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New Signs of Life?

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Old 01-05-2005, 02:48 AM   #1
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New Signs of Life?

An Open Passing Attack Produced Results
In the Sunday night game between Philadelphia and Washington, ESPN announcer Joe Theisman said that Gibbs could not effectively run an offense comprised of a running game and very short passes. Like many of us Warpathers, Theisman observed that Gibbs was running an offense that was too predictable, didn't spread out opposing defenses, and stifled the running game by drawing 8 or 9 defenders into the box.

Like Theisman, Doc Walker, creator of the "Fun Bunch" and famed member of the Hogs, knows a thing or two about Gibbs and his offense. Anyone who listens to the John Thompson show on 980 AM knows that Doc Walker has been confused, frustrated, and disappointed by the Redskins offensive (pun intended) performance this season.

However, after last Sunday's game against the Vikings, Doc Walker said that for the first time this season, Gibbs had finally "opened the passing game up." Instead of throwing hitches, short curls, and screens, Gibbs called plays in which receivers ran routes than regularly took them well beyond the sticks.

Many analysts and commentators, like Theisman and Walker, have argued that because Gibbs doesn't fully trust Ramsey yet, pass protection isn't solid, pass accuracy has been suspect, and the Redskins' wideouts' have been unable to consistently haul in deep balls, Gibbs has run a "vanilla" offense. Maybe Gibbs didn't want to open the offense up until Week 17, when the Redskins were eliminated from playoff contention.

I certainly agree with all of the foregoing. That said, it is about time that Gibbs finally began attacking opposing secondaries. Our offense was so totally inept this season that something drastic needed to be changed.

I don't buy Gibbs' statement that he's been trying to develop a deep passing game throughout this season. He alleges that 25% of offensive formations involved at least 3 wide receiver sets. That may be true, but that doesn't in and of itself demonstrate a commitment to develop a deep passing game.

I had excellent Loge seats at the Vikings game and I thought the pass protection was decent, wideouts were consistently getting excellent separation from defenders, and Gibbs NEVER called in so many formations involving multiple wideouts in a single game this season. True, Gibbs ran a lot of his traditional formations involving 2 or 3 tight ends, but he must have had at least 3 wideouts on the field on over 50% of the plays.

I argue that as a result of "opening up the playbook," our offense looked fairly sharp, our running game improved, and we were able to actually score more than 20 points. Although our offense's performance in one game hardly constitutes sufficient ground to convincingly argue that had Gibbs employed a more open offense all season our team would be in the playoffs, that single game was the only game all season in which the Skins' mounted a solid passing attack.

It is also true that Minnesota's defense is God awful, but so were many of the offenses we faced earlier in the season. San Francisco's defense is ranked 19th in the league, Detroit's is ranked 20th, Dallas' is ranked 21st, and Green Bay's is ranked 25th. I think in each of those games we could have opened the passing game up more.

Don't mistake my call for a more open passing game as a cry for a Spurrier-esque offense - it is not. I like Gibbs' offensive philosphy - control the ball, control the clock, run-first, pass deep, and rely on the defense and special teams to seal a victory. I would like to see our offense run the ball more often than it passes it. I would like to see two and three tight end formations. BUT, I would also like to see a LOT more 3 and 4 wide receiver sets as well.

Ramsey's Improvement
In his 7 starts this season, Ramsey had a QB rating of 82.6 and had he played an additional 9 games, was on pace for 3,001 yards, 18 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and a completion percentage of exactly 65%. While not Pro-Bowl statistics, they are very solid. Ramsey struggled at times against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but given those teams defenses, his lack of production is forgivable. Encouragingly, against the New York Giants, San Francisco, and Minnesota defenses, Ramsey's quarterback rating was 139.2, 103, and 100.8 respectively.

Despite Ramsey's poor play in his relief performances against the New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals, I am strongly convinced that Ramsey can be an efficient, smart, and very effective quarterback that Gibbs' needs and Redskins fans have so sorely missed. Give him time (something he wasn't given under Spurrier and has yet to be given under Gibbs) and protection (something he was never given under Spurrier) and he'll become a franchise quarterback.

Given the team's successful use of a deep passing attack against Minnesota and Ramsey's improvement, I think it's about time that Gibbs shows us an offense that we all know he is capable of producing.

Last edited by Sheriff Gonna Getcha; 01-05-2005 at 02:56 AM.
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Old 01-05-2005, 07:47 AM   #2
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I was also very happy to see the 3-4 receiver sets. There were times when I looked at cpayne and said "We need to run the ball." Personally, I liked the move. I am curious how much of it was our offense, and how much was the Vikings defense. Either way it delighted me to see.

I hope this carries over into next year, that's for sure! When you have a defense like ours you can afford to turn it over a little more. Not that a turnover is ever good, but our defense can hold opponents and let Ramsey learn the system without any huge penelties. It's when we have a horrible defense I expect them to treat the ball like it's glass.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:58 AM   #3
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Good shit Ramseyfan. I think you may be the one guy with a moniker named after a player who might be successful.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:45 PM   #4
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Driftreality:

How about "monk81". Art Monk was sorta successful...

And how about all the guys hwere with "riggo" related names...

