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Adam Schefter: Colt to Start Against the Colts
by Chris Russell
Nov 25, 2014 -- 11:41pm

There it is . Late on a Tuesday night, the Redskins couldn't make it through one day without dominating the national headlines for almost all of the wrong reasons. 

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Washington will start Colt McCoy over Robert Griffin III against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Schefter reports it, and you can take it to the bank. 

This should not come as a surprise in any way.  As we have said multiple times on ESPN 980 and Redskins Radio, based on what we were hearing, Robert Griffin III was a last minute first half touchdown  away from being benched against Tampa and was on a extremely short hook against San Francisco. 

Neither move happened, and the only logical theory is that Jay Gruden wanted to make sure that he wasn't missing anything in his evaluation along with that of the coaching staff. 

Perhaps the only thing they were missing, as usual, was a muzzle for whoever leaked the decision to ESPN's Schefter. Gruden was reportedly set to address the team as normal on Wednesday morning at which time he would inform the entire team.  Breaking news on Tuesday night did not sit well with at least one player, Nick Sundberg

I have no problem at all with the decision to move on for Griffin for at least this week. I would not have gone away from Colt McCoy for Minnesota and I was very clear about that. i would have started Griffin against Tampa after the bye, regardless of the situation because you needed to give him an opportunity. At this point, that opportunity will have to come at another time and perhaps another place. 

Gruden said on Monday over and over again that his "intent" was to start Robert Griffin III, but he left the door more than open. As a matter of fact it was gaping. 

I've been told by multiple sources including players both current and former that DeSean Jackson was extremely frustrated after the San Francisco loss. That makes sense. Remember, he is from the Bay Area and considered signing with the 49'ers as a free agent.  Pierre Garcon has never completely been on board with Griffin III  and even Andre Roberts appeared frustrated as he was camped out at the San Francisco 10-yard line Sunday with his hands on his hips and wide open, after a ball did not come his way. 

"My whole intent is to play the best people to help us win, period. We've struggled - play callers, the offense - we just haven't done a good job," Gruden told reporters in response to my question about balancing Griffin's development with the needs of 52 other players. "It's my job to make sure that I'm playing the right people." 

"If we think that somebody else is better suited to help us get a victory against  Indianapolis, we'll make that decision."

The decision was an easy one for Jay Gruden. There's not much you can say otherwise.  

Chris Russell - SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com - www.twitter.com/russellmania980 


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Three-and-OUT - Poor Robert & Play Calling
by Chris Russell
Nov 24, 2014 -- 4:26am
ESPN 980
The Redskins lost a heartbreaker in the brand new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California yesterday 17-13 to drop to (3-8) on the year. Of course that means - even with a highly unlikely five game winning streak to end the year - they can finish no better than five hundred and another non-winning season. 
 

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The defense was tremendous after the first drive and even though they wilted late, they gave the Redskins their best and only chance to win. Just like they did in Dallas and for the most part against Tennessee. 
 
1. Robert Griffin's day - In a word, struggle would be be a good way to define Robert Griffin's complete day at quarterback against a very good San Francisco defense. 
 
There were several times that he missed wide open receivers with three examples coming immediately to mind. On one red zone sequence, Andre Roberts was wide open out of the right slot and standing at the ten-yard line with his hands on his hips and was clearly frustrated. He didn't have anybody close. 
 
Another time, Griffin missed Silas Redd leaking out of the backfield in the left flat area and instead threw an incomplete to the other side of the field and on another play, Griffin appeared to have both DeSean Jackson and Niles Paul reasonably open in the red zone and chose not to go to either. 
 
The Redskins are not good enough to live off of field goals and on a day where the Washington defense generated three turnovers - the offense was only able to get a miserable three points off of those gifts. Can't win like that. 
 
Griffin also was sacked five times with at least three and possibly four (I have to watch the tape to judge) on him because of indecision or lack of vision. 
 
Safe to say - Aldon Smith would have 25 plus sacks a year if he played the Redskins in every game. 
 
2. Play Calling -- On a day in which Alfred Morris was clearly the best option the Redskins had - to only get him 21 attempts in just not good enough. Especially considering how much of a struggle it was for Griffin and how thin the defense was. 
 
