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2015 Training Camp & Preseason

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2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#1 » by LyricalRico » Mon Aug 3, 2015 4:59 pm

Camp is officially open! Unfortunately we've already seen Breeland go down. Hopefully that's not the start of a trend.

Post your camp and preseason thoughts/observations here!
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#2 » by LyricalRico » Thu Aug 6, 2015 5:42 pm

LyricalRico wrote:Unfortunately we've already seen Breeland go down. Hopefully that's not the start of a trend.


Spoke too soon. The rookie CB they just drafted will miss the season, and could be "done" done since it's reportedly the same injury he had in college. Amerson and Hall have also gone down with injuries, although not as serious.

On the flip side, a workmate went to watch camp over the weekend and he said Culliver looked good. Still, looks like DB depth is going to be an issue yet again. They HAVE to be able to rush the passer to be successful, like top-10 in sacks IMO. Hopefully the revamped front-7 will get it done.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#3 » by Ruzious » Thu Aug 6, 2015 6:06 pm

LyricalRico wrote:
LyricalRico wrote:Unfortunately we've already seen Breeland go down. Hopefully that's not the start of a trend.


Spoke too soon. The rookie CB they just drafted will miss the season, and could be "done" done since it's reportedly the same injury he had in college. Amerson and Hall have also gone down with injuries, although not as serious.

On the flip side, a workmate went to watch camp over the weekend and he said Culliver looked good. Still, looks like DB depth is going to be an issue yet again. They HAVE to be able to rush the passer to be successful, like top-10 in sacks IMO. Hopefully the revamped front-7 will get it done.

Yeah, as long as they don't have injuries in the season, they're in real good shape at CB - with Culliver as the number 1 guy, Breeland #2, and Hall and Amerson contributing - assuming Hall comes back from the Achilles tendon - which it sounds like he will. But if either Culliver or Breeland goes down, we gots prolems. An improved pass rush should also help. And the LBers have to help underneath.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#4 » by LyricalRico » Thu Aug 6, 2015 9:18 pm

Jackson separates his shoulder.

DeSean Jackson doesn't think an NFL player can stop him.

But a blocking sled can hold him back a few weeks.

The Washington Redskins' receiver suffered an injured right shoulder when he ran into a sled Thursday during practice. Redskins coach Jay Gruden later said that Jackson fell near a tackling sled.

Jackson suffered a Grade 2 separated shoulder and is expected to miss a few weeks, according to a source informed of the situation, per NFL Media's Rand Getlin.


http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000507121/article/injury-roundup-desean-suffers-shoulder-injury

:banghead:
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#5 » by Ruzious » Thu Aug 6, 2015 10:02 pm

Wow.

No wonder Jackson never blocks. Aside from punters, he might be the most 1 dimensional player in the NFL.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#6 » by Ruzious » Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:53 pm

"Big news" that Scherff has been moved from tackle to guard. People are saying how could you choose a guard with the 5th pick? I think the answer is easy - If you can get a pro bowler at any position other than special teams, I can't complain. I'm no expert, but it seems obvious the guy is a natural at guard - not tackle. The real good thing about this news is that Moses is now the starting RT - and it's obvious that he's a natural right tackle. They both just need to stay healthy all year and keep learning. If they do, we have the right side of our O-line set for maybe a decade.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#7 » by LyricalRico » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:09 pm

Ruzious wrote:"Big news" that Scherff has been moved from tackle to guard. People are saying how could you choose a guard with the 5th pick? I think the answer is easy - If you can get a pro bowler at any position other than special teams, I can't complain. I'm no expert, but it seems obvious the guy is a natural at guard - not tackle. The real good thing about this news is that Moses is now the starting RT - and it's obvious that he's a natural right tackle. They both just need to stay healthy all year and keep learning. If they do, we have the right side of our O-line set for maybe a decade.


