I would like to the sum the Redskins up in one sentence: the Redskins are an entertaining team—not a good one.
By all means, yesterday’s game between the Bengals and Redskins was very entertaining. There were big plays, turnovers, star players and controversy (again).
As of now, the Bengals are the better team and that’s to be expected. They were a playoff team last year and with the likes of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, they are a tough team to beat.
That being considered—could the Redskins have won yesterday? I would say yes.
The Redskins are not a good team, but they aren’t a bad one. They aren’t getting blown out. However, they have suffered many injuries and simply have inferior personnel—especially in the secondary and offensive line, which I’ll get to later.
While I’m trying to avoid going into my annual Redskins depression, we have to remind ourselves that this may be a blessing in disguise.
Three out of the past four years, the Skins have started off hot and ultimately failed down the stretch. Perhaps it's a good thing to get those ugly, early losses out of the way and adjust to those mistakes.
I will however, have to be critical of the coaching staff for that matter. Mike Shanahan is not a “player’s coach." He’s not going to rile up his club and have them run through a wall. He’s a strategist and a planner—an x’s and o’s type of football man who has a tremendous resume.
Over the past three years, I have many issues with his coaching style.
One is his lack of a “plan B” if you will. What I mean is that Mike Shanahan always seems to have a great “plan A”, but what happens if “plan A” doesn’t work? Because his “plan B’s” have been horrible.
Look at yesterday’s game and Jordan Black becoming the team’s left tackle—arguably the most important position other than quarterback.
No disrespect to Jordan Black, but did Mike Shanahan really think that someone who was out of football last year and previously 30 pounds underweight was going to come in and produce?
Trent Williams is a potential Pro Bowler, but he has struggled with injuries and his suspension. It’s unrealistic to believe that he can last a full season and Jordan Black as the answer is unacceptable.
Again, that’s Shanahan’s fault.
Now onto Jim Haslett. Last year, Haslett made up for it. Overall, I thought the defense played well, considering the talent base and injuries.
This year, Haslett is reverting to his 2010 ways. It’s his lack of adjustments that have killed this defense so far.
Today’s NFL is a game-long adjustment, where coordinators are essentially playing chess against each other. Haslett doesn’t do that. He sticks to the plan—which by the way hasn’t been working at all.
That can’t happen anymore. Below are my observations of yesterday’s game.