Browsing all articles tagged with Trent Williams
Dec
6

Grading the Redskins Drafts

After the Redskins started the season 3-1, many fans hoped they were coming out of the rebuilding phase faster than anticipated. Then, they went 1-7 (with six straight losses) and it became clear that it would likely be two more years before they could be considered serious contenders. Now at 4-8 they are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. So, I thought now would be an opportune time to look ahead to their future by grading the two drafts General Manager Bruce Allen and Head Coach Mike Shanahan oversaw in the rebuilding process.

 

2010

Round 1 (4)    LT Trent Williams Oklahoma

Williams has shown that he has the talent to become the rock of the offensive line. He has been a bit inconsistent, but when the line around him gets better that shouldn’t be an issue anymore. He has the speed and strength to get to the second level on run blocking. In pass protection he has proven he can stop elite pass-rushers like DeMarcus Ware.

On the downside, Williams has character issues that may affect his NFL career. He has lost his temper on the field before; earlier this season he pushed a 49ers defender after the whistle and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. This weekend, news came out that he had failed three drug tests and will be suspended for four games.

If Williams can mature and keep his conduct in check he can be a franchise player and a potential Pro Bowler. If continues to make stupid mistakes he may find himself out of the NFL and considered a huge bust.

Verdict: Incomplete

 

Round 4 (103) LB Perry Riley LSU

Riley had a disappointing 2010. He didn’t get on the field often and when he did he made bad mistakes. He’s turned it around this season though. He overtaken Rocky McIntosh as London Fletcher’s starting middle linebacker counterpart. This is thanks in part to his good run defense. He recognizes the run quickly and wraps up well. He had 14 tackles in the Seahawks game. He still needs to work on his pass coverage, but overall he’s been a pleasant surprise this year.

Verdict: Pass

 

Round 7 (219) WR Terrence Austin UCLA

Austin has been on the active roster both this season and last season but has hardly put up any stats. He’s had strong pre-seasons both years but that hasn’t translated too much regular season opportunity. The fact that the Redskins brass drafted three wideouts in this year’s draft is a little worrying for his future in DC.

Verdict: Incomplete

 

Round 7 (229) C/OG Erik Cook New Mexico

Cook spent his rookie season on the practice squad, and was forced into a starting role this year because of a spate of injuries. He has played awful; he is consistently being pushed back into the pocket. Worse, he apparently refused to play guard, which forced center Will Montgomery to slide over and play out of position when starting LG Kory Lichtensteiger was placed on injured reserve.  In the seventh round you can only really expect to get backups for your o-line. However, Cook is pretty useless in that role as well. His inflexibility makes him a wasted roster spot.

Verdict: Fail

 

Round 7 (231) OT Selvish Capers West Virginia

Capers was a practice squad member for all of 2010 and was then cut before the 2011 regular season. He wasn’t given an opportunity to play here but he must be pretty terrible if couldn’t crack the active roster of the Redskins offensive line in the past two years.

Verdict: Fail

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Nov
1

Why Shanahan Should get Another Year

After the 23-0 loss to the Bills on Sunday, many Skins fans are calling for head coach Mike Shanahan’s head. That is understandable emotion from a fan base sick of years of losing and embarrassing performances. I’ve certainly overreacted to a loss before and pondered firing Shanahan.  But I hope owner Dan Snyder doesn’t get impatient and pull the plug too early, something he’s arguably done before. Norv Turner was fired during a winning season, a year after going to the playoffs. Marty Schottenheimer was never given a chance and was pulled after one year in DC. Joe Gibbs retired from his second stint as Redskins head coach after a year he led the team to the playoffs. What would have happened if any of these coaches had another year or two in DC? What if one had become the guy long term? Would the Redskins still be in this constant state of rebuilding that has lasted over a decade?

