POINT-COUNTERPOINT: Analyzing the Redskins Roster
October 25, 2012 in NFL
By Staff Writer John Manuel & Steve Shoup:
JOHN – POINT:
Since we are close to mid-season point, I wanted to debate where some individual players on the Redskins stood. Are there any players who have played at a Pro Bowl level so far? Are there players who should be off the team or vanished to the bench?
Much of the talk is the play of Robert Griffin III so far. Does he deserve Pro Bowl honors? I would say his play on the field, statistics and how he has changed the whole offense has made him worthy. The only thing that would stop him is the NFC competition at QB with Rodgers, Brees, Ryan and Manning but since the players and fans vote he could sneak in.
Do you think RG3 is pro bowl worthy and are there any others? Alfred Morris? Trent Williams? Lorenzo Alexander for special teams? Jammal Brown?
STEVE – COUNTERPOINT:
Great question! And I absolutely agree Jammal Brown has played at a Pro Bowl level… oh wait it's not 2009.
I think Robert Griffin is certainly in the discussion for a Pro Bowl nod. It's tough to knock any of the quarterbacks you mentioned, but right now I'd probably put Griffin slightly ahead of Brees and Eli Manning in terms of Pro Bowl balloting. They are still more dangerous passers, but Griffin's playmaking ability gives him an edge. Also the fact that he's doing it as a rookie and without the likes of Jimmy Graham and Victor Cruz.
Alfred Morris without a doubt deserves a Pro Bowl nod. He's obviously not a complete back as he's not much of a receiver or pass blocker, but he still deserves a nod. Trent Williams deserves some consideration, but I'm not as bullish on him. He's come up with some big plays, but hasn't been as consistent as I'd like. He is helped by the fact that many of the star left tackles reside in the AFC (Jake Long, Joe Thomas, Duane Brown, etc.).
If a Redskins player deserves a special teams nod, I'd go with Niles Paul over Alexander. Alexander has more total tackles, but Paul has probably made just as many impact tackles as Alexander, and he's downed a number of punts inside the 5 or 10 yard line. What players are you looking to be benched?
Agree with you on Alfred Morris, he has been a consistent force at running back all season. I do think Trent Williams will make it if he keeps up his play and stays clean. I think all the offensive players will benefit now and in the future from the exposure of Griffin when it comes to awards. Good call on Niles Paul as well. As for the fellas it’s time to pine, I have an obvious one but may keep him for "off the team" as I said on Monday.
The team seriously has to look at options other Madieu Williams at the stay at home safety. It kills me to go after him as a Maryland alum but last Sunday was a disaster. I would rather take a chance on Jordan Pugh back there or even chancing a well-known “me-first” starting corner. Brandon Merriweather is not Rod Woodson but it would sure help if he got back sooner than later.
I may also bench what I would call Leonardua Morgerson in favor of more Moss, Briscoe and Robinson. I feel like more big plays should come from the receivers and it seems like most now come from Moss on limited snaps. Not saying completely bench Morgan or Hankerson, just more rotation. The Hankerson short arm was not good last week. Where do you go on this one?
I'm definitely with you on giving Moss more snaps, the fact that he only played 17 snaps on Sunday is criminal. As is only getting 4 targets (3 in the last two minutes) out of 28. I am also in favor of giving Briscoe (especially in the red zone) and Robinson more snaps, since Morgan and Hank aren't producing consistent numbers. I don't know how much they want to sub them though, since the Redskins do rely on them on running plays (and you can't telegraph run vs. pass with personnel).
On defense my first answer would be all of them, but unfortunately that isn't practical. I know he's out now, but I do think the team has to start subbing in either a better cover LB or another defensive back for Fletcher. He just can't match-up any more and is getting killed out there. Not that he has done anything yet to warrant it, but I'd like to see some snaps for new LB Mario Addison to get some pass rush opportunities to see if he can get some pressure.
As for the secondary I'm with you with sitting Williams more, though I think I'd rather put Cedric Griffin at FS and Hall remaining at CB for the time being. Nothing is really going to fix things back there. I don't even think Merriweather will help that much. So who do you have pink slips in the locker for?
(Speaking of Merriweather have you seen this?
Just as I was willing to calm down and accept DeAngelo Hall back, he opens his mouth again. Is he really worth having on this team? The team has been a laugh machine for the rest of league for years and finally when they get some good pub in Griffin, Hall opens his mouth about the 77 yard TD pass and looks like an idiot again….#sameoldskins. Is he worth it out there? He should have got his wish after the Dallas game last year but Shanny kept him around. I have never seen a player with such low talent talk as much since Freddie Mitchell. Hopefully he can prove me wrong.
I do think Brandon Banks roster spot could be used in better ways as I know you have been saying for months. He is not giving much on returns and a true speed back would be a better option in those triple option looks.
Other than that not sure who else has played themselves onto a UFL roster because it is a tough question since there is no certainty on our reserves doing better on both lines. Although Raheem Morris went from up and coming young head coach to now shaky position coach very quickly. I know you are going to say Banks, but who else should be adding to 7.8% unemployment rate?
Haha, Hall is so frustrating given his natural talent level, but his play and maturity never match-up. Brandon Banks is definitely first on my cut list as he's done nothing so far, and that spot could obviously be used to help out at some positions with depth questions (mainly defensive backs, which has been pretty injury riddled).
Other guys that I'd look at maybe cutting would be Chris Wilson and DeJon Gomes. For all the criticism of Madieu, Gomes I think has been the worst safety we've had playing this season. Maybe they can put him on IR with an injury, but I sure wouldn't mind seeing someone else given a chance. As for Chris Wilson, he's supposed to be a pass rush specialist, but has lost out to Lorenzo Alexander. Wilson has not been effective rushing the passer at all, and is a big liability in coverage. He used to be a better special teams player, but we haven't even seen positive contributions in that realm. With Fletcher banged up, another ILB could be needed, or again more fodder for our secondary.
You mentioned Morris as a disappointing coach, do you see any of the coaching staff getting the ax during the year if they don't turn it around?
I do not see any coaches getting axed but did hear Dan Snyder was scouting bingo halls for retired ex coaches again. Firing a coach midseason would be a Snyder type move and I think Shanahan seems pretty loyal to his coaches and is in charge. After the season could be a different story if the defense keeps them out of playoff contention.
Going back to earlier how embarrassing was Snyder, Cerrato, Zorn and Sherm Lewis? Shanahan and Allen have made some mistakes but all have to agree it’s a whole different organization. Do you feel all coaches are safe? And that question is starting from the coach’s box being sent down to Jim Zorn and then sent to you in memory of Sherm.
Haha those were the days…Right now I think the coaches are safe for the season (after the year is a different matter), but if the team were to have a losing streak and was like 3-7 or 4-8 later in this year, Mike Shanahan may feel some pressure to make a change. Obviously the most likely ones to get the ax are ST coach Danny Smith, and DC Jim Haslett and secondary coach Raheem Morris. I also wouldn't count out Bob Slowik the linebacking coach. I know he goes way back with Mike Shanahan, but when even guys like Ryan Kerrigan and London Fletcher are ineffective, perhaps a coaching change needs to be made. Overall no matter how bad it gets, I am really not in favor of in-season coaching changes, but Mike Shanahan may not have the patience if games keep slipping away.