I really don't get this one. Griffin was (11-19) for only 106 yards (77 net yards). Overall, the Redskins ran the ball or scrambled on 27 of their 52 offensive plays for a even 50/50 split but again, when a passing offense is struggling, you have to help it out even more. 
 
This really drove me crazy late in the game on the second-to-last possession for the Skins as they went three-and-out after the go-ahead score by the 49ers. Washington had all three timeouts left plus the two minute warning and passed the ball three times in a row with the drive starting at the 2:59 remaining mark. 
 
The Redskins got the ball with decent (for them) field position and misfired on first and third down while Griffin was sacked on 2nd down. Mind boggling how there wasn't one attempt to run the ball. Essentially you had four timeouts left. You were down by four points and you had plenty of time to run your entire offense. 
 
I don't get it. This will be something that we have to pepper Jay Gruden about on Monday. I was going to ask him on Sunday, but I wanted to make sure first that I saw the right thing. 
 
The Redskins opened up in a four wide receiver spread and made a nice easy completion on the very first snap of the game, before Griffin got lit up by Aldon Smith on 2nd down.  I don't know why they didn't try to spread out the 49ers a bit more. 
 
I'm also not sure why there was a lack of natural running back screens. Roy Helu had two receptions for nine yards, while Alfred Morris, Silas Redd and Darrel Young had absolutely nothing. 
The Redskins were also not able to feature the tight end (with Jordan Reed out), Niles Paul only had one catch for 11 yards on two targets. 
 
Also, have no idea why they can't get or targed Pierre Garcon more. Another game, and more ho-hum execution and attempts to get him the ball. H ewas only targeted four times for three catches and 34 yards receiving. 
 
This continues to be a volcanic like situation. That dude is less than happy about it. Trust me. 
 
3. A moral victory? There are many that will disagree with me but after the atrocious performance last week, I will call this a moral victory and I am OK with that for the Redskins . Sure, they need to get actual wins but they have so many issues - it is difficult to imagine this team pulling out a game like this or like next week, or the week after. You get the point. 
 
Here's my thing: The defense played their butts off and came up empty. Alfred Morris ran like Alfred Morris for a fourth straight game and this was his best performance and Griffin looked terrific on the Redskins one touchdown drive. 
 
It wasn't enough, but against that defense and with the personnel they have on offense - I'll take it. 
 
The defense was incredible for almost the entire game outside of a bad first drive. That was not pretty even though the 49ers took over at their own 40-yard line. I don't care what you think about Jim Haslett - this game isn't on him. Then again, neither was last week or the week before or the week before or the week before that. 
 
You can't win football games when you have turned the ball over 55 times since the start of 2013. That's a 27-game span. Or more than two turnovers per game. 
 
OUT - Levi's Stadium is indeed a gem. It has a luxury cruise liner feel to it and is massive. The press and suite level side is just remarkable to look at from field level. 
 
However, there was absolutely no defining characteristic to the stadium. There was nothing special about it, outside of the brand spanking new feeling. 
 
Don't get me wrong, it is pristine. It's in a perfect location and next to a huge amusement park with easy access off a major highway. 
 
The stadium is the home of Super Bowl 50 and WrestleMania 31 plus the Pac-12 Championship game and deserves all of that and more.  I guess I was hoping for something that would make go WOW! and instead I walked away with - that's very nice! 

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Inside the Numbers - Why the 49ers are a Contender
by Chris Russell
Nov 22, 2014 -- 2:07am
The San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins get together on Sunday at the brand new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. 
 
The Redskins are off of one of their worst losses of the season and I have to say it like that because there have been so many bad losses over the years, that it is hard to put anything into context. 
 
I believe last Sunday to a (1-8) Tampa Bay Bucs team was the worst  in a really long time, because the Giants home loss was on a short week and the Redskins were extremely banged up.
 
In last Sunday's 27-7 defeat, they had one player of any significance coming into the game that was injured (Logan Paulsen) and he played. Of course, they were already without and will be without DeAngelo Hall and Brian Orakpo for the season. 
 
Because of how poorly Robert Griffin III played, that will be the memory that everyone is left with. It wasn't all his fault, and that is a fact. 
 
I suppose I could compare last Sunday to the abysmal effort against the Chiefs in the snow last December, but that was a better opponent and the day of the infamous Mike Shanahan - Dan Graziano bomb that imploded that morning. 
 
