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Random Pre-Draft Redskins Thoughts

April 15, 2013 in Redskins Offseason

By Staff Writer John Manuel:

Now that the free agency period has dwindled down I feel that the Washington Redskins did a very good job so far, even though they had a major obstacle to deal with.  I knew that the cap penalty was going to be an issue but was shocked on how bad it actually ended up.  Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen should be commended for at least getting them into a decent situation before incurring the second $18 million penalty.

The Redskins used free agency to hold onto most of their key free agents, unrestricted and restricted.  The one main loss was Lorenzo Alexander leaving for Arizona.  I think they will miss him but I am not devastated by the loss and Lorenzo had to do what was best for him.  The old Skins would have way overpaid to keep Zo and hurt the team in the long run.  But Shanny and Allen have been all about working good deals which won't crush the team.

Two guys who had a chance to test free agency and ended coming back for modest deals were Fred Davis and DeAngelo Hall, which will bring up much debate.  As I have said in the past, I wanted Davis back for sure and I think the one-year deal he signed was very good.  If he can get healthy he will help this offense and the passing game.  I have been criticized for my support of Davis but when he is on the field he is the Skins 2nd best option in the passing game to Garcon.  This is Davis' last chance and I think he will step up and make the most of it.

As for DeAngelo Hall.  I was very happy when the Skins decided to cut Hall.  I am not a big fan of his and never have been.  But I am fine with deal they struck to bring him back.  If it doesn't work out come September, they can just let him go and no harm is done.  If he comes back and plays like week 17, it is a great deal for the Redskins.  I would have loved to see Antoine Winfield but that didn't work out.  Hall at least gives them another corner that can play.  I will be interested to see what they get out of E.J. Biggers next season.  I am not expecting him to be Revis, but I think he should help.

The secondary is still a huge question mark and I expect them as most do to address both corner and safety in next week’s draft.  Especially since they are sitting without a legit option at free safety.  The good news is Shanahan and Allen's draft track record in Washington has been very good.  Adding a franchise quarterback, should have been pro bowl running back, pro bowl left tackle and a pass rusher in the past three years.  Now it would be nice to have a cornerstone corner and a rock at the free safety spot for years to come as well.

Finally I still would like to see them add at least one more playmaker to the offense, preferably at the running back position.  Roy Helu hopefully comes back healthy and can help, but if he can't I would like to see the Shanny mid to late round flyer used to address this.  Before I was hoping, just like Robert Griffin III was, that Reggie Bush would have an interest in Washington.  He didn't and I think he made a mistake.  Yes, he got more money and most likely more playing time in Detroit but he had a chance to do special things in Washington with Griffin and Morris.  Bush should be financially set based on his NFL career and what he got at USC, so I didn't think it was far off to think he could have played for low money in DC.  But that is his choice and hard for me to truly argue.

How would you grade Redskins free agency moves given their cap situation?



Ranking the Redskins Cornerbacks

April 12, 2013 in Redskins Personnel

Currently the Washington Redskins have seven options at corner and are likely to keep at least 5. Washington's starters are very much up in the air and they are likely to bring in some additional talent through the draft. Here is how they rank, including predictions for where they end-up. Tiers are based off of what their expected value is for 2013, due to a combination of past production and likely potential. Overall potential, or contract status is not really taken into account.

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Rankings: Offensive Tackles | Interior Offensive Linemen | Quarterbacks | Running/Fullbacks | Tight Ends

Tier 1:

Description: Top level starter, at elite or near elite level, absolute lock to both make the team and start. Won't face any competition for his job.


Tier 2:

Description: Quality starter who may have some minor struggles in a given year, but overall is a good football player. Should both easily make the team and start.

