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Old 08-09-2005, 02:16 PM   #1
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More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/train...len&id=2129445

BALTIMORE -- Here are five observations on the Washington Redskins, based on their Aug. 6 scrimmage with the Baltimore Ravens:

1.
Yo, attention Redskins offensive linemen. Here's an important public service announcement: That newfangled pass rush the Ravens' defense was using Saturday afternoon is known as a blitz. Comes from the German for blitzkrieg and, from the looks of it, the Redskins' blockers certainly regarded the all-out attack on the pocket as if it was something totally foreign to them. In one 12-play stretch, embattled quarterback Patrick Ramsey was "sacked" (hard not to use the quotation marks when it required just a love-tap on the quarterback to halt the play) four times, including two by cornerback Deion Sanders. We're talking Deion Sanders here, folks, whose 13-year career includes just one sack, and who is more accustomed to knocking down passes than the guys who throw them. The Redskins' line might try looking up the word "flummoxed" -- the unit won't need a German dictionary for that one, because it's the verb that most aptly describes what occurred in the scrimmage. Granted, starting left tackle Chris Samuels did not play in the "live" part of the two-hour combined workout, and that probably had some effect on the overall performance of the unit. But right tackle Jon Jansen, who missed the 2004 season with an Achilles injury, was back. And the blocking unit, which must have been working on some new protections as part of the much-needed offensive makeover, was supposed to be better in 2005.

For one afternoon, at least, it wasn't. Joe Bugel is one of the premier offensive line coaches in recent history, but this bump is starting to tarnish his glittering reputation, and the dysfunction needs to be addressed if the Redskins are to better their No. 30 statistical ranking of last year. Some of the culpability probably lies with Ramsey, who is trying to assimilate a third different offense in his fourth NFL season, and who sometimes holds the ball too long. That said, Ramsey, who will never be the most nimble-footed quarterback around, could move like Baryshnikov, and might still get buried if the line doesn't get better quickly. It might be unfair to judge the unit on a scrimmage outing, especially since the Ravens ran much more sophisticated stuff than one might expect in such a session. But there is still no excuse for the lack of execution, and even more so, absence of recognition that occurred Saturday afternoon. "Pass protection didn't look good," acknowledged coach Joe Gibbs afterwards, stating the painfully obvious. "Anytime you don't do well, it's a concern."

Given the players on hand, the offensive line should be one of the Redskins' positives, it seems. Samuels has slumped the past few seasons, and probably has slipped from the elite group of "pass pro" left tackles in the league, but is still a good player and Washington just signed him to a long-term contract extension. Jansen is a battler. Right guard Randy Thomas is a Pro Bowl-caliber inside blocker. New center Casey Rabach, signed as a free agent from Baltimore, was the best veteran at his position available this spring. On the running side, the Skins are using more zone-blocking in 2005 to better accommodate the style of Clinton Portis, who got bogged down at times in the former design. The only zone the unit was in when it came to pass-blocking Saturday, though, was the Twilight Zone.



2.
That ticking noise you hear in the background is the clock running down on Ramsey's tenure as Washington's starting quarterback. And maybe for Ramsey, one of our favorite people in the league, that's actually a good thing. Ramsey, who completed 5 of 8 passes for 37 yards in the scrimmage, may be better served in a year or two with a change of scenery. The former first-round pick (2002) clearly has talent, and a strong arm, but still seems to be held back a bit in the Redskins' offense. Maybe he just was not destined to make a splash with his original franchise, but to succeed in wherever he lands for his second incarnation. Just think about Ramsey's history with the team. During his original contract negotiations, because he was late for camp, the Redskins considered trading him to the Chicago Bears. Then came two rocky years under Steve Spurrier. Gibbs had so little faith in him a year ago that he traded for the used-up Mark Brunell to be his starter. And four months ago, Gibbs dealt away three draft picks to get an extra first-rounder so that he could take Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell. The Redskins pay lip service to Ramsey but their words ring hollow. The former Tulane star has two years left on his contract, and by then, Campbell will have completed his apprenticeship. You don't think Gibbs swapped three picks for Campbell to sit around very long, do you? Wherever Ramsey lands, it almost has to be better than his current situation.


3.
The best player on the field for Washington Saturday was actually a second-string safety. Maybe you've heard of him: A guy by the name of Sean Taylor. Demoted to the second unit because he boycotted all the team's offseason workouts, and then got himself into a legal mess in South Florida, the second-year veteran and 2004 first-round choice was an absolute monster. No doubt, by the time you read this, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will have bumped Taylor up the depth chart to the first unit. On one run off the left side, Taylor came up out of the secondary like a heat-seeking missile, got under the blocking, and impacted tailback Tellis Redmon with such force his helmet flew off. A few plays later, he went deep into the secondary to swat away a pass. And then, in a red zone situation, when a botched coverage forced him to try to check two receivers, he absolutely drilled Baltimore wideout Randy Hymes in the back of the end zone, separating him from the ball.

