Fourth Quarter Quandary

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The goal, in any football game, at any level, is to win the game.  In the words of former head coach Herm Edwards: “Hello!  You play to win the game.”

But when things don’t go as planned, it’s the coach’s responsibility to find things that went right, in addition to the things that need work.  The good news for the Redskins–and the silver lining for fans–is that the young players on this team are performing well and earning their playing time.

Here are the highlights from today’s game:

1. The Leonard Hankerson ship has set sail from the port of Miami and is headed north.  Today, he hauled in eight receptions, which accounted for more than one-third of Grossman’s 21 completions.  His 106 yards also accounted for half of the team’s receiving yards today, and last week’s two-point conversion proved that he can be a threat in the red zone.  With his big body and ability to get open, it will be interesting to see how he develops as a red zone threat.  In the mean time, he tripled his career production with today’s performance.

2. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is a stud off the edge, and isn’t a liability in coverage.  His background as a defensive end is going to stunt his development as a coverage linebacker, but he’s shown the ability to get downfield and cover when called upon.  For now, he looks to be developing into the type of bookend edge rusher that that Redskins need to complement Brian Orakpo, and he has the stats to prove it.

3. Even familiar faces like Brian Orakpo, Graham Gano, and Fred Davis performed reasonably well today.  Gano missed two long field goals–which is not unexpected in the Miami breeze and humidity–but also provided the team with it’s only points.  Davis ranked third on the team in yardage, with 28, and caught a long pass of 18 yards.  Orakpo was matched up against a quality left tackle today, but his presence allowed Kerrigan increased opportunities.

These are the types of performances that build winners.

Winning in the NFL is always easier when players have experience together, and unfortunately, that’s just not a luxury that the Redskins have right now.  Of the 11 starters on offense from Week 1, the Redskins have only six still available this week.  On defense, there are only nine playing regularly.  All told, the Redskins have played seven of their 12 rookies selected in April’s draft, and have five players currently on the 53-man roster that weren’t in training camp with the team.

Clearly, this is not the starting lineup that the coaches envisioned running out the tunnel on gameday.  But this is the hand that’s been dealt.

When the team started off 3-1, some people prematurely wondered what it would be like to be in the playoffs.  Now, it’s become clear that this team needs to focus on Sunday night before they even worry about Monday.

Fortunately, that’s the outlook and preparation that’s being reflected in the locker room as well.

The team brought in a lot of players with upstanding character in the offseason.  Good character isn’t reflected on the scoreboard, but it does save a locker room in difficult times like these.  With a rivalry game like the Cowboys on the line, expect this to be a gut-check week.  Whatever this team is capable of will be on display at FedEx next week.

This team is still capable of a second half run, but it may need to walk first, and that starts tomorrow.

That’s all from Miami, as the Redskins fall to the Dolphins: 9-20.

0 thoughts on “Fourth Quarter Quandary

  1. Well the Redskins were true to form today. I’m so fed up I could just spit. What is it going to take before they have at least a winning season? What is it going to take before every other team in the league can stop depending on a the Redskins to break their losing streaks? What is it going to take before the Redskins stop playing down to their competitors?


  2. When does the frustration ends? Stop telling how capable this team is and start showing it. First and foremost we need a quarterback. These current ones are nothing but this level.


    • @Crush_in_ct–

      I hear you. And I know that after the last five weeks, you probably don’t want to hear me. I’m only pointing out that unlike the disappointing teams of years past, this one has potential. Look at the Lions, 49ers, Bucs, Bills, etc. They went through some tough stretches on their way to building up the talent on their roster. Everyone has to find a reason to believe, I’m just trying to find it for you. Sound reasonable?


    • Your so out of touch there’s nothing to say to your comment. We have two back up qb trying to act like starters in the NFL. This season is over and every loss we have improves our draft status to get a franchise qb and there are four really good ones coming out next year. We will be ok but we are on the right track and it will take a little time


  3. im sick and tired of this team playing to their opponents level of competition. Every year it’s the same old sh-t. I have so many issues with so many aspects of our gameplay.
    @Cranky fan…we’re huddling up with 4 minutes to go because we don’t have a 2 minute offense…just look at all the games we’ve played this year when the clock is at 2 min or under before half and before game is over….no hustle, no sense of urgency…you see people like tom brady get 4 or 5 plays off in a minute while we get 1 maybe 2….im starting to think donavon mcnabb didn’t know the 2 minute offense because there was none installed…

    the defense is playing like garbage…reed doughty is a HUGE liability on coverage….why wasn’t Atogwe in the game? i saw in suited up on the sideline. And for Orakpo if he doesn’t learn another move besides rip and run around the OT than we need to find someone else…and the defensive line…WTF is up with their stances?!?!? it’s not rocked up with all the weight falling forward and ready to fire out…it’s like an offensive lineman’s stance so we just stand straight up and get no pressure on the QB whatsoever from them

    honestly we should fire kyle shanahan (and probably jim haslet too) and trade our entire draft next year (and then some) for the 1st overall pick to get Luck….that is if we don’t already have it by seasons end


