Updated: May 12
Welcome back to The Burgundy and Gold Report. After a three game losing streak the Redskins still find themselves alive in the NFC East as well as the wildcard race. Washington is tied with Philadelphia at 6-6 and the Cowboys have a slim division lead at 7-5. The rash of injuries for the second consecutive year have left Skins fans depleted once again. With injuries come opportunity and Washington has some promising young defenders itching for more playing time.
Today, unheralded rookie Tim Settle goes under the spotlight. The former Virginia Tech defensive lineman slipped to the 5th round in the 2018 Draft, which came as a surprise to many local fans who followed Settle’s collegiate career. Standing 6’3″, 329 lb. with arms 33 inches in length, Settle is an imposing figure. However, weight issues reportedly concerned teams enough to pass on him in the first four rounds. The fact is, since joining the Redskins the former Hokie has not only maintained an acceptable weight, but looks noticeably leaner and muscular.
Although playing time has been scarce, Settle has taken advantage of his limited opportunities. That stat sheet doesn’t tell the story (4 tackles) of how impactful Settle could be. Now it’s time to put Settle under The B&G Report Spotlight!
What He’s Shown
Against Dallas, Settle saw his snap count increase after Matt Ioannidis suffered a calf injury. Although believed to be minor, the Temple standout would miss the Monday Night Football match-up versus Philadelphia and is questionable once again this week. In the MNF match-up Settle showed versatility by lining up at DE as well as NT. Coming into the NFL as a 5th round selection has given Settle an added chip on his shoulder. As a prospect labeled with weight concerns, the former Hokie has not only maintained a lean frame he also looks noticeably muscular since training camp.
Settle latched on to fellow defensive lineman John Allen immediately and their relationship grew in the weight room. Although Settle has spent a lot of time on the sidelines watching this year, he’s used his time wisely, perfecting his craft and increasing his agility. Although Settle always had a decent motor while at Virginia Tech, he’d often get gassed in two minute hurry up situations. Although the Redskins defense gave up plays and committed a ton of penalties against Philadelphia, the first half ended with a 14-13 score with Settle and the defense making timely stops in the redzone. As was the pattern in all the Redskins’ losses this year, the second half versus Philly was filled with missed tackles with large chunks of yards given up by Washington. Settle came close to two sacks and just needed a little extra effort. His leverage while taking on the Eagles’ double teams was impressive and should continue to improve as the season winds down.
Washington has been all over the map while building the roster, but they seem to have a plan in place for the defensive line. Although the Redskins employ the 3-4 as their base defensive scheme, their current tackles & ends are interchangeable. The Alabama duo of Allen and Payne along with Ioannidis have been very productive, but a fourth in the rotation turns a previous area of weakness to arguably the deepest position on the team.
The defense’s ultimate success will ride on how diverse and productive their scheme is. Current defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, simply put, is unimaginative and predictable. Moving back to the 4-3 would allow this team to upgrade their linebackers as well as the defense’s overall speed. Settle makes an ideal base tackle and gives the team flexibility on rushing and passing downs. Settle has shown the ability to be more than a simple bull-rusher and actually has decent hands, allowing him to disengage offensive lineman. Unfortunately if Settle gets held up during a double team and unable to disengage, he finds himself getting washed out of the play.
Settle’s transition to playing in the 3-4 defense from the 4-3 at Virginia Tech is ongoing, but if the Redskins switch, which The B&G Report predicts they will do in 2019, Settle could be the best mid-round selection in years. With Ioannidis still dealing with lingering calf issues, Settle could once again find himself with an opportunity to show coaches that he can be an impact defender. This defensive line should be playing better than it has shown over the last month. The fifth round rookie has shown more upside than his teammate, Stacy McGee who continues to disappoint with his lackluster play. Having a package with Allen, Payne, Ioannidis and Settle would be a challenge for any offense to move the ball on.
Thanks for checking out another Burgundy and Gold Report. With the Giants less their star receiver, OBJ, Washington has an opportunity to go on a run during the final four games. In order to have any success with the Redskins current quarterback & offensive line issues the defense will need to create more turnovers as well as continue to feature their promising young defenders while putting them in position to succeed.
Written By Adam Aniba
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Player Spotlight Edition Matt Ioannidis: The Greek Freak https://burgundyandgoldreport.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/player-spotlight-edition-matt-ioannidis-the-greek-freak/#
The Other Guy From Alabama: The Rise of Cam https://burgundyandgoldreport.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/the-other-guy-from-alabama-the-rise-of-cam/