It doesn't really matter. It was a terrible loss. NO other way to say it and I have no idea what I can say to make it better. 
 
With that as a backdrop, we go "Inside the Numbers" for the (6-4) San Francisco 49ers and the (3-7) Washington Redskins at 4:25 ET on Sunday from the home of Super Bowl Fifty  in February 2016 and WRESTLEMANIA in 2015.
 
I. The 49ers have been very good because...
 
*They don't turn the ball over and they have an identity on both sides of the ball. They play tough and physical and can run the ball down your throat. They win on the road, and create turnovers. 
 
**In other words, they do not beat themselves.  That's evident by the fact that San Francisco has the fewest amount of turnovers since 2011. They have 55 turnovers and have thrown 26 interceptions which are both number one in the NFL. 
 
**The Redskins have 54 turnovers since the start of 2013. Put that in perspective. In two additional football seasons, the 49ers have ONE MORE turnover than the Redskins have had since 2013 started. 
 
II. There's a Draft in here. 
 
San Francisco actually selected 12 players in the 2014 draft, along with making several trades to give them flexibility and ammunition.  They made seven of those choices in the top four rounds. 
 
They chose seven defensive players and five offensive players, including Safety Jimmie Ward out of Northern Illinois with their first round selection. 
 
Former Redskins Executive Trent Baalke (the 49ers GM) also added key defensive backs Antoine Bethea and Chris Cook (injured). Baalke added two wide receivers (Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd) for virtually nothing and signed a former 2nd round offensive tackle in Jonathan Martin to the fold for a conditional pick. 
 
In 2013, San Francisco added 11 players via the draft, with six coming on defense and five on offense.  In the first four rounds, they made six of those selections. 
 
With their first round selection, Baalke chose FS Eric Reid with the 18th overall pick. This was in a trade with Dallas as the 49ers gave up their  30th overall pick in the first and a third round selection to draft a player they targeted. 
 
In 2012, the 49ers only chose seven players after moving all over the draft board  with four on offense and three on defense. Only three of those picks were in the top four rounds. Their first round pick was on a wide receiver bust. 
 
In 2011, the organization chose ten players with five players on offense and five on defense with four of those choices coming in the top four rounds. That was the draft year for Colin Kaepernick. 
 
In addition to an exchange of 2nd round picks for Baalke and Jim Harbaugh to move up to grab Kaepernick, the Niners gave up an extra fourth  and fifth round selection.  Seemed like a pretty reasonable deal at the time and a home run now. 
 
Aldon Smith was the first round selection that year, and we all know how talented he is when he's not being a complete idiot. 
 
In 2010, San Francisco chose eight players with five on offense and three on defense including injured stud ILB NaVarro Bowman and very productive starting offensive linemen Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis. Both of those picks were in the first round.
 
The breakdown is this. San Francisco has selected 48 players since 2010 with 24 on offense and an equal 24 on defense. They've made (you guessed it) 24 picks in the first four rounds of the draft since 2010. 
 
On the current 53-man roster, San Francisco has 26 drafted players and 23 players acquired via free agency, with four via trade.  20 of those 26 drafted players that are on the current San Francisco roster were selected since 2010. 
 
In that same time frame, the Redskins have only made 42 selections compared to the 49ers. 
 
In 2010, they selected six players with five coming on offense and one on defense. Only two of the six players were drafted in the first four rounds because the Redskins traded their 2nd round pick to Philadelphia for Donovan McNabb and did not have a 3rd round pick because of the wasted pick in 2009 for Jeremy Jarmon in the supplemental draft. 
 
In 2011, Washington ended with 12 selections with six on offense and six on defense. Only four of those choices came in the top four rounds. 
 
In 2012, they made nine selections with six on offense and three on defense. Two of the three defensive picks were in the 7th round.  Four of the nine picks were in the top four rounds. 
 
In 2013, the Redskins had seven selections with four coming on defense and the other three on offense.  Only three of the selections came in the first four rounds because they did not have a first round pick as a result of the Robert Griffin deal. 
 
In 2014, Washington had eight selections with five on offense, two on defense and one on special teams. Four of those eight choices were in the top four rounds of the draft, with again no first round pick because of the Griffin deal. 
 