So far Mike Shanahan has led the Redskins to a 9-14 record and his offense looks terrible. Still, Snyder and the Redskins fans need to be patient. Firing Shanahan would create more problems than it would solve. Even if the team finishes out the season 3-13, Shanahan should get the 2012 offseason and at least six games next year. Why? To finish out what he started.

Brian J. McDermott flickr

Shanahan is currently in year two of a rebuilding process. Fire him and the last two years of losing will have been for nothing. If Snyder brings in a new coach what is the likelihood that the new coach will want to run a 3-4 defense, West Coast offense, and a zone-blocking scheme for the offensive line? Why would Snyder want to bring in a Shanny-clone if he thinks Shanahan failed? Any new coach Snyder brings in will want to blow apart the roster and start again.

A case for Shanahan’s firing can be made easily enough. He misjudged the roster coming in, believing he could win with the team last year. He has put too much faith in his system and his defense. He’s cut players that didn’t fit and brought in some questionable talent that did. Instead of working with players that have obvious football skills but weren’t system matches he let them flounder. Offensive guard Derrick Dockery and defensive end/outside linebacker Andre Carter failed so miserably under Shanahan that they weren’t even tradable.

His QB evaluation has been terrible in his coaching stint so far. First he let go of Jason Campbell last year and brought in Donovan McNabb.  Campbell was having a career year and putting up wins in Oakland this year before his season-ending injury. Meanwhile, Donovan McNabb flamed out in D.C. last year, was shipped to Minnesota where he flamed out even more quickly this season. Shanahan went into this season with John Beck and Rex Grossman, two career journeyman as his top two QBs. He believed he could win games with either. It turns out he CAN’T win games with either.

So, why should he get another season after those mistakes? Because some progress has been made and firing him would destroy all that progress. In the first four games the Redskins 3-4 defense was looking stout.  The team is still 7th in points allowed at the end of Week 8. They have given up a lot of points and yards since the Week 5 bye, but they have also been dealing with injuries and an offense that hasn’t held the ball for more than 25 minutes the past three games.

That offense has looked horrendous the past few games but it’s had one of the worst rashes of injuries in the NFL. In two of the first four games the Redskins rushed for over 170 yards. Then starting left guard Kory Lichtensteiger went down for the season and starting left tackle Trent Williams injured his ankle. Without those two starters the o-line has looked overmatched. The losses on the offensive line, combined with losing starting RB Tim Hightower for the season, starting TE Chris Cooley for the season, and number one wide-out Santana Moss has turned an average offense to an abysmal one.

But the point is that GM Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan were able to create a good starting core for their West Coast offense and 3-4 defense in the two seasons they’ve been here together. Give them another off-season and they should be able to finish filling in the holes and put some reliable backups in place. Next year an injury to a starter hopefully won’t have such a drastic effect on the team’s chance to win.

Lastly, Shanahan’s hasn’t yet chosen his QB of the future. I admit this is a bit of cop-out here as Rex Grossman, John Beck, and Donovan McNabb have all been floated to the media as “Shanahan’s guy”. Shanahan has had two drafts and not only didn’t spend a high draft pick on a QB he didn’t spend any picks on one. This is almost unconscionable in what is becoming an increasingly quarterback-driven league. The last five Super Bowl winning coaches had their Super Bowl winning QB starting or on the roster during their first year behind the reins. But the fact is Shanahan has bought himself extra time by avoiding this necessary step (perhaps purposefully). There are many QB options in the draft and through trades in the 2012 off-season. Shanahan should be easily able to get a guy that is both high-talent and fits his system. He may even be able to trade for his “now” QB and draft his future QB.

So, let’s stay patient DC. If after six games into the 2012 regular season the Redskins don’t look like they’re on their way to a winning record then Shanahan should get the ax. He’s clearly not going to win here.  But I think if you give him another off-season he’ll put in place the next franchise QB, a quality starting offensive line, and roster depth on both sides of the ball. At that point the Redskins should be setup to win for the next few years. But if Snyder gets impatient and fires him this season or during the off-season, he’ll just be restarting the three year rebuilding cycle with a different coach.