Agreed, a stud is a stud regardless of draft position. I don't have a problem with it, especially considering the drop-off to the other O-line prospects this year.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#8 » by Ruzious » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:35 pm

In the Griffin vs Manziel contest, the winner was easily... Cousins. I don't know what happened to cause all those int's last year, but he looked better than ever last night. It really sucked to see Paul get wheeled out. I thought he was set for a breakout season. They'll be shopping on ebay for a TE. The running game looked good. The kids on the right side of the line - Scherff and Moses - are going to have some growing pains, but there's no doubt they can run block. Skins are going to pile up rushing yards this season. Btw, officials might need preseason more than players. That early interference call on Culliver was just stupid. No Culliver didn't make a play on the ball, but when the WR plows the DB over and pushes him away, that's not defensive interference. If you don't call offensive interference, that doesn't mean you have to call defensive interference.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#9 » by LyricalRico » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:52 pm

Ruzious wrote:In the Griffin vs Manziel contest, the winner was easily... Cousins. I don't know what happened to cause all those int's last year, but he looked better than ever last night.


I was surprised that Cousins went in so early, considering how much work Griffin needs. And Captain Kirk was definitely on fire. On the radio this morning they're talking about why Griffin (like last preseason) got so little burn and so few passes, especially compared to other (better) starting QB's

"Is the organization that scared of Griffin getting hurt? Do they secretly want Cousins to have the job? With Jack and Paul hurt, do they feel like they can evaluate the skill players fighting for spots better with somebody who can run the offense?"

Could have been because of this:

Ruzious wrote:The running game looked good. The kids on the right side of the line - Scherff and Moses - are going to have some growing pains, but there's no doubt they can run block. Skins are going to pile up rushing yards this season.


Seemed like they were more concerned with looking at the right side of the line than getting Griffin more game-time work. Makes some sense, but regardless of how Scherff/Moses play, deciding once and for all if Griffin is the longterm answer at QB should be their top priority IMO.

And if they really want to play Cousins, then have the guts to make that call and deal with the fallout. I'm starting to feel like Jay Gruden is out of his depth when it comes to high-level, strategic decision making. Maybe he can draw up nice plays, but his management of the team has been unimpressive. Is it time to start the "Coundown to Bill Callahan Being Named Interim HC" thread?
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#10 » by stevemcqueen1 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:56 pm

Ruzious wrote:In the Griffin vs Manziel contest, the winner was easily... Cousins. I don't know what happened to cause all those int's last year, but he looked better than ever last night.


His bad decision making is the cause of his turnover problems, and it was there in the Cleveland game too. He just didn't get punished for it. Roberts bailed him out with a duck thrown into coverage in his first series. He really made a great catch. Then later on in that series Cousins threw the ball against his body on a scramble to the right, back into the heart of the defense to Roberts again. That was another bad decision that worked out for him. But those throws are a no-no because you can't get good velocity on them and the defense is already flowing in the right direction to break on the ball while your receiver just has to sit there waiting for it to arrive. Then later, one of his incompletions was a stupid throw into double coverage that could have been a pick too.

I've always liked Cousins. I enjoyed watching him run that slick misdirection heavy pro style Dantonio offense at Michigan State. He was a clutch player back then too. And he did have an efficient night. But his decision making is still a problem and his numbers look good in large part because he was completing some bad throws against back ups that weren't playing the ball like they would be in mid season form.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#11 » by stevemcqueen1 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:00 pm

LyricalRico wrote:I was surprised that Cousins went in so early, considering how much work Griffin needs. And Captain Kirk was definitely on fire. On the radio this morning they're talking about why Griffin (like last preseason) got so little burn and so few passes, especially compared to other (better) starting QB's


Two series is pretty standard league-wide for starters in the first preseason game. They didn't need to play any of the starters any more than they did. The ones will get more work in games two and three.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#12 » by stevemcqueen1 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:53 pm

I think we pulled a great draft class. And I thought many of them showed really well in the first preseason game. There is an innate toughness and physicality to the class that I really like. Breaking it down by player:

