Every Snap: Skins Offense vs the Raiders

What Happened

We hammered them through the air and gained extra possessions thanks to our defense, but the run game stalled and for the third week in a row we couldn’t block Inside or Outside zone.  Versus Inside Zone, Oakland cancelled out the interior gaps and forced Perine to bounce his runs outside into an overmatched Tight End.

On this run, Scherff thought a defender would penetrate through his gap (probably because of the NT’s initial step toward him) and never made it upfield to seal out the Linebacker.  Instead the Linebacker came to Scherff at the line, clogged the gap, and forced Perine to bounce it outside into a Khalil Mack-Niles Paul matchup:

Oakland played aggressive on the interior and forced runs outside.  In response we tried several antidotes:

  • First we tried replacing the tight end block with a QB Zone Read to freeze the DE but Kirk’s speed wasn’t enough to keep them honest.
  • Then we ran an RPO where if the conflict defender crashed down toward the running back, we threw it and if the conflict defender stayed outside we handed it off.  Oakland chose to allow the handoff and we averaged meh results.
  • We split the Tackle out to widen the DE alignment.  It was used once but we didn’t go back to it probably because it tipped off the call.
  • We made use of Split Zone blocking so our Tight End could have a better angle to block the DE:Most teams use this to solve DE-TE matchup problems, however we had to ditch it after one play because Vernon Davis had no idea how to block it:

  • And last but not least, we sprinkled in a few Gap runs (Power, Counter, etc.) so our Tight Ends could kick out the DE instead of Zone block him:In the previous game we had success with Gap runs which led to a balanced run scheme but this week nothing seemed to work against this front:

Zone Runs:  20 carries for 65 yards (3.3 ypc)

Gap Runs:  9 carries for 25 yards (2.8 ypc)

We won thanks to our defense and big plays through the passing game like this 52 yarder to Doctson:

Continue reading “Every Snap: Skins Offense vs the Raiders”

Every Snap: Skins Offense vs The Rams

What Happened

Aaron Donald and company toppled our pass protection and took away any plays that involved long developing routes; even our max protect concept resulted in a sack.  Their defense left us no choice but to resort to quick throws and a punishing run game.

We stretched out their 5 man line and attacked the middle with an Inside Zone double team:

Once we established that, the linebackers were looking to cheat inside so we responded by shifting the double team to their 3-technique (‘Counter’ run shown here):

The Rams responded in a couple of ways, first they shifted their 3 technique outside (5 technique) and made us use a Tight End to double team him,

while our Tight End corps will burn you in the passing game they can’t block a college walk-on much less an NFL defensive lineman.

Continue reading “Every Snap: Skins Offense vs The Rams”

L.A. 30 Washington 13 (Skins 5-8)


Kimberley A. Martin on Twitter

D.J. Swearinger repeatedly said #Redskins didn’t prepare well and the outcome of the game wasn’t a shock to him. “We out here practicing blah… It’s not surprising at all to me.” https://t.co/49H3sMzZgg

The front office needs to make that a team issued hat.

PFF Top 5:

  1. Edge Ryan Kerrigan, 81.0 overall grade
  2. Edge Junior Galette, 81.0 overall grade
  3. T Trent Williams, 80.7 overall grade
  4. CB Kendall Fuller, 79.5 overall grade
  5. RB Samaje Perine, 77.6 overall grade
It was a rough game for Norman, who gave up over 100 yards into his coverage for the first time in his career.

Looking ahead to next week, Washington will half-ass their way into FedEx Field to take on Arizona.

Who’s Coming Back: Safeties

Previously:  Defensive TacklesDefensive EndsInside Linebackers, Cornerbacks

This is the last part of a series in which I list who will make our 53-man roster next year. Having watched and charted almost every snap this season I feel somewhat qualified to blog an amateur opinion on the matter. Today’s position group is Safeties.

Washington kept four Safeties on their roster so that’s the number I’m assuming we will keep for next year.

Holy Lock To Come Back Next Year:

Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

DJ: He’s willing to make linebacker fills versus the run, has the range to play deep safety and is able to rob underneath routes. Man to man coverage is the one gadget missing from his toolkit.

