Hey everybody! I know it’s been about 3 weeks since I had my last entry, so it’s about time for me to finally follow up on it.
This next post will be a little lengthy- bare with me. It’s about the solution (in my opinion) for 85% of the Washington Redskins woes.
Since December 17th, a lot has changed.
The Redskins fired Mike Shanahan, Kirk Cousins tanked any and all trade value, Bruce Allen stated he will be taking over personnel decisions, and the Redskins have already interviewed a handful of candidates.
So, here’s when my super-opinionated, but I feel highly logical, argument comes in on how to fix the organization. This would be my decision making from the perspective of Redskins GM Bruce Allen, who recently proclaimed he would have the “power” to do what he needs to turn the organization around.
Step 1- Hire Cincinnati Bengals DC Mike Zimmer as HC
I don’t like old coaches. At all.
I don’t want a coach that has run their course in the NFL, being outdated and kicked to the curb by their prior team because they simply didn’t seem like they had it anymore.
Perfect example: Mike Shanahan.
But there is 1 coach on the older side, compared to the rest of the reported candidates so fat, that I think would be wonderful for this team: Mike Zimmer.
Swapping one Mike for another in relationships may not be the best idea, but swapping that Mike for this Mike in D.C.? I’m all about that scandal.
Outside of the win Washington had over San Diego, thanks to a late game goal-line stand, the Redskins defense was absolutely terrible.
The front 3/4/5 (depending on which fronts they were using) couldn’t generate much pressure, exposing a poor excuse for a secondary in which the number 1 corner is a fading DeAngelo Hall. A little of this is personnel, a bit of it is situation, and a lot of it was coaching.
Jim Haslett did not lead the Redskins defense to one season as a top eight overall defense (something the Redskins were used to before the 3-4 and the days of Shanahan). His playcall was very spotty and his coaching must not have worked. For a guy like Brian Orakpo, a pass-rushing specialist, to be dropping into coverage on a third of his plays makes no sense.
Add poor overall defense with the issue of penalties in all facets of the game and overall poor fundamental football, you get to the root of the problems:
The Washington Redskins are less disciplined than the Alabama Crimson Tide. Sure, the Crimson Tide is a great college football team, but that’s the big difference; the Crimson Tide are a college football team. Professionals shouldn’t be outdone by student athletes.
Mike Zimmer is, from what I’ve seen and read, an old-school, players guy kind of hybrid-type coach. What I’m essentially trying to say is Mike Zimmer is a strong leader willing to listen to his players but doesn’t put up with crap.
I’d also love to see Mike ZImmer with bookend rushers like Ryan Kerrigan and impending free agent Brian Orakpo. I could see Zimmer converting the Redskins defense into what he has up in Cincinnati- a 4-3 with outside off-man coverage/press-man coverage and undersized speed rushers, containing tons of power, from the inside of the DL.
There really is a lot of potential to this Redskins defense. There just needs to be someone to get it all the working parts in conjunction with each other.
Step 2- After hiring Zimmer, go for a recently fired head coach as the OC: Rob Chudzinski
Chudzinski is an offensive mastermind. Ever hear of how good Shanahan has been at molding RBs throughout his career? Rob Chudzinski has the potential to do the same thing, but with QBs. This guy made Derek Anderson look like a top-5 QB back in ’05 before heading down to Carolina and helping Cam Newton to his record-setting rookie season.
Chud was recently relieved of his duties as HC of the Cleveland Browns. Now, considering it was Cleveland that fired him, I don’t think there is anything wrong with Chud. He went 4-12 with a bad offense that had no QB or RB provided to it by GM Michael Lombardi. Chudzinski did the best he could and kept the Browns fairly competitive in games in which they should have been demolished in.
Allow Chud to install his vertical-based offensive playbook into a Redskins team rich in one aspect on offense–speed– and then combine it with Robert Griffin III’s cannon of an arm. This could lead to an offense that could be extremely fast and extremely dangerous.
A huge benefit for Chud would be his ability to focus solely on Robert Griffin and emphasizing Griffin’s talents to help open up a running game for Alfred Morris. He no longer needs to worry about the complete state of the team, as he would no longer need to run the entity of it.
All he needs to do is focus on making this offense, and Griffin, better than they were.
Plus, if all Griffin does is throw picks, the deep passes will probably travel further than any of Sav Rocca’s punts.
