Injury Update: LT Trent Williams got good news on his knee injury -- a bone bruise instead of something worse -- but he's day-to-day and my guess is he will be a game time decision on Sunday in Tampa Bay. That means Jordan Black could start in his place. I thought Black looked terrible in the first half last Sunday, but did much better in the second half, when the entire offense seemed to wake up and realize a football game was being played.
CB Cedric Griffin has a hamstring strain and is also day-to-day. Ditto for TBs Evan Royster [sprained patella tendon in his right knee] and Roy Helu [turf toe].
There are different rules for coaches on the Redskins, particularly if the last name of the coach is Shanahan. Both WR Josh Morgan and Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the son of the head coach, cost the team dearly at the end of games with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The difference? Josh Morgan faced reporters and asked questions. Kyle Shanahan did not. His dad thinks that's just fine and really resents anyone even discussing the subject.
Tracee Hamilton agrees with me on this.
The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Redskins 38-31 last Sunday and sacked rookie QB Robert Griffin six times. But they still came away impressed:
Defensive end, Carlos Dunlap, said when they saw an opportunity to do so the Bengals seized it, "When he's outside the pocket, it's our chance, you gotta be careful because he [Griffin] can dodge some hits too. So when you get him, you want to get him good."
Dunlap, clearly blow away by Griffin's ability went as far as to say, he was proud of the burgundy's and gold's signal caller,
"The sky is the limit for him, man. Mad props to him for taking all those hits and getting back up and bringing him team back. We just happened to finish and get the win today. He brings a different dynamic to the game, man, I'm proud of him."
But it was the RG3's toughness that impressed Dunlap the most.
"Getting up after getting hit, you know, I mean everyone keeps trying to say he can't take a hit and today he took a few of them and got right back up and willed his team back into the game so he's just gotta just keep doing that."
Teammate, Michael Johnson, in what is being dubbed as the ('best performance of his young career') thus far delivered three of the sacks, was also left awestruck by Griffin's tenacious play,
"He's a tough competitor, because we hit him a bunch of times and he kept getting up...like...that was very impressive. He's going to be a very good player in this league. He's explosive, he's elusive. I can't say enough about him, the way he kept getting back up. I know we hit him a bunch of times, but he would not quit. I tip my hat to him for that."
You have probably noticed how well the Redskins are running the ball in 2012. Washington has 542 rushing yards through the first three games, the team's best performance since 1946. TB Alfred Morris leads the team in rushing and is on pace for about 1400 yards. Second on the team is QB Robert Griffin, who is on pace for over 1100 yards rushing. Not sure RG3 can keep up that pace.
Speaking of which, the Redskins probably know RG3 is taking too many big hits. The problem is that their offense runs best when he's got the ball in his hands and defensive players like to hit guys with the ball in their hands.
"You're trying to keep defenses off-balance, and we'll do what we think gives us the best chance to win," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "No, you don't want a quarterback taking as many shots as he did yesterday, that's for sure."
That's an understatement. Griffin has run the ball 32 times and has been sacked nine times. And again, that number doesn't include hits in the pocket or after handoffs or pitches.
Rick Snider writes that RG3 can't keep up this pace and the hits will wear him down eventually.
Teammates such as ILB London Fletcher and LG Kory Lichtensteiger are concerned about the punishment RG3 is taking.
The cover-0 defense got the Redskins defense repeatedly burned last Sunday -- and not for the first time. The Cowboys converted some big plays against Washington's cover-0 defense last year. It's an incredibly risky defense to play -- particularly when you have a poor group of defensive backs going up against talented wideouts -- but Head Coach Mike Shanahan likes it. He defended it again after the loss on Sunday so I guess we should expect to see it again, whether or not the personnel are capable of executing it or not.
The entire football world is talking about the Monday Night Football debacle caused by incompetent scab referees and the stubborn and greedy NFL owners who are covering their product in shame by continuing to employ them. On a somewhat less important note, the scab refs also screwed up in the Redskins game, assessing 25 yards of penalties against the Redskins near the end of the game, instead of 20. Not a huge deal perhaps, but the sort of thing the real refs pretty much never do.