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Old 12-14-2010, 11:58 PM   #1
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Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

Offense

The Redskins are a dreadful first down team, and have been so the whole year. They usually don't run the ball well enough to justify handing it off, and the Redskins have more incompletions on first down passing than any other team in football. One of the biggest contributions made by Redskins running back Ryan Torain coming fresh off his injury wasn't that he gained more than 150 yards in the first half, and more than 115 of those in the first quarter. That was big, but the bigger, more important part of it from the Redskins perspective is that he was able to move the chains for them on first down. That was a Redskins weakness, and Torain was able to solve it. For a half.

Torain wasn't successful because of a great offensive line in front of him, he was successful because of a terrible Bucs run defense which failed to adjust to the diverse running schemes of the Redskins. Torain's biggest contribution on the day was consistently making the first defender miss in the backfield. This is big. Rarely was the Redskins' blocking strong enough to get the running back to the second level on their own. But, even though Torain could have been wrapped up for a loss a number of times (and this has been Torain's M.O. on the season -- losses on backfield penetration) the Bucs contributed to the problems by being unable to finish the play there. I can't say for sure that any of the Redskins' other runners would have broken long runs with the frequency that Torain did in this game, but this wasn't a spectacular performance by the Redskins' young RB or by their OL. It was, mostly, poor run defense.

Which is exactly why Torain rushed 6 times for 14 yards in the second half. By comparision, Torain's worst 6 carry stretch in the first half also gained 14 yards. The Bucs improved their run defense in the second half. The Redskins dominated the two interior DTs in the first half, but in the second half, those two players (especially Roy Miller) did a much better job against the run.

And the Redskins were completely unable to replicate Torain's first down performance. They had 18 first down plays (14 of them runs) go for 209 yards in the first half (11.6 YPP). In the second half, they had 12 first down plays go for 63 yards (5.25 YPP). Just of those 2 were runs...but only 6 of the 12 came while the Redskins held the lead in a situation where the clock wasn't a factor. The blocking wasn't any worse, but the run defense was better, and Torain, who was so hot in the first half, made some really horrible reads in the final three quarters, helping the Bucs run D out of their rut.

This is why Torain was a non-factor in the outcome of the game. It's not his fault that the Redskins failed to score in their first three drives despite Torain chipping in 140 yards from scrimmage. But Torain has been significantly less effective near the goal line for one thing, and when the Redskins drives stalled, they were going to get 6 points max even had Graham Gano not forgotten how to kick a football straight. They actually did score 2 TDs and a FG in the rest of the game, when Torain contributed only 42 total yards on 11 touches. Torain had the best offensive day of any Redskin, but that might be the problem. He did all of his damage in a scoreless first quarter. His success set up a couple of play action passes to Santana Moss and probably the short TD toss to Logan Paulsen as well. On both of the Redskins TD drives, they had two passing plays go for 15 yards or longer.

On all other drives, the Redskins had just three passing plays go for over 15 yards, two of them screen passes. It was THAT kind of offensive day for the Redskins. Donovan McNabb made a number of poor, inaccurate throws and bad decisions. It wasn't a banner day, but he was able to play his best football on the last two drives of the game, and being able to avoid a mistake until that point was pretty impressive given the way the Redskin receivers played. Chris Cooley is frustrated with his role in the offense, but the Redskins need his pass protection a lot more than they need his receiving. Santana Moss plays with inconsistent effort, Anthony Armstrong doesn't always realize when the quarterback needs to find him hot, Roydell Williams hasn't played well in relief of Joey Galloway, and Fred Davis -- the Redskins best receiver this year on a per target basis -- had a poor day. To make matters worse, Donovan McNabb often knows on the snap when he's going to find Keiland Williams, but Williams doesn't always know where to be to get the ball, and gets McNabb killed or forced into desperation dumpoffs. Finally, Donovan McNabb appears to be SO hurt over the last two weeks, that he's no longer stepping up in the pocket, opting instead to take his eyes off of downfield action and wait for his safety release, or worse, to throw off his back foot under pressure.

