In the spirit of Halloween and the BYE week, I thought I'd do a mid-season evaluation and tag the Redskins players as trick or treat based on their performance (players I thought who have been medium are not included). I gotta say, it's nice diving back into the stats and getting away from all the "banned signed" coverage for a bit.
Let's start with the treats:
London Fletcher - 65 tackles, league leader. This can also be considered a bad stat since that means a.) You're on the field too long, and b.) other players aren't making tackles. The next 4 closest people in tackles behind him play for (BUF, CLE, OAK, and TAM). London gets the top treat because he is the only vocal leader on our team and has continued to work hard to motivate our guys. Leader by example is the perfect title for London. I can't imagine the Redskins defense without him.
Albert Haynesworth - He has lived up to his contract and despite the Redskins 5 losses, he still plays 100% and has shown his competitiveness yelling in the locker room. Everything we expected he would bring to our offense has happened with Andre Carter totaling 6.5 sacks (6th rank) and Orakpo 3.5 sacks.
Hayesnworth has 3 sacks, 21 tackles (16 solo), and 1 recovered fumble.
Rocky McIntosh - 2 forced fumbles and 35 tackles. He's shown he has deserved a contract extension, but at this point, a.) Will the Skins pay him, and b.) Why wouldn't he want to move to a team with a better chance to win?
Chris Cooley - 8th ranked TE with 29 catches despite a sputtering offense. Imagine if Cooley played for the Saints? Chris' play on the field speaks for itself, and his bond with the fans via his blog cannot be underestimated, not to mention the over and beyond amount of charity work he does.
Hunter Smith - Hunter Smith is the 15th ranked punter when it comes to Net Average (38.8), which is the best of his career. He has also been the rock for Suisham's consistently good field goal kicking.
OK, now for the tricks....and there's a lot of them:
Devin Thomas & Malcolm Kelly: Everything we saw in training camp has not translated to the pre-season or regular season. I do not have an explanation for it, but it is frustrating and it has hurt our offense. A lot of the passing plays Campbell doesn't even give a look their way, so they can't take the full blame.
Thomas: 7 games, 71 yards, 1 TD, 0 Fumbles
Kelly: 7 games, 73 yards, 0 TD, 0 Fumbles
Laron Landry: Laron is another one of those players everyone (coaches included) expected to make the jump to the "premier" safety, and it hasn't happened.
Landry: 0 INTs, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble.
He does however have the same average # of tackles per game (approx 5.0) as the elite free safeties (Reed and Polamalu). There is a bright spot in that he is the 6th ranked FS in tackles with 35 (covering for all of the corners' missed tackles), but looking at the free safeties ahead of him in tackles, DET, STL, SEA, DEN, NE, there are some solid guys there (Dawkins, Atogwe, Babineaux). The frustrating part is that all the safeties above him have at least one INT. Laron has all the physical skills to be that guy, but I'm still unsure as to whether it's his instincts or the fact Blache has him playing 30 yards off the line of the scrimmage that is the real problem. Either way, Washington does not have a "ball-hawk" safety.
Last and definitely least...
Vinny Cerrato: I would be here all day if I listed out everyone on the offensive line, but my major two gripes are with Stephon Heyer and Chad Rinehart. These were both guys expected to make the jump to serviceable starters, and that gamble has failed miserably (Chad has only played in 2 games). It is crystal clear we have no talent for evaluating our current offensive line talent, and that is killing this franchise.
To add insult to injury, Jason Taylor currently has 5.5 sacks in Miami. The Redskins paid him $8 million last year and Miami is paying him $1.5 million this year. Awesome...and they got a 2nd round pick and 6th round pick from the Redskins.
Who are your trick and treats?