped nicely into that role. He's got a catch rate of 73% in a small sample of 15 attempts, and if you saw his leaping stab of a high Jason Campbell ball for a 24 yard game, you were probably thinking what I was: when was the last time a Redskins receiver made an individual play of that difficulty? You probably have to go back to Week 4 of the 2006 season, when Santana Moss snagged a Mark Brunell deep ball in overtime, beat the safety, and took it in for the game winning score.

Unless my memory is failing me, Randle El's catch was probably the best individual play by a Redskins WR since Jason Campbell became quarterback of the Redskins. It also preceded the worst three play sequence since Jason Campbell became QB of the Redskins, naturally, Campbell was not involved in the red zone sequence.

Malcolm Kelly has not been quite as valuable, but in case you're wondering, he's had about half the chances of Randle El, and has chipped in as a league average starting WR. He has caught 71% (5/7) of the passes thrown his way, and has 3 first down catches. If Campbell connects with him on that fade route on the first play, he's probably the star of the game. According to Jason Reid of the post, that play was a check at the line by Campbell, but in my opinion, Campbell's underthrow had as much to do with Kelly beating the press coverage immediately as with anything fundamental on Campbell's part. In other words, Kelly might have executed that fade better than anyone, including his quarterback, was expecting. Next time, I expect Campbell to complete that ball.

If the Redskins are in the business of winning games, Randle El and Kelly should be the starting receivers on this team, and I would have Santana Moss and Marko Mitchell splitting reps as the No. 3 WR (with Randle El in the slot when applicable, and on the outside when not).

Moss hasn't been very good on passes intended for him, as Football Outsiders has only three receivers (Darrius Heyward-Bey, Donnie Avery, and Josh Cribbs) ranked as less valuable players than Moss on his 11 targets. But what troubles me on tape is that Moss isn't even doing well away from the ball. Yes, his route against Ron Bartell was the very best route run by a receiver on either team yesterday, and I don't think Moss' issues are physical, but he's not on the same page as Campbell enough.

On the nearly disastrous sack that could have resulted in a game tying safety, a Moss-Campbell miscommunication is nearly completely responsible for the outcome of the play. When you have the line in 50 blocking, especially on the goal line, the ball has to come out fast. Moss' misread of the coverage forced Campbell to try to buy time on his own goal line on a play that the Redskins were blocking to have the ball out quickly. Chris Samuels ended stepping on Jason Campbell's sprained ankle once he got driven back into him, and Campbell's evasive move put him in danger of taking a safety, and put Stephon Heyer in a no win situation, where he was not between his guy and the quarterback.

In retrospect, Campbell should have thrown the ball over Moss' head as soon as Moss made the wrong read, and lived to play third down. But Moss is a 9th year player. Knowing the game situation is a bare minimum expectation for a vet receiver. Campbell bailed out his offensive line no less than four times against the Rams, but it was this play where he and Moss put them in a bad situation.

Still, I would argue that Malcolm Kelly and Antwaan Randle El have been every bit as valuable this year as Mario Manningham and Steve Smith have been for the Giants, but if Santana Moss was a Giant, his poor play would have got his ass benched by now. On the Redskins, he's going to get another chance, so it's his choice whether our passing offense becomes a well oiled machine, or stays inconsistent.

The Final Word

Here are the macro-level offensive numbers for the Skins offense:

  • 5.3 yards per play
  • 43% successful play rate
  • 2 procedure penalties
  • 9% negative play rate
  • 7/14 on third downs (50%)
If you factor in the penalties in the negative play rate, the numbers from week one to week two are nearly identical. The only difference: one less turnover. Oh, and it's probably reasonable to assume that the Giants defense is better than the Rams defense.

The quarterback played a better game, but the passing offense wasn't quite as efficient. So that's give take. Otherwise, what we've seen is a very consistent week to week effort, and until Jason Campbell is given a chance to throw the ball into the end zone, it's probably unrealistic to expect things to change.

Starting Chad Rinehart at RG is going to be a challenge. Let's get that out of the way. Randy Thomas has been around the block. It will not be a seamless transition. The offense will make a fair amount of mistakes. But because Jason Campbell is an ace in the hole for the Redskins, they aren't necessarily resigned to have 10-16 point performances until the OL gels completely. But they will have to put it up to be successful.