The way that Torain had been running, things were set up perfectly to run some run-action bootlegs and get McNabb space to throw the deep ball, but the Redskins never did this in the second half. Poor pass protection by Torain and James Davis only made McNabb's job more difficult at the worst times. The offensive line, Cooley, and Williams do a really good job protecting the quarterback, but if you play backs who can't block, you're still going to give up sacks. McNabb is really playing as an immobile target right now which, 1) makes it more impressive that the Redskins protected him on 35 of his 37 dropbacks, and 2) explains why McNabb can play well for this team, but still not get the team in the end zone. Such is the reality of trading for a 33 year old player. The biggest difference in this game through the air was Josh Freeman's ability to extend plays and make aggressive throws down the field and smart throw aways vs. Donovan's desperation dump offs that were dead even if they were complete.

Kudos, in this one, to the offensive line. Jammal Brown struggled in pass protection, and Will Montgomery was the leaky piece in the running game, but outside of a couple pressures credited to Trent Williams, this was a banner game for the OL in terms of protecting McNabb. This group kept us on pace, but Torain ran with poor vision in the second half, Cooley wasn't used in the passing game even though he would have been able to break down the Bucs cover two had the Redskins let him. Cooley in the passing patters was the big difference in the final drive vs. three consecutive three and outs to begin the second half.

McNabb's day likely would have been considered below average prior to the final offensive drive, but he came through and delivered in the clutch, finding his receivers on third downs and fourth downs (3/4 for 22 yards, with dropped TD pass by F. Davis). Anthony Armstrong (18 yds), Keiland Williams (24 yards), Santana Moss (15 yards), and Chris Cooley (22 yards) all had multiple catches on that drive, backs against the wall. That's a positive sign. The nicest thing you can say about the Davis dropped TD is that the back shoulder throw had A LOT more velocity than Nick Sundberg's snap did two plays later. Despite the rain, those were the ONLY two drops by the Redskins on the day. McNabb's receivers may not have been in the game start to finish, but at least they caught the ball when thrown, enabling McNabb to go 22/35 (62.8%).

It could have been worse for this offensive unit. Ryan Torain could have not enjoyed such as spectacular first quarter, and the Redskins could have not enjoyed an 11 play advantage. They could have gone 3 and out on that final drive, punted, and never have gotten the ball back. They converted, and went down the field and set up the extra point play this season will be remembered for. Two touchdowns and 3 field goal attempts: thats a 20 point offensive day 80% of the time. The offense didn't lose this game. It also didn't do anything to put it away early, managed the clock with a degree of embarassment never seen before in the Zorn era, and four separate times they got inside the ten and failed to score on three consecutive plays (both passing TDs came on fourth down). They may have produced adequate results, but I can't yet say that this unit isn't underachieving.

I guess there's always Dallas week to put everything together.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:59 PM   #2
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Re: Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

Defense

In the Redskins first game post-Albert Haynesworth, it would have been an absolute travesty if this group had forgotten to show up for a second straight week. Luckily, if only for this week, the Redskins defense solved these fears that I had, enjoying their best game all season as a run defense unit, and having their best game in terms of pressuring the quarterback since probably the Texans game, if not all year. These guys in the front seven, and really, you can throw the safeties into that too when they were in the box, did the job without Big Albert, and they did it well.

It's so nice to know that this Redskins defense has character. It may not be a good defense, but when guys like Vonnie Holliday and Phillip Daniels and Adam Carriker show up and put a game like this on film, and when Anthony Bryant stuffs the middle like a dominant nose tackle should, and London Fletcher can once again go sideline to sideline without a body on him, and Reed Doughty can come off the edge and get to the runners from behind because they aren't gashing our front, that qualifies as a statement game for the Redskins defense, I think.

