Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

Assigning Blame for Washington Redskins' 2013 Struggles


StephenDavis

Recommended Posts

1. Mike Shanahan. HC and control over all player personnel. It starts with him. No question.

2. Combination of Haloti Ngata and Seattle Game.  Without Robert's off-season surgery/injury, things would be very different.

3. Danny Smith/Burns. By choosing to leave, he left the door open for Burns, and the catastrophe that is the ST.  Danny wasn't great, but his units were not historically, worst of all time, bad.

4. Haslett. People can scream about the offensive struggles, inconsistency, yadda yadda. Whatever.  The reason they're not an above .500 team right now is the defense stinks.  Haz is the coordinator, and he's responsible for getting the most out of the players. And while I think that there is not enough talent on defense, I also think the unit is under performing to it's talent level.  That's on the coach. 

5. Robert. Because he brought a lot of this nonsense on himself by acting, for the first time, like an arrogant 23 year old kid.  (Which, btw, is understandable, since he is a 23 year old kid.)

6. Vinny Cerato/Dan Snyder/John Mara/Roger Goodell. All related to the cap penalty. Vinny and Dan for signing Fat Al and Hall to ridiculous extensions, which caused Mike and Bruce to try and work around it in the uncapped year (Legal, and I am completely behind them trying to do this), and then John Mara and Rodger Goodell for the actual cap penalty.

 

That's my list. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm flabbergasted by this years results. This team is healthy and the division is the worst it's been in recent memory.

How did the bottom just come out this quick?

 

 

I think it's a combination of having a terrible defense and RGIII's injury. I feel like he's made progress with the injury but like John Madden was saying on Sirius NFL radio, he missed all of OTAs/training camp/preseason and didn't really have a chance to prepare mentally for NFL defenses this year because he devoted 100 percent of his time this offseason to getting his knee healthy again. 

 

Madden has said multiple times this year on his show that if RGIII makes it through the season healthy then he'll be a much better QB next year. And I believe him.

 

 

Our defense however is a whole different story. 

 

 

 

*Edit: forgot to mention the atrocity that is Special Teams

 

 

If we dump Haslett/Burns, and RGIII stays healthy through the end of the year, I think we see a much better team next season. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Mike Shanahan. HC and control over all player personnel. It starts with him. No question.

2. Combination of Haloti Ngata and Seattle Game. Without Robert's off-season surgery/injury, things would be very different.

3. Danny Smith/Burns. By choosing to leave, he left the door open for Burns, and the catastrophe that is the ST. Danny wasn't great, but his units were not historically, worst of all time, bad.

4. Haslett. People can scream about the offensive struggles, inconsistency, yadda yadda. Whatever. The reason they're not an above .500 team right now is the defense stinks. Haz is the coordinator, and he's responsible for getting the most out of the players. And while I think that there is not enough talent on defense, I also think the unit is under performing to it's talent level. That's on the coach.

5. Robert. Because he brought a lot of this nonsense on himself by acting, for the first time, like an arrogant 23 year old kid. (Which, btw, is understandable, since he is a 23 year old kid.)

6. Vinny Cerato/Dan Snyder/John Mara/Roger Goodell. All related to the cap penalty. Vinny and Dan for signing Fat Al and Hall to ridiculous extensions, which caused Mike and Bruce to try and work around it in the uncapped year (Legal, and I am completely behind them trying to do this), and then John Mara and Rodger Goodell for the actual cap penalty.

That's my list.

I agree 100 percent with this list.. hopefully you wont post this again next year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really people, this blame game stuff is making me shake my head to the point of whiplash. 

 

Let's see:

 

Offense, top 5 in yards per game most of the season; defense, bottom 5 in yards against.

 

Now, I know the special teams have been horrendous, and Griff not as sharp as last year, but really? Offense takes more blame than the defense? Just writing this starts making my head shake uncontrollably again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The margin between a winning team and a losing team is absurdly small in the NFL, moreso than I think most of us can appreciate. It's a year-by-year league and it's extremely rare for a good team to maintain a high level of success. It usually takes an established, top-tier veteran QB. (New England, Green Bay, Indi when they had Peyton… New Orleans, with Sean Payton. Pittsburgh until last year).

A couple injuries and the #1 seed in the NFC last year is now 2-9. Houston went from 12-4 to 2-8, just 1 win better than Jacksonville. Minnesota 10-6 to 2-8. KC has jumped from 2-14 to 9-1, Carolina from 7-9 to 7-3. The Super Bowl champs are 4-6. It doesn't take much to initiate a Fall.

