It's that time again where we pick the brain of a blogger covering the Raiders' next opponent. This week we speak with Kevin Ewoldt from Redskins blog, Hogs Haven. He offers us some insight into what we can expect from the team he knows inside and out.
Me: What is going on with that Redskins defense?
Kevin: That's a great question fans and media are still trying to figure out. For starters, the tackling has been atrocious. The D has missed 43 tackles, according ProFootballFocus.com. That's 12 more than any other team in the league. Then you have quotes like this one from the Lions players last week, "They played five base down linemen the whole game, five defensive linemen the whole game...it was like being a kid in a candy store."
So, they can't tackle and they're not mixing up their schemes. Another major problem is the Redskins do not have a starting free safety on their roster. Sixth round draft pick, Bacarri Rambo, was benched for his inconsistency. Brandon Meriweather as the single high safety last week failed miserably. It's anyone's guess what they will roll out this week.
Robert Griffin III is one interception off his season total from 2012. I have heard some theories about why this would be and I have some theories of my own but I want your take on it.
Well, it doesn't help the Redskins have been losing by multiple touchdowns early in games. Shanahan said they've had to abandon the run game practically every game as a result. I think there is truth in that. There's also the fact RGIII is no longer a run threat. Redskins great, Darrell Green, said pre-season he'd LOVE to play against the read-option. He said players love taking shots at QBs and that it would end quickly. He was on to something. It also appears RGIII is not fully trusting his plant knee, which is a common mental problem. Adrian Peterson started slow the first three weeks last year, too.
RGIII's rushing attempts are down this season from 8 per game to 5 and he seems more tentative about tucking it. Has his injury taken away some of his game breaking running abilities or is it is simply that he is being asked to be more careful?
I think Shanahan and RGIII are still trying to figure out what works best. They simply can't run him up the middle like they did last year. The rushing attempts are also down because of their porous starts. The Redskins have scored 21 first half points in three games. Their opponent has scored 67.
Do you feel like having RGIII on the team would make preparing for Terrelle Pryor a non-issue?
Last year I would have said yes, but not now. Just because a QB is fast doesn't mean it correlates to an easier job. QBs have different mannerisms, play fakes, arm speeds, and instinctive skills. Michael Vick tore up the Redskins week 1.
What have been some surprising developments this season about the Redskins both positive and negative?
Ryan Kerrigan has taken the next step in being elite. He already has three sacks, a forced fumble, and deflected pass for a TD. Third round draft pick Jordan Reed looks like the real deal as well.
The largest negative is that Mike Shanahan has preached how much continuity means to carrying success into the next year, The Redskins returned 23 out 24 starters (including the kickers) from last year after winning the NFC East. And here the Redskins are at 0-3. It's baffling and frustrating.
It's also frustrating that it's been almost six years since Sean Taylor passed and still the Redskins have not found anyone serviceable at Free Safety.