6 of the Bucs 17 points were a direct result of mental errors by DeAngelo Hall, who also made a physical error when he dropped an INT that should have been an easy six points for the Redskins. Hall redeemed himself with a forced fumble and recovery, though he needed to get run through by LeGarrette Blount for 11 yards to have the opportunity. Hall's game would be roughly as responsible for the loss as was Graham Gano's missed FGs, but Hall did happen to defense passes on the Bucs two best touchdown opportunties of the day, which makes up for the dropped interception. He was also more aggressive in run support than counterpart Phillip Buchanon. Buchanon had another fantastic day in coverage, allowing just one completion on 3 targets, drawing the difficult assignment with Mike Williams.

The Redskins decided to go with the full extent of their defensive playbook in this game, apparently not scared of the Bucs offense. The Redskins mixed man coverage with zone coverage and mixed blitzes with coverages and came from all angles. They pressured Josh Freeman 12 times and hit him another 3 times, allowing him to complete just 15/25 of his passes, one of the better days the Redskins defense produced. Unfortunately, he also threw for more than 10 yards per attempt in this one, exclusively because the Redskins allowed a 64 yard completion, a 43 yard completion, and a 41 yard completion. Arrelious Benn had himself a career day (relax, he's a rookie), beating Hall deep once on what could only be pinned on Hall as poor coverage, and beating Moore deep on a double move on a play that was made mostly by the fearlessness of QB Josh Freeman, a budding star at the position. Imagine how good this team will be when they actually give this guy a supporting cast!

Kellen Winslow was blanketed most of the day by London Fletcher, so he wasn't a major factor in the first 55 minutes of this game. The Bucs didn't have more valuable catches then the ones that Winslow made, beating Fletcher and Reed Doughty for a reception in an impossibly tight window with Freeman feeling pressure from his front side. The other one did the Redskins in: Winslow got open down the seam against Rocky McIntosh, and Freeman threw him open. While McIntosh is not really at fault for the fact that this happened, we'll just say that if Fletcher had covered Winslow down the field, that throw is never even attempted. That was the only time in the entire game the Bucs got Winslow on McIntosh, a match-up the Redskins hoped to avoid, and the Bucs really, really wanted. Rocky did a much better job in run gap discipline this game, but he still: is a terrible read & react linebacker, doesn't use his keys to anticipate where the ball will be, is a weak tackler for his position, is a hilariously useless pass rusher, and is unspeakably bad in coverage. I think that covers everything.

And while Brian Orakpo was mugged once or twice in this game with no call (the officials need to at least be conscious that something might happen), I didn't like that Mike Shanahan used still frames to make his case to referee Pete Morrelli. That, to me, says more about Shanahan than about the umpire who missed the hold. Shanahan, who has already shown he will go for 2 down by a point after a late TD, had a chance to do something similar at the end of the game, and put a chance to go to OT in the hands of a PAT team. Not only did it end up being the wrong call, but the only defense of the decision I can offer was that it was risk-averse. I don't think the chance to win in regulation with a struggling FG unit should have been passed there. No one plans to go to OT and score a TD before getting to a fourth down. That would be called a advantage.

The Redskins lost this game, on defense, because of one-a-quarter coverage breakdowns. Getting Carlos Rogers back at corner is going to help this unit, but the Redskins are going to have to solve a series of contractual issues at the position in the offseason: Rogers and Buchanon are unrestricted free agents, while DeAngelo Hall has a mutual contract option that will be expensive to buy out. It's safe to say that Rogers and Buchanon have the superior performance, but the most costly option to the team would be to buy out Hall and then extend Rogers and Buchanon. Kevin Barnes appears ready to step in as a third corner as soon as, well, immediately, but with Justin Tryon sent to Indianapolis for a carton of milk, Barnes is the only reserve who can see his role increased. Contract issues are going to force the Redskins to be thinner at the position.

The safeties haven't been good enough. The Redskins can live with LaRon Landry's hit 'em or miss coverage. Landry concludes the year with a 43% rate of successful completion against (57% SR, if you prefer it that way), but 8.8 PaYd/target, which is among the worst at the position. That's above average, but barely. Pair that with a top cover safety, and you have a great tandem at the position. That means the Redskins need to improve on Kareem Moore in the offseason. Moore is a below average NFL safety. Also, the Redskins' contractual obligation to pay its corners is going to force them to draft a corner or two in the later rounds to contribute on special teams and play in case of injury.