Why've we dropped off?


RGIII
Simply put, the lost offseason killed him. Take a look at John Harbuagh's daily schedule on ESPN - it's an eye opener. There's so little actual on the field practice time - the week is so meeting-based, film-based, that things like technique (footwork, using the eyes, reps with receivers.. so much of the mental game) are extremely difficult to improve over the course of the season. Griffin lost the 7-8 month offseason and it shows. He also lost that absurd confidence and momentum heading into his rookie season. He's a significantly worse QB this year than he was last. That's the difference in close games.

We have virtually the same team this year as last year, though + Jordan Reed and David Amerson and Brandon Merriwhether, minus Madieu Williams and Lorenzo Alexander. The singlemost significant change from last year to this year, personnel wide? RGIII's diminished play.

SCHEME
Our offense didn't evolve - it actually devolved without last year's effectiveness of the zone read. There aren't enough new wrinkles on a game-by-game basis. Ergo, it's not difficult for a defensive coach to have a well-prepared gameplan.

CAP PENALTY
Say what you will about 'building through free agency,' but we could've supplemented the roster we have with a few more starters. Another wide receiver, another cornerback, and retaining Lorenzo Alexander -- this could've been the difference in a couple of losses. 3-7 (Dallas; Minnesota games) becomes 5-5 and we're in the thick of it, despite everything else that's wrong with the team at the moment.

THE 2010 DRAFT
We only had 2 picks in the first 5 rounds. It usually takes 3 or 4 years to fully realize the potential of a draft, and we're hurting. We only have Trent Williams and Perry Riley to show for it -- pretty unacceptable.

Losing the 2nd rounder for McNabb - (which we recouped with some good karma in Alfred Morris); the 3rd for Jeremy Jarmon (thanks Cerrato), and losing picks for Jamaal Brown are hurting us now.

We're now fully-feeling the effects of that bare yield.


NOT HAVING ENOUGH PREMIUM PICKS
I don't fault any front office/coaching staff for failures in rounds 5-7. Statistically, very very few of them pan out across the league, from organization to organization.

However, in 4 drafts, we've only had three 1st round picks, two 2nd round picks and three 3rd round picks.

This is the difference in perhaps 3 good starters.


PERSONNEL -- COACHING AND DRAFTING AT THE WR AND CB POSITIONS
It says a lot when a player like Logan Paulsen sees ~90% of the offensive snaps in a game. We don't have the wide receivers to go 4 wide and spread out opposing defenses. Part of this is scheme, but part of this is personnel - between Morgan, Moss, Robinson, and Hankerson, we don't have a group of receivers who can consistently get open and secure the catch. Hence, lots of 2-man routes that, if predictable, are easy to defend.

We haven't developed a wide receiver in Shanahan's tenure - don't know why Joey Galloway or Roydell Williams ever featured for us; Anthony Armstrong didn't get better; Hankerson and Morgan and Robinson and Paul have disappointed.

We waited too long to address the defensive backs. The 3 rookies we drafted this year won't begin to enter their prime years until Year 3. We've relied on re-treads and, like the wide receivers, haven't developed any of our own at this position. Richard Crawford seems promising, a tad bit of misfortune there.

A lot of this has to do with the lack of premium picks as mentioned above, as well as large amount of cap space committed to mediocre or below-average free agent signings like Josh Wilson and Joshua Morgan.


PERSONNEL -- NOT ENOUGH PLAYMAKERS ON DEFENSE
On defense, not only do we not have enough playmakers but we don't have enough players who can execute their job on every down. Fletcher's drop-off, inconsistent coverage between all of our defensive backs, Orakpo and Kerrigan's lack of 1-on-1 playmaking - we have a few good players, no elite ones (this year), and several below-average players. Put that all together and you're going to have a mediocre to below-average defense.

The major root of this, the abovementioned lack of draft picks and a poor cap situation and some injury misfortune to boot (Crawford, Robinson, Phillips all likely would've seen significant playing time and gained valuable experience in the process)


SPECIAL TEAMS
Front office deserves blame for not finding a kick/punt returner. Ken Burns deserves blame for his schemes and the players not buying in. Shanahan deserves blame for hiring Ken Burns. The players deserve blame for not executing the scheme. Has cost us 1 game, arguably others.

 

 

MOMENTUM
Last year, there was an uplifting sense of magic heading into the season. Good vibes all around. This year? It's never been the same. Yes, I think this plays a big factor. It's why the game isn't played on paper; why teams like Houston and Atlanta can collapse and why KC and Philly can have a 1-year resurgence. Will KC start next season 9-0? Will Atlanta start 2-9? Yeah right.



