Jen X and I took your questions after the Redskins' win over the Eagles; take a look at the video after the jump.
By Rich Tandler
The Redskins may be ready to make a switch along the offensive line after giving up 10 sacks to the Bills last week.
The word on the grapevine is that the Redskins will move Will Montgomery back to center and will put rookie Maurice Hurt in at left guard.
It would be the first regular-season NFL action for Hurt, a seveth-round pick of the Redskins in this year's draft. He played well at times in training camp and in the preseason but, like most late-round rookies, he lacked consistency.
If Trent Williams returns from a sprained ankle, the Redskins will have four of their five opening day starting offensive linemen in place. The fifth, left guard Kory Lichtensteiger, is out for the season after suffering a knee injury Oct. 16 against the Eagles.
In this clip from Redskins Nation, taped on Thursday morning, I said that I did not think that Williams would play against the 49ers. Now, I think that the outlook is slightly more optimistic as Mike Shanahan seemed to indicate that the decisions on making the shuffle along the O-line would hinge on whether or not Williams would play. He is a game-time decision.
Ascending starters OLB Brian Orakpo—His progress was hindered somewhat by the transition to the 3-4, the lack of a decent pass-rushing threat on the other side, and a dozen or so unflagged holds by opposing offensive linemen. Even with an “off” season he was a Pro Bowl alternate. ILB London Fletcher—It’s hard to say that a 35-year-old linebacker is advancing but Fletcher may be the exception to the rule. After struggling in the 3-4 early in the season he figured it out as the year went on and improved from month to month.
After the Eagles game, the players were apologetic. They truly felt bad that they had laid such an ugly egg on national TV and in front of a large crowd at FedEx Field that was looking for a reason to be enthusiastic. And while they didn’t necessarily think that the beatdown was a fluke, they didn’t think that is was much of anything to be worried about in the long term. The team had the memory of having beaten the Eagles in Philadelphia earlier in the season and the strong temptation was to think that it was just an off night, that they got punched early and often and couldn’t recover. In their minds, it wasn’t that there was a great talent disparity between the two teams; it was just an off night. Then they gutted out a win in Tennessee despite a mind-boggling run of injuries being suffered both before and during the game. A week later the Vikings won after a Brandon Banks punt return for a touchdown was called back by a penalty for an illegal block that didn’t have any effect on the play. That gave them a crutch. It was a game that the “could” have one, maybe even on that they “should” have won. There were no such illusions after the Giants game.There also are some thoughts about Albert-Shanahan in the article:
I don’t quite know how to react when people blame Mike Shanahan for the Albert Haynesworth mess. Since when is establishing rules, norms, and procedures, the kind that any organization needs to be effective, being on a power trip or being a control freak? Not that Shanahan has handled things flawlessly. But blaming him for the fact that Haynesworth’s relationship with the organization is now irreversibly in shambles would be like blaming the cop for a burglary because he arrested the guy who broke into the house.
A recurring theme during chats, Twitter conversations and blog comments is that the Redskins would have been much better off is they would have left the 2009 Washington Redskins defense alone. That group was ranked 10th in the NFL in terms of yardage and many fans long for the days of that 4-3 scheme as opposed to the 3-4 unit that has spent most of the year at or near the bottom of the NFL’s yardage heap. Those who liked the 2009 defense must have loved Sunday’s game against the Vikings. It’s as though they found a Hot Tub Time Machine and transported that ‘09 unit to FedEx Field.Be sure to check out the mind-boggling stats about the running game later in the article.