Josh Wilson:

-The Redskins signed Josh Wilson to a three year deal in 2011, and he rewarded them with a strong year. Last year his play suffered some, though he was still probably the Redskins best player in the secondary. He doesn't make a ton of flashy plays, but he is very consistent, and is the best coverage option the Redskins have. His height is a bit of a limiting factor as it makes it hard for him to cover some of the bigger receivers in the league. Though he has yet to do it with the Redskins, in the past he was utilized as a slot corner, and Washington could look to maybe get the most out of him by kicking him inside when teams bring in a 3rd receiver. Barring any more additions Wilson will likely remain the Redskins top corner next year, though definitely isn't close to being a true number 1.

Tier 3:

Description: Passable starter, can play the position and be okay, but won't consistently play at a high level. Will be streaky throughout the season and over the course of many seasons. Depending on position would be better served as a good role player, or would be the best reserve player at a position. Should make the team, though not a lock and should face competition for a starting job.

DeAngelo Hall:

-Hall is a flashy player who always comes up with big turnovers, unfortunately he's also been a player who gives up big plays as well. While most teams could probably live with the big plays allowed, because the big plays caused will kinda equal them out, the real issue with Hall is the sheer number of moderate to good plays that he allows. Hall has consistently graded out as one of the worst coverage corners in the league, allowing high completion rates, with a ton of yards. Last year he allowed over 1,000 receiving yards according to PFF (2nd worst in the league), and a 67% completion rate. Hall would come up with some big games, but would for most weeks be a big coverage liability. Further troubling for Hall is his missed tackles and penalties. Hall was cut do to his exorbitant salary, and brought back at a greatly reduced one year deal. He's not a lock to make the team or be a starter, but the Redskins don't have many resources this year to outright replace him. If he does play in a starting or significant capacity, he will likely continue to be a liability for the Redskins secondary, but make a few big plays to help his case.

E.J. Biggers:

-Biggers was a 7th round pick by the Buccaneers in 2009 out of Western Michigan. He missed his first year due to injury, but quickly moved up the depth chart after that as a spot starter/key reserve. He was up and down in that capacity in 2010/2011, but this past year he earned more of a full time starting role and played pretty well. He's got plenty of experience with DB coach Raheem Morris, offers nice size and length and the versatility to play both inside and outside. He's likely a streaky player at best, but does represent an upgrade over the Redskins 3rd corner (Cedric Griffin) from a year ago. Biggers could also challenge for a starting role, given the inconsistencies of DeAngelo Hall, and Josh Wilson coming off a down year.

Tier 4:

Description: Replacement level starter. This is a guy who could start in a pinch or as a long-term injury replacement but will max out as an average starter, and will probably be below average. He's a guy who could be okay as a short term filler, but over an extended period will struggle. Depending on position could be a solid player, or would be a good back-up. Has a decent chance to make the team, and could get a look at a starting job, but nothing is set in stone for him.


Tier 5:

Description: Solid back-up caliber player. Shouldn't really ever start, and would be below average in that capacity, but can be a short term injury replacement. Shouldn't even be much of a role player depending on the position, their best value is in their reliability as a replacement. Depending on the position, should be capable of backing up multiple positions or roles to increase their value. Has a chance to make the team, but really shouldn't be considered a starting option at all.

Richard Crawford:

-Crawford was a 7th round pick by the Redskins last year and made the squad after a strong preseason both on defense and special teams. He was given some early looks, and struggled especially when asked to cover the slot. The experiment ended pretty quickly and he was put back on the bench. Later in the year after overtaking Brandon Banks as the punt returner and Cedric Griffin getting suspended, Crawford again saw some significant snaps the final two weeks of the year (though with Griffin back wasn't seen in the playoffs). He did a better job of holding his own, but overall the sample size is too small to really make any judgments on his development. Crawford should be expected to be the 4th or 5th corner, but has two advantages in making the squad this year: his return ability and the fact that unlike the three top guys he's under contract beyond 2013.

Jerome Murphy:

-Murphy is a former 3rd round pick out of South Florida by the St. Louis Rams in 2010. He offers good size and has some nice press coverage abilities. He got about 200 snaps as a rookie, but lost his 2nd year to a broken ankle. He bounced around the league last year, but couldn't find a team to really give him a chance. With a full offseason (OTA's, minicamps, training camp) this is his best chance to show he's worthy of a roster spot if fully healthy. His size and former draft status is a plus, but he has to show that he's developed some since his rookie year. He's a bit of a longshot to make the team, but he definitely shouldn't completely be ruled out.

