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Old 10-24-2009, 01:33 AM   #1
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Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

So.

What did I learn from the game tape this week? Letís just stick to the things that I didnít already know from prior weeks:

Right now, Jason Campbell is a bigger part of the problem than the solution. Jason Campbell needs to be part of the solution: there is no chance for an improvement in PPG in the second half of the season unless Jason Campbell gets back to how he was playing in the first three weeks.

Campbellís biggest issue might actually be that his pocket awareness is too good. Campbell has a great sense of when things are breaking down around him. Unfortunately, thatís every play. Right now, Campbell isnít even setting up to pass in one place. Heís making protecting him an impossible battle on the offensive line. This is no ones fault but his. Not Mike Williams, not Stephon Heyer, not Chris Samuelsí doctors, not Jim Zorn, and not Sherm Lewis.

Heís also throwing the timing off with the receivers. Campbell left third down conversions to Cooley and Randle El on the table once each because Zorn is calling passes that require Campbell to stand in there and make throws with traffic at his feet, and Campbell is not running any two plays with the same action. Heís basically free-lancing out there. And that makes him difficult to help. Campbellís best plays in this game came from the pocket, when he hit Fred Davis, Antwaan Randle El, and Chris Cooley under duress once each.

Iím generally not a fan of quarterbacks who throw the ball out of bounds a lot, but I have a hard time seeing Jason having any success if he doesnít stay in the pocket longer. And thatís going to result in more throwaways and a lowered completion percentage. But thatís okay at this point. The offense was one of the best at avoiding three and outs last year. This year: they are in the bottom quartile of the NFL. Weíre no longer a team that should be worried about wasting an opportunity, considering we canít score a touchdown against a bad defense.

Todd Collins is no ones savior. He did alright in the third quarter, generally made good decisions, but Collins has zero sense of the pocket. None. And his fourth quarter was one of the more horrific offensive performances Iíve seen the Redskins have. Zero first downs. Zero plays defined as successful. -2 Total yards. 3 three and outs. One horrific turnover.

The one nice throw that Collins made was on the deep ball to Moss. This was a very different play design from the opportunity that Campbell and Moss failed to hook up on in the first half (that play was four verticals, Collinsí was a play action), but the Chiefs had awful safety play on both plays. On the Collins completion, Moss got a step on CB Brandon Flowers, and Collins hit him.

Regarding the protection: itís better than it was in the final four games of last season. And there is a big difference. Last year, the overwhelming blitz of choice for defensive coordinators against the Redskins was the 5 man rush. Usually, you could confuse the interior line of the Redskins, and get maybe a defensive end or rush LB against Sellers or Betts and get a hit on Jason Campbell. The Redskins will pick up the blitz this year. Itís something they corrected in the offseason. The Panthers and Chiefs have both chosen to employ the three man rush against the Redskins, and have done so with great success.

Why does the three man rush work? It works because the Redskins protection schemes isolate the offensive tackles against the rush ends, allowing the quarterback to step up in the pocket. The Redskins are also using backs to give an outside chip to help the tackles. So whatís the problem? The communication between both Guards is poor. On the three man rushes, there is nothing in the scheme that suggests that the NT should occupy the guard, the center, and the other guard. Unfortuantely, thatís exactly what has been happening. This, however, should correct itself as long as the Redskins stop the stupid musical chairs game at RG.

The Redskins have actually gotten great production from their right guards in the running game, all of them. Montgomery is different stylistically from Mike Williams and Chad Rinehart. Will is a Pete Kendall clone of sorts. Heís too often thrown to the ground in pass protection(unlike Kendall), muddling up the pocket. But in the running game, his quickness is a major asset. Portis 78 yard run happened for two reasons: 1) Will Montgomery made an excellent reach block on the nose tackle. It was Kendall-esque. More importantly, 2) Casey Rabach finished off his block ten yards downfield, freeing up Mike Sellers to lead Portis downfield.

