Yesterday’s game against the Miami Dolphins was disappointing, not just because the Redskins lost, but because of the way they lost. The Skins lost that game the same way they have during Mike Shanahan’s entire tenure with the Redskins, by not capatilizing on their opportunities and making costly mistakes, both on the field and on the sidelines. (The Skins lost the same way under Zorn, but he didn’t have absolute authority or wasn’t among the highest paid coaches in the league). The following 3 questions are what I’d like to see Mike Shanahan and the Redskins answer:
Last week Roy Helu, ‘broke out’ so to speak, gaining about 150 total yards (mainly through the air). He had a couple of nice runs, to go along with 14 pass receptions (many of which he looked very good on after the catch). This week they went back to Ryan Torain as the starting running back, and Torain had 11 carries to Helu’s 6. Now not counting Helu’s 21 yard run at the end of the game, both rushers gained 20 yards in the game, but Helu did it in less than half the carries. I know Torain had the huge game against the Rams where he went for 135 yards on 19 carries, but since then he has just 54 yards on 32 carries (1.6 ypc). Now I realize that the O-line is the main culprit, but neither Helu now, or Hightower before he was injured was running this poorly. Even when they weren’t gaining more than 3 yards a carry, they at least managed to be over a 2.0 ypc. Helu has to get the lion share of the carries going forward, for the Redskins to build something for the future.
For the 3rd straight game we had just 2 running backs on the game day roster. That is completely reckless considering how often running backs get injured. I know the Redskins are waiting on Tashard Choice to get healthy, but in the mean time you have to find another option. It is going to seriously come back to bite the Redskins one of these times.
As for the O-line, why wasn’t Willie Smith active today (and why do we typically go with only 7 active linemen)?-
Look I know Willie Smith is just an undrafted free agent, but you have a line where Trent Williams doesn’t appear to be 100%, Maurice Hurt is struggling, and Sean Locklear is filling in at RT. The only depth the Redskins had was Erik Cook (who’s already struggled this season) and Tyler Polumbus who was signed just this past week. Given all of that why wouldn’t you have every lineman available that you can have. The fact that we are only keeping 7 active linemen has already come back to bite us once (Eagles game), so why are we still doing it?
Brandon Banks had yet another poor game returning kicks. He did salavage it somewhat with a nice punt return, but for the most part this season he’s been awful in that department as well. Banks has muffed a number of returns this year, and has constantly taken the ball out of the end zone, despite him catching it 5-8 yards deep. This has led the Skins to start a number of drives 4-6 yards short of the 20. Banks just isn’t a factor this year and he is wasting a roster spot (especially on the active roster) that the Redskins could use at least a half dozen positions. Why is it that in this supposed era of ‘accountability’ Banks still gets chances? This needs to be answered asap, and hopefully Austin and Paul can take over the return duties.