Ron in Miami, FL– “Do you think the Redskins should switch to the 4-3 Defense? Also do they have the players to do it?”
B&G Report– Thanks for submitting your question Ron, that’s definitely a subject many fans have been pondering. Honestly the switch to a 4-3 or even a “Wide Nine” formation is my preference as well. Having Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith switch back to their natural DE positions, could change the pass rush results and the turnover margin for the defense. A Wide 9 version of the 4-3 would have the defensive ends line up farther outside from the tackles, creating more rush momentum during outside rushes to the QB. Having a healthy John Allen and Matt Ioannidis could solidify the switch as well. They already have a few decent defensive line rotational players in; Anthony Lanier, Stacey McGee and TerrellMcClain. I actually think those three would play better in a 4-3, especially in the case of McLain. As for the linebackers, the Skins are in decent shape. Underwhelming OLB Ryan Anderson fits the mold of a thumping Strong Side Linebacker. On the Weakside, Martrell Spaight is a plug and play. Lastly the Middle Linebacker position could be set if Zach Brown is resigned. In no way am I saying that these three could dominate, but they could slide into those positions until future draft picks/free agents can take over. Brown would be the clear cut starter if resigned though. It’s looking more and more likely the Skins will have a a top ten pick in the Draft, so more defensive playmakers could be selected early in each round. In the end, it’s a lot easier to switch back to a 4-3 with 3-4 personal. I hope the Skins consider this change because this defense hasn’t been the same since the switch.
Allen in D.C.- “Most fans believe these last 3 games will be the final games that Cousins wears a Redskins uniform. Who’s your early favorite to replace Kirk”.
The B&G Report– The Cousins debacle is past salvaging at this point. As far as replacements go, that’s a two fold answer. First they can’t just draft a rookie and expect him to start day one. Luckily for the Skins, options will be out there. Unfortunately there will also be at least 8-10 teams looking for new signal callers as well. Quarterbacks such as Tyrod Taylor, Alex Smith, Case Keenum all could be available and viable options for the Skins. Keenum probably fits the best in Gruden’s system. The Vikings must first decide, if they want to move on from Teddy Bridgewater and sign Keenum longterm. I also think Keenum will get a 3-5 year deal, worth a minimum of $15 a year. The Skins need more of a 1-2 year bridge QB though. At age 33 Alex Smith fits the bridge QB mold, he’s shown he can have success in and out of the pocket, often going off script. Secondly, It’s a good thing for the Skins that this years draft is rich in QB & defensive talent. The top signal callers that look to declare for the draft are Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson. Darnold & Rosen look to be #1st and #2nd overall picks at this point, but it’s way too early to for final judgements. Small school stud Eagles QB Carson Wentz was barely a blip on the media radar, until after the NFL Combine. A lot could change between now and the draft. I hear a lot of people say Baker Mayfield is a head-case, a wild child, undersized and not coachable. Well I’ve watched a ton of film on the Heisman Trophy winner and he isn’t just a College All Star. Baker has the fire the Skins have been missing. Baker just needs to work with a coach, who will be patient and mold his system to his strengths. I believe Jay will do just that with the right QB. I know fans are down on Jay Gruden, but I think he’d do a great job working with the Oklahoma signal caller. The Sooners ran a ton of Pass Run option plays, which is exactly what teams like the Eagles run and have had a ton of success with. Gruden has used the wrinkle at times as well. Do I think Mayfield could start day 1, that’s probably not realistic. That’s why a bridge QB on a two year deal should be brought in. Colt McCoy is a nice guy and teammate, but it’s time to move on from the former Longhorn signal caller.
Roger in West VA– “I really enjoy reading your Die Hard Redskin perspective and would like to know what you think the Skins should do in Free Agency and the Draft in order to stay competitive.”
The B&G Report– I do this for the true Die Hard Skins Fan like yourself Roger! In free agency I like the idea of having soon to be FA WR Jarvis Landry working with Jamison Crowder and youngsters Josh Doctson, Robert Davis and Mo Harris. Landry’s just starting to scratch the surface of his potential, Gruden’s offense could be exactly what puts this WR over the top. The Skins receivers are young and raw. The ultra competitive Landry could be the mentor, that brings the fire and leadership to this position group. In the coming weeks other players will be released, but I don’t see the Skins being big players in free agency. I just don’t see top rated players coming to D.C, unless the Skins out bid all other suitors. At this early point in the draft process, I love Georgia LB Roquan Smith and Bama’s dominate FS Minkah Fitzpatrick. Both could be day 1 starters on defense. I’m still going through the draft eligible running backs, but so far I really like Smith’s teammate at Georgia. The dynamic running back not named Nick Chubb is the under the radar Sony Michel. A reader actually suggested that he’s the better playmaking RB, than his All American teammate Nick Chubb. I see a higher pro ceiling compared to Chubb, who’s dealt with injury issues. As I previously mentioned, I really like QB Baker Mayfield. If he’savailable when the Skins select in the first round, they should strongly think about bringing him aboard. The truth is the he Skins aren’t 2-3 players away from a playoff run. In saying that, I believe they should stand pat with their first round selection, but what’s next after that? TRADE, TRADE and TRADE down some more to acquire extra draft picks. That should be the Redskins draft strategy in my opinion. The initial draft analysis reveals a deep defensive draft, but last year had a record number of underclassman declare so the talent could get even deeper!
I really enjoyed reading all the great questions I received this week. Now that the Redskins are mathematically out of playoff contention, it’s time to switch gears! The last reader request was a lot of fun, so please submit more Draft prospect requests. In the coming weeks more players will declare for the draft, so there will be no shortage of prospects to evaluate! Thanks for checking out The B&G Report and hope you enjoyed this Q & A session! Until next time Redskins fans! HTTR🏹🏈