There was nothing schematically special about the play that sprung Portis: itís a staple of the Zorn rushing attack. Pre-snap motion, run off the left side. The Texas Two Step (Dockery & Williams) didnít do anything out of the ordinary out of this play, but Stephon Heyer was able to get a piece of two guys, and Portis broke an arm tackle in the hole. Itís rare for everything to come together at once in this running game for the Redskins: Portis usually gets tackled by the safety on plays similar to that, Rabach is going to lose that block inside 4 yards more often than not, and most RGs in the league would be resorted to cutting the legs out the nose on that play, which would have given Portis a small hole to make a cut in. If Heyer isnít positioned well, S McGraw would have had an unobstructed shot at Portis. If you clicked the above link, watch Fred Davis run from all the way across the field to get a piece of a guy who is chasing Portis from behind. Randle El makes a fantastic block about 25 yards down the field. And 80 yards is a long way for Mike Sellers to run without tripping over his own feet, or anything else for that matter.

A great rushing team has one or two of these runs every week, although not every one of these runs is defensed quite as poorly as the Chiefs played this one. The Redskins are not a great rushing team, but this right here is what they have to do in order to become one and salvage the season.

For the future, the Redskins have plenty of players who can play the guard position. With Derrick Dockery, Chad Rinehart, and Will Montgomery all under contract for next season with Mike Williams and about 10 other similar failed tackles freely available, the Redskins are set for the future at the Guard postition. Thereís a contract issue with Casey Rabach that needs to be sorted out, and it would be nice to have an upgrade there, but itís the tackles are inadequate for this scheme. Stephon Heyer might just adjust to life on the left side of the line, as that was only his 5th career start at the position, but heís a more than adequate right tackle. Mike Williams is still a very bad tackle, but it could have been way worse. I like the Levi Jones signing, and it will be interesting to see how he works in. In the big picture, the Redskins have functional pieces on the OL, which was not the case when names like Geisinger and Fabini and Wade and Batiste were getting snaps. Functional pieces do not make a strong OL though, and even if they improve every game from here on out (id imagine that this was rock bottom), this unit still needs a talent injection in the offseason. The current pair of tackles is inadequate, and while Heyer looks good at times in the Zorn scheme, he might not be in the long term plans if/when there is a new coach. That will be a decision made after much tape study. The large point here: itís possible that the Redskins could take offensive tackles in the first and second rounds of the 2010 draft.

Lineman Yards

One more week here, Iíll give you the full update of everyone who has blocked a play on the interior for the Redskins, after this week, Iíll limit it to the active players who play the most downs.

1. Mike Sellers 5.17 LY (43 attempts)
2. Chad Rinehart 4.77 LY (15 attempts)
3. Chris Samuels 4.32 LY (25 attempts)
4. Will Montgomery 4.29 LY (15 attempts)
5. Mike Williams 4.06 LY (16 attempts)
6. Stephon Heyer 4.03 LY (44 attempts)
7. Casey Rabach 3.6 LY (57 attempts)
8. Chris Cooley 3.35 LY (28 attempts)
9. Randy Thomas 3.35 LY (5 attempts)
10. Derrick Dockery 3.06 LY (57 attempts)
11. Fred Davis 2.8 LY (11 attempts)
12. DíAnthony Batiste 2.5 LY (2 attempts)

Total attempts from all RGs combined: 46

Receiver woes continue

Before this analysis goes all ďwhy did we screw up the 2008 draft?Ē, the Redskins played Fred Davis more in a game than he has at any point in his career. He ran a lot of short routes, and was open most of the second half in the short zone, but Todd Collins didnít see him. Unlike Cooley, the Chiefs were giving Davis a free release.

Davis got more playing time thanks to the proliferation of the 1 WR offense for the Redskins. Jim Zorn has had considerable success going back to last year with the 2 RB, 2 TE formation, as itís a formation that the Redskins can both run and throw out of. Until this game, it had taken a back seat to the I-Formation, which the Redskins had not had a whole lot of success out of. Right now, the Redskins can pretty much either go 3 WR shotgun and get the ball to Randle El, or go 2 RB, 2 TE, and pound Portis and throw slants to Santana Moss. Those formations are working for them. The vanilla I-formation, and trips formations are not creating the mismatches that the Redskins have intended to this point.

In 4 weeks, Malcolm Kelly has gone from a 5-catch game to no longer being able to get on the field. Kelly started off the year justifying his preseason, but has become a liability. The health of his knee should be a legitimate question at this point. He didnít come out with the torn ligaments in his finger injury until after week four (he suffered the injury in the first quarter of the Rams game), and his disapperance just doesnít make sense otherwise. I feel like he should be a serious IR candidate at this point.

