For Part 2 of the Redskins mailbag: a little Joe Barry, Sean Taylor memories, Robert Griffin III's offseason and more. Enjoy.
I thought there were some wild overreactions at the time. Still, I don't know that Barry would have been high on anyone else's list, so either the Redskins know something others don't, or they made a bad choice. I've heard Barry is a very passionate, energetic and detailed coach. I've also heard some say they think he'll just be an ordinary coordinator. But, yes, they'll definitely be able to compete. The players they've added, for the most part, are better than the ones they're replacing. I have a feeling this staff will be more detail-oriented than the one that departed. I don't view this as a top-10 unit; they need to mesh and learn a new defense and coaches - and we need to see what sort of coordinator Barry will be in Washington. But I can see them being improved and more sound. It's a start.
Hard to say what impressed me the most, but it's probably how fast he moved for his size. It made him the perfect safety to transition into this new era. I just remember seeing how the Redskins could disguise defenses because of that speed - he'd line up in the slot on the left side and then drop to the other side in a Cover 2 look. Not many can pull that off. But his passion for the game also was evident. He had a knack for making plays and when he got the ball in his hands, you weren't sure what might happen. His story would have been sad regardless if he was the best player on the roster or the worst. But we all were cheated out of watching a kid who was phenomenal. From an X's and O's standpoint, it would have been a lot of fun watching him grow.
The simple and easy answer is that with a fullback, it's all based on matchups and how the team believes it needs to attack the defense. Mike Shanahan used a fullback more than Jay Gruden - some of that just stems from style of offense. Last season, Young played 198 snaps - 18 fewer than the previous year, but he also missed three games with an injury in 2013. In 2012, Young played 305 snaps (he blocked well in the zone-read game). I wish I had a more nuanced or detailed answer as to the strategy, but it's really that basic. In some games they like certain runs that are more two-back looks; in others that's not the case. It's always been that way with Young and most fullbacks.
I had heard about that, but was unaware of the report (on NFL Network, I believe) when I talked to him a couple weeks ago (not for a story) so did not ask. I did reach out to him Saturday about it, but haven't heard back (hoping he has better things to do than answer my texts). What I do know is that he always works hard. He will train with some of his receivers/tight ends/backs to work on the passing game. He will spend some time with his quarterback guru, Terry Shea. I don't know how he'll divide his time between strengthening and spending time in the film room, but I'm quite sure he'll put a priority on the latter. I know that a couple years ago, that's something I was told the coaches wanted to see more of - but most young players have to learn the importance of film work, etc. The coaches would like to see him be able to speed up his progressions - some of that can be helped in pre-snap reads too. But it's not as if Griffin is the only quarterback on the roster they'd like to see improve in this area; he's just the one everyone cares about the most. If he gets it, then you know the ceiling is higher.
Would imagine very quickly. But obviously it depends what they think of Williams, not what the analysts say. My gut, and brain, say they would draft him if he fell there (not anticipating that at all). If they were able to draft him, it would give them a line that could be strong for a few years, with Williams and Stephen Paea
and Terrance Knighton
(assuming he's in shape and produces and is then re-signed). Yes, they have Jason Hatcher
at end, but he'll turn 33 in July and is coming off a nagging knee issue in 2014. Williams would be a fantastic no-brainer pick. Also, the reason you never just draft for need, especially this high in the draft, is that you never know when your needs will change.