  4. Why, oh why can’t my team figure things out?!?!? It’s been a miserable 20 years with VERY few highlights. I have ALWAYS loved the Skins but, with Dan Snyder at the helm I have begun to second guess my loyalty!
    Fact is: Each step forward we take becomes two steps back with him mixing his ‘expertise’ in the soup. I’m sick of it and just about ready to toss my fandom in: NO JOKE!!!


  5. And if we lose to the !@@#$%@#$%Q#$ cowexpletivedeleted again?!!!!????
    SERIOUSLY!!!! If we can’t even split w/that piece o crud team, what’s the point!?!?!!!!


  6. I must be a psychic or something… I said the Dolphins would get their second “W” against the Skins. We are on the right track and it will take a little time?… how much time? The Skins have done nothing since their last Super Bowl (1991). Both QBs we have are 3rd stringers (at best)… you guys can keep on believing, but all I know is that the players have these sad faces on TV (pretending they care about the losses). On Tuesday (when they get their paychecks), they’re all smiles again. It doesn’t matter what QB we get out of the draft. The team lacks a coach who’s even good at developing QBs, so it’ll just be another guy under center getting killed by defenses, because we will (once again) waste our draft picks on players we don’t need. The team simply sucks from the coaching staff on down. All I keep hearing is give the Shannys time to build the team. The team won’t be any good ANY TIME SOON (you heard it here first), because management is terrible, coaching is terrible, and the players are terrible, BUT… everyone is getting paid well. I hear a lot of, “The Skins will compete for the Super Bowl in two years.” I think the Cowboys are up next at home, right? I won’t even watch the game… instead, I’ll log onto this site and let your blog statements tell me the outcome.


  7. r u serious Burnteyes …. trade orakpo … the dude is a straight up stud and he’s only what 25 – 26 … that is by far the dumbest comment i have heard … u don’t get a sack every game and he had 2.5 sacks last week shut up and GTFO cuz u don’t no what ur talking about


  8. Redskins offense stinks! Quarterback situation is dismal! Washington needs to draft a quarterback and offensive linemen. This is the only way back to the road of success! Beck is a better quarterback than Grossman. Grossman should retire!
    Defense suffers because of the poor performance of the offense.


  9. Patience grasshoppers.

    We have needs on offense at QB and along the o-line.

    Until we have eight starters along the o-line we will continue to suffer. Right now we have WILLIAMS, LICHTENSTEIGER, and three subs, MONTGOMERY, CHESTER, and BROWN. We need three top first and second round picks to play there still, C, RG, R-OT.

    And there are still holes to fill in the defense.

    We’ll have JARVIS JENKINS next season for the DE slot. We need a true NT to run with COFIELD. A monster of a W-ILB to take ROCKY MAC’s slot, a CB to rid us of PHILLIP BUCHANON, and a back-up FS who should be starting, but can’t because of ATOGWE.

    I’d love the money but otherwise, BRUCE ALLEN’s job is safe with me. Whew!


    • @gordon lawrence–

      Calm yourself, my friend. Comment moderation is a simple function of the blog, entirely out of my control. Sometimes I sleep, and comments must wait until morning for my approval. It keeps racial rants and corporate spam off the blogwaves. Please understand 🙂


  10. brian,
    you are trying to keep a stiff upper lip (lol) & I agree with you except for your time frame of 5 yrs. This joke has been gonig on since Snider bought this team some 18 yI did rs. ago. Two play-off appearances since. I know I have repeated this opinion several times but Someone explain to me what else it can really be other than snider’s control over the whole team !!!!!!!!!!! I did like the short play back of the skins– dolphins super bowl game which showed George Allen when he was coach. GREAT OL’ DAYS !!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Sorry guys I’ve got to remain positive. 1.5 years shanny has been in place. ( the past is the past ). We still don’t have all the pieces and the coaches know it. I’d rather be in this position than the eagles or cowboys whom have all the pieces and still can’t get it together. 1.5 years is not enough time to turn this franchise around


  11. Oh hereeeeeee we go again, Sameeeee losing year again.
    Maybe we will finish with the same record we had last year. Can we win one more game? NOPE