And you simply must have forgotten about Ade Jimoh Fan Club, no?
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:50 PM   #5
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RF...your assessment is right on...

in this day and age of professional football, the pass opens up the run, and not vice versa. there are too many skillful LBs and DLinemen that will thwart the run...have to keep the defense guessing...as the Skins did in each of their 6 wins this season...
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:51 PM   #6
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I somewhat agree with you Ramseyfan, but I also somewhat like what Gibbs did with Ramsey this year. Gibbs knows how to produce good quaterbacks that don't have superstar talent (just look at his first tenure). I kind of like how he didn't just throw him into the fire. Now I agree he was a little to conservative. But I think he gradually ask Ramsey to do more and more and it wasn't a consedence that in the last game is when he finally opened it up to him. I think Ramsey will be going into the offseason with a lot more confidence cause of this style that Eli Manning who was thrown in to the fire and really struggled.
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:30 PM   #7
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I completely agree. The one thing that I've seen with Ramsey, namely in the Vikings game was how he looked deep(er) first and then checked down second. Prior to this game, it always seemed like he was always looking for the short pass. It was almost as though Gibbs has scared the 'Slinger' out of him, which is a good thing. In the Vikings game, it was great to see him go downfield and to be perfectly honest, many of his passes were dead-on.

The only problem now is with protection. Jansen's return will definitely help and maybe a 2nd or 3rd rounder to bolster the rest of the line (Joe Bugel knows how to mold them). I mean is it just me or does everyone else KNOW exactly when Ramsey is going to complete a pass before he even throws it? EVERY time I see him step up into the pocket and throw, its always ALWAYS a completion, even if it's 20+ yards downfield. However, as soon as the feet start getting happy it's almost a guaranteed incompletion/interception. I think maturity and having a little bit more time to throw the ball will make Ramsey not only an above average QB, but do I dare say one of the top 10 in the league?
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Old 01-05-2005, 02:12 PM   #8
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I see where you're coming from, except for the fact that I think even Ramsey himself might have lost some confidence. Whether it was from losing the starting job to Brunell or just not playing well in relief appearances, he said himself that each game he played his confidence grew exponentially. I'm sure it was a combination of Gibbs relearning the offense AND also Gibbs wanting to get Ramsey's confidence up each game.

Nothing better for your confidence in my opinion than completing 65% of your passes.

Not only that, it gives Gibbs a chance to see what the receivers can do AFTER they catch the ball, which I feel was a good thing in the fact that rather than looking for other players, the Redskins are concentrating on possible WR picks in the draft/free agency.
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Old 01-05-2005, 02:19 PM   #9
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Yep, I think you're right RF. I don't believe Gibbs felt Ramsey was ready to take it upon his arm to win games for us. Keep in mind though, that one thing I thought did make sense from Maas (and I stress this is the ONLY thing that makes sense from him) is the fact that you have to gameplan differently in each game. Some defenses are better than others...not to mention different schemes that our offense goes up against. With that said, the same playcalling may not work against someone like the Eagles.

It could also be true that Gibbs wanted to keep things simple until he knew we were completely out of the playoffs. While some might argue that keeping things simple kept us out of the playoffs, I believe it was vital in the growth and development of PR in this system. Patrick has gained alot of confidence and has overall played alot better game in and game out. I don't believe it was as much as Gibbs relearning things as it probably was just trial and error; seeing what works with what personnel and making the adjustments. Gibbs probably never truthly thought about making the playoffs in his first year, but seeing how the game is played now, seeing exactly what he has to work with, and making the adjustments into the second seasons.

I think we'll be okay heading into next season.
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Old 01-05-2005, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offiss
... I don't see how you can learn an offense if your not allowed to run it, we could get anybody to throw hitches all game, .
We tried that. His name was Brunnel.:vomit-smi
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Old 01-05-2005, 04:37 PM   #11
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one thing that ramsey does'nt have to worry about is getting beaten around 4 quarters a week like he did during the spurrier years.i do'nt buy that the game has passed gibbs by,if anybody can fix the redskins,it's joe jackson gibbs.just have faith in the man.
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Old 01-05-2005, 06:13 PM   #12
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Nah - we ran a different offense with Brunell. Come to think of it, I don't remember a single Brunell screen pass (Thank god, it would have been a fumble.)

I don't agree with totally babying Ramsey, because he didn't seem to give many baby steps along the way. I understand very simple first few games. Slowly giving him more and more complex. Winning games helps confidence more than completing 65% of your passes for 150 yards.
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Old 01-05-2005, 09:33 PM   #13
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Hopefully the Vikings game will convince Gibbs that 4 receiver sets will help, not hurt, the offense in 2005. I think that will help everyone.

I agree that the offense was really scaled down for Gibbs more than any player on the team. He needed some time to re-learn things himself.

Now, prep time is over, bring it!
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Old 01-08-2005, 03:58 PM   #14
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I found a cool site that has a QB rating calculator, Ramsey's #'s break down like this for his 7 starts

Att: 142
Comp: 217
%: 65.4
Yards: 1313
Yards/att: 6.05
TD: 8
INT: 6
Rating: 82.6
TD %: 3.7
INT %: 2.8

check it out here, cool site http://www.primecomputing.com/

Not overly spectacular numbers, but that 82.6 rating would put him in the top 10 in the NFC. A good foundation to build upon for next year.
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