How will the Washington Redskins defeat its top 10.5 foes in 2012? The Redskins have already taken some of those steps. Innovative thinking about players would be another. Throw in an effort at self-improvement for good measure and Washington will be on the path to the playoffs and will save western civilization.
Here's how to beat the Redskins' top opponents.1. Michael Vick, Cam Newton
The cure is to fight fire with fire. Copy them by getting Robert Griffin III. Our defenders practicing against RG3 will be the best prep for game day against
Vick and Newton.
The cure here is to pay a fortune only to real lean and skinny guys before they peak in their careers. No more big checks for big, past their prime free agents. See the next entry for an example of this. One possible case against this proposed cure is DeAngelo Hall. He is coming off an almost Haynesworth-like year in 2011. By his own admission, he doesn’t work hard in practice. The cure here was Shanny to bring in Shannon Sharpe to tell Hall to get off his butt and start to work hard in practice if he wants his performance in games to match his ego.3. Miles Austin
The cure – pay a mint and get Pierre Garcon. These two share a trait that Head Coach Mike Shanahan looks for to cure anemic offenses – he calls it playing "possessed." Watch for guys that play possessed to get the majority of offensive plays this year.4. DeSean Jackson
The Saints play the Eagles before the Eagles play the Redskins this year. I hate to say it, but I think the only hope the Redskins have is if the Saints put a bounty on Jackson. Of course, the Saints will cover their tracks better this year. I have lived in morally corrupt New Orleans, so trust me; they will still be doing "incentives." (Wait, that's a bit of a contradiction saying I lived in morally corrupt New Orleans and then saying trust me. It was only my freshman year at Tulane).
Better to fight fire with fire by using Aldrick Robinson to match Jackson. You cannot compare highlights of Robinson vs. Armstrong or Terrance Austin. Robinson is more explosive and much more "possessed" when he has a clue what the route is. He also gets into the end zone A LOT – a deficiency of the Redskins' receivers last year. Robinson is tougher to tackle. When you look at his highlights at SMU, you see how often he had to slow down and wait for a pass. RG3 has a rifle arm and tends to err by going too long in passes (hence a low interception rate). That bodes well for a speedster like Robinson, and he may even perform better than he did with SMU’s QB.
Some scout sites report both Jackson and Robinson with equal 40 times of 4.35 seconds. Robinson has a 6-inch vertical leap advantage over DeSean Jackson.
If Robinson breaks out with 1,000 yards and Redskins handle the Gano problem (see below), the Redskins are in the playoffs this year.5. Rob Gronkowski
Who can forget Gronk utterly humiliating S DeJon Gomes’ tackling ability while CB DeAngelo Hall lazily stopped to watch?
One cure is to build the linebacker's coverage confidence by having them cover a very slow Chris Cooley this year in practice. Reports out of OTAs are that even Perry Riley can cover Cooley now.
Another cure is DB Coach Raheem Morris. If the secondary blows again, imagine how many hours of screaming they will have to endure.
A fight fire with fire cure is to get our very own Jolly Green Giant for Tight End. That is Beau Reliford. Gronkowski’s is 6’ 6 and 264 pounds. Reliford is 6’ 6 and 258 pounds. Gronk is probably a bit faster than Reliford. They both have hands bigger than most people’s forearms. The Redskins desperately need sizable targets downfield.6. Toby Gerhart, LeSean McCoy
Some running backs seem to have a field day with the Redskins. Having Riley in the full year and DE Jarvis Jenkins's return will help this issue.
The fight fire with fire cure is RB Tristan Davis. I know the chances are very remote he will make the team, but the guy has good size and astonishing lateral and open field speed.7. Injury bug
This is the RG3 fan club's worst nightmare. It hit the Redskins hard last year.
The Jammal Brown proposed cure is Yoga. The Shanahan cure is roster depth. I suggest we use London Fletcher’s genes and genetically engineer future Redskins. His incredible streak of playing is just unbelievable.8. Marijuana
After starting the season at a promising 3-1 last year, one could say the season literally went up in smoke. Fred Davis' and Trent Williams' drug suspensions were devastating to the team. Now with Tanard Jackson joining the team as well, it shouldn’t be impossible to find Zig Zag rolling papers in the Redskins locker room. An honorable mention goes to Brandon Meriweather with his early DUI here. Let’s just hope he sticks to running over offensive opponents.
The proposed cure is that they will all get high on RG3. Fred Davis says the cure is not having free time. Hmmm, what exactly was he doing on his couch during his four-game suspension?9. Coach staking reputation on Grossman
The proposed cure is the coach staking his reputation on RG3, or stop blowing smoke at the fans. If it doesn’t work this time, at least Shanahan will get a complimentary pair of Addidas tennis shoes out of it.10. Coach staking reputation on Graham Gano
Gano clearly does not have nerves of steel and chokes on short field goals when it really counts. For anyone that has Montgomery County soccer experience, you know it’s a lot different to kick a ball straight on and kick a ball coming in from a side angle.
Gano is one of the best in the NFL kicking the ball straight on and I would not be surprised if he hits a 60-yarder with a dead center ball line-up one day. Gano is one of the worst in the league at kicking balls lined up off-center of the field. Gano is the Grossman of kickers. They should form the dead duck flying club. They both have very high talent in select areas but can’t avoid launching the occasional dead duck football into the air. Their flashes of talent throws Shanahan off. No doubt, Gano is wisely kicking only from dead center of the field during OTAs and training camp.
In a sequel to the scariest horror film of all time, I expect the Redskins to lose 2-5 close games this year due to Gano and this problem.
One potential idea to help his lack of nerve and solve another problem at once – have Fred Davis and Trent Williams donate their bongs and leftover pot to Gano. Maybe that will help his nerves. (Just kidding, folks) Seriously, the Redskins will be forced to run 3rd down plays that enable a dead-center spot whenever they are in kicking range. Shanahan is too mesmerized by Gano’s long kick to replace him with aging Neil Rackers.
10.5 Predictable Kyle Shanahan Play Calling
I would love to see a statistical analysis of repeating a similar football running play by the same RB twice in a row. I can’t count how many times I saw Helu run one play for 5 or 8 yards, just to see virtually the same play again and the opposing defense adjust and stop him for 0-2 yards. Then of course, Helu comes limping out or shaking off a stinger out of the inevitable pileup. And don’t these guys need a little oxygen break after a good run?
Football teams are a lot like Microsoft – they don’t invent anything, they just mindlessly copy things that seem to show success.
The cure here is to run unpredictable combinations of plays that complement each other. For example, use Alfred Morris to bruise and rough-up opposing Linebackers. Then throw to Niles Paul to get them out of breath. Also, open up the defense with long bomb attempts to Garcon and Aldrick Robinson. Then you run or screen pass to a somewhat fragile Helu through the worn out LBs. Of course, if this combination works, massively change the order the next time, or throw in the occasional double reverse or trick play. Please.
I could have added another 5 or so top enemies such as losing teams that play on Astroturf, etc. Let’s hope the Redskins do better than that this year.NOTE: This article contrbuted by Redskins fan and Hog Heaven reader, Scott Hirsch.