Scherff - I think he's a complete stud, and I had a mancrush on him back August/September of 2014 and its pretty awesome when the team actually drafts one of your mancrush prospects. Didn't happen often under Shanahan's tenure... Scherff is an incredible athlete, massive functional strength and great agility for his size. And he's smart. He was pretty raw last season, especially in pass protection, which belies his reputation as an Iowa product. I'm cautious in my expectations for him this year as a tackle because of that. But he is an incredibly gifted run blocker already. We'll be able to scheme all kinds of exotic blocks for run plays because of him. I think he's going to kill it at right guard.

Preston Smith - He shined in the first game. Great length, very strong, and a gap sound player. A sneaky good pass rusher too. I hope we consider playing him at LE in all of our passing sub packages and then put Galette at RE and Kerrigan at OLB. But he'll probably be behind Murphy on the depth chart.

Martrell "Set 'em Straight" Spaight - Didn't know much about him before we picked him, did some research afterwards and was immediately sold. Just a classic undersized thumping linebacker. So aggressive and energetic with a prototypical alpha personality. I think he's going to make an immediate impact on special teams and I think he can spot start and play in some of our sub packages.

Matt Jones - Ran hard, made some plays. He's a gifted size-speed athlete with a really hard charging style. He'll be a nice spell for Morris. Between them and the massive infusion of talent to the OL, they should be able to bruise up defenses and wear them out. We'll run a smashmouth offense this season.

Arie Kouandjio - He has strong hands and he's immovable when he drops his anchor. He's super smart and is a gifted pass protector. Limited movement skills, and I think you saw evidence of that on that screen play where he was the lead blocker and just didn't even come close to getting to the corner. That's a difficult block. I followed him some at Alabama, and he was just a rock solid starter. I think he was consistently their highest graded lineman. I want to see him eventually replace Lauvao at LG.

Kyshoen Jarrett - Really like this late round pick. He's got good length and ball skills for the position, you saw a flash of this when he got that pass defensed to prevent the catch and run. He's got a little bit of Kam Chancellor in him. Not as physical, but still a good tackler. More of a ballhawk. I hope he sticks around and develops here. With our typical rate of attrition at safety, he'll probably play this year.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#13 » by Ruzious » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:59 pm

Good stuff, Steve. I see a trend there - aggressive hard- hitting sob's. That's the new team personality - all because of one offseason by a GM with an actual plan. Even though he's a little guy and injured, I think Jamison Crowder's fits in that personality. And he was productive. Can't wait to see him returning kicks in the regular season.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#14 » by stevemcqueen1 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:50 pm

Ruzious wrote:Good stuff, Steve. I see a trend there - aggressive hard- hitting sob's. That's the new team personality - all because of one offseason by a GM with an actual plan. Even though he's a little guy and injured, I think Jamison Crowder's fits in that personality. And he was productive. Can't wait to see him returning kicks in the regular season.


That's kind of the trend I saw too. I really liked the class at the time of the draft and I'm pleased that several members are already positioning themselves to play as rookies.

It was a huge class, so it gave McCloughan a chance to put his stamp on the roster. Hiring him to GM was an inspired decision--something that's been pretty rare from our FO. It snapped Allen and Gruden into more appropriate roles and put a personnel expert where we needed one.

Steve Spurrier said that football is truly just a game of blocking and tackling. The teams that do those two things well are good, and the ones that don't are bad. We'd fallen so far from the smashmouth identity that Gibbs started installing when he came out of retirement. Dirtbags were gone, and those stout (if unspectacular) Williams/Blache defenses were completely dismantled when Shanahan showed up and forced the transition to the 3-4 base. I think these past two drafts and this FA class brought in an infusion of OL and defensive talent that we really needed.