Out of the 42 picks, the Redskins spent 25 selections on offense and 16 on defense with the one pure special teams pick.  62 % of their choices have been on offense with 38% on defense. 
17 of the 42 selections came in the the top four rounds of the draft. 
 
Just to recap, since 2010 San Francisco has had 48 selections with 24 on each side of the ball and 50% of those choices coming in the top four rounds of the draft. They have have 26 players on their current roster that were acquired via the draft, and 20 were taken since 2010.
 
The Redskins have had 42 selections with 25 on offense and 16 on defense plus one pure special teams pick.  Only 40.4% of those choices (17/42) came in the top four rounds.
 
On their current roster, the Redskins have 23 players via the draft and 29 via free agency, one via trade.  Washington has 14 offensive players on the roster via the draft since 2010 with eight defensive players for a total of 22 players drafted since 2010 on current 53 man roster. 
 
The Redskins have 43.3 % of their current roster via the draft and 56.6% via free agency and trade, which also includes college free agents and undrafted players like Darrel Young, Logan Paulsen, Chris Baker, Will Compton and Nick Sundberg. 
 
The 49ers have a pretty ironic 49% of their current 53-man roster via the draft  and 51% by free agency or trade. 
 
The reason for doing this extensive breakdown is to prove an overall point. The Redskins have gambled and lost badly. San Francisco traded just one less pick for their "franchise" quarterback but it was an enormously less cost than the Redskins did in terms of overall picks and placement of selections.
 
Just the difference in the overall amount of selections, 48 to 42, gives San Francisco an enormous advantage. They have made plenty of mistakes as every team has. The difference? They have core veteran players from before 2010 that are still contributing along with more draft picks on their current roster than the Redskins have and a whopping edge in drafted players taken in the top four rounds. 
 
If the Redskins had even half of the disparity between the two organizations, they could have a top end safety or right tackle or offensive guard. Perhaps a great inside linebacker to go along with Keenan Robinson. 
 
If that was the case, Washington might be (4-6) or (5-5). Instead, they're done like a turkey dinner. 
 
The bottom line is this: if you have eight plus draft selections every year and you have any clue as to what you are doing, you will win consistently in the NFL. Especially if at least half of those picks are in the top 125 or so of the draft.  You have room to make mistakes. You are only going to hit on roughly 50% of your draft picks, so it stands to reason that if you have more, you increase your odds and depth. 
 
This is why the Redskins are in the constant state of turmoil that seems never-ending and why the 49ers despite their own drama and issues, are poised for another run at the Super Bowl. 
 
Chris Russell - SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com - www.twitter.com/russellmania980

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Too Much Attention, Too Many Headlines
by Chris Russell
Nov 17, 2014 -- 10:53pm
ESPN 980
ESPN 980 Galleries Perhaps one day the Washington Redskins will be like the New England Patriots. It's probably asking too much, but you know, doing things the right way on the football field and then being strong enough and mentally tough enough to get past what you do wrong off the field. 
 
I shouldn't hold my breath. They have a extremely long way to go. You don't build the "Patriot Way" overnight or by putting jersey sales ahead of football wins. 
 
The Patriots are far from perfect. Everybody remembers "SpyGate" and the Aaron Hernandez arrest for murder in the summer of 2013. The Patriots gave that low life a lot of guaranteed money. 
 
The kind of scandal that has hovered over the Patriots is something that would suck the life out of a franchise, in any sport. Think about it. We're not talking about 'he said, she said' issues. We're not talking about social media posts that ignite  a firestorm and cause a major issue during a team meeting the morning after an awful loss. 
 
Nope, we're talking about cheating and murder. 
 
Could you imagine how the Redskins would handle cheating to the level that the Patriots did? Oh wait, that's right. They did try and "cheat" in the NFL's eyes, and were whacked with a 36 million dollar cap penalty split over two years (2012 & 2013). 
 
They said they didn't know until the last minute. On the eve of free agency. Yet, having already pulled the trigger on the deal with St. Louis for the # 2 overall pick, the Redskins still felt they needed to spend sizable money on Josh Morgan and really big money on Pierre Garcon. 
 
They didn't take the time to buy a stud safety or cornerback and they had already spent good  money on Stephen Bowen & Barry Cofield the year before, along with re-signing Adam Carriker. 
They didn't bolster their offensive line, because they were convinced they could get cheap, system guys. 
 
