Friday, August 31, 2012

Cutting Tim Hightower

Tim Hightower was among today's cuts. This was somewhat surprising since some felt Hightower would begin the season as the starter. However it's a sound move for a few reasons.

First, Hightower is coming off an ACL repair. As reliably as the sun rises, running backs lack explosion and speed their first year back from ACL repair. Keeping Hightower would have only made sense as an investment for next year and beyond.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Missing Graham Gano

The Skins let go Graham Gano today in favor of Billy Cundiff. Early comments in the Washington Post discussion threads suggest most are happy to see Gano go. But I'll miss him, and I'm not convinced his release was a good move for several reasons.

First, I'm wary of the past. Before Gano the Skins cut Shaun Suisham, who had missed a key FG. Suisham was promptly picked up by the Steelers, and made 14 of his next 15 FGs on the way to the Steelers Super Bowl. Before Suisham (ok, long before), the Skins had a young kicker named David Akers, who they let go and then had a 10+ all-pro caliber run with the Eagles.

Monday, August 27, 2012

RGIII: The Great, The Good, and The Not-So-Good

All eyes on RGIII. Here's the Great, the Good, and the Not-So-Good through three preseason games.

The Great
- His accuracy is superb, especially on the move. Beautiful touch, beautiful placement, he throws with the right velocity and to the right location.
- His speed and quickness are as advertised. He makes defenders miss, and his bursts of speed are elite.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Alfred Morris vs. Evan Royster

Given the injuries at RB -- Hightower recovering from an ACL tear and Roy Helu missing his second straight game with achilles tendonitis -- the Skins may end up keeping both rookie Alfred Morris and 2nd-year player Evan Royster. But if they keep just one, I think they keep Alfred Morris. Neither has blazing speed, but Morris seems to have the better vision and make the quicker reads, which are essential for running behind Shanahan's zone blocking scheme. Of course Morris could end up on the practice squad.

RGIII's Movement in the Pocket

Skins against the Bears today in pre-season game #2. We're through the 1st quarter and RGIII is showing two consistent tendencies, one good and one bad.

The good is that under pressure he consistently makes the first guy miss. The bad is that after he makes the first guy miss, he doesn't step up into the pocket, reset, and throw. Instead, he starts scrambling around. RGIII needs to learn that sometimes less movement is more. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, even Jason Campbell are good at making the first guy miss, then immediately resetting and throwing. RGIII needs to learn this, but he'll get there.

For a classic example of avoid-reset-throw, here's Jason Campbell in 2008 against the Saints. He avoids tremendous pressure, and instantly resets his feet. RGIII hasn't yet shown the ability to do this. Watch from 3:41 in this clip.