Hope all you B&G readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed another heart pounding NFC East Showdown. It was the defensive grudge match that we all knew it would be. I’m already seeing Giant fans complaining on social media about all their injuries, excuse me while I get them a virtual tissue! The Redskins have more starters out, than any other team in the league. They currently have 15 players on IR, with another dozen plus players grinding it out with nagging injuries. Well just like Zach Brown stated on Twitter “Chapter 1” starts vs NY. The defense didn’t give up a touchdown all night and had one of their best performances to date. I received some great questions as the game concluded last night and can’t wait to dive in! So without any further ado let’s get to it!
*James from D.C.- “I loved the heart this team has shown and even more impressed of how they are dealing with injuries! They showed me a lot by never giving up last night. Although Cousins first half was slow, he came through in the clutch once again! What can this team do to help Cousins continue to win games and get us to the playoff?”
*B&G Report– The never give up attitude was on display last night for sure. Although the Skins offense was nonexistent in the first half, the run game and Cousins got on track in the 2nd half. Per the last B&G Report “Rookie Spotlight” edition, I described Samaje Perine as a “Rhythm Back”. The Oklahoma Kid only had 3 yards on the ground in the first half, but exploded in the 2nd half with 97 yards. Perine finished with 100 yards rushing, which usually results in a Redskins win. Kirk Cousins needed to step up and that’s exactly what he did to pull out the win. Cousins threw a strike to Josh Doctson for the go ahead score, with under four minutes remaining. Getting to the playoffs will be no easy task. The Skins need to get their time management issues fixed, I’m talking to you Jay! Getting players back from injury will help with player cohesion and awareness. Most notably getting back JordanReed would be huge. Even at less than 60%-70%, Reed draws coverage and that opens things things up for other pass catchers. Trent Williams also said he will play and sat out the Giants game, in order to play the stretch run. I think the recipe to get the Wildcard is pretty simple, good defense and continue leaning on the run game. I noticed a few zone read looks, but using Jet Sweeps and delays up the gut is where Perine could thrive. We can hope for another performance like the second half vs NY when we travel to Dallas.
*Sam in CO– “Given the largenumber of signings the Redskins must make this coming off season, who stays and who goes”?
*B&G Report– Good question Sam. The Redskins have a large list of free agents to be, but none bigger than Kirk Cousins. Kirk will get the third and final Franchise tag though. I doubt he’ll sign a low ball contract, which is exactly what Skins brass has proposed multiple times. Unfortunately I don’t see this offseason playing out any different. Other than Cousins, two players jump out that are free agents. First is cornerback Bashaud Breeland. Although he’s had an up and down year, he’s been all over the field the last few weeks and played great. The former Clemson Tiger will command an excess of $8 million a year minimum, based on his talent level alone. I think that the Redskins planned on losing Breeland after this year, knowing his potential price tag. They proceeded to select cornerback Fabian Moreau in 3rd round this past draft. Coaches love his toughness and speed, he’s also been a standout gunner on special teams. Josh Norman is already making an excess of $16 million a year, with another $20 million due to hit the cap in 2018. Having two highly paid corners is a luxury in the modern NFL. So with Norman, Fuller, Dunbar, Moreau and Holsey on the roster they can afford to let Bree walk. The next in line to hit free agency is MLB Zach Brown. Although Brown has only been with the Skins for one season, his impact is undeniable. This resign will be heavily tied to the Kirk Cousins contract. Brown will also command top dollar, as one of the top ranked players at his position. In previous years Brown might just get franchised, but that won’t happen due to Cousins standoff. The current projections have the Skins with approximately $65-$70 million in available cap space for 2018. Signing Brown has to be the #1 priority on defense. With Kirk taking up a huge chunk of the 2018 Cap under the franchise tag, I expect this team to continue to build through the draft and surround Kirk with talent . I’d like to see Junior Galette, Spencer Long and Trent Murphy resigned, but only on team friendly deals. I believe those three could be easily replaced in the draft if need be. As far as signing future free agents go, the Skins should avoid high price players until they have a long term deal for their franchise QB.
*Jason in NYC– As a lifelong Skinsfan, I’d like to know your opinion on making Perine the franchise RB going forward and other than Thompson, should they draft another RB? Also how good can Josh Doctson be? I enjoy reading your analysis and would love to hear your thoughts?”
*B&G Report– I appreciate the love Jason and hope I can provide some valuable analysis on the running back situation. Although I really like Perine (featured in the last Rookie Spotlight), I don’t believe he’s the long term answer. I love the kid as a goal line back and a yard churner, but the Skins need a more versatile running back. Perine doeshave the ability to be a decent receiver, but that’s more of Chris Thompson’s role. During the draft scouting process I really liked Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. Many NFL observers thought Hunt came out of no where, in route to instant success. I watched a lot of his tape at Toledo and saw something special. NFL teams need speed backs that can carry the load. Having a back at nearly 6’1 who can outrun defenders is rare in this league. The trend has changed in college, leading to more wide receivers switching to RB based on the scheme. College Spread offenses demand their running backs have good hands and can play receiver. The immediate result is the NCAA pushing out backs who can catch well, run in the 4.4’s and run over defenders. The can’t block for crap though, but that’s what coaches are for. The Skins need more of a speed back with that type of size. This years Draft crop will give the Skins plenty of options. The Redskins can scoop up a very good back in rounds 2-4. As for Doctson, the skies the limit for this kid! I’d like him to show a little more toughness though. On one particular play Doc caught a Cousins pass and went out of bounds a yard short, leading to 4th down. I’m not saying he needed to lower his pads into the defender, but give a little shake or something for a few extra yards! Doc will learn this with increased reps though and if Cousins is resigned, this could be a magnificent connection!
I enjoyed going through all the great questions I received! Stayed tuned for the next “Rookie Spotlight” featuring Redskins cornerback Joshua Holsey, with The Dallas Week Primer to follow! Enjoy the rest of Victory Friday and the weekend Skins Fans! HTTR!🏹🏈