They won the division after a (3-6) start because Robert Griffin III was executing a brilliant scheme built by Mike and Kyle Shanahan and he was thinking less and reacting more. He was executing brilliantly. 
 
This success made the franchise's upper echelon decision makers that were never going anywhere get drunk with delusions of grandeur. Instead of building on a foundation and bolstering the offensive line , secondary and pass rush - the Redskins nickel and dimed everything  and thought they had solved the answer to all of their woes and the national debt to boot. 
 
They thought that by having a stud talent at quarterback, it would  fix everything. We see how that has turned out.  
 
More importantly, the Redskins have invested in too many personalities  that say the wrong thing or send the wrong message far too often.  
 
Their true understanding of what it takes to be a winner is completely misguided and it has created acrimony and animosity in so many ways over the years.
 
The Redskins have always lived on the edge and tried to make the big splash and along with that came wanted attention, a wanted spotlight  and a very much desired focus on the brand. 
 
Why? So the brand could explode and become astronomical. To make even more money than they already have.  It's a classic case of going to a buffet when your not that hungry and slamming down three heaping plates of grub.  You can't resist temptation. 
 
Eventually you rip at the seam. Quickly, you explode because the feeling is not right. It's uncomfortable. In the fish bowl that is the NFL, you don't have an ocean to swim into and far too often, the Redskins have not filtered the water. 
 
The Redskins have invited this type of never ending circus in Ashburn, Landover and wherever they go. 
 
If they identified and selected players that have tremendous football instincts, football IQ's and bland personalities that never say anything on camera or on social media, the Redskins would be boring AND I guarantee you they would win more football games. 
 
Like the Patriots do. Every year. Year in and year out.  It's not just because of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. 
 
They say nothing. The Patriots are essentially robots. It's the culture that has been created and you are expected to adhere to.
 
This isn't a Robert Griffin III "threw his teammates under the bus" story. He didn't. I WAS THERE. I knew exactly what Robert was trying to say, and did say, but he still should have held back. 
 
The problem I have is DeSean Jackson adding fuel to the fire this morning and now it is a full -scale disaster. You can't add fuel to the fire if you are Jackson, even if his message was not directly at anybody specific. 
 
Griffin took PLENTY of blame. For those that were at the press conference and actually know Robert Griffin III, you know this to be true. 
 
The problem is, because of his history (where he hasn't always said the right thing) he has no rope at all. Especially after a dreadful loss. 
 
I am just waiting for Pierre Garcon's head to explode because of his lack of opportunity and frustration with everything, but I believe Garcon checked out emotionally long ago. 
 
The Redskins signed Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb and even DeAngelo Hall way back when , because they couldn't resist their talent or their marketing power. Only Hall had the mental tenacity to dig deep and stay without making a clown out of himself. 
 
When was the last time the Patriots  had an explosive press conference or one of their players took to social media to sand blast others? 
 
It just doesn't happen. They're more interested in handling things internally and winning football games. 
 
I love Jay Gruden's honesty as a member of the media, but trust me on this, his bold and brutally honest assessments will not work long term here in Washington. Why?
 
You have to have really, really thick skinned players that can handle that kind of verbal critique. I've found the Redskins locker room, with limited exception, to be extremely thin skinned and very sensitive to criticism or negativity. 
 
I'm guessing and I am probably right, Bruce Allen did not give one ounce of thought to this issue. It could drive a major divide now and down the road. Again, the Redskins invited this. 
 
How do you get better and move on? You have to be a mature adult. You have to block it out. You can't  let headlines destroy the mission. You can't let quotes bring you down. The Patriots have these type of personalities that can absorb anything. 
 
The Redskins have a very small handful of guys that are good at this. The rest? They are the furthest thing from living the "Patriot Way."  
 
Chris Russell - SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com - www.twitter.com/russellmania980
 

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Three-and-OUT - Preparation or Execution?
by Chris Russell
Nov 17, 2014 -- 11:15am
 
I've learned my lesson from the signing of DeSean Jackson last spring that you never, ever trust that the Washington Redskins will do what conventional wisdom dictates. 
 
Hence the reason why I uncomfortably picked them to win yesterday at FedExField and I got burned once again. I tried to remind people that the (1-8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a lot better than their record indicated. 
 
