Redskins Preseason Preview: Green Bay Edition

The Washington Redskins by all means did not have a successful outing when they took the field in Baltimore against the Ravens. The first team offense laid and egg, the defense looked mediocre, and the special teams allowed a good kick return. Hey, that’s what preseason is for! There is no need to come to rash judgements as we, Redskins fans, tend to often do. Week 1 of the preseason is behind us and we look to see what comes in week 2. LP and FP are breaking down their 4 things to watch for, as they do all year on the DTC podcast.

FP’s top 4 to watch for:

  1. Offensive Line vs. the Dom Capers blitz. Dom is known to have very exotic looking blitz packages, and the Redskins offensive line had a really bad outing against the Ravens. Can the Redskins O-Line be the strength we all expected coming into the preseason?
  2. Phil Taylor. I am really high on Phil Taylor, I want to see if he can string together 2 good games. His story intrigues us all and we root for him. Let’s see what he can do against the GB line.
  3. How does Manusky handle the rotation now that Trent Murphy is on IR. The Redskins are slim at OLB with all the injuries. Can Chris Carter, or Lynden Trail step in to fill the void. Are any of the back end of the roster OLB serviceable?
  4. Replacing Sua Cravens. Sua is now out for the rest of preseason, D. Hall has yet to come off PUP, Will Blackmon is still injured as well. Who will step in to fill this void? It looks like Dashazor Everett will get the first crack at it this weekend.

LP’s top 4 to watch for:

  1. Kirk Cousins. I want to reaffirm my confidence in Kirk. I just want to see a decent drive from the first team offense who is likely not going to play much, if at all.
  2. Nico Marley. Nico was one of the only standouts in the Ravens came. Can he come up with another big week? Nico is one of the most energized players on this team. Can he cement a special teams role this yet?
  3. Samaje Perine. Samaje did not live up to expectations in preseason week 1, but it’s preseason. I want to see the Samaje that we were all expecting. I would like to see him running behind some of the first team O-Line and see what he can produce.
  4. Ryan Grant. Jay Gruden gave Ryan Grant more glowing praise during today’s presser. “I think people might be surprised with how many balls he might catch” -Jay Gruden on Ryan Grant. I want to see if Ryan can backup Jay on the field against the first team defense of the Packers.

 

Photo Credit: Redskins.com

 

Redskins preseason preview: What to watch for.

Its finally here. Football is back! Granted it’s just preseason, but it’s still Redskins football! So much has happened this offseason, and so much more still needs to happen.  Thursday will be the DC area’s first taste of football since that bitter end to last season. Week 1 of preseason brings us an early “Battle of the Beltway.” The Ravens may have had a horrible training camp, and honestly who cares. LP and FP are here to preview Game 1 and each give their 4 things to watch for.

                      (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

LP’s take: 

This is the second most important preseason game of the year, after of course the 3rd preseason dress rehearsal. I don’t think we can understate the amount of things that are going to be important to watch here. Sure, the casual fan may watch the first drive, or even the first quarter, but the game goes much deeper and has much more significance than just the starters. Based on Gruden’s Tuesday 1:00pm presser we know that Crowder, Doctson, Reed, Moreau,  Kendal Thompson and Montae Nicholson will not play but there is still plenty to watch for. Here’s what I’ll be watching for:

  1. How much does Breeland play? We all saw Gruden throw Breeland in the dog house just a few days ago. This Thursday we’ll see how much he’s really in the dog house. If the starting defense plays just a series or 2 but Breeland plays a whole quarter or even a whole half, it will be a telling sign of how unconfident they are in him as a starter in 2017. Remember, this is preseason, Value = Less playing time. (If you’re doing your job)
  2. How will the offensive play calling rhythm look? Is Kirk Cousins going to be snapping the ball with under 5 seconds left on the play clock the first series of the first game of preseason? If so this is going to be a long year. We saw Gruden struggle with getting the plays communicated to the then OC (Sean McVay) then to Kirk Cousins in year 1 of the Gruden era. Has Gruden found a more efficient way of doing this? I’d watch for the body language of all 3 quarterbacks, WR’s, and RBs. If they look confused, it’s probably because they are, and the plays aren’t getting communicated fast enough.
  3. Who gets the start at NT? Is it Phil Taylor? Is it Joey Mbu? Is it Matt Ionaddis? With them all healthy I look forward to seeing who is going to take the leap and cement themselves as at least the week 1 starter. It certainly seems like its Phil Taylors job to lose.
  4. Can Nate Sudfeld build upon the limited success in last years’ preseason? As much as we don’t want it, we all know Kirk may be gone in 2018 or 2019, and we know what we have in Colt McCoy. I wonder if Gruden and the coaching staff give Nate Sudfeld a little more playing time with the second unit. This is over the latter which is playing time against defensive players who the majority are unlikely to be on a roster come September 10th or at least have significant roles.