Tier 6:

Description: Replacement level player. Not considered at all for a starting role, and isn't even considered a viable back-up. Really only has a shot to make the team if injuries thin out the competition. Overall has a poor chance to make a roster, and is a player who will likely be replaced during the season.

Chase Minnifield:

-Minnifield went into the 2011 college season as a guy with a late first round grade. Even after a somewhat disappointing season, it was expected that he'd still be a top 75 pick. It was later revealed that he had microfracture surgery to go along with his knee scope before the draft, which left teams concerned enough about his prognosis to leave him undrafted. The Redskins scooped him up, but unfortunately he tore his ACL in his right knee on the final day of June Minicamp, wiping out his entire 2012 season. It is know a knee that has had two ACL surgeries and a microfracture surgery. It's unclear at this time when Minnifield will be ready, and how he will return from this latest injury set back. The Redskins may look to start him out on the PUP list so they can get a full look before having to make a final roster decision. He's probably a long shot to make the team, though would be a top target to be on the practice squad and hopefully develop in the future.

Korey Lindsey:

-Lindsey was a 7th round pick by the Bengals in 2011 after a good career at Southern Illinois. He has since bounced around a few teams, getting some practice squad time and then being placed on IR by the Colts last season. He's still young and is thought to have some potential as a slot corner. He's still well on the outside looking in for the Redskins and will need to earn a role with good special teams play.

What do you think? How would you rank the Redskins corner options? And do you think they should look to upgrade?

Three Things the Redskins Should be Focused on this Offseason

February 11, 2013 in Redskins Offseason

By Staff Writer John Manuel:

If I'm the Redskins front office, there are three main areas I'm focused on this offseason. Redskins have Salary Cap issues, which need to be addressed first. But which area do you think is the biggest need?

1- Secondary help

Not a surprise here since at times last season it was ugly.  And to be more specific I am looking at free safety as the most important position of need heading into next season.  Way too many times we saw Madieu Williams be a step late on a touchdown or long pass completion.  The Victor Cruz winning touchdown is the play everyone will most remember.

And I know this team is weak at the corners, but I think the combination of a true free safety and Brian Orakpo's return will be a huge lift for the defense.  In house the only option could be DeAngelo Hall but I am against that.  First, Hall needs to be cut and only brought back to a much lower salary, which he says he is open to, but I really doubt it.  I think we overplay the whole corner to safety transition thing.  Ronnie Lott did it early and Rod Woodson late in his career but other than that it has not been that successful.  I would rather look to free agency or the draft for a new safety.

Jarius Byrd could be out there as an option.  He would clearly fit what the Skins needs.  Problem is he needs to make it to free agency, not be franchised and then the Skins would need the money.  One guy who everyone expects to be there is future hall of famer Ed Reed.  If he leaves Baltimore most see him in Indy or New England most likely.  I think if the Skins are interested in a more veteran star, Washington has been very “U” friendly and wouldn't discount it.  We have seen younger and older players have burned us but Reed is still a difference maker.  And a solid singer.

2- Not a shocker but number two is obvious as well.  Washington needs to shore up its line with a legit right tackle upgrade over Tyler Polumbus.

Polumbus has filled in admirably the past two seasons but it’s time to upgrade.  If the Skins make a move on a safety in free agency then the second round pick is in play for that tackle.  But this is a rare offseason where there are a lot of tackles available in free agency and not jumping on that may be a mistake.  The key could be with the hope that the cap penalty is lessened but we cannot count on that.

There are plenty of big time left tackles out there who may reach free agency from former Shanahan pick Ryan Clady to Miami's Jake Long.  With that position being a premier now many of these guys will see the franchise tag soon.  Branden Albert or Sebastian Vollmer could be a fit for the Skins but they will costly as everyone wants legit tackles.

