Saturday, March 13, 2010

2009 Linebacker Review

I consider the Brian Orakpo experiment to be a success. His pass-rushing exploits are well-documented, but while I was nervous early on about his taking on linebacker duties I think he improved steadily throughout the season. A case could be made that due to his speed and range the hybrid DE/LB is the best use of his talents. Early on he was repeatedly embarrassed in pass coverage, but late in the year he either improved or the coaches did a better job of keeping him out of mismatch situations (like when he was in man coverage on Tony Gonzalez for a touchdown). When off the line I think he showed a good ability to track the play across the field, and generally did fine in the more linebacker-ish tasks.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Redskins should take a run at Jared Gaither

Let's say that Shanahan decides he won't be able to get a quarterback he's in love with at the four pick.

The Ravens excellent (and still very young) left tackle has only been given a first round tender, not first and third.  If the Redskins draft Russel Okung they will be hoping that he develops to Gaither's level.  There is a much larger probability he will be adequate but not Gaitherish, and a smaller but not insignificant possibility he will just be lousy.

Why not overpay Gaither a little and hope the Ravens choose not to match?  Yes he has had some injuries and therefore poses a risk.  But isn't he still less of a risk than a rookie?

The Ravens already have Michael Oher on hand... so they just might be willing to let Gaither go.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The cuts

None of last night's cuts were outright shocking, but some of them were interesting and possible informative.

Rock Cartwright -The hardest one to take, in my opinion, but probably also the least surprising.  I tried - I really tried - to find a way he could fit into the backfield picture, but couldn't.  There's still a tiny chance he could be brought back as a special teamer at a massively reduced salary, but I wouldn't bet on it.  He was, bar none, my favorite Redskin.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2009 Defensive Line Review

The Redskins top defensive ends are probably no longer linemen at all. Brian Orakpo’s successful rookie year is well documented, and the role he played last year was very similar to a 3-4 OLB anyway, so I’m not worried about him. Unlike a lot of other guys on this defense, the scheme change may maximize his abilities. Chris Wilson also played very well in essentially the same role as Orakpo. And Andre Carter has played OLB before., so I’m confident he can make the switch since age does not seem to have slowed him much. More on these three guys in the linebacker review.

I’ve already talked a lot about Haynesworth both in the post on the  3-4 defense and in his own personalized rant. To summarize: the Redskins are fortunate to have one of the most uniquely talented defensive players in football (and he does not come off the field too often, thank you very much) and it would be a travesty if he were forced into a role as a space-eater to make a 3-4 scheme work. But three posts on Haynesworth would be excessive, so on to the other guys…