  12. Why do the Redskins insist on breaking my heart every year? The Redskins have lost five games in a row squandering a 3-1 start, and this last loss came against the Dolphins! The Dolphins! Fail to the Redskins! Why did I let myself hope? Now the perrenial losers are showing their true colors. Redskins, do you know that I avoid channels 206, 207, 209 and 212 because of you? It hurts me that much to watch the highlights of your games. They are a horror show of sloppiness, ineptitude, missed opportunities, and poor tackling. Every year! Ughhh… You know…even if the Skins win out, which is EXTREMELY unlikely, they would only finish the season with a record of 10-6. That probably wouldn’t even be good enough to make the playoffs. So now every game is meaningless. Players are just hoping to get through the season uninjured, but what about my injuries? I’m listed as doubtful for this weekend’s game against Dallas with a broken heart and crippling disillusionment. Sometimes, in the depths of my misery, I ask myself, “Am I the problem?” “Is it me?” Like a liitle kid who thinks he’s to blame for his parents’ divorce I blame myself for the Redskins’ repeated failures as if my support is jinxing them or something. It’s perverse, I know, but I actually have these thoughts! If it didn’t go against every fiber of my being I would root for the Cowboys this weekend to test my theory. Redksins, I want you to know that if I was the problem, I would pull a kamikaze and commit to becoming a Cowboys fan for the rest of my miserable days. Such is my love for you that I would even order a vanity plate for my minivan which would read CWBYFAN. If it would increase your chances of winning I would have the Cowboys logo tattooed on both of my impressive byceps. Even though it would make me physically ill I would do it. Yes, I would do all that and more, but I suspect that I’m not the problem. I’m the victim here! “Someday” is becoming the mantra of the Redskins faithful. I want TODAY. We want TODAY! Give us TODAY!


    • @Josh Tate–

      That was an impressive bit of literature, my friend. I don’t, however, suspect that you are the problem. Nay, you, and those like you, are the life blood that courses through Redskins Park. It’s a tough year. It’s been a series of tough years, but nothing great was ever built overnight, and this franchise has committed to rebuilding from the floor up. I know you want today–I want today. But if I can have tomorrow and the day after, I’d take that over today. And don’t cheer for the Cowboys–that’s just morally reprehensible. HTTR


  13. I am 36 years old, and as long as I can remember, I have been a Redskins Fan. I remember watching the games with my grandfather on the black & white television. Of course, there have been some good times over the years, but like Josh Tate’s comment, I feel sick and heartbroken every year now. Where does it end? When will this team learn the “Will to Win” or have the drive to put in the work required to make a playoff run? With each loss, us fans lose more and more interest in taking the chance of watching the next game for fear of embarrassment. There’s no way, at this point in the season, I would ever go to a public place and watch a skins game. I’m a Skins fan for life, but I fear in my heart that I will never see another Super Bowl appearance from this organization in my lifetime… which is very sad.


  14. There will be no consistent winning until the QB problem is fixed. Shanny developed Brain Griese, Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler. And Shanny Jr. developed Matt Schaub.

    Grossman- aka “The Drivekiller” is berond development. Joe Gibbs, Bill Walsh and Mike Holmgren combined cound’t make him workable w/o a running game avg of 200-yds a game. Since that’s not pobbile in today’s NFL, it’s time to delete #8 from the roster and draft Kellen Moore from Boise State.


    • Kellen Moore is good but there are four more qb that are coming out better than him. I’m telling you redskins nation the qb position is deep in the draft


  15. well another losing season…the bad thing about it… the team that has been QB lucky the last 10 years (the colts) are going to get luck and have another 10 years of success with that lousy team….I mean really what happen to all those probowl lineman, reciever, TE the colts had…..let’s face it, it is a QB league and the colts are one of the best teams with peyton and the worst without him…..we need to get lucky on a QB……for the record REX is 10 times better than Beck….


  16. Besides the injuries and rookies i think coaching has alot to do with the last five losses as anything.I dont think the offensive scheme fits here. Coach Shanahan get over your ego and get Anthony Armstrong back in the offensive. If you are not going to use him as a wide receiver at least use him on kick off return dont waste his talent and speed. Quit running on first and second down and passing on third everyone has caught on.Quit throwing a five yard pass on third and ten. Take a gamble throw the deep ball were getting beat anyway.Brandon Banks is struggling on kick off returns give Armstrong a shot. Been a Redskin fan for 32 years cant take another loss. The media picks against this team every week it is sickening.Im sure the defense is tired of carrying the offense. Sometimes you have to have the will to win. Players please stop the un necessary penalties. Dont mean to be soo negative i still love the skins HAIL TO THJE REDSKINS.


  17. There is NO doubt that we will draft a QB #1 especially if the frustration of BARRY COFIELD’s remarks come true. No more wins = a great QB prospect in the house for 2012. By 2015’s draft, BRUCE’s house should be built.


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