"I'm always kidding that we keep him in a cage and feed him raw meat," linebacker Marcus Washington said. "On game day, we turn him loose."

The difference between this summer and last, when we saw Taylor in his debut training camp, is profound. As a rookie, at least in camp, Taylor seemed to have no feel at all for coverage and looked like a guy who was strictly an "in the box" safety. He may never be a player who looks entirely comfortable in coverage because his game really is attacking the line of scrimmage, but Taylor has made remarkable progress. And, as noted, this by a youngster who got in no offseason workout time with the team.

Taylor had 89 tackles and four interceptions as a rookie, and with the ways Williams will use him, should only get better. If Saturday was any indication, the scouts who suggested in 2004 that Taylor was the best safety prospect in at least a decade might be right. The Redskins figure to be solid at safety, with Matt Bowen likely to join Taylor in the starting lineup. Bowen did not participate in the scrimmage, and was one of nine starters or key reserves on defense who did not play, but he is a tough guy for whom Williams has created big-play opportunities.



4.
There were a lot of people wearing LaVar Arrington jerseys Saturday, since plenty of folks from Washington made the drive here for the practice session, and donned the No. 56 in support of their favorite player. Unfortunately, none of them was LaVar Arrington, who hasn't practiced much in camp after missing a dozen games in 2004 because of a knee injury. If any of the Arrington poseurs merely broke a sweat watching the two-hour proceedings, then they did more than the five-year veteran linebacker has done for the Redskins of late. Forget the acrimony that's existed recently between the team and its supposed defensive star, who has alleged the Redskins bilked him out of $6.5 million on the contract he signed late in the '03 season. Based on nothing more than performance for five years, and the potential with which Arrington entered the league as the second overall selection in 2000, has the fortune owner Dan Snyder paid the linebacker been a good investment? One could make a pretty compelling argument that it was money ill-spent. Snyder faced a tough decision in '03: Pay Arrington or cornerback Champ Bailey big money to be the face of the team's defense. He doled out the dollars for Arrington and then, when Bailey balked at several offers, traded him. In a league that places an incredibly high premium on cornerbacks, and in which the overall significance of the linebacker position has been diminished, Snyder made the wrong call. Arrington is a good player when he's on the field, and has authored an average of 8.7 big plays (sacks, interceptions, fumbles forced and fumbles recovered) over five seasons. But he is hardly the dominant force Washington thought he was when drafted in 2000, and now, with his knee problems, he might never be that player. And there is this element to consider as well: Williams is such a superb defensive coordinator, a reality driven home last season, that a team can get by with a little less, especially at linebacker. Anyone ever hear of Antonio Pierce before the 2004 season? Starting for the first time in his career at middle linebacker, Pierce made 160 tackles, a performance that turned him into an instant millionaire when he defected to the New York Giants as a free agent this spring.

Taking nothing away from Pierce, but we're betting that Lemar Marshall, inserted at middle linebacker, will be this year's version of Pierce, a guy whose value is ratcheted up by the system in which he plays. In short, Williams doesn't need Arrington to be successful because his design will elevate the play of lesser players who are earning far less. Washington is a very good linebacker, and playing for Williams, veteran Warrick Holdman might be able to turn back the clock to his Chicago Bears glory days.

As noted above, the Redskins were minus nine key defenders for the Saturday scrimmage, and pretty much bottled up the Baltimore offense much of the day. Williams finds ways to use players in manners they never imagined, and all one need do is look at the performance of cornerback Shawn Springs last season. In the first seven years of his career, Springs had 1 sacks. In the Williams scheme in 2004, he had six sacks and five interceptions, his best showing since 1999. The Redskins statistically ranked No. 3 in total defense a year ago, and allowed the fifth fewest points in the NFL, and basically did that without Arrington. The bet here is they could do it again.


