Fixing the Redskins Penalty Problem

Washington Commanders Washington Redskins

Penalty Data from NFL

Yesterday I detailed the Redskins penalty problem, today I will look at how to fix it.

1. G Kory Lichtensteiger- 11 total penalties, 1 offset or declined- 6 false starts and 3 offensive holdings. Also 1 Unnecessary Roughness and ineligible downfield

-The Redskins did re-sign him to a multi-year deal, but if this keeps occurring they have to look at giving another guard (Adam Gettis, Maurice Hurt, Josh LeRibeus) a look. This is simply far too many penalties, it is essentially a penalty every 100 snaps. If they stick with Lichtensteiger he’s got to be more disciplined, and dramatically cut down on the false starts. Though holding actually costs more yards, the false starts are more frustrating because there is zero excuse for them and no benefit. The Holding needs to be cut back as well, but the false starts are definitely the most troubling.

2. T Trent Williams- 8 total penalties, 2 offset or declined- 4 false starts, 3 holding penalties and 1 illegal formation

-Williams had a breakout season for the Redskins, but could really increase his value if he cuts back on the penalties to the 2-4 range. The false starts again need to be eliminated. It can be tough at times on the road and with a new quarterback, but they need to be eliminated as much as possible. Two of his penalties were declined so they didn’t hurt as bad in actual yardage, but would have if the Redskins had succeeded on those plays.

3. DeAngelo Hall- 8 total penalties, 0 offset or declined- 3 Defensive holding, 2 unsportsmanlike, 1 personal foul, 1 unnecessary roughness and 1 facemask                   dhall

-Hall’s got to play more controlled if he wants to stay on the field. That is five penalties that each cost the Redskins 15 yards a pop. Sure sometimes you get a guys facemask or maybe get called for a questionable hit, but the unsportsmanlike and personal foul penalties shouldn’t even be on here. One semi-positive is the fact that there were only 3 defensive holding penalties and no pass interference penalties, which is better than Hall has done in the past.

4. Josh Wilson- 7 total penalties, 2 offset or declined- 5 pass interference, 1 unsportsmanlike, 1 defensive holding

-Wilson’s penalty count was high especially with the 5 PI penalties. What’s most interesting is most of them were in the short area where they foul occurred and not what you’d expect down the field. One explanation could be that Wilson played most the year injured last season and required labrum and pectoral surgery after the year. That could explain why he wasn’t able to contain receivers as easily without grabbing them. Hopefully that is the answer as the Redskins do need to cut back on these types of penalties.

5. Logan Paulsen– 7 total penalties, 0 offset or declined- 3 holding, 3 false starts, 1 offensive pass interference

-The false starts have to go, timing simply has to be better for these guys this season. The holding penalties are frustrating as well. This was a big problem for Paulsen (in limited time) in 2011 and is still an issue. A lot of times Paulsen is going to be on the edge so it is harder for him to get away with holding. The offensive pass interference (which was an issue for a number of Redskins) is frustrating as well, because it is a very rare call. Typically offensive players get away with a lot more down the field, so if it is called you know it was pretty bad.

6. Robert Griffin III– 6 total penalties, 1 offset or declined (*note another source has Griffin with 7 penalties)- 3 intentional grounding, 1 Delay of Game, 1 offensive pass interference, 1 false start

-The good news is it is doubtful that the offensive pass interference will ever come into play again considering how bad of an idea that play was. Though there was only 1 Delay of game penalty, this is an area where the Redskins have to work on. It felt like at least once a week (sometimes more) they would have to burn an early timeout, because they had trouble getting the play in correctly and having everyone line-up in time. A number of times the lost timeout(s) came back to haunt them later in the half or game. The Redskins have to do a better job of getting the plays and personnel in on time, and Griffin has to do a better job of getting ready for the play and commanding the huddle after he scrambles. Though Griffin is charged with the intentional grounding penalties, those are really on the offensive line for allowing that kind of pressure. This will be even more key this year with Griffin maybe a step slower returning from his injury.

7. Fred Davis- 5 total penalties, 0 offset or declined- 2 offensive holding, 1 false start, 1 illegal shift, 1 offensive pass interference

-What’s most troubling about Davis’s total is this is just in 6.5 games. Over the course of the season he would have led the team in penalties. Again a lot of just stupid penalties that should hopefully be easily corrected.

8. Ryan Kerrigan- 5 total penalties, 1 offset or declined- 2 neutral zone infractions, 2 offsides, 1 defensive pass interference

-These are among the most frustrating because neutral zone and offsides penalties you are in really complete control of. Kerrigan can’t be giving up those free yards, and while he’s obviously trying to guess the snap count if you are committing this number of penalties it isn’t  worth it. Though you don’t like pass interference penalties, it’s not shocking that Kerrigan would commit one since TE’s and backs are going to be mis-matches for him to cover.

While there are obviously plenty of other penalties, these are the guys with 5 or more and the ones who really need to cut back on the infractions. A lot of these penalties like the false starts/offsides/and personal fouls should be pretty avoidable. If the Redskins can really cut back on their penalties it will go a long way to helping them defend their division title.

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