Linebacker is not a concern if Perry Riley is ready to jump into the starting lineup for McIntosh, a pending free agent who appears unlikely to receiver a contract offer. If Riley is not ready, a FA shopping trip may be in order. Extending HB Blades would be a good way to buffer against London Fletcher's advanced age, but if you realize how rare it is for a 35-year old to be playing at the level Fletcher currently is, I'm far more worried about an injury than a decline in on-field performance.

The Redskins may have more in-house options to solve their DL issues than they currently believe. Anthony Bryant and Kedric Golston may both be able to handle the nose tackle better than Ma'ake Kemoeatu, who has been below average, but not nearly as terrible as Golston as been outside at defensive end. For RDE, Jeremy Jarmon is built perfectly for the position in the 3-4, and offers more pass rush than the Redskins have gotten out of Golston. I've never understood why the Redskins wouldn't use Vonnie Holliday in that role: he played it some in this game and was great. If Holliday would do another one year contract, a Jarmon/Holliday rotation gives us good production at RDE, so long as Jarmon is up to the task. Adam Carriker is an above average two-down LDE. I have no idea if this is the end of the line for Phillip Daniels, but this last three game stretch has been his best production of the season. It would be sad to see him go, but it's been a great career, and now might be the time. I don't know if the Redskins have all the answers in house on the DL, but without Haynesworth to satisfy, we may very well know by the end of the season. Only, however, if Jarmon gets healthy quickly.

The biggest issue for the Redskins will be adding more pass rushers in 2011. I don't care what position they play: the 3-4 is very flexible. But the Redskins need to find some players with the pass rushing skill on the FA market or in the draft. It's their biggest weakness as a defense. In this game, they got really good pressure on Freeman with their pressure schemes. But those schemes have not been there for the Redskins all season: not at least, since Week 7 in Chicago. Even after this performance, it's still obvious that upgrades have to be made to the defensive personnel, even if special teams is what cost the Redskins this football game.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

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Defense

In the Redskins first game post-Albert Haynesworth, it would have been an absolute travesty if this group had forgotten to show up for a second straight week. Luckily, if only for this week, the Redskins defense solved these fears that I had, enjoying their best game all season as a run defense unit, and having their best game in terms of pressuring the quarterback since probably the Texans game, if not all year. These guys in the front seven, and really, you can throw the safeties into that too when they were in the box, did the job without Big Albert, and they did it well.

It's so nice to know that this Redskins defense has character. It may not be a good defense, but when guys like Vonnie Holliday and Phillip Daniels and Adam Carriker show up and put a game like this on film, and when Anthony Bryant stuffs the middle like a dominant nose tackle should, and London Fletcher can once again go sideline to sideline without a body on him, and Reed Doughty can come off the edge and get to the runners from behind because they aren't gashing our front, that qualifies as a statement game for the Redskins defense, I think.

6 of the Bucs 17 points were a direct result of mental errors by DeAngelo Hall, who also made a physical error when he dropped an INT that should have been an easy six points for the Redskins. Hall redeemed himself with a forced fumble and recovery, though he needed to get run through by LeGarrette Blount for 11 yards to have the opportunity. Hall's game would be roughly as responsible for the loss as was Graham Gano's missed FGs, but Hall did happen to defense passes on the Bucs two best touchdown opportunties of the day, which makes up for the dropped interception. He was also more aggressive in run support than counterpart Phillip Buchanon. Buchanon had another fantastic day in coverage, allowing just one completion on 3 targets, drawing the difficult assignment with Mike Williams.

The Redskins decided to go with the full extent of their defensive playbook in this game, apparently not scared of the Bucs offense. The Redskins mixed man coverage with zone coverage and mixed blitzes with coverages and came from all angles. They pressured Josh Freeman 12 times and hit him another 3 times, allowing him to complete just 15/25 of his passes, one of the better days the Redskins defense produced. Unfortunately, he also threw for more than 10 yards per attempt in this one, exclusively because the Redskins allowed a 64 yard completion, a 43 yard completion, and a 41 yard completion. Arrelious Benn had himself a career day (relax, he's a rookie), beating Hall deep once on what could only be pinned on Hall as poor coverage, and beating Moore deep on a double move on a play that was made mostly by the fearlessness of QB Josh Freeman, a budding star at the position. Imagine how good this team will be when they actually give this guy a supporting cast!

