Posts Tagged ‘RG3’

Number #10 joins forces with #10

Number #10 joins forces with #10

Signing the likes of Tracey Porter and Jason Hatcher, and even one of my favourite under-the-radar linebackers Daryl Sharpton were all good off-season business for the Washington Redskins, but the moves lacked that big splash.

That splash, well more like a tidal wave, eventually came earlier this week when the Redskins invited recently released former Philadelphia Eagles wide-out DeSean Jackson, better known as D-Jax, for a visit to Fed Ex Field. They knew how important the visit was, and as a result said enough sweet nothings into Jackson’s shell-likes, making sure he did nor leave until he signed on the dotted line.

Being a lifelong Redskins fan I have had my fair share of low-lights in the past 20 years, including a stretch where bitter division rivals the Eagles were the class of the division. I have also witnessed two Super Bowl wins by another division rival the New York Giants in the last ten years, wins by a combined seven points.

Some divisional players have been a real thorn in the Redskins side, from Brian Westbrook to DeSean Jackson. Signing one of these prickly pears is a real relief, as it means one less speedster to man mark. I think DeAngelo Hall will lose less sleep over covering Riley Cooper that he will against D-Jax.

The Redskins combination of wide receivers now moves from top 20 to top 10 in one signing. Jackson will be a spectacular #2 to accompany Pierre Garcon (the NFL leader in catches in 2013), and they will both be joined by another new signing, former Arizona Cardinals number 3, Andre Roberts.

Robert Griffin III will be a happy man, but he does have some extra pressure now as he has needy wide-outs wherever he looks. This is a nice problem to have for any NFL quarterback, but for RG3 he does not strike me as a 4,250 yard (or more) passer so I am not expecting a stat line for Jackson that will not get close to his 2013 output of 82-1332 and nine touchdowns.

I will predict a decent 70-850-5td stat line, as RG3 and Alfred Morris will be pounding the pigskin, and the nest of birds (including a former Eagle and Cardinal) will be cheeping loudly for the ball. One of those making the noise will be Jordan Reed the tight-end who has the potential to be a Pro-Bowler in his second season if he plays for the full season.

It’s not a legitimate off-season in the NFL until the Redskins make a big move, and I feel a lot more optimistic that 2013 was irregular and 2012 was what we will aim to beat in terms of 10 wins.

The number I love the most out of this is not #10, which D-Jax has absolutely no hope of wearing in 2014, its 17.2. That is the lifetime yards per catch average of DeSean Jackson. 17.2 yards per catch is phenomenal. Maintaining this average in burgundy and gold will mean a phenomenal season for D-Jax and a big bag of wins.

This move also makes up for a lack of no first round draft pick this season, better the devil you know right?

Lets hope Jackson’s former team mates don’t gang up on him when he faces the Eagles twice in the 2014 season, after all that wont be a good sign.

Jordan Reed has been a revelation as a Redskins rookie.

Jordan Reed has been a revelation as a Redskins rookie.

It’s happened again, nine weeks in and the Washington Redskins are in exactly the same position as last year, a 3-6 record and a season that is to all intents and purposes as dead as Richie Incognito being on Jonathan Martin’s Christmas card list.

The 2013 Redskins running game is firing on all cylinders, with some memorable three-touchdown games from two members of the backfield not named Alfred Morris, and despite a reservation at the start of the season to tuck and run Robert Griffin III has had a number of statistically great games in his second NFL season.

The offensive line has again been an under-appreciated but over-achieving unit led by Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams.

The biggest addition since 2012 to the offensive weaponry at RG3’s disposal has been rookie 3rd round selection, tight end Jordan Reed who came from the Florida Gators. Expected to learn his craft under veteran Fred Davis, who was re-signed in the off-season on a one-year deal, Reed has been snapping away to the tune of 44 catches for 487 yards.

It would be a somewhat tough ask, but Reed could gain 1000 yards as a rookie, which would be up there with the achievement of Alfred Morris rushing for over 1600 yards as a rookie in 2012.

Unfortunately the Redskins defense has looked better on paper than it has on the field, getting terrorised to the tune of 388 yards a game and 31.9 points a contest, with only the lowly 0-8 Jacksonville Jaguars yielding more points a game (33).

This was a team that somehow managed to send three of its linebackers to the Pro Bowl earlier this year, somewhat ironic when the team’s weakness has been tackling. The teams two star outside linebackers Brian Orakpo, back from an injury filled 2012, and Ryan Kerrigan who has been the Redskins only real source of sacks (6.5 so far in 2013), have flashed their talent but have not shone, and 38-year-old London Fletcher is inevitably slowing down.

