John: You’ve mentioned a couple of times this week that if RGIII continues on this level of development that Kyle will be head coach someday. My belief has been that the Shanaplan was for Kyle to take over for him at the end of his contract or soon into his second contract. Now, it seems almost a given, right? The QB would be in place, the offense would be in place, Mike doesn’t have to endure the rigors of coaching into his 60′s but is still deeply and closely connected to the staff and sidelines. Makes almost too much sense, right?
John A. Little
John: It does make sense, but few things ever work out that smoothly. What if Mike Shanahan tells his son he wants to coach at least another five years because he’s energized by where they’re headed? Would Kyle want to wait that long? Having said that, Kyle won’t even turn 33 until December. There’s no rush. But let’s say in a couple years a good franchise comes calling, it would be tough to say no – unless he knew his dad’s end game. It’s also good to keep in mind that his dad can counsel him on not taking any job that comes along (as he learned from coaching the Oakland Raiders).
John: Doesn’t this upcoming game scream trouble for the Redskins based on observing the team under Gibbs 2, Zorn, and Shanahan? Seems like the perfect storm for a Redskins loss. 1. The Redskins are considered favorites. 2. They are coming off of a big win where they are getting a lot of love around the league. 3. They are playing a young QB and the team has a new head coach. And for good measure, Fisher has a reputation for being wily and he knows Shanahan well. And heck the Rams even have RG III’s old Baylor RB — simulating the Baylor offense for the scout team to help prepare. I don’t mean to be a pessimist but this game worries me a lot. What do you think?
Mike: I think you’ve been scarred by 20 years of Redskins football. The Redskins have struggled against this team in the past because they’ve been bad. It’s not about playing up or down to the competition. I think the Redskins will win – the Rams’ offense will struggle. But Jeff Fisher is an excellent defensive-minded coach so I’d expect more wrinkles this week and, yes, a tighter game. The Rams did a good job baiting Matthew Stafford on some plays last week. Fisher will surely try to throw a lot of different looks at Robert Griffin III. Not every game will include the clean passing lanes Griffin had last week. I’m curious to see what happens if the Rams’ D doesn’t force turnovers. I wouldn’t worry about them simulating the Baylor offense. Big difference seeing it vs. a scout team and then in a game by the guy who made that offense work. Griffin made that offense click. Linebackers have a difficult time facing this offense; it forces them to change a mindset that is counter to what they do most weeks.
Hey John: Wanted to know if you had any inside information on Alfred Morris’s TD celebration? Looked like he swung a bat and then put up 6 fingers. Seemed very similar to hitting a ‘sixer’ in Cricket.
‘Alfred Morris’ (from a quick Wiki search) is also the name of an 1800s cricketer. Seems like a piece to the puzzle.
Bernhard: Sorry to disappoint you, but it has nothing to do with Cricket. It’s based on a little known American pastime called… baseball. Kidding aside, when Morris was staying at a local hotel this week he met players from a 9-10 year old Little League team (York County) and hung around with them and their parents – he’d play with them in the water, throwing them around, etc. So he told them that if he scored a touchdown he’d swing as if hitting a homer. It’s becoming his signature move (“I kind of like that,” Morris told me earlier).
Hi John: The greatest improvement from last season I saw in the New Orleans game was that the offense actually scored some touchdowns instead of getting bogged down inside the red zone and settling for a field goal, many of which were missed. Speaking of field goals, the decision to sign Billy Cundiff looks like a good move. Finally, with RGlll’s spectacular debut, I don’t think Alfred Morris is getting the recognition he deserves for a tremendous first game. Without the holding penalty on one of his long runs he would have been over 100 yards. That is very impressive for a 6th round pick from a small program.
Jimmie: OK, not a question but a conversation starter. I’ll play along. Yeah, one key to the game last week was finishing time-consuming drives with touchdowns. You can’t beat a team like the Saints any other way. If that continues it’ll be a big bonus. Griffin’s ability to run and extend plays in the red zone will be critical. He should have scored on a keeper around the right side, but Tyler Polumbus couldn’t sustain his block, forcing Griffin to cut wider and into trouble (and a seven-yard gain). Morris deserves, and has received, praise. He had a good game, but it wasn’t a spectacular game. Even he admitted he missed some holes and took poor angles on others. Just a grind-it-out blue-collar effort. I loved his second touchdown in which he ran through linebacker David Hawthorne. Morris is an easy guy for fans to root for, an underdog who plays with attitude.
Hi John: Thanks for all your great redskins analysis. I was thinking about the Shanahan’s decision to make Kirk Cousins the 2nd string QB, and I figure it comes down to gameplan. As a young, mobile QB, Cousins could be expected to follow through on the gameplan they designed for Griffin. If Griffin missed a whole game, Grossman would probably start, because they could gameplan for his lack of mobility. I am hearing a lot of talk of cutting Grossman, though, to add Chris Cooley. Any sense of how likely this is to happen? If not Grossman, what player do you think is most likely to get cut to make room for Cooley (if it happens)?
Andrew: Usually you’d want the veteran to enter in that situation because of their experience. Cousins’ game would be more similar to Grossman. The Redskins aren’t running the zone read with either backup so I don’t see that as the issue. It just seemed to be more about them thinking Cousins made enough strides to bump Rex to No. 3. If Cousins progresses enough over the next few weeks in their minds then, yeah, I could see them doing something with Grossman. I was a little surprised he was demoted in the first place. He’s still helpful for the young quarterbacks because of his knowledge – people scoff at this but it’s true. However, after a while that’ll run dry. But with Griffin running as he does, it’s probably wise to keep another QB around right now, especially one familiar with the offense.
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