They spent a ton of money in free agency this past off-season on two productive offensive linemen (Anthony Collins, Evan Dietrich-Smith) and a pass rushing defensive end (Michael Johnson) and a high priced corner (Alterraun Verner). 
 
On top of that they traded for Logan Mankins at left guard and added him  to the mix of Lavonte David, Gerald McCoy, Dashon Goldson, Vincent Jackson  and others. 
 
The point is that the Bucs were miserably under performing before Sunday, and were ready to finally play up to their skill level. 
 
They also retained and are getting high end value from draft picks like Mike Evans who they selected # 7 overall. 
 
Fans who have no clue would blame Lovie Smith for not "motivating" players and "preparing them right" or smart fans would realize that the Bucs were in a good amount of their games and were making one or two big mistakes per game to kill themselves. 
 
Are you a smart fan or a fan with no clue?
 
If you are a smart fan, you should continue reading. If not, sorry and Happy Thanksgiving. 
 
Either way, it's time to play "Three-and-OUT."
 
1. The Redskins did not get blasted Sunday because they were poorly prepared. That's a complete myth. It has very little legitimacy in my eyes. 
 
The first reason why I say that is because nobody that makes these comments gets to watch practice and even if we did, we would only have part of the story. 
 
The next time I see a scoreboard that has a column for effort and preparation will be the first time. 
 
They got hammered because they didn't execute, in any phase of the game and they are woefully short on "special" players. They don't have great team speed, they don't have depth, and in many cases they look lost. 
 
Redskins rookie OLB Trent Murphy agreed with my premise, "It's not so much preparation as it is execution. Both teams talked about turnovers all week and they got more turnovers than us," Murphy said Sunday. "We're in the positive, so they just executed better.  We practiced it, we prepared it, we talked about it. We gotta transfer it from practice to the playing field."
 
Jay Gruden said the coaches have to "find out where the confusion is and why"  and he's right. They have to find out why players making millions of dollars can't do what 25 or so other NFL teams do consistently, and that means understand and apply the concepts of what they practice and teach during the week and  have that translate on  Sunday. 
 
That has been a major frustration of this coaching staff. The football I-Q for a bunch of players is remarkably average.  A team that commits as many mistakes as the Redskins make week in and week out is not a group that doesn't try - but they are a team that lacks that special intangible that the Patriots, Packers, Seahawks, 49'ers and Cardinals seem to have. 
 
2. Robert Griffin III is obviously not playing with any confidence. I've seen young players and specifically young quarterback go through exactly what he is going through right now. 
 
I am not going to beat up Griffin for everything he says and does. The bottom-line is this: He holds on to the ball way too long and that hasn't changed. He misses wide open targets and that hasn't changed. He has a long way to go and days like Sunday validate the belief among the football people that he is not going to be able to take the next step. 
 
That being said, he does need help. He is right about that. He has many faults and limitations but here's a question. Or three
 
*Can Tom Compton, Pierre Garcon and Logan Paulsen not take five pre-snap penalties on first down in the first four possessions?
 
*Can anybody on the offensive line be half as consistent as Kory Lichtensteiger is at center? Lichtensteiger has been the best offensive linemen on the team this year (Yes, over Trent Williams) and while I have a lot more I can say about things that are terribly wrong behind the scenes, I give credit where credit is due. 
 
Morgan Moses played a decent game on first glance replacing Williams. Unfortunately, the rest of the line outside of Lichtensteiger is the closest thing to shredded cheese in pads  that I can come up with. 
 
*Shouldn't Niles Paul knock that  terrible throw (and decision)  by Griffin down to live for another day on the first snap? A play which was  a broken  from the start and ultimately turned into an interception. 
 
3. The defense fell short again in many key areas such as two big passing plays in the 2nd half, failing to create a turnover and once again, not enough sustained pressure on the opposing quarterback. 
 
I know it's easy to blast Jim Haslett (and lazy) but if you use any common sense, you realize that while Haslett can be better - this always has been a  talent and depth issue and always will be. 
Sure Todd Bowles is working wonders in Arizona, but how is Ron Rivera and Sean McDermott doing in Carolina? How is Rob Ryan doing in New Orleans with a very talented but injury depleted unit this year? Remember how good those defenses were last year? I do. They weren't great because of who was calling the shots and preparing them. They were great because they had talent that performed and executed well.  
 
