Sunday, September 20, 2009

Redskins notes for Rams game

The Redskins are favorites heading into today's home game against the St. Louis Rams, and many, if not most, fans consider it to be a must-win game. Here are some notes and storylines for the game:
  • Defensive coordinator Greg Blache on Albert Haynesworth: "He's 'not Superman'":

    Blache said Haynesworth played well in the Week 1 loss to the New York Giants, and acknowledged the Pro Bowler is a "very, very, good player," but he seemed downright offended by the suggestion Haynesworth might actually help to make the players around him better. Middle linebacker London Fletcher was credited with a team-high 18 tackles in the 23-17 loss at Giants Stadium, prompting one reporter to theorize Fletcher had more freedom to race to the ball because Haynesworth often occupied two offensive linemen while being double-teamed.

    Well, that's a stupid theory, Blache said in effect, pointing out the Redskins had defensive tackles last season, too. Haynesworth and Fletcher each performed their duties well, Blache said, but Haynesworth was not responsible for Fletcher's success, or any other player's success. "Albert's a good player, but let's not make him King Kong," Blache said. He's "not Superman."

    I kind of understand what Blache is trying to say, but if Haynesworth is only just as good as the rest of the Redskins' defensive tackles, a lot of fans are going to be disappointed. [Redskins Insider]

  • Matt Mosley explains his negative take on Haynesworth's debut:

    I may be holding Haynesworth to a ridiculous standard ($41 mil guaranteed), but what I focused on was that he looked completely worn down at the most important juncture of the game. When the Skins were actually hanging around in the third quarter, Haynesworth had to keep making his way to the sideline to catch his breath. Yes, he made some plays in the game. But when Washington truly needed to clog the middle, Haynesworth was sucking wind. Was I too hard on him? Maybe so.

    Maybe he should have written that in the first place. [NFC East Blog]

  • Fred Smoot is questionable with a rib injury. [ESPN]

  • Everyone on ESPN's NFL experts' panel is predicting a Redskins' win. [ESPN]

  • The Redskins need to stop Steven Jackson. [Redskins Insider]

  • Clinton Portis says the offense needs to stay on the field longer and be more efficient:

    "Having 40-some plays, it ain't gonna get everybody the ball. We have 40-some plays. I touched the ball 18 times, so you've got 30 more plays to get everybody else the ball. That's not gonna be enough to win. We've got to go out and have 60 or 70 plays a game; therefore, everybody can touch the ball, everybody can contribute."

    He's right. [D.C. Sports Bog]

  • Haynesworth actually played pretty well against the Giants:

    Haynesworth played more than 70 percent of Washington's defense's snaps in the opener against the Giants, so it's hard to say that he was begging out of playing time. And when he was in there, he gave a good effort. Especially when it comes to pass rushing, it's pretty easy to tell when a player is out of gas and giving no effort. They can just stand at the line, move their feet a little bit and get in a stalemate with the offensive linemen.

    In watching Haynesworth's every snap against the Giants, I saw only one pass play where he took the play off and just stood up at the line. There was also one running play the other way where Haynesworth jogged in pursuit, instead of running at full speed. That's two snaps out of 45 plays. That's two more than you want to see, but it's not a bad effort for a 350-pounder.

    Good job, Haynesworth. [FanHouse]

  • A Seahawks' blogger gives his take on the Rams and their struggles in Week 1 at Seattle. [Hogs Haven]

  • Thomas Boswell says it's time to open up the offense. "But if not now, with the Rams and the Lions on deck, when?" he asks. Good point. [Washington Post]

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