Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Ryan Torian
Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:46 am
 

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Obviously on Sunday the focus in Philadelphia will be on Donovan McNabb. But what about the rest of the other 21 players on the field? The 1-2 Redskins are dangerously thin – emaciated, even – at the skill positions. Wideout Santana Moss can stretch the field. Fellow wideout Joey Galloway can stretch the field only theoretically. The 16th-year veteran has just three catches on the season.

You can’t count on Galloway or any of the backup wide receivers to provide much. Thus, one key for Washington will be finding ways to avoid a Moss-on-Asante Samuel matchup. Moss’ game is predicated on speed and quickness. Samuel’s off-ball style of coverage naturally neutralizes these elements.

Chris Cooley is often Washington’s X-factor. In this game, he’s a XX-factor. The Eagles struggled mightily last season in covering tight ends. Hence, the trade for speedy underneath outside linebacker Ernie Sims. By using Cooley in motion and aligning him in a variety of areas (the slot, backfield, etc.), Washington can force Sims – or, ideally, strong safety Quintin Mikell – to react presnap. This will make Philadelphia’s blitz schemes easier to diagnose.

A key factor will be whether rookie left tackle Trent Williams is healthy enough to block Trent Cole one-on-one (Williams was inactive in Week 3 but returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to play.) The Redskins would hate to have to keep Cooley in as an extra pass-blocker. In fact, they’d probably use Cooley as a de factor receiver and refer to second tight end Fred Davis for blocking duties. In that case, fullback Mike Sellers might off the field, which could dilute the play-action threat.

The Redskins must incorporate their run game to avoid getting into a shootout. Running will be tough given the issues at left guard (incumbent starter Derrick Dockery has fallen into a serious job competition with Kory Lichtensteiger). Philly’s Mike Patterson and Broderick Bunkley form one of the more vociferous defensive tackle tandems in the league. Plus, backup Trevor Laws is coming off one of his best games as a pro.

And let’s not forget, Clinton Portis is nearing the point where he’s only effective as a fourth quarter closer (assuming he’s still fresh in the fourth quarter). Plus, Portis’ bruising style won’t be as impactful against 258-pound middle linebacker Stewart Bradley. Ryan Torain is Washington’s best runner – especially in Mike Shanahan’s zone scheme. Don’t be surprised if Torain wears the hat on Sunday.

Ron Jaworski thought McNabb had perhaps the best game of his career against the Texans in Week 2. That still came in a losing effort. McNabb’s return trip to the City of Brotherly Love could be a reminder that talent is important, but equally as important is the talent around you.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .
Posted on: August 16, 2010 11:43 am
 

Buffalo, San Fran interested in Westbrook too?

Posted by Will Brinson

Brian Westbrook's been quite cautious with his free agency this offseason, which is rather rare for an aging running back with concussion issues. Theoretically, he'd like to jump on the first team that could offer him a good contract and some playing time, before the rest of the 2002 Pro Bowlers (Larry Johnson, Willie Parker) filled those spots.

Turns out, his patience was a smart move: yesterday, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan mentioned Washington's renewed interest in the back , and now it appears that the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers would also be interested in inking the former Eagle.

That's via Chris Russell of the Reskins Radio Network , who says he talked to Westbrook's brother Byron at Redskins practice on Monday.

According to Byron, his brother has "some new possible opportunity's [sic] in SF and Buff as well as" St. Louis.

Buffalo and San Francisco adding themselves to the mix makes perfect sense: Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch could both miss extended time into the season , while San Fran just lost Glen Coffee to a very early retirement .

And of course, St. Louis would love to have Westbrook in order to compliment Steven Jackson.

So, now that it's clear that his patience has paid off, what should Westbrook do. Personally, I think the Niners provide the best possible fit for Westbrook.

They're a contending team (in a particularly weak division) with less personnel in the backfield -- Frank Gore and new-found bruiser Anthony Dixon are the only competition for carries out by the bay.

In Washington, Westbrook's talents would certainly be utilized and he would get to play with his old buddy Donovan McNabb, but as mentioned, their depth chart is pretty full with LJ, Parker, Clinton Portis, et al. That's not to say Westbrook couldn't be better than those guys or that those guys couldn't be cut, but the path to touches is much more difficult there.

St. Louis would provide touches and good money, but the odds of winning a Super Bowl there this year are roughly 200:1 (at least according to Sportsbook ... and that's being generous, really). The same thing applies for Buffalo, with the caveat that when Jackson and Lynch return, Westbrook could see his carries drop again.

Like every decision for veterans, it may come down to how much Westbrook values winning versus playing time versus money. San Francisco just seems to offer the best combination of the three.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .

Posted on: August 15, 2010 6:25 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2010 8:19 pm
 

Redskins still interested in signing Westbrook

Posted by Will Brinson

On Saturday afternoon, it seemed all but guaranteed that Brian Westbrook would be a member of the St. Louis Rams. However, the Rams refuted the reported Westbrook signing, and the former Eagle remains a free agent.

Now, the Washington Redskins -- one of three teams along with the Rams and the Broncos that were initially interested in Westbrook -- have restated their interest in bringing Westbrook to the nation's capitol.

"Like I told you, I'm not sure what direction he's going," Mike Shanahan said. "But we've been entertaining that option. I'm not sure what direction he's going at this time."

In non-angry words, that means "We're interested, but we're not sure if we can overpay for an additional 2000 Pro Bowl running back."

The 'Skins already have Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, Willie Parker, Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams on their depth chart. Bringing in Westbrook would be good for them in terms of really boosting the backfield's pass-catching ability, but they'd probably have to admit a mistake on either Parker or Johnson and cut them loose, simply because there aren't enough carries to go around.

Of course, the upshot for Washington looking at Westbrook is that he already has an excellent repoire with starting quarterback Donovan McNabb, and plugging him into Shanahan's offense with an already comfortable situation would be fun to watch.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com