Protecting Robert Griffin III has turned into huge focus after what happened last season and I can't see Shanahan not looking to upgrade the right tackle position.  The Washington Redskins have a chance to become a consistent offensive juggernaut but to be this Griffin has to be out there.

3- Speaking of making this team an offensive juggernaut, I want to see some improvement is at the running back.

What?  Alfred Morris just ran for over 1600 yards as a rookie.  Morris was unreal last season but I think this team could get scary on offense with a solid compliment to Morris.  Morris is and will continue to be the feature back, but I would love to have someone who is more of a big play threat to add to this offense.  The good thing is that Shanahan has a knack for finding backs anywhere in the draft but I think this should be more of a priority than trying to hit on another 6th round gold mine.

Roy Helu should be back but it’s up to the Shanahans to determine if Helu can fit this role in the offense as more of a home run and receiving guy.  I am not sure of that.  I think this offense can be scary silly if they have that homerun threat in the backfield with RG3 and Morris.

Darren Sproles isn't available but Reggie Bush looks to be.  At first thought I wasn't for Reggie Bush but if his price isn't high I think he could really help with his explosive at times abilities.  I am not sold that this would be a good move, but should be on the table.

Now if the Redskins are able to address both safety and right tackle in free agency and they are on the clock in the second round and the best player on their board is Kenyon Barner, I say jump at it.  Defenses are already on their heels facing the Skins offense and this could have them at a complete loss.  I know we may have bigger needs, but this is an offensive league and we have a treasure in Griffin and must continue to build off of that.



Redskins Cap Series Part 5: Washington Redskins Extension and Restructure Candidates

February 8, 2013 in Washington Redskins Salary Cap

Redskins Cap Links:

Part 1:  Redskins Salary Cap Breakdown

Part 2:  Redskins Restricted Free Agents

Part 3:  Redskins Unrestricted Free Agents

Part 4:  Savings From Cuts

Part 5:  Savings from Restructuring and Final Thoughts

Players to Restructure W/O Extension:

Pierre Garcon:

2013 Cap Hit: $8.2 million

Cap Hit after restructure: $4.75 million

Savings: $3.45 million

$1.15 million is tacked on to each of his remaining 3 years

-They absolutely should restructure Garcon, yes it pushes more money going forward, but Garcon is young and doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere anytime soon.

Trent Williams:

2013 Cap Hit: $8.000 million

Cap Hit after restructure: $5.16

Savings: $2.830 million

$1.415 is tacked on to each of his remaining 2 years

-They could look to work out a longer term extension, but in the meantime they need to restructure his deal. It’s a good amount of savings for a key cog on this team.

Barry Cofield:

2013 Cap Hit: $6.300

Cap Hit after restructure: $3.825

Savings: $2.475

$0.825 tacked on to each of his remaining 3 years

-Another good bet to restructure. It is such a small increase over the remaining part of the contract that it shouldn't hurt the Redskins going forward. Also Cofield is coming off a good season, so they aren't likely looking to get rid of him in the next year or two.

Stephen Bowen:

2013 Cap Hit: $5.500 million

Cap Hit after restructure: $3.400 million

Savings: $2.10

$1.05 is tacked on to each of his remaining 2 years

-Maybe not as likely to restructure. Bowen has been a solid player, but I don’t know if you want to add guaranteed money on his contract going forward. If he doesn’t pick up his game in 2013, he could be on the hot seat in 2014.

Chris Chester:

2013 Cap Hit: $4.300

Cap Hit after restructure: $2.800

Savings: $1.500 million

$0.750 is tacked on to each of his remaining two years

-Another guy the Redskins should have no problem pushing a little money forward with.

Total Savings: $12.355 million

Total Extra Money Added to 2014: $5.19 million

*Note: The Redskins need to be careful here. They don’t want to push too much money forward or getting that cap penalty money back in 2014 won’t look quite as good. $5 million and change isn’t too bad, especially considering the players involved, but it can’t be ignored either.