Kellen Winslow was blanketed most of the day by London Fletcher, so he wasn't a major factor in the first 55 minutes of this game. The Bucs didn't have more valuable catches then the ones that Winslow made, beating Fletcher and Reed Doughty for a reception in an impossibly tight window with Freeman feeling pressure from his front side. The other one did the Redskins in: Winslow got open down the seam against Rocky McIntosh, and Freeman threw him open. While McIntosh is not really at fault for the fact that this happened, we'll just say that if Fletcher had covered Winslow down the field, that throw is never even attempted. That was the only time in the entire game the Bucs got Winslow on McIntosh, a match-up the Redskins hoped to avoid, and the Bucs really, really wanted. Rocky did a much better job in run gap discipline this game, but he still: is a terrible read & react linebacker, doesn't use his keys to anticipate where the ball will be, is a weak tackler for his position, is a hilariously useless pass rusher, and is unspeakably bad in coverage. I think that covers everything.

And while Brian Orakpo was mugged once or twice in this game with no call (the officials need to at least be conscious that something might happen), I didn't like that Mike Shanahan used still frames to make his case to referee Pete Morrelli. That, to me, says more about Shanahan than about the umpire who missed the hold. Shanahan, who has already shown he will go for 2 down by a point after a late TD, had a chance to do something similar at the end of the game, and put a chance to go to OT in the hands of a PAT team. Not only did it end up being the wrong call, but the only defense of the decision I can offer was that it was risk-averse. I don't think the chance to win in regulation with a struggling FG unit should have been passed there. No one plans to go to OT and score a TD before getting to a fourth down. That would be called a advantage.

The Redskins lost this game, on defense, because of one-a-quarter coverage breakdowns. Getting Carlos Rogers back at corner is going to help this unit, but the Redskins are going to have to solve a series of contractual issues at the position in the offseason: Rogers and Buchanon are unrestricted free agents, while DeAngelo Hall has a mutual contract option that will be expensive to buy out. It's safe to say that Rogers and Buchanon have the superior performance, but the most costly option to the team would be to buy out Hall and then extend Rogers and Buchanon. Kevin Barnes appears ready to step in as a third corner as soon as, well, immediately, but with Justin Tryon sent to Indianapolis for a carton of milk, Barnes is the only reserve who can see his role increased. Contract issues are going to force the Redskins to be thinner at the position.

The safeties haven't been good enough. The Redskins can live with LaRon Landry's hit 'em or miss coverage. Landry concludes the year with a 43% rate of successful completion against (57% SR, if you prefer it that way), but 8.8 PaYd/target, which is among the worst at the position. That's above average, but barely. Pair that with a top cover safety, and you have a great tandem at the position. That means the Redskins need to improve on Kareem Moore in the offseason. Moore is a below average NFL safety. Also, the Redskins' contractual obligation to pay its corners is going to force them to draft a corner or two in the later rounds to contribute on special teams and play in case of injury.Linebacker is not a concern if Perry Riley is ready to jump into the starting lineup for McIntosh, a pending free agent who appears unlikely to receiver a contract offer. If Riley is not ready, a FA shopping trip may be in order. Extending HB Blades would be a good way to buffer against London Fletcher's advanced age, but if you realize how rare it is for a 35-year old to be playing at the level Fletcher currently is, I'm far more worried about an injury than a decline in on-field performance.

