2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Redskins can't explain their collective letdown

By JOSEPH WHITE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-10 16:47

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - At least there's a ready-made excuse to be made for Robert Griffin III. He was coming off a knee injury, was rusty after sitting out the preseason and perhaps was a bit too psyched for his own good.

His teammates can't say the same. The Washington Redskins came out of the gate unfocused and off-kilter in their season opener, deserting the fundamentals of sound football. Dropped passes. Penalties. Turnovers. Missed assignments. By the time they woke up, they were 26 points behind in the third quarter.

What a letdown. After their franchise player spent an entire offseason talking about how he was ``all in for Week 1,'' all the Redskins got out of the season opener was a bunch of garbage-time points in a 33-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

``That's what's really disappointing about last night,'' linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said Tuesday, ``is we had a good game plan going in, and they didn't throw anything at us that we hadn't seen, but they out-executed us.''

It's easy to say the Redskins drew a short straw, facing a fast-paced Eagles offense making its NFL debut under coach Chip Kelly, but coach Mike Shanahan said his team essentially knew what was coming.

``There's only one play we saw that we didn't practice against,'' Shanahan said.

Besides, the Redskins offense should have feasted on an overhauled Eagles defense that has plenty of issues. There were also intangibles that should have worked in Washington's favor: a home game on a Monday night, returning as NFC East champions against a division rival that went 4-12 last year. The sheer magnitude of Griffin's comeback from injury should have galvanized the team, but it didn't.

``We definitely was out of sync,'' said running back Alfred Morris, who lost a fumble and mishandled a pitch in the end zone for a safety.

Asked to explain why his team would hit such a collective funk, Shanahan was short on answers. He said the early miscues gave the Eagles momentum, but he declined to shed light on how there could have been so many early miscues in the first place.

Instead, Shanahan and his players did what coaches and players usually do - talk about the positives and go from there. The Redskins scored three late touchdowns and had a good chance to recover an onside kick in the last two minutes, making the final score more respectable than it should've been.

``We did make some adjustments,'' Shanahan said. ``And I was pleased with the way we came back in the second half.''

Shanahan didn't want to discuss Griffin's performance, twice answering questions about his quarterback by declining to ``critique players in the media.'' It was an answer of convenience as much as anything: A few moments later, the coach was more than willing to discuss how rookie Chris Thompson can improve as a punt returner.

Griffin's performance didn't require much explanation anyway. He looked exactly like what he was - someone who hadn't played in a while. He tore up his knee in the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks in January and didn't start running plays in a full team setting until late in training camp.

He appeared to have no overt problems with his knee Monday night, but he threw two interceptions in an NFL game for the first time, didn't have any explosive runs and was 5-for-11 passing at halftime.

``He had to knock the rust off,'' Morris said. ``He hadn't played since that loss to Seattle. I was able to at least get some snaps in preseason; he had none.''

Notes: Kerrigan passed concussion-related tests both Monday night and Tuesday morning and is cleared for practice. He left the game after taking a jarring hit in the fourth quarter. ... In a surprise move, the Redskins started E.J. Biggers at safety after Brandon Meriweather was ruled out with a strained groin. Biggers had worked almost exclusively at cornerback during training camp and the preseason, but Shanahan went with the speedier player over usual fill-in Reed Doughty. Meriweather has played in only one of 17 games because of various injuries since signing with the Redskins last year. ``You're always disappointed when you have a football player that you think's going to be ready,'' Shanahan said, ``and all of sudden he's not.'' The coach said he's hoping Meriweather can play Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Miles AustinMar 30 11:42a

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) will likely sign with the Philadelphia Eagles this week if all goes well with his physical, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIIMar 29 07:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will be the first-team quarterback during offseason workouts, according to head Jay Gruden, but Gruden also said he expects QB Kirk Cousins and [ More ]

Stevan RidleyMar 29 10:12a

Free-agent RB Stevan Ridley (knee) is scheduled to meet with a few teams this week. Ridley is expected to receive full medical clearance in around six weeks.

Andre EllingtonMar 27 07:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, who averaged 20.6 touches per game in 2014 before being injured, won't have his role reduced in 2015, according to head coach Bruce Arians. [ More ]

C.J. AndersonMar 27 07:32p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished 2014 with 648 rushing yards in the last six games, will enter the 2015 season at the top of the running back [ More ]

Jonathan MartinMar 27 04:32p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27.

Alan BallMar 27 03:02p

Free-agent CB Alan Ball (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jarrett BoykinMar 27 02:12p

Free-agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Packers) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nick FolesMar 27 01:22p

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it's the team's intention to draft a quarterback in this year's draft, despite trading for QB Nick Foles in the offseason. [ More ]

Dont'a HightowerMar 26 08:02p

New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular [ More ]

Brian QuickMar 26 06:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick (shoulder) is making progress in recovering from a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder he suffered last October. Head coach Jeff Fisher has [ More ]

Jay CutlerMar 26 06:32p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be [ More ]

Danny LansanahMar 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah signed his one-year tender Thursday, March 26.

Jonathan MartinMar 26 04:52p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was waived Thursday, March 26.

Pat SimsMar 26 04:22p

Free-agent DT Pat Sims (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, March 26.

Victor CruzMar 26 01:32p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) 'looks really good and light,' according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz started running last week six months after he tore the [ More ]

D. Heyward-BeyMar 26 11:52a

Free-agent WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Steelers) re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday, March 26. Heyward-Bey signed a one-year deal with the team, but financial terms were not disclosed.

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group