Step 3- Hire Ravens STC (Special Teams Coordinator) Jerry Rosburg
Rosburg has led one of the best, most disciplined special teams in the NFL over the past few seasons. An explosive punt returner paired with good kick and punt coverage units have helped elevate, in my opinion, Rosburg to the top tier of ST coaches.
Rosburg could fix this….I don’t even know if I should call it a special teams unit.
Rosburg could be a big reason why the Redskins offense stops starting at it’s own 11, as well as a big reason to why the Redskins defense could stop having to defend starting at the opponents 38. I’m a believer in him; I think Rosburg could quickly lead this from the worst special teams in the NFL to a top-12 unit.
Step 4- Re-sign Rak, Sign FS, ILB, DL in FA
The current defensive roster will be turning over completely after the season.
Three of the top four corners on the roster become free agents. Young corners never saw time to develop under Haslett/Shanahan. The starting FS and SS are both free agents. The starting MLB is now retired, the “Jack”/other starting MLB/ILB is a free agent, followed by a defensive line that can’t create pressure without it’s best player who is, by the way, also a free agent.
If the Redskins re-sign Brian Orakpo like I say they should, they have solid pieces to build around on defense. Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo, David Amerson, Barry Cofield. The rest of the defense needs some work. That’s where free agency comes in.
If the ‘Skins can re-sign Perry Riley and play him at SAM LB to gobble up tacklers and cover TEs, that’ll shore up some issues at LB. With less crazy cover schemes and more strict man-to-man coverage, Riley will be in a better position to succeed.
Buffalo Bills FS Jairus Byrd is a free agent.
I know Redskins fans, you hate it when we sign a big name. Look at our history:
Albert Haynesworth. DeAngelo Hall. Adam Archuleta. Trading for Brandon Lloyd. Trading for McNabb.
It’s a kiss of death.
With Bruce running the show, though, I think we stand a better shot of hitting rather than missing.
Bring is Jairus Byrd to play single-deep coverage every play and let him ball-hawk like he did his first four years and the guy can be a stud. He’s a great line of defense, a willing tackler, and someone who earns his paycheck every week. Pair him with a Wesley Woodyard or D.J. Williams (Bears) signing, and this defense goes from heavy fixing to a couple of patchwork players away from decency.
It doesn’t completely change the fact that the Redskins need a lot of help, but getting back seemingly-forgotten 2013 4th round rookie Philip Thomas could also provide some major help. After suffering a Lisfranc fracture, he hasn’t had time on the field, but should be prepared mentally for the game when he’s healthy enough to play again.
Step 5- Draft Line and Receivers
The Redskins defense is awful, but there are enough solid players in free agency for the Redskins to find value at their biggest needs (FS, LB and DT). What they need is to draft multiple ways to protect Robert Griffin III. Drafting speedy receivers to fit Chud’s offense as well as some strong, capable linemen could go a long way into keeping Griffin from being hit every play.
I’m not saying that the Redskins will draft the right guys. Allen doesn’t have a great…well, not even a good track record of drafting players, but attempting to build an offense around Griffin needs to be priority numero uno in the draft.
Step 6- This is the shocker- trade Alfred Morris
I know, earlier I mentioned to help fix RG so Morris’ running game opens up, but I couldn’t ruin the shock.
I legitimately believe the Redskins should consider, at the very least, entertaining offers for Alfred Morris.
Morris has been a workhorse for the Redskins over his first two seasons, amassing 2,800+ yards on the ground and over 20 touchdowns. You also need to remember something: Morris was playing for a Mike Shanahan coached offense. He’s a perfect fit for the zone-block scheme, which the Redskins may no longer employ, and is one of many guys that Shanahan has made look very, very good.
Some of those guys consist of Tatum Bell, Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, Clinton Portis, Terrell Davis and Peyton Hillis. Shanahan made these guys look much better than they really were.
Coupling that with Alfred Morris’ punishing style of running, and it may be best to see if a second or third round pick could be picked up for the durable plodder. He’s got the talent, but doesn’t contribute much in the passing game and may be no good in the next coach’s offensive scheme. Helu has proven he’s capable of handling passing down duties, which would be upped immensely under Chudzinski.
Well, that’s the end of this very, very long article.
If you read all the way through, I sincerely thank you a lot and promise to keep most of my articles from here on out much, much shorter. Thanks again (Brandon)!