For example, we were really soft in the secondary. No talent at safety and Deangelo Hall was our most consistent corner. I like Hall and do think he gives the effort as a tackler. But to have him as our physical tone-setter in the secondary means you're going to have a soft defense. But add a Bash Breeland and Chris Culliver into the mix at corner, and a Dashon Goldson at safety and now you've massively upgraded the open field tackling. It's going to take a little while for all of our pieces to come back from injury/suspension and gel, but we at least have the bodies now to field a real secondary.

Same for the upgrades in the defensive front: Robinson and Kerrigan are coming into their own at the same time as we added some stout players in Preston Smith, Martrell Spaight, Terrence Knighton, and Stephen Paea. That's a recipe for massive improvement on defense. Plus getting Galette was a really nice rebound from losing Orakpo. For the first time in five or six years, I see some pride and swagger on that side of the ball. I expect them to make huge strides this season.

The OL got a huge infusion of talent from the 14 and 15 draft classes too. Before we were starting Trent Williams and a bunch of replacement level guys. There was just no chance for the unit to cohere into anything. And the depth was awful. Now we also have Scherff, who is almost as athletic as Trent, and Moses seems to be growing up. Three big dudes with tremendous functional strength. And the depth seems way better. We have young developmental interior linemen that you actually want to see get into a game in Long and Kouandjio.

I think we finally have the players again to play smashmouth on offense. And I think that is the recipe for success with both RGIII and Cousins, they're play-action quarterbacks. And on defense I think we'll be a good run defense, but with Galette and Kerrigan providing a solid pass rush too.

As for Crowder, I'm looking forward to seeing him too. I'm an ACC fan that fortunately got to see some of him at Duke and he was a really impressive college player. I'd definitely rather see him returning kicks than Roberts... But I also think he can make an early impact as a receiver because of how good a route runner he is. I think he'll pick up the route tree quickly, and then I think the coaches are going to like him for his reliability. The only thing that worries me a little, aside from the injury, is that we haven't heard about any resolution to the accusation of domestic abuse that happened in June. If there is something there, he could get a fairly substantial suspension.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#15 » by Ruzious » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:40 pm

After reading that, gotta wonder if Joe Gibbs Part 2 had McGloughlan as his GM, the Gibbs 2 era could have succeeded. He would have put together a smash-mouth O-line - much like Bobby Beathard did - and we'd dominated on the ground - even while the rest of the NFL turned toward passing. Look at all those big nasty young O-lineman we have. Still, we need Trent to be healthy. But it's almost like we're in the process of re-making the Gibbs 1 era team.

Anyway, now we finally have a real GM (as opposed to an empty suit like Allen - who's more suited to be a party planner than an a GM), and that's going to make all the difference.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#16 » by stevemcqueen1 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:46 pm

That's an interesting hypothetical. A good personnel man certainly would have helped Gibbs 2 since bad trades wasting draft picks for quick fixes are the result of poor personnel evaluation and asset management. They were a hallmark of Gibbs 2. But I think the real issue was Gibbs's age. He was never going to stick around for more than four years or so. Being the HC of the Redskins is a young man's game. The atmosphere of negativity and pressure surrounding the franchise is completely draining, and I think it will take a young, hungry coach to survive here.

Allen was definitely an empty suit when it came to the player personnel side of GMing. But there is a role for him in this franchise. There are a variety of FO structures around the league, but most teams have a Team President/CEO type that's separate from the player personnel department at the top of the pyramid. A lot of the families/ownership groups are long time football/NFL people, so sometimes it's a member of ownership that holds the president role. But Snyder is not a football guy, so Allen is our answer to that. He knows the league, and Snyder trusts him, which is key. Snyder tends to give the people he trusts a wide berth and remains loyal to them. As team president, I think Allen can serve as the "head of state," oversee more of the business side of running the franchise, oversee personnel management within the front office itself, and act as a liaison between Snyder and the rest of the organization in order to keep him removed from football operations. It's a much more appropriate role for him than GM.