OUT:
 
It's going to be a really long week and rest of the season. There were some positives to take from Sunday's debacle. 
 
The running back screen game works extremely well. As you may remember, I was a big advocate of that and thought that's what would make this offense potentially special. I also thought it would be a way to allow Robert Griffin to grow.  
 
The problem is - the Redskins are hesitant to go with it until they have to. In San Francisco, the first play should be a running back screen and I want to see at least ten over the course of the game to Alfred Morris and Roy Helu. It is the only "concept" as Jay  Gruden mentioned yesterday, that seems to work consistently. 
 
Chris Russell - SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com - www.twitter.com/russellmania980

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Inside the Numbers - Bucs @ Redskins - The Bruce Allen Experience
by Chris Russell
Nov 14, 2014 -- 2:42pm
ESPN 980
Perhaps this isn't fair, but I believe it is already time to panic for the Redskins. Not for this year, but also for the next few years ahead.
 
Sure, anything is possible, but I am specifically talking about the lack of quality depth, cap space and resources available to give legitimate reason and hope for the Redskins to return to glory.
 
Sure, they might make the playoffs (somehow) and win a division title again sometime soon (like they did in 2012) but they are not set up to take that next big step like some other poor teams could be. 
 
For instance, the Colts had one awful year (mostly because of Peyton Manning's absence) and landed the number one overall pick (Andrew Luck) and haven't looked back. They did it largely because of smart personnel moves like not holding on to Dwight Freeney who was no longer productive, retaining Reggie Wayne, re-building the offensive line and hiring a defensive minded head coach. 
 
Oh..they also hired a personnel guru in Ryan Grigson to run the show, from a very stable and successful organization like the Philadelphia Eagles. 
 
The Kansas City Chiefs were (2-14) in 2012 and with a culture change (Andy Reid) and a couple of dynamic building blocks (Jamaal Charles, Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Eric Berry) took off last year, because they got steady and reliable quarterback play, excellent special teams and solid line play on both sides of the ball. 
 
There are very few teams that have been consistently poor in the NFL over the last four or five years and in some cases longer.
 
Two of them play on Sunday at FedExField. The Tampa Bay Bucs (1-8) and the Redskins (3-6). 
 
With that as a back drop, let's go "Inside the Numbers for these two teams that each need a win and a lot more help from there. 
 
I. A lot of futility in the standings: 
 
The Redskins are (27-46) since 2010 and if you include 2009 to make five full seasons plus this year, they are (31-58). 
 
The Bucs are (26 - 47) since 2010 and  (29-60)  since 2009 to give us the five full season plus this year mark. 
 
The Oakland Raiders are (24-49) since 2010 and (29-60) since 2009 to give us our five full season plus this year data.
 
The St. Louis Rams are (26-46-1) since 2010 and (27-61-1) since 2009 to give us our five full season plus this year record. 
 
As you can tell, the Redskins are the best of the worst  in terms of this group, and I suppose that counts for something but there was a reason I wanted to try and focus on this. 
 
All four of these teams have an interesting connection to each other.  The Rams are only connected by futility because of the Robert Griffin III trade but they have had all sorts of health issues with their quarterback and other key parts of their roster along with playing in the most demanding division in the NFL. 
 
II. The Bruce Allen factor
 
Since leaving the Oakland Raiders for the Tampa Bay Bucs after the 2003 season, the Raiders are (49-119) which is simply hard to fathom. 
 
While Allen was in Oakland from  1996 - 2003, the Raiders were  (64 - 64) and made the playoffs three times. 
 
While with Tampa, from 2004-2008, Allen's teams were (38-42). 
 
As we mentioned earlier, the Bucs since 2009 and Allen's departure are (29-60).
 
What does this tell us? A couple of things. Allen came here with (record wise) below average credentials and a combined record of (102 - 106) as a high level executive. 
 
How much control he had before arriving in Washington is subject to debate to a large degree, but it is widely believed in almost every league circle that Allen yielded top and ultimate control to Al Davis in Oakland and Jon Gruden in Tampa. 
 
Of course, his first four years in Washington, Mike Shanahan had ultimate control with Allen very involved in the process on many ends, as he presumably was in Oakland and Tampa. 
 