5.
For all the rhetoric about adding some vertical dimension to the passing game in 2005, as the Redskins' offense tries to move into the 21st century, it won't be too surprising if the team's most productive receiver is tight end/H-back Chris Cooley. If safety Taylor was the best player period on the field Saturday, then Cooley, a second-year veteran, was the top guy on the offensive side of the ball. The statistics from the "live" part of the scrimmage show that Cooley, a third-round choice in '04, had just one reception for 6 yards. But the former Utah State standout was a factor in virtually every other segment: from red zone to 7-on-7 to individual drills. Cooley has a natural ability to separate inside and, while he is probably a better receiver than blocker at this early juncture of his career, he can hit on the move, which is a huge commodity for the H-back position. As a rookie, Cooley had 37 receptions for 314 yards and six touchdowns. He'll need to add more yards after the catch, but his touchdown-per-catch ratio is indicative of just how effective Cooley can be inside the 20-yard line. Cooley didn't have a touchdown catch of longer than 9 yards in 2004 and his average scoring grab was for 5.3 yards. But one could see Saturday just how adept Cooley is at finding open spaces in the end zone and then settling down into them. He figures to be even better in 2005 than he was as a rookie, and a 50-reception season certainly is possible.
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:27 PM   #2
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

He ended with some positives... shocking.
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:48 PM   #3
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

i can't say i agree with him so i won't
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:02 PM   #4
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

toward the end it sounded right but in the beggining he went overboard. I understand our offensive line deserves allittle discomfort but he did take it a little to far
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:13 PM   #5
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

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Originally Posted by BigSKINBauer
toward the end it sounded right but in the beggining he went overboard. I understand our offensive line deserves allittle discomfort but he did take it a little to far
P-Belly has a way of making our situation sound so damn dire. Didn't the skins pass on almost every play? Wouldn't being one dimensional make it fairly easy for the ravens to have a good day on D? Also, how much game planning is done for a scrimmage? I"m the sure the skins didn't take into account new packages the ravens used in the scrimmage.
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:19 PM   #6
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

hopefully the line gels, we've got essentially two new starters in Jansen and Raybach so on paper we're already improved. i remain unalarmed about our offense, once TJ comes back we'll be good to go.
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:26 PM   #7
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

I have to say I agree with Lenny on this one, it's probably one of his more intelligent observations that he has made.

Get used to it guy's our offensive line was atrocious last season and hasen't faired much better so far, although it was the first scrimmage you would think after all the work in the offseason we would be a little further along than we are, this week's game should be a big tell on where we sit as an offensive line.

We are starting to here little by little that coaching may be the problem with the skin's and not personel, no one want's to jump to any quick conclusions about a hall of fame coach, but that speculation is starting to arise, as I stated in another thread, this season is bigger for Gibbs, than Ramsey, most management around the NFL believe Ramsey is the good's he's just being held back by inferiour coaching, I really hope Gibbs, AND Bugel, can catch up?
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:31 PM   #8
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

I avoid erading much from hin so I can't say I am "up" on how these reports usually go but is it me or did he completely forget that it was a f%&*ing scrimmage? A SCRIMMAGE! There were multiple players not playing and simple base plays called. At least if you're going to bag on a team do it after you've seen something that can adequately be compared to a real situation. If we look like that come the last couple of pre-seasons games I'll grant him the right to start blathering but for now shut the hell up you moron!
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:43 PM   #9
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

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Originally Posted by offiss
We are starting to here little by little that coaching may be the problem with the skin's and not personel, no one want's to jump to any quick conclusions about a hall of fame coach, but that speculation is starting to arise, as I stated in another thread, this season is bigger for Gibbs, than Ramsey, most management around the NFL believe Ramsey is the good's he's just being held back by inferiour coaching, I really hope Gibbs, AND Bugel, can catch up?
We' really only hearing this from Pastabelly. And he was saying the same things before last season when Gibbs hadn't even had a chance to demonstrate his abilities. So his credibility is shot right there. I am not a blind optimist but I would say it is real easy to sit back and criticize when you arguing points that 99% of fans don't understand or can't see. You see very little about those in know, like other players an coaches, saying that there was something major and fundamentally wrong offensively last season. Basically everything we hear is that it simply needed to be modenized to account for more complex and faster defenses. The main people saying this are????? The Redskins, specifically Gibbs mentioning that they were slow to realize how much better defenses have gotten. I haven't seen anything where someone is saying "well this is wrong and they need to fix it" and Gibbs responds by disagreeing. They know what the need to do to fix it and I think logically it follows that a masterfull football mind can do it. There hasn't been some influx of uber-talented offensive coordinators in the last 15 years so it stands to reason that the people haven't really gotten smarter but the schemes have simply evolved naturally. If Gibbs was a masterfull coach before(hard to argue he wasn't) it seems pretty darn logical that with some work he can catch up and do the things that need to be done and can probably do it better than 90% of the other coaches. It just doesn't make any sense to me that a good football coach becomes a bad football coach simply by being away. He simply becomes a non-evolved good coach who is going to need to adapt in the new environment. One season isn't enough to judge one's ability on this but judging by this off-season and the things being said it is obvious to me they know what to do. That is at least encouraging.
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Old 08-09-2005, 04:47 PM   #10
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

in the first 30 minutes of the panthers game we should get more feedback on how our o-line truly is. Ramsey i feel after thinking about it did ok, he could have done better but lets not throw him to the sharks, the o-line gave ramsey little time to do what he had to do, take from that what you want,
the only credits i can give the line was that the defense knew we were going to pass so they blitzed and samuels was out. Both of these were due to the fact that it was a scrimmage.
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Old 08-09-2005, 05:00 PM   #11
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

