5 Observations So Far of 2012 Washington Redskins
September 25, 2012 in NFL
By Staff Writer John Manuel:
Here are my five observations so far of the 2012 Washington Redskins:
1- Robert Griffin III is as good as advertised.
RG3 has shown he was worth the big trade with St. Louis already after only three games. The next step will be how he will react when teams have more film on him and can better prepare, but for now that doesn't seem to be an issue.
I do have some concerns as many do with all the hits he has taken the past two games. Unlike Michael Vick, I believe Griffin will learn to better prepare himself against risk of injury. And the coaches will be able to get him into better position although the triple option worked very well versus the Bengals and got them back into the game. All in all, no matter how this season ends record wise, the trade was worth it.
2- The offensive line is more of a disaster than I would have ever expected.
Even with Trent Williams on the field, there were major issues but now with him possibly out, it could get ugly quick. I had much more hope for the group than what we have seen the past two weeks. Maybe I just was looking at the best case scenario and not one where Williams was not on the field. Jordan Black struggled badly on Sunday showing the importance of having solid depth at key positions.
The combination of lack of draft picks and salary-cap gate can be blamed but Shanahan and Allen have to be looked at here. With the only hope that Trent Williams has a speedy recovery, either the current line will have to step up or the Shanahan's will have to explore better schemes to help protect Griffin.
3- Only unit struggling more than the offensive line so far is obviously the defense as a whole.
After a solid effort against the now 0-3 New Orleans Saints, the defense has been scorched on back to back weeks. And going back to the end of last season it hasn't been pretty. The front seven even with the loss of Orakpo and Carriker has been fine, but the secondary has been worked in back to back weeks. Against St Louis, they couldn't cover underneath and against Cincy, they couldn't stop the big plays. As much as the offensive line was a preseason concern so was the secondary and our worst case scenario has played out.
A lot will be put on the return of Brandon Merriweather to help this unit, but he is far from a Ronnie Lott or Ed Reed, so their overall play will have to improve. Ryan Kerrigan has been able to pressure the quarterback but they will need even more pressure to help out the new "Pearl Harbor Crew."
4- Back to the positives. Alfred Morris has been a major surprise and the right call by Mike Shanahan.
He has shown an ability to gain 2-3 extra yards after contact to help put the offense in better spots. I really like what Morris has done and see no signs of this letting up. I do expect Shanahan to work in Royster and Helu more once they are healthier but you have to think it’s clearly Morris' job for the long run.
Plus, the ability to grind Morris should help with the long term health of RG3 and also keeping the struggling defense on the sidelines. Love what Morris has brought and should continue to bring. In a draft that has seen two offensive line picks inactive each week, Morris was a solid steal.
5- Mike Shanahan’s job security
I have been a solid supporter of Mike Shanahan the past three seasons and will continue to believe he is the right person for the job. But, for the first time I have major questions in some the decision makings he has made as VP and as head coach. As mentioned before, the poor choices on the offensive line and secondary are really showing. I know he came into a bad situation after Zorn and Cerrato but some of his moves have been just as bad. There are some I like and some I don't like.
As for on the field, I think it would take a 2011 Tampa like situation for Shanny not to be here next season. Too much would be lost with a regime change at this point of Griffin's career so I at least expect Shanahan to be around for next season. One can only hope that Shanahan and Allen can learn from their recent errors in personnel judgment.