In the interim, Devin Thomas will make some starts at the 2nd WR position. Thomas has been open against the opponentís 3rd CB in each of the last three games, but the Redskins havenít been able to get him the ball with any consistency. Partially, this is because the Redskins just donít view Devin Thomas as having a mismatch against anyone the defense puts against him. So much of what the Redskins are running right now is based on pre-snap reads, and Devinís cuts are so slow that itís impossible to anticipate him being open. The simple solution would be to get Devin some longer developing routes, like perhaps a drag or a double move, but then protection starts to be an issue. On the deep fade, he consistently runs within three yards of the sideline, making even a good throw a potential out of bounds play. Even really obvious attempts to get Devin Thomas into the offense have failed, see the most recent WR reverse when he throttled down at the LOS instead of trying to run through the smaller defensive back. Heíll be out there this week, but he wonít be a big part of the offense. Who can blame them?

Another year of non-contributions from Thomas and Kelly puts us back at square one in 2010. The good news is that weíre closer to Marko Mitchell time now than ever before. It also makes Fred Davisí relative development (7 receptions, 100% catch rate; 3 receptions, 30% catch rate in 2008) a godsend. If he can ever learn to find the sticks (2 first downs), weíll have a 2-TE base offense on our hands.

Receiver rating

Just for kicks, I took the QB rating statistic, applied it to our WRs, and adjusted it downward (by 10.8 points, to be exact) to normalize to a scale common to quarterbacks. Hereís how the Redskin receivers grade out to date:

1. Chris Cooley, 111.89 (37 targets)
2. Clinton Portis, 101.35 (12 targets)
3. Ladell Betts, 94.26 (17 targets)
4. Santana Moss, 92.52 (37 targets)
5. Antwaan Randle El, 86.12 (25 targets)
6. Fred Davis 82.65 (7 targets)
7. Mike Sellers 68.37 (6 targets)
8. Malcolm Kelly 54.68 (17 targets)
9. Devin Thomas 40.36 (9 targets)

Which illustrates everything I have to say about the receivers pretty well. Portis is actually having a terrible receiving season (as his success rate does not match his completion rate, unlike Betts, who is having a great receiving year), but Iím happy with how that turned out.

Final words

Iíll be interested to see what Sherm Lewis can do with these guys, but Jim Zorn needs to make better personnel decisions. No jerking the quarterback around, more Marko Mitchell, less Malcolm Kelly, more Fred Davis, less Mike Sellers, no Todd Yoder. Pick a RG (I vote Rinehart, although, youíd be better with him at LG and Montgomery at RG than with Dockery at LG), and get Levi Jones up to speed so he can replace Mike Williams as soon as he has a three sack game (i.e. this week). Sherm, use the screen to your advantage. And use Cooley. And use Cooley screens. Thereís potential for improvement with this unit, which there wasnít for last yearís unit at the end, but to see any improvement, our coaches need to stop the erratic, reactionary decision making. And then the players need to go play, because at the end of the day, our failures rest with them.
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Last edited by GTripp0012; 10-24-2009 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:56 AM   #2
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

Nice Job
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:19 AM   #3
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

itís possible that the Redskins could take offensive tackles in the first and second rounds of the 2010 draft. --I didnt want to repost the entire page so i cut--


That would be awesome. Some Mock drafts have us taking the OT from OU in the first, i wouldnt mind seeing us go after a top rated Center in the 2nd or in FA as i believe Heyer can hold down the RT spot for another season.
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:55 AM   #4
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

I like what Heyer's doing. He's been the best player on the offensive line through 6 games, and one of the better players on the entire offense.

If Zorn was the coach for the next ten years, I think Heyer could be a franchise RT. But if we change the protection schemes at the end of the year, he's a very easy player to move out. I don't want to make a prediction either way at this point.
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:03 AM   #5
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

I got a chance to tape record "Playbook" on the NFL network, and got to see the coaches tape for the three plays on the 10 yardline following the 78 yard Portis run.

Our issues can be summed up as the following: we ran three plays, and not one receiver got open. On three plays. On the 10 yard line.

Cooley had single coverage on the first down play, and had a long developing route. A perfect throw would have gotten the TD, but we never had a better chance after that which is sad.

Our receivers have to be the worst group in the league.
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:24 AM   #6
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

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Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
I got a chance to tape record "Playbook" on the NFL network, and got to see the coaches tape for the three plays on the 10 yardline following the 78 yard Portis run.

Our issues can be summed up as the following: we ran three plays, and not one receiver got open. On three plays. On the 10 yard line.