FP’s take: 

Everyone is familiar with the headlines, Scot is no longer the GM, Kirk hasn’t signed a long term deal, Pierre and DeSean are long gone and Bruce Allen is still Bruce Allen. In the most Redskins of ways, they have still managed to get me excited for this season. Doctson and Pryor, Zach Brown and a strong draft have me feeling giddy and hopeful. Here’s what I’ll be watching for:

  1. The secondary – Last year’s defense was horrible. If an opposing offense had a 3rd and 7 or better it was basically a guarantee they’ll convert. LP already hit on Breeland, and you can bet that Norman and Cravens will likely have just 1 series. I want to see Dashaun Phillips, Quinton Dunbar, Kendall Fuller, Josh Holsey and the other young CBs look competent. No missed assignments, no blown coverages, no getting beat.
  2. The inside Linebackers – Zach Brown is a pro-bowler. Mason Foster and Will Compton are slowly growing in this defense. The Redskins won’t show how we’ll be utilizing these guys and rotating them this early, but the thing I want to see is who can recognize offensive formations quickly and truly lead this defense and get everyone in place.
  3. Greg Manusky and staff – Just like the players, this team made a lot of changes for the coaching staff on Defense. Out is Joe Barry and in is Manusky. I want to see aggressive play calling, the right guys in the right place and solid, sound tackling. In my eyes a good DC makes sure fundamentals are intact before building schemes.
  4. Samaje Perine – Again, this is game 1 of the preseason, but the RBs need some good reps. I want to see Perine’s vision and patience. Not known for break away speed and ankle breaking moves, watch to see if Perine has a basic understanding of the lineman’s blocking assignments and hits the hole right. Also watch out for how he does during pass blocking.

Thursday game won’t showcase the stars and the full potential of this team. However if you watch closely and see a hunger, swagger and overall prepared and educated approach to the game, from the depths of this team, this may end up being a better season than many of us expected back in March. Make sure to check in immediately after the game for our reactions, analysis and breakdown of the game.

LET’S GO SKINS! HAIL YEAH!

Pro Football Talk – Click bait professionals.

For years now I’ve had to read articles published by PFT regarding the Washington Redskins, or the Washington Football team since they, like ESPN, tend to recycle outdated political fluff pieces. Personally, when I visit a sports website, I like to read about my team, the moves made and the issues they will face the upcoming game, week or season. Everyone is entitled to their own views and beliefs, but once those views play a role in true reporting, you’ve lost me as a visitor.

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If you’re not aware, PFT’s preseason power rankings have the Washington Redskins at number 25. Hate much? Biased because of the name? According to PFT the Redskins have the 7th worst roster in the NFL. Yes, we lost two 1,000 yard receivers. Both of whom were short and did not help in the red zone. Since then we’ve replaced them with the “Washington Monuments” aka, a bunch of 6-foot-somethings to help Kirk move the ball and scores TDs. Next you factor in a revamped defense, stud free agent additions, a solid draft that addressed many needs on defense and a RB that can bench a school bus.

It’s incredible that a team who was a game away from missing the playoffs with essentially everyone returning except Jackson and Garçon can be ranked so low. I haven’t even mentioned the Hogs 2.0. Somehow the Redskins went from having crossing guards as offensive lineman to maybe the second best o-line in the league. Top 5 easy.

I am not going to say we are a great team. There is plenty to prove, the Kirk contract issue is still on everyone’s mind and the NFC east got a lot more difficult this past offseason. However, the truth remains, regardless of the contract situation, we will have a top tier QB behind center. Just because our front office can’t sign our QB to a long term deal and the media thinks we are dysfunctional, does not mean the roster isn’t talented. You can’t possibly think that the Redskins are worse than the Buffalo Bills, who just lost a pro bowl MLB…to THE REDSKINS.

25 is low. Very low. A potent offense, a coach with a fire under him, (not to be mistaken with a hot-seat) and additions to a defense that already had some nice pieces in place do not make a 25th ranked team. Knowing how PFT operates, I’m sure the Cowboys will be a top-10 team. A team that has a 2nd year QB, whom we at DTC predict will take a HUGE step backwards, a RB that will probably miss the first 4 games, and a defense that has Jeff Heath starting at safety.

When all is said and done the question here is not if the team has talent. The offseason moves show this team has improved from top to bottom. Jackson/Garçon are 30 years old. One was injury prone, the other lost a step. TP/Doctson could easily be bright spots this upcoming year. The only “concern” would be the motivation. Watching a team play hardball with a possible franchise QB who has done nothing but prove himself is not something to motivate. Maybe a slap in the face ranking by a garbage website that has its own political agenda will motivate the guys a little bit.

D.T.C. Joins Heroes Media Group

We have been teasing this news for the better part of three weeks but today we make it official… Defeating the Curse (D.T.C.) has joined the Heroes Media Group (HMG) family!

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HMG is a podcast network and broadcasting platform dedicated to providing a voice for our community heroes and those support them. (Read more here.)

Considering how quickly everything came together we are still in a bit of shock ourselves but we are thrilled to get started and leverage our new partner to expand our audience base beyond D.C. and the east coast.

The full press release can be read here, but before we go back into the bunker to record we want to first thank our incredible fans for their continued support and reassure all of you that we are still, and will forever, be determined to Defeat the DC Sports Curse.

Find us on iTunes if you haven’t already and subscribe please! Listen on Podbean or at HMG! Engage with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and if you like what you hear on the podcast and read on this site… share it! Time to hustle! We. Are. Out!

Triple R: Tight Ends & Cornerbacks

This episode of the D.T.C. Redskins Roster Report (Triple R) is focused on two positions that didn’t change much this offseason… at least as far as the starters go. The TE position continues to be anchored by Jordan Reed but can he survive an entire season? Will the next injury he sustains push him towards retirement? Can Vernon Davis be trusted as a pass catcher? The Redskins did add some depth at the position but carrying four TE’s is risky. The corner back position is a different story as they were largerly not impacted by injury last season. Adding two BIG rookies at over six feet tall and 200+ lbs gives the Skins some much needed size and hopefully will ease the pressure off second year “stud in the making” Kendall Fuller. Josh Norman will be allowed to shadow his WR target all game long, so say the coaches, how will that impact Breeland and the rest of the secondary? Tune in and find out why this group of fans is a little down on the TE’s but encouraged by the new CB’s! (photo credit: USA Today / Redskins Wire)