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Tag:Kory Lichtensteiger
Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:39 am
 

Keep an Eye On: Week 8's finer points of analysis

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



Giants vs. Dolphins
One of the more confounding issues with the Dolphins this season has been the decline of their pass-rush. After recording 39 sacks in 2010 (tied for 10th best in the NFL) Miami entered last week’s game against Denver with just eight. They wound up recording seven sacks in the game, but that was in part because of Tim Tebow’s inability to make quick reads or get the ball out.

The Giants’ reshuffled offensive line has been hit or miss in pass protection thus far (more “hit” than “miss”). At Arizona in Week 4, their brilliant protection practically won the game. But the next week it waffled against Seattle’s underrated D-line (Chris Clemons rather enjoyed facing left tackle Will Beatty).

The Dolphins have one of the game’s best all-around edge-rushers in Cameron Wake, the reigning AFC sack leader. His leverage and tenacity give him strength that’s much better than his size indicates. Wake has been oddly quiet in non-two minute situations this season, though he abused Denver’s somewhat lumbering right tackle, Orlando Franklin, last week.

Giants right tackle Kareem McKenzie is more polished than Franklin but has slower feet. He’ll need help. On the other side, Miami may have an under-the-radar pass-rushing talent in Jared Odrick, who somewhat resembles a thicker Jason Taylor.

Ravens vs. Cardinals
The Ravens offense owes everyone a good performance after ruining one of our 17 precious Monday night games. They should be able to get on track against a Cardinals defense that has struggled to generate a consistent pass-rush despite aggressive blitzes from new coordinator Ray Horton.

The intrigue is on the other side of the ball. Roughly two months after the trade and $20-million-plus investment in Kevin Kolb, some Cardinal fans are actually wondering if the 27-year-old quarterback should be benched. That’s the kind of ridiculous thinking that those who don’t actually contribute any skin in the game can get away with. Ken Whisenhunt knows that he’d never get another coaching job if he were to bench Kolb for John Skelton.

Kolb hasn’t been great, but he’s hardly the problem. Arizona’s “non-Fitzgerald” receivers have not been able to get open. General manager Rod Graves may deserve some heat for letting Steve Breaston get away this past offseason, though Graves’ logic was understandable at the time. Third-round rookie Andre Roberts showed intriguing potential as a speedy slasher last season.

Roberts looked like a future starter, and he cost a fraction of what Breaston would have cost. So Graves banked on him. Roberts has responded by failing to reach 40 yards receiving in every game this season. The good-looking prospect prior to Roberts, Early Doucet, has been equally ineffective.

Teams can sometimes get away with having only one quality wide receiver, but not if their offensive tackles stink. And there’s no denying that Levi Brown and Brandon Keith – two heavy-footed lumberers with inconsistent technique – stink.

So far Kolb has been awful when throwing off-balance. It’s doubtful he’ll get to be on balance much against a staunch Ravens D.

Bills vs. Redskins
Don’t pick the Redskins this week. It’s a matter of principle, if nothing else. No team should have expectations placed on it after making a change at quarterback and losing its top wide receiver, running back, tight end, left tackle and left guard in a two-week span. This will look like a preseason version of the Redskins. How will they cope?

It helps that Mike Shanahan’s system runs more fluidly with John Beck than it does with Rex Grossman. Beck is smoother reading the field and much better at play-action rollouts and bootlegs than Grossman. Accuracy is a bit of a concern, however. As for the other injuries and replacement ...

RB Tim Hightower (knee – out for season) had found his niche in this zone-run scheme, but he’ll be missed most in the passing game. Ryan Torain is a decent upright power-runner with a spring in his step, but he can’t stick pass-rushers the way Hightower could.

WR Santana Moss (hand – out 5-7 weeks) was Washington’s only creator on offense. He could generate his own space and turn an underneath catch into a 60-yard scamper. Either Niles Paul or Anthony Armstrong will replace him. Both have flashed at times, but neither is completely trustworthy. And, unlike with Moss, defenses won’t have to even ponder the possibility of double coverage.

TE Chris Cooley (finger, knee – out for season) was trending down and losing his role to Fred Davis prior to get hurting. Davis can fill Cooley’s receiving shoes. But the Redskins are now down a good in-line blocker in the run game. With Cooley and Davis, Washington had the benefit of balancing its formation with a viable pass-catching tight end on each side. This often compelled defenses to stay in basic front seven looks. New backup tight end Logan Paulsen won’t command that kind of respect.

LT Trent Williams (high ankle sprain – out 0-4 weeks) has missed most of the last two games. Pretty easy to identify the impact of his absence: backup Sean Locklear is experienced but much slower than Williams all-around.

LG Kory Lichtensteiger (knee – out for season) was one of the unheralded heroes for this team down the stretch last year and prior to going down in Week 6. Center Will Montgomery moved one spot to the left to fill Lichtensteiger’s void. Montgomery is interchangeable that way, but his replacement in the middle, Erik Cook, a seventh-round pick in ’10, was a noticeable downgrade coming off the bench. He had issues snapping the ball and was overwhelmed by defensive tackle Mike Peterson on a few plays. The Redskins can only hope those were Cook’s jitters working themselves out.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 8 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: June 15, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 4:40 pm
 

Why wasn't Trent Williams at Redskins practice?

T. Williams might face criticism for not showing up for Washington's workouts (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Since players across the NFL have begun participating in workouts organized and led by their peers, we haven’t heard much in the way of criticism against those who have not joined in with their teammates.

WR Chad Ochocinco doesn’t show up for Bengals practice, and nobody makes a peep. WR Braylon Edwards misses Jets workouts, and he doesn’t hear criticism.

But when Redskins LT Trent Williams failed to show for workouts this week, at least one of his teammates had something to say about it.

“We’re here so we think it’s valuable,” G Kory Lichtensteiger told the Washington Examiner. “I don’t know why everyone else doesn’t. I know some people have to book a plane flight, but we have rookies here that are booking plane flights and first-year guys that don’t have a lot of money in the bank booking plane flights. So I don’t think there’s a whole lot of good excuses not to be here, honestly.”

Williams has an excuse regardless.

In an interview with ESPN 980, Williams claimed he thought the camp was for backs and wide receivers. Oh, he’s got another excuse as well. He didn’t find out about the camp until it was too late.

“I feel like it’s a big deal,” Williams said. “If I wouldn’t have found out Monday that the workouts were Tuesday, then I probably would have been there. It was a last-minute deal.”

So yeah, those excuses seem rather flimsy, especially when you take into account the questions about his work ethic. But Williams wasn’t done making them.

From the Washington Post:

Reached by phone Wednesday, Williams said that he has been training with roughly a dozen players in his hometown of Houston. He said he considered attending this week’s workouts, but decided not to go because he was in a wedding last weekend, which would have interfered with travel plans.

“I kind of had my hands tied,” Williams said. “But I figure as long as I’m getting work in and am making sure I’m ready. I’ve been trimming down a little bit, focusing on total body strength, and I started back [doing squats] this offseason, which I hadn’t done since my sophomore year, to get my explosiveness in my legs back. I feel great.”

But if you ask TE Chris Cooley, none of that really matters. Williams can show up or not, and it’s not a big deal.

“Everyone has their own preparation and own thing going on,” Cooley told the Examiner. “We’re not going to be disappointed in anyone not showing up. All I would say is that I’m benefiting from this; I feel this is making me a better player and this is preparing me to play this year.”

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