Cooley had single coverage on the first down play, and had a long developing route. A perfect throw would have gotten the TD, but we never had a better chance after that which is sad.

Our receivers have to be the worst group in the league.


I wouldnt say the worst in talent but in effort id say you're dead on. It didnt seem like they even tried to get open in the RZ.
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:49 AM   #7
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

some good to find in here but mostly just piling it on

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Old 10-24-2009, 07:22 AM   #8
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

Another good read. I did notice last week Davis seemed to be playing alot and think that is great, especially at this point where we have nothing to lose and really need to see what we have. I truely wish Marko would get in the game.

Tripp do you have any individual sacks allowed numbers for the oline at this point? You seem to be really high on Heyer which would be great if he develops into a good RT, but I just havent seen it (obviously dont have tape). Seems to me he gets alot of help in pass protection. Thinking ahead, it would be great to not have to get 2 starting tackles in the offseason if Heyer continues to develop.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:39 AM   #9
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

good work. have you seen enough of Campbell to be able to tell if he is back next year? for some reason, i highly doubt it
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:02 AM   #10
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

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Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
I like what Heyer's doing. He's been the best player on the offensive line through 6 games, and one of the better players on the entire offense.

If Zorn was the coach for the next ten years, I think Heyer could be a franchise RT. But if we change the protection schemes at the end of the year, he's a very easy player to move out. I don't want to make a prediction either way at this point.
I have always knew that Heyer has potentials to be good T, regardless of two safeties he gave up.. Unfortunately, he's in this situation where he can rise up or fall down and be permanently at the bottom of FAs.. Depending on who's GM/head coach next year, I think we would hope to keep Heyer, at least for next one or few years and hope that we will have chance to nab a LT and QB in 1st/2nd rounds however if QBs the FO wants are all gone, then we probably will go with drafting two Ts?
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:07 AM   #11
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

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good work. have you seen enough of Campbell to be able to tell if he is back next year? for some reason, i highly doubt it
As much as I love this guy; I really believe it would be better scenario for both Redskins and Campbell to apart from each other and move on.. A little while ago, I read Washington Post article of an interview with Campbell's offense coordinator at Auburn; it appears as if Campbell doesn't have strong confidences.. The OC always made sure that Campbell is well aware that whole coaches really believed in him.. When Campbell was confident, he shredded the teams when he was at Auburn.. I guarantee you, Zorn and coaches have shot Campbell's confidence all way the down to the bottom.. I would feel same thing if I was him; and if I was him, I would try to find another team to sign where I would have a chance to compete to be starter during off-season..

But to answer your question, I think it all depends on who's GM and head coach next year..
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:24 AM   #12
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

I don't know how you can stomatch to re-watch the game let alone analyze their play GTripp. Every time I think about our offense I feel ill.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:05 PM   #13
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

I can sum up the offense in no time, two field goals. That's it.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:19 PM   #14
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

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good work. have you seen enough of Campbell to be able to tell if he is back next year? for some reason, i highly doubt it
I think, that if Campbell stays healthy and in the lineup for 16 games, he'll probably be back next year. However, just like Ramsey in 2005, it wouldn't shock me if his final season here puts him in a backup capacity. If there's no cap, we can bring up back at backup money, and what we do with that probably depends on who the coach is.

I think it's safe to say that there will be some addition at the Quarterback position before the first game of next year. It could be Jeff Garcia, this year.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:43 PM   #15
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Re: Redskins-Chiefs Offensive Review

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I got a chance to tape record "Playbook" on the NFL network, and got to see the coaches tape for the three plays on the 10 yardline following the 78 yard Portis run.

Our issues can be summed up as the following: we ran three plays, and not one receiver got open. On three plays. On the 10 yard line.

Cooley had single coverage on the first down play, and had a long developing route. A perfect throw would have gotten the TD, but we never had a better chance after that which is sad.

Our receivers have to be the worst group in the league.
So besides O-line which is an obvious need our WR's suck. Why is it that everytime the Skins pick WR's they all suck, unless they dip into FA? Is there any possibility we can salvage them with new management/new WR coach or do they actually suck. Why is it other teams seem to collect decdent WR's like candy and we can't draft a half decent one?

I'm not busting your balls just wondering if any of their lack of success has more to do with Hixon as I believe or is it that our Scouts suck also at picking WR's.
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