The Redskins may have more in-house options to solve their DL issues than they currently believe. Anthony Bryant and Kedric Golston may both be able to handle the nose tackle better than Ma'ake Kemoeatu, who has been below average, but not nearly as terrible as Golston as been outside at defensive end. For RDE, Jeremy Jarmon is built perfectly for the position in the 3-4, and offers more pass rush than the Redskins have gotten out of Golston. I've never understood why the Redskins wouldn't use Vonnie Holliday in that role: he played it some in this game and was great. If Holliday would do another one year contract, a Jarmon/Holliday rotation gives us good production at RDE, so long as Jarmon is up to the task. Adam Carriker is an above average two-down LDE. I have no idea if this is the end of the line for Phillip Daniels, but this last three game stretch has been his best production of the season. It would be sad to see him go, but it's been a great career, and now might be the time. I don't know if the Redskins have all the answers in house on the DL, but without Haynesworth to satisfy, we may very well know by the end of the season. Only, however, if Jarmon gets healthy quickly.

The biggest issue for the Redskins will be adding more pass rushers in 2011. I don't care what position they play: the 3-4 is very flexible. But the Redskins need to find some players with the pass rushing skill on the FA market or in the draft. It's their biggest weakness as a defense. In this game, they got really good pressure on Freeman with their pressure schemes. But those schemes have not been there for the Redskins all season: not at least, since Week 7 in Chicago. Even after this performance, it's still obvious that upgrades have to be made to the defensive personnel, even if special teams is what cost the Redskins this football game.
Agreed. Moore is a backup in this league, I don't know why he's still starting. Bench Moore and start Macho. Having a true cover FS (like Macho) will help LL. I think we wiffed on Barnes and will need to draft a CB.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:32 AM   #4
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Re: Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

Nice read GT. Smootsmack said that a deal for Rogers is being discussed now & is close. I can't see the team buying out Hall. I get what you say about him, but he's a gambler. He usually would make that int. for 6 & he did force and recover the fumble. After being opposed to signing him, I now see Hall as maturing into a real impact player. The giants game was impressive. I think he might be better next year too.

So, I think Buchanon is the one that will test the market. I'd like to see him back but there's no way they sign him at 31 years old over a playmaking Hall who's 27.
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:31 PM   #5
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Re: Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

I've agreed w/your overall assessment of Rocky from what I've been able to analyze on tv (limited), but if he's as bad as you say, P. Riley must be far from ready. Blades is also a vet now & he only sees time in goal line/short yardage.

The staff's opinion of him will be clear this offseason, we'll see if he walks.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:03 PM   #6
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Re: Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

Re the offensive line: If the Bucs adjusted to what the Skins did in the first half with the Skins' running attack, why was there no subsequent adjustment by the Skins to the "different defense" in front of them? Was this a coaching deficiency - - they had no "Plan B"?

Or is it that the OL has one way of going about their business running the ball and if it works, great - - but if it doesn't, then let's just throw the ball 90% of the time?

Personally, I think there was no "Plan B" because the Skins' offensive philosophy seems to be to find a reason to abandon the run and throw the ball all over the lot. Can't prove that, but that is what it sure looks like to me on most weekends and definitely what it looked like against the Bucs.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:09 AM   #7
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Re: Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

I have to say I look forward to this break down each week. Thanks for doing it.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:14 AM   #8
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Re: Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

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So, I think Buchanon is the one that will test the market. I'd like to see him back but there's no way they sign him at 31 years old over a playmaking Hall who's 27.
I think that's a very reasonable reason to let Buchanon walk and go with Hall and Rogers at the corners with Barnes as the third guy. I think, while Rogers and Buchanon have brought superior performance, Hall hasn't exactly been terrible this year. I mean, his coverage numbers are poor, but they only have to be a little bit above average for him to be the kind of player that quarterbacks don't want to throw at.

If he had Buchanon's coverage ability, I think we'd all be happy to see him give up about a half yard more per pass to take some of those risks and make the turnovers that he HAS made for us this year. Hall's problem is that he doesn't have Buchanon's coverage ability, and Buchanon was a freely available player as of this May.

There's about a 1.8 yard per target difference between them and a 16% difference between them in completion percentage allowed. Some of that is the difference amount of big-play risk tolerance that each has. Most of it, I believe, is just disparity in ability.