THE GOOD NEWS
Players like Josh LeRibeus, Keenan Robinson, Richard Crawford, Tom Compton, (and dare I say, Leonard Hankerson) still may prove themselves to be good starters on this team.

We should be able to add 3 starters in free agency (Eric Decker anyone?). We should also be able to add 1-2 starters in the draft. Combined with the continued growth of players like RGIII, David Amerson, Jordan Reed, the young players mentioned above, and perhaps 1 or 2 unexpected rises (Philip Thomas? Adam Gettis? Brandon Jenkins) - we're going to be a very different team next year than we've been this year. Younger, too.

 

But most importantly, if RGIII enters the offseason fully healthy, he should be better next year than he was last year. An elite QB can elevate an "average" roster into playoffs and carry the team on a run.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To play the game:

50% - RGIII (the singlemost difference between this year and last year. Terrible turnovers, missing open receivers, bad reads, bad decisions - the difference between good-to-great QB play and mediocre-to-bad QB play will always turn a good team into a bad one. He's had 3 good games this year and we're 2-1 in those games with 2 quality wins.

10% - underachieving veterans. Moss, Fletcher, Morgan, interior line, Wilson, Bowen, Orakpo, Rocca, Davis. It's a player's league and these players are costing us games - dropped passes, missed coverages, missed blocks, missed assignments, decay in ability, or simply loss of will/effort

10% - Shanahan's early-tenure roster building. Not enough draft picks, too much time wasted on veteran players with no long-term capacity to help us.

10% - NFL. For the cap penalty. Also, unfortunate schedule - not playing the Giants when they were atrocious, though the Eagles and Cowboys did; getting the unknown Eagles in week 1, getting the Eagles when their QB is the hottest in the NFL. Playing the Packers with Aaron Rodgers when the Eagles and Giants didn't have to. etc. Schedule plays a bigger role in a team's success than I think a lot would like to admit. ("It's not who you play but when you play them.")

20% - Coaches - Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, Jim Haslett and Keith Burns. Underachieving units, lack of schematic ingenuity compared to last year, not getting more out of veteran players, getting out-gameplanned too often.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To play the game:

50% - RGIII (the singlemost difference between this year and last year. Terrible turnovers, missing open receivers, bad reads, bad decisions - the difference between good-to-great QB play and mediocre-to-bad QB play will always turn a good team into a bad one. He's had 3 good games this year and we're 2-1 in those games with 2 quality wins.

10% - underachieving veterans. Moss, Fletcher, Morgan, interior line, Wilson, Bowen, Orakpo, Rocca, Davis. It's a player's league and these players are costing us games - dropped passes, missed coverages, missed blocks, missed assignments, decay in ability, or simply loss of will/effort

10% - Shanahan's early-tenure roster building. Not enough draft picks, too much time wasted on veteran players with no long-term capacity to help us.

10% - NFL. For the cap penalty. Also, unfortunate schedule - not playing the Giants when they were atrocious, though the Eagles and Cowboys did; getting the unknown Eagles in week 1, getting the Eagles when their QB is the hottest in the NFL. Playing the Packers with Aaron Rodgers when the Eagles and Giants didn't have to. etc. Schedule plays a bigger role in a team's success than I think a lot would like to admit. ("It's not who you play but when you play them.")

20% - Coaches - Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, Jim Haslett and Keith Burns. Underachieving units, lack of schematic ingenuity compared to last year, not getting more out of veteran players, getting out-gameplanned too often.

 

Both of your posts are extraordinarily well thought out and articulate.  Kudos! Great read.

 

I'll point out 2 things:

 

1. The lack of top-tier draft picks.  I'm completely with you.  The one that everybody wants to beat up is that #2 in 2010 (and to a lesser extent the #4 in 2011) for McNabb.  And maybe the #3 for Jamal Brown in 2010, though they did get a #5 back in 2011. 

 

So, these were both risk vs. reward trades, and both ended badly.  The McNabb debacle first:  The 'Skins had JC and Todd Collins at QB to end 2009.  That's not real good, and the fan base had soured on JC.  Shanahan knew that he was going to really have to tear the roster down and rebuild, and needed a good QB to maintain some degree of respectability.  The QBs available in the draft included Bradford (who the 'Skins couldn't get), Tebow, Clausen, McCoy, Skelton, and a few others that didn't look so good.  The FA class included the likes of Derick Anderson, Marc Bulger, Jake Delhomme, Kyle Orton, Chad Pennington and Matt Moore.  Basically, nothing particularly useful.

