This week I wanted to do something different and look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly for every positional group on offense:
Quarterback: The Good: John Beck might not be tremendous, but he does offer something Rex Grossman does not, and that is his ability to scramble. Beck's touchdown run against Carolina was a perfect example of this, as Jamaal Brown whiffed on a cut block, which allowed Charles Johnson to chase after the quarterback. If not for Beck's foot speed that play ends up as either a sack or an incomplete.
The Bad: John Beck is not the answer. He might be a stopgap quarterback, but it is quickly clear that he isn't 100% ready right now. He's now fumbled in each game (recovering one on his own), and the interception and the ensuing debate showed a lack of leadership.
The Ugly: With a poor offensive line, and injuries at both TE and RB, the Redskins are one hit away from having Grossman start again, with nothing behind him.
Running back: The Good: Roy Helu, has quickly developed for a mid-round rookie and has been the Redskins most explosive running back. He has under 40 touches for the year (which should go up quite dramatically), but has been pretty productive when touching the ball. He has a 4.9 YPC average, and an 8.0 yards per reception.
The Bad: Tim Hightower meant more to the Redskins than his rushing and receiving yards. He was by far their best pass protector, and displayed the heads up ability to save two return TD's this year. Him missing the rest of the season is a body blow to Washington.
The Ugly: Against the Rams, Ryan Torain had a 'coming out party' where he rushed for 135 yards on 19 carries. Unfortunately since then he's disappeared managing just 17 yards on 12 carries (against teams that at the time ranked as the 31st ranked rush defense in the league).
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends The Good: Fred Davis is having a great season for the Skins, with 28 receptions and 423 yards. His 15.1 yards per reception lead the team (by a pretty wide margin) as do his 200 yards after the catch. Nearly half the yards that Davis picks up are what he does after catching the ball, which is very impressive.
The Bad: Santana Moss and Chris Cooley, have been the heart and soul of this receiving corps for some time. There loss is going to mean a lot more attention gets paid to Fred Davis.
The Ugly: Anthony Armstrong was somewhat of a breakout player last year, and was supposed to be the Skins deep threat. So far this year though, he's not been too impressive. He has just 5 catches in 13 targets and has dropped 3 passes. While he did miss 2 and a half games, the Redskins need to see more production out of their 3rd receiver (esp. since Moss and Cooley are out). Armstrong for all his speed just hasn't been too effective this year.
Offensive Line: The Good: Chris Chester was pretty bad the first couple of weeks this season, but over the course of the last three weeks he has turned his play around. After giving up a combined 10 QB hits and pressures through the first 3 weeks, he's only given up 3 in the past three games. His play isn't great by any means, but he is finally showing average to above average play, and on this line that is something.
The Bad: Kory Lichtensteiger was playing fairly well at LG to start the season, but he is now out for the year with a serious knee injury. Trent Williams has improved from last year, and has the most natural talent of any Redskin lineman, but he too is sidelined for a couple weeks due to injury. These injuries have forced another Redskins to play somewhat out of position, and to rely on a pretty thin depth chart.
The Ugly: For as bleak as the Redskins outlook looks at LG without Licht or LT without Williams, it is rosy compared to the picture at RT. Jamaal Brown, who was given a 5 year $27.5 million deal this offseason, and he has rewarded the Redskins with leading the team in sacks, hits, and pressures allowed. As if that wasn't enough, he also leads the offensive linemen in penalties (Trent has the same number, but it is easy to give him a pass for the dead ball one against the Eagles as he was protecting his teammate). Run blocking hasn't been much better for the Redskins, as despite having a makeshift left side of the line the Redskins favored running that way all game against Carolina.
Steve Shoup has been a Redskins fan his entire life and dreams of the day they get back to the glory days of his youth. In addition to his regular piece on Hogs Haven, you can find his daily writings at Fanspeak.com.