Friday, December 15, 2006

Dept. of Advice

Think of them as show notes

So the Redskins' own Dr. Kevorkian is dispensing medical advice to Jason Campbell. Seems Al Saunders really wishes Jason could hustle it up a bit. From the standpoint of Jason Campbell maturing and getting better I totally agree, who doesn't want to get better and faster at playing the game. I think it's fair to point out though, the guy calling the plays, at times in the 4th quarter when the team is down sometimes doesn't really have a sense of urgency either:

Indianapolis, October 22: down 33-14, Washington mounts a leisurely 7-minute drive crossing from the 3rd into 4th quarters before setting for a field goal. Then, down 36-14 in the 4th, gets on a comparatively hasty 4-minute drive, netting the final touchdown. Both of these drives feature lots of 'Brunell short (direction here) pass' plays.

Philadelphia, November 12: down 27-3 with 13 minutes left in the 4th, the Redskins take 4 minutes off the clock to put together a 4-pass, 2-run drive that nets 10 yards and no points. The Redskins then punt, down 24 points with 9 minutes left.

You could make the argument here that these games were lost and the Redskins just wanted to keep the clock running and end the game or you could say Mark Brunell isn't able to get it downfield for the big gain, or you could just say the playcalling did not really reflect a sense of urgency re: scoring. The team finished seven out of eight quarters losing in these two games and the offense went on fourth once, and then it was with under a minute left in the half in opponent's territory.

Tampa Bay, November 19: down 20-10 with 3:43 left in the 4th, Washington breaks off a 14-play drive going 80 yards and consuming 3 minutes and 11 seconds that results in a touchdown but leaves only 32 seconds on the clock. The Redskins lose 20-17.

This one is the most defensible. The Redskins played right into the Buccaneers' hands at the end of that game. With three minutes left but up by two scores, Tampa Bay would have just wanted Washington not to get deep and in fact 48 of those 80 yards were on two passes that both went short but netted Chris Cooley working his ass off in open field. It was good to see Jason lead them down nonetheless, and he threw deep three times, all incomplete, though after three terrible drives before this one, it was too little too late.

Atlanta, December 3: down 24-14 with 12:23 to go in the 4th, the Redskins get the first of their three final possessions in the game. The first is a four-and-out featuring three runs and consuming two minutes, the second a 14-play, 80-yard drive that ends in a Jason INT and the last, a 10-play drive that takes the final two minutes of the game to go all of 23 yards to the Atlanta 4 where four tries from inside the 5 cannot net a score.

The first end drive in this game was what blew it. This was the one where Santana ran the 5 yards and Jason threw it 2. Third-and-2 at midfield down 10, 12 minutes left 4th? That's 4-down territory in the first place and second Betts had netted 23 yards on three straight running plays. Big your meatrun and execute, you've got twice to try and it's a less variable play for Jason. The next two drives were just Jason learning.

Philadelphia, December 10: down 16-9 with 11:21 left in the game, Washington uses up 6-1/2 minutes to go 70 yards before settling for field goal. The Redskins cannot get a stop on defense and the Eagles run out the clock.

In this game the Redskins were running well and ran Ladell five times in that drive that included another Cooley first down, an improvised QB scramble and a gadget play. The Redskins move to the Eagles three, down 5 with 5:00 to go 4th . Tactical observations:

  • A touchdown puts you up one, where you might as well go for two to stretch to three.
  • A field goal leaves you down two, needing a defensive stop and then another drive to test a new kicker.
I'd rather close it out on one score, so from the three, four plays, I like the odds. Then why the peanutbutter did the Redskins pull Ladell with 171 yards and put in TJ Duckett for his third carry? Poor TJ is the tiki from Brady Bunch Goes to Hawaii. He comes in and the offense stumbles with a no-gain, an incomplete, the 12 men in huddle penalty then the QB option-sack. Leave Ladell in and feed the stud.

I expect the Redskins to try hard to score on every possession, and the playcalling should reflect the situation. Jason idn't the only one that could get a little better, lil more strategic.

Advice monkey borrowed from here.