 

So, they took a shot at getting McNabb, who was coming off of 2 years of 3500+ yards and 20+ TDs. He was only 31 at the time, so it looked like it wouldn't be the worst deal in the world.  

 

It ended rather spectacularly.  In hindsight, they probably should have signed one of the other QBs, just gone with Rex a year earlier, kept JC or Todd Collins.  But none of those options looked all that great at the time.  

 

The Jamal Brown trade is the worse of the two, if you ask me, because it cost them a #3.  They got a #5 back, (which turned into Niles Paul, I think, but I could have that wrong.)There were other options at RT available that were a lower risk. However, Stephon Heyer was trying to play RT in 2009, and I think that Shanahan knew he had to rebuild the entire line. They used their first pick on Williams, and the though was if you get a solid starter at RT through a trade, that's less you have to re-build. 

 

Anyway, neither worked, and it cost them a #2, #3 and #4.  And those could have been useful picks.  

 

#2 I don't think 50% of the problem can be placed on Robert.  He's been inconsistent, and had some bad games.  But, they are still the 6th highest offense in terms of yards/game, (.3 yards per game behind #5 Philly, so really a statistical tie for 5th place) and 13th in points per game. Which isn't great, but it isn't awful. It's still the second best offense the 'Skins have had since 1999, with last year being #1.  

 

I think that the absolute majority of the blame, 65%, goes to the defense.  Either coaching, playing, or both.  Take your pick.  It's all horrid.  They are 28th in Yards per game and 30th in points per game.  

 

That's just ridiculously bad. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

75% RG3, 25% special teams coach.

 

The offense puts up good numbers because we've played garbage defenses.  We've played 8 games against teams in the bottom 10 defenses (yardage) in the NFL.  Our offense is pretty average.

 

Let's put it like this - per Footballoutsiders rankings, in 2011 our offense had a DVOA of -7% (good for 19th in the league).  In case you don't remember, that was the year when Rex Grossman went 5-8 throwing to the likes of Santana Moss and Jabbar Gaffney, with Fred Davis and Trent Williams getting suspended for 4 games at the end of the year.  Oh, and John Beck took 9 sacks in one game against a team that had 4 sacks all season prior to that point.

 

Since then, we've added (a) the best RB in Redskins history, (B) the best TE in Redskins history, and © the best Redskins WR since the 2005 version of Santana Moss.

 

We are now the #16 offense in the league.  The #25 passing offense (in 2011 we were #22).

 

The play design is all there.  The routes are being run and receivers are wide open.  The playcalls are mostly good.  The personnel is mostly good.  RG3 is just not getting it done.

 

That being said, the special teams have been horrible.  The defense gets more blame than it deserves - it likely cost us the first 2 games, but since then they've actually done well enough that a competent offense would win the game (Bears game excluded due to inability to gameplan for backup QB).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

50% Coaches: All of them. Haz has to go. Should never have been here in the first place, but too late for that. Smith/Burns, both bad. And then the man that brought them all here, big Mike. He's the man incharge of all this and I can't say that it's been great. 3 years of 3-6 doesn't show me any building for the future. Inheriting a Zorn/Cerrato team didn't help, true, but after a year of weeding out crap to bring in his kind of guys, the team went from 6-10 to 5-11. Him and his son got lucky that Grif did what he did last year (best rookie QB performance ever). He's been 50-50 with personel decisions as far as I can tell (For every McNabb trade there is an Alfred Morris drafted) and I liked how he handled Fat Al and the promise of a culture change, yet it still looks like same old Redskins football here; bad season, miracle playoff run, back to crap.

20% Capgate: Tough to build a team with no money. Could've used a few good free agents (especially on D). I pin this more on Mara and Comissioner Gotohell than Bruce Allen for reworking the contracts.

20% RG3/injury: Had he not blown out his knee trying to win last year he would have had a regular offseason this year and more than likely would not have had the early struggles and inconsistant play. Also wouldn't have had Operation Patience and the circus that followed making it all about him instead of the team (chemistry seemed great last year, this year not so much).