Jim Zorn once said that, "If you do what you've always done, you'll be what you've always been." Now is as good a time as any to heed his own advice.
__________________
according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
GTripp0012 is offline   Reply With Quote

Advertisements
Old 09-23-2009, 01:08 AM   #2
Mann Up HOF!
 
Lotus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 10,883
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
Jim Zorn once said that, "If you do what you've always done, you'll be what you've always been." Now is as good a time as any to heed his own advice.
Excellent spot-on analysis, GTripp. You make many fine points. Thank you for calling out Moss - I hope some folks at Redskins Park are doing the same this week. And your final summary is so very true.
__________________
Rooting for the Dallas Cowboys should be recognized as a treatable mental disorder.
Lotus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 01:10 AM   #3
Living Legend
 
GTripp0012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Evanston, IL
Age: 26
Posts: 15,994
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

There were about 4 guys in this game that I would say were BAD in pass protection. Casey Rabach and Will Montgomery were the worst, but Ladell Betts and Stephon Heyer also need to improve.

I have to imagine that Rinehart will be a better pass protector than Montgomery. Will did alright in the running game, but he was just killed against the pass.
__________________
according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
GTripp0012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 01:20 AM   #4
Living Legend
 
Ruhskins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 16,335
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus View Post
Excellent spot-on analysis, GTripp. You make many fine points. Thank you for calling out Moss - I hope some folks at Redskins Park are doing the same this week. And your final summary is so very true.
I'm glad someone is calling him out. People on this site love to bitch about people they already hate just for the sake of bitching (Campbell, Hall, etc.). Very few people have mentioned Moss...who has not brought his A game to this season. His play is mediocre at best and he is supposed to be our #1 WR. He needs to get his shit together fast.
__________________
R.I.P. #21

New words created on The Warpath:
Rewalsr - Somretimes - Fualt - Jersesy - Itiot - Composetory
Afeard - Storgn - Empliment - Gaissn - Saftys - Minnisota
Faviort - Hatter - Phsyched - Foof - Heloing - Brutual
Stroried

"Give an opinion and move on. Your life doesn't depend on winning the internet." -FRPLG
Ruhskins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 01:32 AM   #5
Pro Bowl
 
53Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kill Devil Hills, N.C.
Posts: 7,399
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

Excellent review as always GTripp. El's snag of JC's pass was nothing short of phenomenal. Big Mike may not have the best hands, but he earns his paycheck with his blocking. Interesting to learn what happened on the "almost" safety. I thought that was a little uncharacteristic of the way JC has been playing.
__________________
"Cautiously And Optimistically... Looking Forward To Change"
53Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 01:41 AM   #6
The Starter
 
GridIron26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,596
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

It's really sad to see this stuff about Moss; I have always admired him (we are similar in size wise).. I don't know about starting Randle El as #2 (or were you saying that he should replace Moss as #1?).. Randle El is doing pretty good as #3/slot receiver, I don't think I would want to ruin that.. I would split the reps with Thomas and Mitchell.. Whoever plays better later in the season, wins..
GridIron26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 01:57 AM   #7
Impact Rookie
 
skinster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 754
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

i havent actually read this yet. but i am very impressed from the work you into this post.

also, it was the best titled thread i have ever seen.
skinster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 02:07 AM   #8
Impact Rookie
 
hail_2_da_skins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: St. Louis, MO
Age: 58
Posts: 863
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

Very good post. Santana Moss needs to play like a #1 receiver. I'm not ready to throw him under the bus, yet. A couple of good starts and I can forget about the lousy start. Moss has always been a streaky player. I would like to see Zorn put Moss into motion more often and create match up problems.
__________________
"HAIL TO THE SKINS"
hail_2_da_skins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 08:53 AM   #9
Gamebreaker
 
CRedskinsRule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pasadena, Md
Age: 47
Posts: 12,849
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

Your comments on Zorn seem exactly right to me.
__________________
Dirtbag59, sending songs to oblivion 1 writer at a time.
CRedskinsRule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 09:15 AM   #10
‎\m/
 
Mattyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Age: 42
Posts: 83,023
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

Put the ball in JC's hands more and let's live or die with him.
__________________
Support The Warpath! | Warpath Shop
Mattyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 09:49 AM   #11
Franchise Player
 
FRPLG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Age: 36
Posts: 9,978
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

I mentioned Moss in another thread as what I thought was a big reason we're struggling to score. I feel smart now. Whether it is communication or effort doesn't matter. If we can't get him the ball on a pretty consistent basis we're in trouble.
FRPLG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 10:00 AM   #12
Contains football related knowledge
 
JoeRedskin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Second Star On The Right
Age: 51
Posts: 8,848
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
Before we suggest that he would make a good coordinator and not a good head coach: I don't buy that. Does he have too many hats? Probably. Is that because of poor organizational design? I think so. But the issues he is showing right now are that of a poor coach, whatever his role.
So... trying not to be ignorant, but what do you mean "organizational design" ? Is that "trying to do too much"? If he were to shed some hats - say turn QB coaching over to Meidt at this point, let Smith call the plays with him having veto authority, etc. would his "coaching" improve in your opinion?

It seems to me he does many things right but, I agree that he seems to be too rigid at the wrong times. Not sure why, he didn't seem that way his first eight games.

I guess I'm asking, do you think he can correct his deficiencies and be a better coach or has he reached - as you said with Campbell - "What you see is what you get"?
__________________
You aren't worth the water in my spit but, maybe, just maybe, you're worth the lead in my shotgun.
JoeRedskin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 10:28 AM   #13
Living Legend
 
GTripp0012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Evanston, IL
Age: 26
Posts: 15,994
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRedskin View Post
So... trying not to be ignorant, but what do you mean "organizational design" ? Is that "trying to do too much"? If he were to shed some hats - say turn QB coaching over to Meidt at this point, let Smith call the plays with him having veto authority, etc. would his "coaching" improve in your opinion?

It seems to me he does many things right but, I agree that he seems to be too rigid at the wrong times. Not sure why, he didn't seem that way his first eight games.

I guess I'm asking, do you think he can correct his deficiencies and be a better coach or has he reached - as you said with Campbell - "What you see is what you get"?
By organizational design, I meant design of the coaching staff. You have 'x' number of offensive assistants, here are the roles, etc. The Redskins are, in many ways, a poorly coached team, which is as much about the assistants on the offense staff as it is about Zorn.

I think if he delegated better, he would appear more organized. But he can only go to his assistants if they are actually worth having on the staff. By organizational design, I'm suggesting that there's legit doubt that we have quality coaching anywhere on the offensive staff. Except the offensive line coach, who if nothing else, is proven.
__________________
according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
GTripp0012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 10:33 AM   #14
Franchise Player
 
skinsfan69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Arlington, VA.
Posts: 9,714
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

I agree that it seems Zorn has a hard on for Portis. And him being a former QB should know when to turn the offense over to JC. It's just time now. We're not a running team anymore. But he's so worried about balance, his ego and getting CP the ball that it's killing the offense. If STL can throw a fade then why didn't we? We've got two WR's that are 6'4 yet he calls a trick play. And Sellers dropped the ball on the goal line but why was he on the field anyway? If we're having trouble scoring I want Kelly, Mitchell and Davis on the field when we're in the red zone. These are the guys that have the physical ability to score points....to leap over guys or get a PI. Again where are the play designs for these guys in the red zone? That's pure coaching and Zorn isn't getting it done.
skinsfan69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 10:54 AM   #15
Contains football related knowledge
 
JoeRedskin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Second Star On The Right
Age: 51
Posts: 8,848
Re: Coming from a Ledge Near You: the Redskins-Rams Offensive Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
By organizational design, I'm suggesting that there's legit doubt that we have quality coaching anywhere on the offensive staff.
Well, that's a fairly damning assessment but, given the performance, I would find hard to argue.
__________________
You aren't worth the water in my spit but, maybe, just maybe, you're worth the lead in my shotgun.
JoeRedskin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site is not officially affiliated with the Washington Redskins or the NFL.
Page generated in 0.55964 seconds with 9 queries

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0 RC5

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25