Restructured Contracts with Extensions:

*Note I’m not noting the extra money going forward, but it is something to keep in mind. Given that they are all impending free agents, the Redskins can figure out how to structure their 2014 salary in an extension to ensure that it isn’t prohibitive.

Brian Orakpo: (based on adding 4+ extra years)

2013 Cap Hit: $4.225

Cap Hit after restructure: $2.700

Savings: $1.525

-The team would be wise to work out an extension now, as his price tag will be down a little bit and they can save an extra $1.5 million.

Josh Wilson: (based on adding 3 extra years)

2013 Cap Hit: $5.333

Cap Hit after restructure: $2.970

Savings: $2.362

-There has already been some mention of extending Wilson and it makes sense. He’ll only be 28 this season and has been pretty productive for Washington. The Redskins can save a bit of money and ensure that they have a veteran corner under contract going forward.

Santana Moss: (based on adding 2 extra years)

2013 Cap Hit: $6.167

Cap Hit after restructure: $4.067

Savings: $2.10

-It is a big question mark as to if Moss will extend given his reduced role, but the Redskins should consider it. He came up with a lot of big catches last year at key spots, including doubling the next highest TD total. He came up big in the 2nd half of games and on third down and would be tough to lose. The fact that he’s a fan favorite helps as well, and the difference in savings between cutting him and extending him is $2.400 million. The only question is will he agree to a reduced role, and minor contract extension?

Josh Morgan: (based on adding 3 years)

2013 Cap Hit: $6.750

Cap Hit after restructure: $4.310

Savings: $2.440

-Morgan is still young and had a solid year as a possession receiver for the Redskins, the one problem with extending him is he’s not worth the nearly $6 million a year the Redskins were paying him. He’d have to accept a lower extension for it to make sense. He could though, given his local ties, and the fact that unless he has a huge year this year (which is not very likely given how much the Redskins run) he probably won’t get major offers on the free agent market. If the team can clear other money they may just wait till next year to re-sign him so as not to burden the cap too much in 2014 or 2015.

Total Savings: $8.427 million


Trent Williams could be extended and perhaps save an extra $1.5 million on his 2013 Cap hit. DeAngelo Hall isn’t a go candidate for an extension since he’s due $17 million over the next two years. He’d have to leave a significant amount of money on the table to make it even logical for the Redskins to extend him. Given that the money isn’t guaranteed, it would make more sense just to release him and try to work out a new contract if you want to retain him.

Overall Savings Prediction:

Cuts: Hall, Brown, and Carriker for $12.05 million

Restructuring: $12.355 million (I would end up restructuring all of Garcon, T. Williams, Cofield, Bowen, Chester)

Extensions: $3.887 (Orakpo and Wilson)

*Fletcher and Moss to me are real wild cards here and depending on what happens could jump the Redskins cap savings between $2-8.5 million. Remember though, either of them leaving creates more holes on this team.

Total savings: $28.292

Minimum Cap Overage: $16.658

Cap Space: $11.634 million

I know that $11.6 million sounds like a lot, but the Redskins need to be really smart with it. Remember the Redskins added $5 million to their cap in 2014 (and that doesn’t include the extra money in extensions to Wilson and Orakpo), with the restructuring of contracts. Also remember some of that $11.6 million will be taken up by the guys who take the place of Hall, Brown and Carriker in the top 51 contracts of the team. The Redskins would be wise to look for values as opposed to grabbing the first free agent or two on their wish list. If they spend all that money on guys who are signed beyond this year they could quickly have some more cap issues in the coming years.

Another important thing to consider is the Redskins are essentially using up all of their salary cap flexibility for the next couple of years. While getting the Hall, Carriker and Brown contracts off the books in 2014 and 2015 are helpful, there really aren’t going to be any other major guys that can be released next year or the year after. Guys that you just restructured will now have more guaranteed money that would need to be accounted for to release them. You are also unlikely to restructure them again as it would get more prohibitive going forward.

This cap room gives the Redskins the breathing room they need, and an ability to add some talent and depth to this team, but it absolutely should not be an invitation for the Redskins to have a major spending spree.