10% Schedule: Our division is bad but it looks like other teams within it get the benefit of playing good teams hurting while we got them at full health. No one's fault, really, but it does contribute to the Skins being last in the NFCE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some great posts here. Don't have much to add other then I think we're witnessing a sort of perfect storm of events. ST has been a big problem, but the real issue seems to be that the offense and defense never play well at the same time. In fact, if one plays well, the other is usually atrocious. Can't win games that way. It's depressing, but I can't see this awfulness being sustained... so there's that I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's 100% on Mike. Every issue I see with this team falls on him. He put our franchise qb at risk last year and it cost him dearly in the postseason and has continued into this year. You want to fire Haslett? Who picked him? Hell who picked Hasletts staff? Keep Mike and he will be the same person to pick the next DC and not so Special Teams coach.

He deserves the blame and he deserves to be canned. We can do better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Mike Shanahan. HC and control over all player personnel. It starts with him. No question.

2. Combination of Haloti Ngata and Seattle Game.  Without Robert's off-season surgery/injury, things would be very different.

3. Danny Smith/Burns. By choosing to leave, he left the door open for Burns, and the catastrophe that is the ST.  Danny wasn't great, but his units were not historically, worst of all time, bad.

4. Haslett. People can scream about the offensive struggles, inconsistency, yadda yadda. Whatever.  The reason they're not an above .500 team right now is the defense stinks.  Haz is the coordinator, and he's responsible for getting the most out of the players. And while I think that there is not enough talent on defense, I also think the unit is under performing to it's talent level.  That's on the coach. 

5. Robert. Because he brought a lot of this nonsense on himself by acting, for the first time, like an arrogant 23 year old kid.  (Which, btw, is understandable, since he is a 23 year old kid.)

6. Vinny Cerato/Dan Snyder/John Mara/Roger Goodell. All related to the cap penalty. Vinny and Dan for signing Fat Al and Hall to ridiculous extensions, which caused Mike and Bruce to try and work around it in the uncapped year (Legal, and I am completely behind them trying to do this), and then John Mara and Rodger Goodell for the actual cap penalty.

 

That's my list. 

 

I agree with your list almost completely. Only one very minor difference. Danny Smith was actually a pretty good STs coach. We had a few breakdowns in punt blocking early last year but by and large STs were pretty solid last year, especially once we settled on Crawford for returns and Kai came in.   Burns is just plain bad.

 

But great points all around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 It stinks we have a team that has a pie chart assigning blame but it has created an interesting thread.

 

 I give Dan Snyder a percentage for not having the foresight to reign in Griffins offseason recovery hype agenda which seems to have hurt the teams "chemistry".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

70% Salary Cap Penalty - Who knows who else we would've got when we were side-swiped by it. The trade for Griffin was made with the expectation that a two year plan leading up to that Free Agency would be implemented successfully. Who knows who else other than Garcon at WR. Probably wouldn't have went with Morgan. Forced to settle for guys like Merriweather and Tanard Jackson at Safety. Would've been able to upgrade at RT as well instead of guys like Trueblood and Pashos for competition. Talib Aqib would've been MASSIVE for us. Instead of guys like Merling could've brought in an upgrade on the Dline as well. Probably would've been easier to move on from Carriker. Could only afford guys like Nick Barnett and Brian Kehl to compete at middle linebacker. Had to re-sign a lot of guys we probably wouldn't have otherwise, or would've just been backups knowingly.  

 

Essentially, the personnel suffered in ways that were more devastating than any fan who is too angry for the losses will want to admit. And personnel affects what coaches can do far more than those same fans want to admit as well. It's a domino effect, personnel is lacking; therefore coaches can't implement certain schemes since players can't do certain things; therefore opposing team's adjust better and can hone in on stopping certain things better; therefore coaches look stupid; and on and on.

 

20% Robert's injury. Robert is an awesome QB with speed few in the world have. We lost all of that with that injury and it's taken longer for him to get back to 100% than expected. With what we gave up for him along with the salary cap penalty, he had to be the guy who carried the team and there is/was nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, he couldn't this year and hasn't except occasionally. And when he has, we've won for the most part (Vikings game may be only exception).

 

10% everything else. Coaching, schemes, special teams, players making mistakes, etc... Mostly special teams. Wow. Pathetic. And that falls on Mike. 

 

Of course, here on ES, that 10% is everything, lol. I'm so glad I've stayed away from here a lot more than usual this year. :)    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with your list almost completely. Only one very minor difference. Danny Smith was actually a pretty good STs coach. We had a few breakdowns in punt blocking early last year but by and large STs were pretty solid last year, especially once we settled on Crawford for returns and Kai came in. Burns is just plain bad.

But great points all around.

Smith's coverage units were always very good.

His return units were not.

Eh, I think he was just ok.

But Burns is bad. Apparently nobody respects him in the building. That's bad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...