 
 
III. Why does Oakland and Tampa's record since Allen left matter?
 
It does to a large degree in my opinion and I would assume in  many opinions it does. Why?  
 
Because it shows me that either they (Oakland & Tampa)  are sorely missing Allen's bright mind as a salary cap guru and whatever he contributed in terms of personnel OR and this is where it gets very tricky. 
 
Did Allen's management input and philosophy (along with Davis' & Gruden's involvement) leave both the Raiders and Bucs in awful shape? 
 
Certainly you can make the argument that some of the Raiders woes are a result of an old team that got really old and could never recover.
 
Clearly you can't blame Allen for the last few years in Oakland but it is reasonable to say the the four or five years after he left, was partially attributed to the mistakes that the Raiders made while he was a senior executive. 
 
In the five seasons right after Allen left, the Raiders were a robust (20-60) from 2004-2008.
 
As for Tampa, it has been those five full seasons since Allen (and Gruden) were fired, and they have not made the playoffs in that time. 
 
Again, what you do while you are with an organization shapes in a lot of ways what your organization will be like down the road. 
 
If you understand football and drafting, along with building depth in a hard cap era, you understand what I mean.
 
IV. What does this mean for the Redskins?
 
Well, again the Redskins are (27-46) with Allen as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the first four years and now President/General Manager this season. 
 
Allen is not going anywhere, anytime soon. He has at least a year-and-a-half of job security and very likely more than that. 
 
Given the track record here, it is more than fair to believe that things will not get better anytime soon and for those of you that ache to make changes to coaches or executives, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. 
 
Allen has proven that during and after every stop of his NFL career.
 
V. If there is ever going to be a week for the Redskins special teams ....
 
The Bucs have a pretty good returner in Marcus Thigpen who had a 53-yard punt return against the Falcons last week  and a good young placekicker with a lively leg in Patrick Murray.  Murray has four field goals of at least 50 yards this season.  Murray is only (9-14) on the year. Their punter, Michael Koenen has eight punts downed inside the 20, which could be ugly for the Redskins offense. 
 
The problem for the Bucs has been a blocked field goal in Cleveland, a blocked punt in the same game, and at Atlanta in week three, they allowed a 62 yard  punt return for a touchdown to Devin Hester.
 
The Redskins have been awful in every area of making big plays on special teams. Just as a point of comparison, the Eagles have five special teams touchdowns this year, while the Redskins have a total of FIVE since 2005. 
 
The last time the Redskins returned a kickoff for a touchdown was October 31, 2010 in Detroit (Brandon Banks). The last time they returned a punt for a score was October 26, 2008, also in Detroit (Santana Moss). 
 
The last time the Redskins blocked a punt was December 24, 2006 in St. Louis (Vernon Fox). They did block a field goal attempt in 2012. 
 
By contrast, they allowed a 102-yard kickoff return for a score in week three (Philadelphia), a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown last December 8th (Kansas City), a punt block for a touchdown to start this season (Houston) and just for good measure, missed an extra point attempt in that game and had two field goal attempts blocked in the same game last November 3rd. 
 
And you want me to blame Jim Haslett for all of the Redskins problems? 
 
VI. Tell me something good: 
 
It's not all bad, as much as it seems it is. 
 
1. Alfred Morris had a season-high 92 rushing yards (19-92) last week and looks for his first 100-yard day since last November 7th. He does have three rushing touchdowns in his last six quarters of football. 
 
2. The Redskins are first in the NFC and tied for first in the NFL in yards per play at 6.2 per play. They're first in the NFL in yards per first-down play at 6.42. The offense is also first in the NFL in average yards after catch (6.9) and first in the NFL in yards after catch (1,460).
 
3. The Redskins defense is fourth in the NFC in sacks at 23, and second in the NFC in least first downs passing allowed.
 
4. Tress Way and the punt coverage unit rank first in the NFL in punt average (48.2) and have the longest punt recorded in the league (77 yards). They're also third in the NFc in net punting average at 40.5. 
 
5. DeSean Jackson is first in the NFL in yards per reception (21.8) and is tied for first in the NFC for longest reception (81).
 
 
 
Chris Russell - SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com - www.twitter.com/russellmania980 
 

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