Montae Nicholson: Wowed immediately with his range as a deep safety but was not prepared for most of the season to play in the box or in man coverage, which put DJ in a compromised position as the man-coverage safety.

When we tried to use Nicholson in man coverage he looked clumsy:

He went on concussion protocol after the Saints game and wasn’t able to iron out that issue.  If he can get it fixed by next season the starting FS job is his.

Will Most Likely Return Next Year:

Everett: Plays a press technique over Tight Ends which puts him in the trenches versus the run and keeps DJ out of man coverage:

Everett is a restricted FA this offseason.  PFF ranks him as the 73rd best safety in the NFL and the equivalently ranked contract pays $1.1 million per year which is about double what we could pay a rookie.  However, Everett has been serviceable in man coverage and his willingness to play in the box keeps DJ as the deep safety which helps to hide his flaws.  I would expect us to shell out the cash to keep Everett if it averages within the $1-2 million per year range.


Cravens:  I’m throwing him in this category because I have no idea what is going on here. I’m not sure if he can get another chance or if he even wants one.  He is scheduled to make $1.2 million next year and if he was to be let go under normal circumstances he would count $700,000 against the cap.

Best of Luck In Your Future Endeavors:

DHall:  Takes horrible angles to the ball, lacks the speed required to play in the NFL, most coverage busts over the last two years have come with him on the field. Reputed to be a nice guy and has a cool beard.

Fish Smithson: Practice squad guy.  Gruden mentioned him as an option at safety in a recent press conference, but if he couldn’t pass DHall on the depth chart then there is a serious deficiency somewhere.  The only thing DHall could have had over him is knowing the calls.  Smithson is probably due for an Adderall infused offseason of digesting the playbook.

Who’s Coming Back: Cornerbacks

Previously:  Defensive TacklesDefensive Ends, Inside Linebackers

This is the fourth part of a series in which I list who will make our 53-man roster next year. Having watched and charted almost every snap this season I feel somewhat qualified to blog an amateur opinion on the matter. Today’s position group is Cornerbacks.

Washington kept six Cornerbacks on their roster this season so that’s the number I’m assuming we will keep for next year.

Holy Lock To Come Back Next Year:

Josh Norman: I’m going out on a limb with this one you guys.  He’ll be our highest paid player in 2018 and deservedly so.  Can play any Corner position.

Kendall Fuller: The ninth ranked Cornerback in the NFL according to PFF is slated to make just $827,000 next year.  Currently plays in the slot against 11 personnel but can also play Safety if needed.  Blows up any and all WR screens and can take away the deep throw.  He’s a do it all shut down Corner.

Will Most Likely Return Next Year:

Quinton Dunbar: Splits time with Breeland as the outside CB opposite Norman.  Has the speed and confidence to press WRs at the line and play trail technique on deep routes:

His aggressive style disrupts routes enough that QBs tend to come off and look elsewhere.  Horrible at stopping the run, possibly the worst on the team.  He was a developmental prospect that now has the skills to play Cover 2 flat and Cover 3 press-and-trail technique.

He is at the end of his rookie contract and made less than half of what Breeland did even though PFF has him ranked 23 spots higher as the 34th overall CB.

Fabian Moreau: Backup outside CB.  The third round rookie is slated to make under $800,000 next season.


Joshua Holsey: A seventh round rookie who backs up Fuller in the slot.  He could be replaced with an offseason acquisition or he could start as our Nickel CB if we move Fuller outside; both moves would make sense.  He is set to make $575,000 in 2018.

Bashaud Breeland: Made his name off of Dez Bryant and was one of the hottest young Corners until he ran into Antonio Brown.  Since then he’s been ok to good but not Shutdown level.  Doesn’t possess the fastest straight line speed and plays with a big cushion in Cover 3 because of it.  His technique is the polar opposite of Dunbar’s and QBs tend to throw his way often.  He has the ability to come off of his receiver and rob routes.  Not a good run defender but will occasionally stick his nose there.

Breeland made $2 million this year and is due for a new contract.  He is ranked as the 57th overall Cornerback according to PFF and the 57th ranked contract for CBs is $2.2 million (Bradley Roby) so I would expect a fair deal for 2018 to be in the ballpark of $2-2.5 million.  How they negotiate past that will decide whether or not he comes back.