I just would once like one of the reporters to say what we should have done at the QB spot after how bad Brunell played last year. We had to have a plan B and that is Campbell who did not cost use alot of money but one can argue over the traded draft picks. If Ramsey falls on his face this year it will have been an excellent decision. If Ramsey decideds he wants to leave DC it was an excellent decision. If Ramsey gets hurt its was an excelent decision. If Ramsey plays realy good and stays in DC it may have been a bad move but we still need a back up so why not cover my first points with the back up. The line will be fine. One scrimage where the other team was trying new blitts packages is not something to worry about. If it was our last preseason game I would be worring.
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Old 08-09-2005, 06:35 PM   #12
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

Quote:
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...I would say it is real easy to sit back and criticize when you arguing points that 99% of fans don't understand or can't see. You see very little about those in know, like other players an coaches, saying that there was something major and fundamentally wrong offensively last season.
well, jansen said it was antiquated and portis said it totally failed to use the player's abilities, so there's two people in the know saying it was majorly flawed right there. oh yeah, they were also ON that wretched offense, so we can probably assume they're credible.

Most coaches and players don't go around shit talking people cause its bad PR and bad business, so when something is wrong they tend to not mention it (whereas EVERYONE will say how great the colts O is, how perfect brady is etc)

and i think part of the problem at the scrimmage (besides samuels being out) was a 46 scheme the ravens were running that we had no film on and only scouted for one (MAYBE two) days.

but still, even in the scrimmage, the D looked decent (though we were missing soo many dbs we did get passed on a bit), ST and cooley showed well, but the O didn't. Its only a scrimmage and i'm waiting till preseason is over before getting worried, but from what i've read from the camps (from fans), what i've seen at camp and this scrimmage, our O still isn't close.

I don't think ramsey is really the problem either... in spurrier's second year, with a slightly weaker O line he came out guns blazing until coles got hurt and everyone memerized spurrier's limited playbook. I think the issue has more to do with scheme and playcalling.

We'll see how the new WRs and O line gel over the next month and how much better our O looks on opening day. We struggled to beat the bears last year when they had a total reject QB, but we did play them last year and they'll be about the best measuring stick we'll have.
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:11 PM   #13
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

Quote:
Originally Posted by offiss
I have to say I agree with Lenny on this one, it's probably one of his more intelligent observations that he has made.

Get used to it guy's our offensive line was atrocious last season and hasen't faired much better so far, although it was the first scrimmage you would think after all the work in the offseason we would be a little further along than we are, this week's game should be a big tell on where we sit as an offensive line.

We are starting to here little by little that coaching may be the problem with the skin's and not personel, no one want's to jump to any quick conclusions about a hall of fame coach, but that speculation is starting to arise, as I stated in another thread, this season is bigger for Gibbs, than Ramsey, most management around the NFL believe Ramsey is the good's he's just being held back by inferiour coaching, I really hope Gibbs, AND Bugel, can catch up?
I agree that this is a huge year for Gibbs. He has to make progress. Spurrier proved that just because you had success in one league it does not mean it will translate into another. The NFL today is like a different league than it was in 1987. Here is why I think he will find success:

The biggest difference that I see is that Gibbs recognizes that there is a problem with the offense and his own plays and that some players did not fit his plays. He made changes last year to make his offense better by the end of the season. He sends Byner out to steal as much info about how to run the Denver stretch plays as possible. He finds faster, sure handed receivers to get the chunks that he couldn't get last year. He drafted a QB so that he can get rid of Brunnell. He drafted a power back (NEMO) to take the 1 yard 3rd down runs off Portis.

Most importantly, he brought in Musgrave. A guy with the total opposite offensive philosophy to himself. If this doesn't say that he is comitted to finding new ways to exploit defenses I don't know what does.

Last year was the first year that I honestly thought things improved as the year went on. In the past (except with Marty) it seemed like we always had a good start and then fell apart.
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:18 PM   #14
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

the only thing lenny p manhandles in ihs dong piece
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:27 PM   #15
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Re: More Lenny P: O-line manhandled in scrimmage

i really don't care what lenny fatboy has to say. there were some positives, but he said we should've given champ bailey that fat contract extension, but look at how our cornerbacks did last season. on the other hand, lavar can cover and blitz. i think we made the right decision. and he went overboard when he criticized our o-line. ok, so we weren't that good, but he made us out like we've never heard of the blitz before.
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