Fletcher had a tough time growing up and was always an outside shot at even making an NFL roster, but he has been an absolute rock in the Washington locker room and on the gridiron, but expecting him to shoulder the defense for much longer is not a viable option.

Washington’s secondary has been the biggest weakness, giving up big play after big play. Putting in two rookies David Amerson and Baccari Rambo has been one of the major reasons that teams have been confident to air it out. Rambo has looked more like Dumbo sometimes, and whilst Amerson has picked off two passes (including one for a touchdown) teams are picking on the new guys.

Like chewing gum on the sole of your flip-flops a few career backups have again stuck around to cover for injuries and dips in form. Both safety Reed Doughty and defensive tackle Kenrick Goldston have been living on the periphery of the Redskins roster for many years but they simply are too valuable to release.  If anything these are guys that personify what it is to be a player in the NFL. Not the most talented, rarely on highlights packages, but always ready to step in and sacrifice their body’s for the greater good.

The kicking game has been anonymous in 2013 and the return game has been poor. The Redskins miss having a true return talent and have to rely on backup tight-end Niles Paul to return kicks and plodding wide-receiver Josh Morgan to return punts.

Last season the Redskins were 3-6 and I wouldn’t have bet a single penny that the team would tear off seven consecutive wins en-route to a divisional title and a home playoff game.

Now in the same position with seven games left the Redskins are remarkably still in the hunt for a division title. The Dallas Cowboys top the division at present with 5 wins but the NFC East truly is the NFC least and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that an 8-8 record plus a tiebreaker situation that even Russel Crowe’s beautiful mind could not solve could see the Redskins again punch their ticket to hitch a ride on the post-season express train.

It’s more likely they will bump into Tom Hanks on the Polar Express but if you would have asked me if the playoffs were achievable 12 months ago I would have laughed in your face.

As I write Alfred Morris is leading the NFL in rushing and RG3 is on target to throw for 4355 yards. Wide receiver Pierre Garcon has been living up to his potential at last, and wideout Leonard Hankerson is even starting to show up, but 29 catches in 9 games is not going to turn you into a household name.

NFL FAN IN ENGLAND’S PREDICTION FOR THE REDSKINS FOR THE REST OF THE 2013 SEASON

Week 11 – @ Philadelphia – Win 31-28
Week 12 – Home to 49ers – Loss 17-34
Week 13 – Home to Giants – Win 29-23
Week 14 – Home to Chiefs – Loss 17-27
Week 15 – @ Falcons – Win 33-19
Week 16 – Home to Cowboys Win 30-27
Week 17 – @ Giants Win – 24-19

This would equate to an 8-8 record, which I think unfortunately will not be enough to win the division. Despite an emotional Week 16 victory I have a bad feeling that a Cowboys win over the Eagles in Week 17 will put Dallas at 9-7, enough to scrape a division title. I say all this because my predicting skills are not exactly on a parallel with Nostradamus.

It’s going to be another wild ride, lets hope the burgundy and gold train stays on the track until Christmas, what a present that would make for Redskins fans around the world.

Let’s hope we see Kirk and his big hair this Sunday

Ross Tucker may talk a lot of nonsense in his ESPN Football Today podcast, but I happen to strongly agree with one of his sentiments this week that there is no such thing as a ‘mild’ concussion. You either have a concussion or you don’t.

The Redskins star rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered an alleged ‘mild’ concussion last week in a tough loss to the Atlanta Falcons. It was well documented that he could not recall the score or the quarter he was in the second time that trainers asked him to give some straight forward responses.

So what are the Redskins likely to do this weekend against the rabid Minnesota Vikings? Rest their franchise for a week and make sure any spiders are gone and not still forming cobwebs in his cranium or just bow to fan pressure and the need to get back to a .500 record by starting him for the sixth week in a row?

Looks like the Redskins are going to bring back RG3 seven days after he couldn’t tell if he was on the opening drive or performing a two-minute drill.

Big big mistake if they do decide to bring him back, and to compound this sense of doom RG3 will be restricted from his natural style of play where he uses his feet to move the chains, along with his arm.

Fellow Redskins rookie passer Kirk Cousins had a real mixed bag in his first spell of NFL action, finding a wide open Santana Moss for a huge td, but also showed his misjudgment and lack of experience with two second half interceptions.

No matter I would rather see Cousins trying his best than watching an RG3 who is thinking too hard, or maybe in some of the darker recesses not thinking at all whilst the cobwebs implanted by Sean Weatherspoon’s legal but lethal hit slowly disintegrate.

Mike and Kyle Shanahan be sensible and give RG3 an important job on Sunday……………………official clip-board holder.