Redskins Cap Links:

Part 1:  Redskins Salary Cap Breakdown

Part 2:  Redskins Restricted Free Agents

Part 3:  Redskins Unrestricted Free Agents

Part 4:  Savings From Cuts

Part 5:  Savings from Restructuring and Final Thoughts

Five Early Questions for Redskins Offseason

January 21, 2013 in Redskins Offseason

By Staff Writer John Manuel:

Here are my top 5 questions for the Washington Redskins offseason at this point:

1- The most important question has to be the health of Robert Griffin III and when will be able to take field.

Unfortunately at this point we have no answer to this.  Could be the opener or it could be 2014?  We just don't know and won't know anytime soon.  If I had to guess and this is a complete guess, I would say best case in the week 6-8 area of 2013.

Good news is that Kirk Cousins will get plenty of work leading up to training camp and most likely will be the starting once they get to Richmond.  Even if Griffin is close to coming back I am not concerned if he gets limited work with the first teamers as much as Cousins will.  Griffin will just need to get into shape and I am not concerned with that.

Question for the offseason is does Rex come back or does Washington look to go another direction in free agency or the draft?  Knowing that coming here means the bench and a low chance of getting time, I don't see anyone of decent name coming in.

2- The most important outcome of the offseason may be what happens with the $36 million cap penalty that was imposed on the Redskins last season.

Due to be hit with the 2nd $18 million hit this league year the Skins are still challenging the penalty.  Most think this is a no chance situation but I heard Adam Shefter say that some and possibly all the penalty may be overturned by the league.

For the 57th time I still cannot believe the actions of both the commissioner and the NFLPA on this.  Roger Goodell really played this one wrong and the Skins and Cowboys were screwed not only by the ruling but also how and when they decided to impose it.  What makes me more sick is that the NFLPA went along with it and took money from two franchises that actually pay their players and gave it to teams that don't.  Pretty lame move by Demaurice and his crew.

3- Now if they Redskins are able to recoup cap room, will they be active?

There is nothing that tells me they won't be.  The obvious place of need on the offensive side is right tackle.  As for right tackle, Tyler Polumbus has been OK at times but does give you what you need week to week at right tackle.

Good news is there is a boat load of tackles coming up in free agency.  I can't see the Skins missing out on grabbing at least one there.  From top notch tackles like Ryan Clady to solid performers like Sebastian Volmer, there is a lot of talent there.  Many like Clady could be franchised but some will slip through.  It is a good year to have that position as a need.

If they strikeout in free agency, there should be some possibilities in the 2nd round to grab a tackle as well which would be a good question for draft guru Steve Shoup.  Roy Helu's future is very questionable so I would expect Shanahan to look for a better option as a receiver out of the back field in either free agency or more likely in the middle of the draft.  Grabbing backs in the draft is his thing so expect it to be there.

4- As for the defensive side, there is one obvious place to look.

By the numbers you would think this team needs an overhaul of talent but I don't see that happening.  I cannot see any major moves in the front seven based on who is already under contract.  As for the secondary you would have to think any of the four spots could change.

First and foremost the Redskins will have to find a free safety this offseason.  Most seem to peg that second round pick but I would first want to see what happens with Jarius Byrd in Buffalo.  I still wouldn't count out Ed Reed either if he still wants to play after the Super Bowl and if Baltimore can't afford him back.

I am pretty sure Josh Wilson will be one of the starters at corner but as for the other spot it is very questionable.  DeAngelo wants to come back but the Skins no way can pay him what he is slated to get.  He said he is willing to come back for less so the question is do they want to deal with DenAngelo's act anymore?  He could come back as a 3rd corner or as a free safety but I feel the Skins need to upgrade at corner alongside Wilson.

Chase Minnefield is a wildcard coming off injury as well but that is far from a lock.  The team would benefit from the return of healthy Brandon Merriweather but his ability to stay healthy is a concern.

5- Final Question is who we may not see back in 2013.