I also don't think this year is a true reflection of Buchanon's skill either. He's having a career year. There may be more of the Giants game and the first Eagles game in Buchanon's future, and less of every other game he's played this year at a very high level. Therefore, I think it's more than justifiable to let him walk in the offseason, though if he'd do another one year contract, that's the best option.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:19 AM   #9
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Re: Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

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Originally Posted by sportscurmudgeon View Post
Re the offensive line: If the Bucs adjusted to what the Skins did in the first half with the Skins' running attack, why was there no subsequent adjustment by the Skins to the "different defense" in front of them? Was this a coaching deficiency - - they had no "Plan B"?

Or is it that the OL has one way of going about their business running the ball and if it works, great - - but if it doesn't, then let's just throw the ball 90% of the time?

Personally, I think there was no "Plan B" because the Skins' offensive philosophy seems to be to find a reason to abandon the run and throw the ball all over the lot. Can't prove that, but that is what it sure looks like to me on most weekends and definitely what it looked like against the Bucs.
When it's crunch time, there's no doubt we're going to pass instead of run. That's our identity.

The problem is that we're a poor first down passing team AND a poor first down rushing team. Torain's 1st quarter dominance was a nice break for that trend, but things went back to the same old after that.

We do seem to abandon the run entirely in second halves of games. A lot of the time, we're just losing the game. But I don't think we have particularly disciplined run-pass balance either. It's just that the more the game goes towards the line, the more we cautiously trust McNabb to save us. It's also why we never blow anyone out, even the worst teams on our schedule.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:03 AM   #10
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Re: Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

I find it rather aggravating that we don't use the tight ends at all. Yeah, our O-line sucks, but all that checking down to Fred Davis last year sure resulted in some nice touchdown drives. Kyle appears to have trouble with no Andre Johnson opening things up for him and a QB still trying to find the way in his offense. That said, Cooley doesn't appear to be as sure-handed this year, although some of the catches he has had to make are more difficult than Campbell's easy-to-grab checkdowns.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:56 AM   #11
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Re: Redskins-Bucs Reviews (and Needs Analysis!)

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Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
I think that's a very reasonable reason to let Buchanon walk and go with Hall and Rogers at the corners with Barnes as the third guy. I think, while Rogers and Buchanon have brought superior performance, Hall hasn't exactly been terrible this year. I mean, his coverage numbers are poor, but they only have to be a little bit above average for him to be the kind of player that quarterbacks don't want to throw at.

If he had Buchanon's coverage ability, I think we'd all be happy to see him give up about a half yard more per pass to take some of those risks and make the turnovers that he HAS made for us this year. Hall's problem is that he doesn't have Buchanon's coverage ability, and Buchanon was a freely available player as of this May.

There's about a 1.8 yard per target difference between them and a 16% difference between them in completion percentage allowed. Some of that is the difference amount of big-play risk tolerance that each has. Most of it, I believe, is just disparity in ability.

I also don't think this year is a true reflection of Buchanon's skill either. He's having a career year. There may be more of the Giants game and the first Eagles game in Buchanon's future, and less of every other game he's played this year at a very high level. Therefore, I think it's more than justifiable to let him walk in the offseason, though if he'd do another one year contract, that's the best option.
I think D. Hall is having a pro bowl year, despite all the completions he's given up. In part I give a pass to him on some of those due to scheme. You've pointed out that the seem between the safeties & Cb's has tightened up, so I think some of that can be attributed to coaching.

D. Hall is no perfectionist at the position for sure. I always thought he had the ability to be the best in the game, but prefers the 1 big play over makiing numerous small plays. That said, his big plays this year I think are pro bowl worthy.

I think your point about PB's career year is very astute. I agree, it reminds me of the way Walt Harris played here in 05 I think. He was old but really had great coverage skills. Eventually he started to show his age though. I expect Buchanon can't repeat this season's performance, but he deserves some consideration for a reasonable deal.

Overall, I just hope you're wrong about the CB position being an area of need in the offseason. We have decent depth at that position now, would be a shame if that is yet another position to add to the list of deficiencies.
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