Oct
17

Can the Skins Still Win the NFC East? Part I: They Still Have a Chance

In the words of Modest Mouse, are the ‘Skins dead or are they sleeping? On Sunday afternoon the Redskins lost to the Eagles 20-13 and lost a chance to be the lead driver in the race for NFC East Crown. Now, many wonder whether the Redskins performance was a foreshadowing of the remaining eleven games.  This is the first of a two part piece on whether our hometown heart breakers still have a chance to capture the NFC East for the first time since 1999.

Why the Redskins Can Still Win the NFC East

NFC Beast this year has been the NFC Weak.

The NFC East is not as strong as it typically is.  The Giants, Eagles and Cowboys have a combined 5-7 record against out of division opponents.  That batch includes San Francisco, Detroit, New England, St. Louis, Atlanta, Buffalo, Seattle, and Arizona.  The Redskins have some tough games ahead of them, but the apparent weaknesses of the NFC East teams seems to suggest that unless the Skins go on a stretch of 4 or 5 straight losses, they’ve got a chance to be in it in the end.

Skins Don’t Need a Hero at QB, They Just Can’t Have a Traitor.

The Redskins do not need their QB (Rex or Beck, or collectively Reck…hahaha notice there’s not a W between them?  Ha, just kidding. Kind of.) to win games as often as they need them to not lose them.  This is because up until this past game against Philadelphia, Washington has had a decent run game, averaging 4.0 yards a carry.  With the loss of starting LG Kory Lichtensteiger for the year and the possible loss of starting LT Trent Williams for a couple of weeks, the 4.0 days may be over.  Still, the fact remains, if the Redskins don’t give the Eagles four turnovers on Sunday, the Skins probably win that game.  Part of that is because  the D, which will address in my next point.

Spelling W-I-N with a capital D.

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett’s Defense gives the Skins a chance to be in every game this season.  The Skins are allowing only 16.6 points per game through five games.  Heck, they held the Eagles remarkably well in the second half of Sunday’s game.  How many points would you expect the dynamic Eagles offense to put up if you knew that they would have four bonus shots due to interceptions?  As much as the Redskins were dominated throughout the game, they still had a chance to win it in the 4th Quarter.  If the Redskins defense continues its course, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (and Rex Grossman/John Beck) should be able to manage the modest achievement of two touchdowns and a field goal a game.

There are plenty of other reasons why the Skins can win the NFC East, one of them being blatantly obvious- they are 3-2 and only one game back from the Giants.

Your Thoughts

What do you think?  Do you think the Redskins can and will win the NFC East, or were the Redskins revealed in their game against the Eagles as a pretender?

Sep
15

Episode 55 – A Giant Step Forward?

Matt and Mark review the Skins big Week 1 win and preview Week 2 against the Cardinals.  Mark also discusses the US Open and its ramifications on the new tennis hierarchy. If you like the show makes sure to subscribe and rates on iTunes and fan us on Facebook!

Topics:

Giants Game Recap

Game MVP

Game LVP

Week 2 vs Cardinals Preview

NFL Week 2 Picks

US Open Tennis

Jan
27

Episode 46 – The Redskins 2010 Season Review Show

Matt and Mark are joined by Bryan for the Redskins Season Review show. We’d like to welcome Bryan as the new permanent addition and future host of the show! This episode we recap the Skins season, go over some Redskins news, review the NFL Playoffs, and give our Super Bowl picks! Remember to subscribe and rate us on iTunes!

Topics

  • Orakpo and Fletcher Pro Bowl Trips
  • Redskins will draft 10th overall in 2011
  • Redskins 2010 Season recap
  • Review Pre-Season Predictions
  • Season MVP
  • Season LVP
  • Redskins Rookie of the Year
  • Review Playoff Predictions
  • Conference Championship Recap
  • Super Bowl Picks!