Crazy I have gotten to #5 and haven't mentioned Fred Davis.  I do think he will be back with this team because they seem to value what he can do very much.  Next up is Santana Moss.  I think they figure out a way to keep him around.  I think there are more questions about the futures of Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson than Moss.  If I had to guess all three are back though unless Washington makes a shocking grab on a guy like Bowe or Wallace.

Sorry but I can't expect Chris Cooley to be back especially if Fred Davis is.  And if Davis isn't then I figure the Skins would look for another tight end before bringing back Cooley.

Big question is what will London Fletcher do?  I was kinda shocked that he even mentioned retirement after the Seattle loss, but hope it’s not true.  Even a year older, he can still help this team.  Working in Keenan Robinson will most likely happen, but I don't want to see Fletcher go out like this.


Washington Redskins Postgame Thoughts Week 16

December 24, 2012 in Washington Redskins Post Game Recap

By Staff Writer John Manuel:

My postgame thoughts on Washington Redskins must-win over the Eagles:

1- My first thought after the game was that was too close of a win against a bad Eagles team.

But then I thought about it and a win is a win and that makes six in a row.  Now the Redskins have a week to get ready for the Dallas Cowboys and a chance to win the NFC East.  I didn't expect the Eagles to lay down especially in Andy Reid's last home game.  It wasn't spectacular on either offense or defense like we have seen in recent weeks but it was a win and that is what Washington needed.

2- Robert Griffin's return was solid as expected.  By the stats he put up another 100+ QB rating which is what he does every week.

The early one run to the right didn't look like the RG3 we are used to seeing but everyone knows by now that RG3 is a complete quarterback.  We love that he can take off and go for 20, 30, 40 or more at a time but he can also stand in the pocket and make all the throws.  Griffin moved the ball down the field all game and especially in the first half before Alfred Morris got going.  I would expect RG3 to be ready for next Sunday and put on another show.

One coaching call I didn't like.  I think that Shanahan or Shanatan according to Rob Riggle, should have gone 4th and 1 late in the game.  Morris could have gotten that yard.

3- Everyone knows what Pierre Garcon has brought to this team since his return by now Josh Morgan is making a difference also.

Unlike Garcon, Morgan is not putting up bigger numbers but he is becoming a threat to get into the endzone.  A receiving core that looked very shaky after Fred Davis went down has stepped up during the winning streak.  Passes are being caught and I would not put the Griffin interception on Morgan.

I love what Leonard Hankerson is adding in the blocking game.  Actually I like what a lot of the receivers are doing in the blocking game.  And it would be wrong to not mention Santana Moss and what he has done.  I have lost track on how many big touchdowns he has pulled in.

4- I wasn't thrilled with what the defense did today.

The return of LeSean McCoy made it a much tougher day for Haslett's crew.  Madieu Williams always seems to be a second late, especially in the red zone.  We are seeing that way too much and probably why DeAngelo was playing a lot of deep safety today.

Big ups to Ryan Kerrigan today.  Kerrigan has been good, but not great all season, which he needs to be with the injuries.  Today he was great getting after Foles and hopefully he can do the same versus Dallas.  I love the effort by Barry Cofield getting to the outside in stopping screens and quick passes.  I wish the last two drives the Redskins went after Foles like they did earlier in the game.

5- Finally, an easy one.  IT's freakin' DALLAS WEEK!!!



Five Observations from Redskins Loss to Giants

October 23, 2012 in NFL

By Staff Writer John Manuel:

Here are my 5 Observations after Sunday's heartbreaking divisional loss to the New York Giants:

1.  Robert Griffin III and Kyle Shanahan are working well together.

Griffin every week is getting more and more national praise, which now includes President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.  But Kyle Shanahan has to get a lot of the credit also.  Those who thought Griffin would have to make a transition into a pro-style offense and the transition would take time look like fools now.  Shanahan and also Big Shanahan have been able work with RG3 to make the Skins one of the most potent offenses in the league.  The combination of Griffin's array of talent and skills matched up with the Shanahan's game plans has this offense way ahead of where anyone could have figured.

