I needed a few days to recover from the heart-wrenching display I watched on New Years Day. Now that I am...calm, I feel like I can somewhat objectively opine on the 2016 Redskins and what the team can do in 2017.
Immediately after the final whistle in the 4th quarter I wanted Jay Gruden to be devoured by wild pigs like that scene in Hannibal. I wanted to push Kirk Cousins into a river of alligators. I had become so numb to Joe Barry I can neither feel hate nor rage towards his defense. But after some alcohol and comfort food, I’ve come to realize I may have been short-sighted. So what are these Redskins and what can they be?
Look, I’d be lying if I said I was a Jay Gruden fan. In my opinion he doesn’t run the ball enough. He’s not tough on players when he needs to be. When games are going south he has this look on his face like he’s in a meeting, but has to REALLY take a shit, and a co-worker just asked if we could “circle back to the Powerpoint slide from 5 minutes ago.” It’s as if he becomes powerless to control the situation. He must think that you can roll over your timeouts into the 2nd half like moving a 401k to a new job. Yes, not using those timeouts in the first half of that game cost us a chance at a makeable field goal.
That being said, he came to the Washington Redskins. He came to the eternal flaming dumpster fire Washington Redskins and took them from clown show to consistent football team. That is not an easy feat. And there is something to be said for consistency. Perhaps Gruden can grow. Maybe he can get better with his timeouts, or running the ball. But where he most greatly needs to improve is motivating his players.
The team seemed ill-prepared over the last six weeks of the season. It was almost like they rolled out of bed and happened to show up at an NFL stadium...all the while letting their playoff hopes slip through their fingers.
That CAN NOT happen again.
And if I hear “we could have run the ball more” in a 2017 post-game press conference I will shit out of my eyeballs.
But we have to see this thing through. Free agents, draft picks and coordinators would like to go into a stable, consistent environment. At the least, Gruden is providing that right now.
The lasting image until next September will be of DRC picking off a really lame Kirk Cousins pass, sending us home. THAT.FREAKING.SUCKED.
But Cousins is a very good quarterback. His numbers over the past two seasons are in elite company, no matter how you slice it. And I don’t care about systems, or how many wide receivers he has, or that Jay Gruden makes him. Kirk Cousins plays the position at a high level. Even though I was fuming after that pick, calling for Tyrod Taylor and Mike Glennon, I’ve thought better of it.
Kirk Cousins is worth the money he will be paid. And it will be a lot. I just hope the deal gets done soon so we don’t have to discuss it for another year.
Joe Barry and the Defense
Joe Barry has to go. There is no saving grace for him. His unit played the best against the Giants, but as a whole they have been awful. Even when a team was facing 3rd and 20, I had no confidence that the Barry-led defense could keep the opposition to fewer than 21 yards. The talent was obviously not top-shelf, but the defense sets the tone of games, and we need an aggressive mindset.
It appears there will be a buffet of good defensive coordinators to choose from this offseason. Get one who is proven, not one whose resume includes 0-16. That one shouldn’t have made it past HR. Gregg Williams, Wade Phillips, Gus Bradley...pick one.
You’re not getting off SCOT free buddy. Oh no.
You came here and proclaimed “People will feel it” when they play the Redskins.
The only ones who felt it were the fans, when they got punched in the gut on New Years Day. I’m convinced McAdoo would have pulled Eli had he taken a few good shots...but that didn’t appear to be a risk. Eli didn’t feel it.
The Giants defense sure didn’t feel it, unless they hurt themselves running full speed into Kirk Cousins.
Run the ball and play defense. This is what you promised, and in year three we need you to deliver. The offensive line is good. Tell the damn coach to let them loose in the run game.
The defense needs some help. Draft them and use some of that cap space to bring some good free agents here...not Kendall Reyes or David Bruton.
I know you don’t “draft for need” but defense is past being a “need.” It’s as necessary as water and air at this point. Let’s see what you can do for us in March and May.