The post Jay Gruden era begins and the Washington Redskins attempt to start anew today against the Miami Dolphins.
Last Monday, Redskin management parted ways with the team’s former head coach. The Redskins have started this season 0-5 and are at the bottom of the league statistically on offense and defense. Redskins’ offensive line coach Bill Callahan was named the interim head coach. Callahan has already made changes in the team’s preparation for the 0-4 Miami Dolphins. There’s been conversation about the loser of this game going winless for the season looking at their upcoming schedules. The Redskins appear to be the more talented team of the two if you go position by position, but the Dolphins are healthier and have had two weeks to prepare with the team returning from their bye week.
Everyone should keep a close eye on the Redskins’ offense this Sunday with offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell taking over the play calling responsibilities. Through Jay Gruden’s tenure, the Redskins have been very predictable offensively. O’Connell and the offensive staff need to find ways to consistently involve their best players into the offensive schematics. It will be interesting to see if they get back to what made them successful in the games they competed in and won last year, which is running the football. Head coach Bill Callahan has an “old school” mentality in that he believes the running game should be the offensive foundation and you add variety in the passing game off of that. There are a select few teams that can pass 40 plus times a game and win consistently doing it. The Redskins are not one of them. With Case Keenum being the starting quarterback today, they need to help him out as much as possible as he is still not completely healthy from a foot injury. Not only will running the ball help Keenum, but it will also help a beat up offensive line who has struggled throughout this season. O’Connell will need to get the ball out of Keenum’s hands quickly and into the hands of rookie receiver Terry McLaurin.
The Miami Dolphin defense has not been able to stop a runny nose this season. If the Redskins needed a game to get right offensively, this is definitely the one. It’s not rocket science what the Redskins need to do with the personnel they have:
Stay with the run.
Mix in some passes on first down to create second and third and short opportunities.
Spread the ball around and take some occasional shots downfield to make the Dolphins defend the entire field the whole game.
Let Adrian Peterson be Adrian Peterson and I’m not talking just 10 carries.
Cut down considerably on these unforced penalties. They are momentum and morale destroyers; if they don’t, they need to be held accountable for it.
They do those things, I guarantee you they will not just be in games, but may actually win a few of them.
At some point, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has to say “go get ‘em” and let his players make plays. In the first half of the Patriots game, we saw flashes of what this defense is capable of. The Redskins game planned to stop the Patriots from passing. It worked up until the Patriots recognized that and decided to run the football as a result. Greg Manusky could not find an answer and that has been a recurring theme for this defense. Today, the Redskins front seven should feast on Miami quarterback Josh Rosen with the below average offensive line he has in front of him. The Dolphins don’t have game breakers on offense so the Redskin defensive backs should be able to hold their own this week, as long as they don’t have busted coverages like in previous weeks. They should be sending pressure every down with five to six rushers. They need to force Josh Rosen to make quick decisions because he will throw the football to the other team frequently if put in those situations. In addition, the Redskin defense needs to not kill themselves with penalties and continually give the Dolphins hope.
So far, this season has gone as bad as it could have for the Redskins. The good news is, there are still 11 games left to turn things around. Will this season be a story of a team that fell to the bottom, but climb all the way back to the top? Or will it be a story of a team that could not get out of its own way and reached new levels of futility? Today is the first opportunity for them to right the wrongs and change the narrative. Today, we will see who has more pride and more fight in them to not be the worst team in football. The Redskins will be victorious 27-13 in pretty convincing fashion. As you were...
Photo Credit: Washington Redskins