I could talk about the plays Griffin made yesterday but everyone has seen them, many times.  It's a weekly highlight film of impressive decision making and athletic ability.  To go head to head in New York with a big game quarterback like Eli Manning in only his 7th career start once again shows every first round pick sent to St. Louis was worth it.  Griffin is going to terrorize NFC East opponents like the Giants for the next ten years.

2. Last week I got into a debate with one of my friend who is a diehard Redskins fan over DeAngelo Hall.

He said the team is best to have cut him or cut him immediately.  I had a hard time agreeing with him mainly because the state of the secondary, but after yesterday I have a change of heart.  Hall is not worth his so called "ballhawk" ability anymore.  Eli Manning worked Hall all day long just like other quarterbacks have been doing since his Atlanta days.  The first quarter personal foul was another horrible decision by Hall and cost the team.  Then what finally made me say it’s time to go was the third and one New York has in the fourth.  For some reason Eli decided to try a fade to Hakeem Nicks and the pass went incomplete.  Hall actually played it pretty well but instead of accepting it was a crucial three and out the Skins needed, he started jawing at the refs for a push off on Nicks and wouldn't stop.  If he had gotten an unsportsmanlike call there it could have ended the Redskins chances much like the Morgan play in St. Louis.

I am at a point that DeAngelo is not worth having on this roster, the secondary is bad but I don't think it would be any worse with someone else on the corner right now.  Have to throw in a thank you Vinny Cerrato for giving Hall a #1 corner contract a few years ago again.

3. Another week and another big injury occurred when Fred Davis torn his Achilles in the end zone.

I have been very cautious on if the team should pay Fred Davis long term since last year.  And right as I was becoming a believer that Davis was worth a long term deal this happens.  Davis had come alive the past few weeks and was becoming the player the team envisioned as a weapon.  But now that has all changed.  We did see Suggs make an amazing recovery from the same injury yesterday but Davis is done till 2013.

Will he still get a long term deal?  Not sure and I think a lot will depend on what Shanahan sees from both Logan Paulson and Niles Paul.  Paulson had a great game yesterday but Paul will be remembered for a horrible third down call in the fourth by Kyle.  Chris Cooley is on his way back and we will see what he has left.  But losing Davis and adding in the unknown return of Pierre Garcon leaves the Skins passing game with questions.

Good news is that Griffin seems to find Santana Moss every week for a touchdown or two now which helps stop the bleeding.  Hankerson and Morgan will need to step up.  Hankerson short arming that beautiful deep ball from RG3 was not a good start.

4. You always get to watch four quarters of Redskins football.

Every game this season has come down to the wire, no blowout wins or losses.  Maybe it’s because how good the offense has been the defense has been just as bad so everything evens out.  It is the same story every week as we have seen no lead is safe with the Skins bomb squad on the field.

Early this week we’ll be debating who is at fault on the Victor Cruz touchdown, Madeiu, Wilson, Haslett?  I will just throw it on all of them.  It was just very poor to let maybe the league's best big play receiver in Victor Cruz to run right through the defense.  With 90 seconds left I think most fans were readying for overtime when you have Eli Manning and our pass defense but a two play touchdown drive is unexplainable.

I already went through my feelings on D Hall but the Redskins coaching staff has to figure a way to work better coverage or get better pressure of teams will soon not even attempt to run anymore.  Once again this week will bring a pass happy team in Big Ben and Steelers so Haslett and Morris have 6 days to figure something out.  Either way it looks like a shootout at Heinz Field Sunday on the horizon.

5. I don't want to jinx this but it looks like Washington may have found a kicker in Kai Forbath finally.

Forbath has been solid so far on field goals and the coaching staff has to be confident to send him out there.  The kickoffs have not been as good as Cundiff so coverage teams will have to make plays.  Either way the team has to be happy with their selection a couple weeks ago.  Based on these games though one of these weeks Forbath will be trying a game winning or tying kick and then we will know for sure.