Justin Blackmon - my shock #3 pick by the wideout starved Minnesota Vikings

Anyone who knows the difference between a touchdown and a touchback knows that this year’s NFL Draft already has two players locked in, but from pick 3 onwards there is no doubt in my mind that it will be much more of a roller-coaster than many mock-draft writers have predicted.

Below is my attempt at a top 10 NFL 2012 Mock Draft, including the position, team drafting, player I am predicting will be picked and why…

1) Indianapolis Colts…select Andrew Luck, QB Stanford

2) Washington Redskins…select Robert Griffin III aka RG3, QB, Baylor

These two picks are locked tighter than an upstream-swimming salmon’s sphincter as Luck is rated as the best quarterback prospect in the past 20 years, and the Redskins traded the farm to swap number 1 picks with the St Louis Rams.

Funnily enough the last time we has two such high-profile quarterbacks get selected in the top two draft picks it was the Colts at #1 who selected Peyton Manning, and the San Diego Chargers at #2 who picked a bust bigger than Dolly Parton’s when they nabbed Ryan Leaf.

3) Minnesota Vikings…select Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

Yep I’m in a minority here, as most experts have USC offensive tackle (pictured above) being selected by the Purple People Eaters, but I am gambling on the Vikings getting a stud wideout to go with their stud running-back Adrian Peterson and a primary target for second year quarterback Christian Ponder.

4) Cleveland Browns…select Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

A nation championship winning back and the best prospect since the aforementioned Adrian Peterson. Richardson is a thoroughbred who can find the holes, catch the ball and play a full 60 minutes. The Browns made the decision not to go after RG3 so must have some sort of faith in Colt McCoy. They did however let Madden poster-boy Peyton Hillis go, and have the glass-kneed Montario Hardesty as their top back. Richardson will bring back some ruggedness to the Browns, a team who people respected in the 1980s – honest they did. 

5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers…select Morris Clayborne, CB, LSU

Veteran Buccs cornerback Ronde Barber simply cannot go on, despite signing an extension earlier this year. The Buccs have a young team and they need a dominating corner to do what Ronde did for over a decade. Clayborne could possibly go at #3 to the Vikings. Any corner that gets selected this high had better be special, and I’m not talking special-teams special. Patrick Petersen was picked as a corner in the same slot last year and he ended up in the Pro-Bowl. Clayborne I doubt will have the same rookie impact.

6) St Louis Rams…select Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Rams would have had their heart set on Blackmon, but this is my mock draft so they have to fish elsewhere for a big catch. With Cleveland and Tampa addressing need Kalil, the best tackle available, will be the chosen one by the Rams. Yes they got Roger Saffold last year, but with Kalil the Rams will have their best offensive lineman since Orlando Pace. 

7) Jacksonville Jaguars select…Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

This is one team with needs at defensive line, wide receiver and depending on how much optimism you have for 2011 1st Rd pick Blaine Gabbert, a new quarterback. The Jags will have a number of options here but Cox has the best combination of durability, strength and speed. Putting Cox alongside Tyson Alualu will give the Jags a formidable combo for the 2010s. 

8) Miami Dolphins select…Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

The Fins have sucked harder at quarterback than Kojack would at an international lollipop licking contest. Matt Moore is not the answer and neither have been some of the hideous signal callers that have been starting in Miami over the past decade. Tannehill is in a class of his own in this draft. He is a top ten talent, but not a top 5 one. Tannehill has great awareness, but maybe that awareness will trigger his spidey-sense to steer clear from the Dolphins. It’s unlikely  as he will be very likely to be in aqua and white no sooner than you can spot a pair of surgically enhanced breasts on Miami Beach. 

9) Carolina Panthers select…Mark Barron, S, Alabama

A second member of the Crimson Tide to get selected in the top 10, Barron is the number one safety available by a country mile. He comes armed with a national championship ring and some classy leadership skills. The Panthers struck gold in the 2011 draft with Can Newton, Barron is not that sparkly, but he is a solid silver pick and can bring his ball hawking skills to Carolina, with immediate game 1 impact. His 12 picks in college is pretty respectable. 

10) Buffalo Bills select…Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Despite having the drawback of going to Cretin High School (yes it’s true) Floyd is a game-changer, who can catch the small passes and make them into big gains. The Bills have got a respectable defense, bolstered by the big free-agency signing of Mario Williams. They now need a wideout to take the pressure off Steve Johnson. This could in-part help the Bills become legit once again. 

Can’t wait for tomorrow night, not sure I will make it much past Andrew Luck standing there with the ginger prince, but my ipod will be knackered out Friday morning as I read through the selections made as the rain batters the window and my six moth old batters my eardrums.