As for smashmouth, no matter how much the NFL trends toward passing, I think being legitimately good at smashmouth will always work at every level of the sport. But Spurrier's quote saying that the game comes down to blocking and tackling is deceptive because it doesn't emphasize how incredibly difficult it is to build a team that truly excels at the two fundamental parts of the game. Especially at the NFL level. You need a lot of talent and you need the leadership to make it come together. A leadership void is death for an NFL locker room. Establishing and maintaining an excellent locker room culture is the lion's share of good coaching. And you need great personnel/asset management because the attrition rate is so horrific in the NFL that team building is a never ending process. One or two bad drafts consecutively can dip even a great team out of contention. It's happened to both New Orlean and New England during their runs of greatness with Brees and Brady.

Back to smashmouth, Seattle, Baltimore, and San Francisco are three teams who have been recently successful with the model. The development of Scherff and Moses is going to be key to our offensive success. We'll rely on the running game to set up the passing game. And to a lesser extent, I think developing either Long or Kuandjio will be important for finding a long term LG to replace Lauvao.

I know a lot of people questioned the Scherff pick, and then were disappointed with his move to RG. Personally, I'd have played him at RT where I think his athleticism is more of an asset for pass protecting the edge. But I also understand the point that Moses is one of our five best OLs, can't play guard, and this was the only way to get both of them on the field. Also Scherff's pass protection was raw coming in. When I watched his cut ups, most of his mistakes and negative plays came on pass protections as a result of technical issues. Playing him at guard his first year is going to shield him from criticism that he probably would have taken at tackle.

Where he really stood out was in run blocking. He's an extremely gifted run blocker. Iowa's blocking schemes were really interesting, they'd often have him pull and reach and trap block like you'd normally see from a guard. Some of their designs were very difficult blocks that I think they were only able to run because of how fast he is and how good he is at landing blocks on the move. I think our offensive coaches are are now going to be able to design and execute some complicated blocks for our running game that should give defensive fronts difficult looks to deal with.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#17 » by Ruzious » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:07 pm

Yeah, he probably wasn't the best player at 5, but his value isn't just as a RG or RT. It's to send a message to the team and to the NFL as to what type of team Washington is going to be - to establish an identity. And hopefully it's successful. His presence affects the entire offensive line. Moses is one of those guys who could totally fail or be a really good RT for a decade. Having a talented dedicated mauler next to him could make all the difference between success or failure. Long and Kouandjio are tough looking workmanlike talents, but you don't want to depend on them to be more than complementary guys their first couple of years. That's why they needed a more talented rook to step in and be a guy you build around.

Funny - while the Skins were a smashmouth team in Gibbs 1, they had a great passing game. They were the team that had 3 one thousand yard pass receivers. So the smashmouth doesn't prevent them from being at least a high efficiency passing team in the era of passing. It makes them more versatile.
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Re: 2015 Training Camp & Preseason 

Post#18 » by Ruzious » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:49 pm

A few Ruz ramblins on the Ravens game:

- What does Jackson Jeffcoat have to do to get in the rotation? It should be a given that he's made the team - after getting an int and a forced fumble against the Ravens. On every good defensive play, it seemed he was around the ball helping make the play. The strange thing is - he was an outstanding college player, has good size, and he's a good athlete - yet he wasn't drafted and has had trouble making rosters in the NFL.

- The WR's - Grant, Jamison Crowder, Rashad Ross, and Reggie Bell. I want to keep all of them. Grant and Crowder are gimme's to make the team - Grant always seems to get open, and Crowder doesn't appear to be too hampered by his lack of height. Ross was the best performer, and Bell might be the most intriguing of them. If they hadn't drafted Crowder, I think Bell would be a sure thing to make the team and compete for the slot spot.

- Matt Freakin Jones - totally outplayed Alf as a runner and is far better in the passing game than Alf - very unusual for a big 235 lb RB fo be so fluid in the passing game. If Jones stays healthy (which he had a had time doing in college and HS), will he get more PT than Alf?
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