Redskins at 0-2: Why and where to go from here

openingkicklogoA loss like Sunday’s in Green Bay is rough on players, but it’s even rougher on the fans. This morning, we turn the lead portion of the Opening Kick over to one of our loyal commenters, Emmett Mosley, who tackles the 0-2 start from a fan’s perspective:

Worried? Maybe. Upset? Yes!

Face it: No one envisioned a 0-2 start to the 2013 Washington Redskin season after an offseason replete with stories of players getting healthy and the team’s confidence rising to a swell.

Thing is, after two losses, things aren’t swell.

All that might have swelled is the heads and hearts of Redskins fans who want their team to be in the league’s top class without seeing the troubling issues that’ll reduce it to the NFL dunce chair come playoff time.

The team appears to be relatively healthy and confident, but is playing more like the gang that opened 2012 3-6 than the unified group that finished 7-0 and won the NFC East.
And looking forward, you have to hope that at some point, everything going wrong suddenly stops, and the Redskin team finds its stride, again.

But before that happens, some troubling generic aspects of its play must be corrected:

• The team is putting two rookies (Baccari Rambo and David Amerson) on the field, and they must ‘show and prove’ immediately with solid tackling and start collecting/creating turnovers or the secondary will continue to vex the entire defensive unit.

• The defense is getting pressure while also giving up yards/points at a pace that might set historical totals, should the trends of big rush yards and passing totals continue. However, poor production on the other side of the ball has a lot to do with their play (Has the defense had a lead to defend yet?), so maybe we cut them some slack.

• Chris Thompson has been given the reins at punt returner. And that’s all I can say about that. The occasional field-flipping return would help the offense, as all too often this early season, it has had to begin its drives in poor position.

• Finally, the Redskins’ East Coast Offense looks like it’s been hit by the Hurricane Sandy known as NFL defensive coaching. So far, both the Eagles and Packers have come in prepared to take away rush lanes and stack the box to defend Alfred Morris.

• And seeing how so much of the passing game is based on the stifled running game, the Redskins are being forced to become what they are not: a 5-7 step drop-back passing team. Of course, the wide receivers’ untimely drops have only made this bad situation worse.

We’ve not seen the read option in two games, so maybe now Mike Tomlin’s ‘It’s the flavor of the month…’ line leaves the bitter aftertaste one would expect.

What we’ve also not seen is the kind of crisp, take-your-breath-away quarterback play from Robert Griffin III — a player adored and smothered with media attention all summer.
We’ll grant that he is rusty having not played in the preseason, but seeing how he’s been working with the first team offense since before the third preseason game (a month?), and now has two games under his belt, you hope the upcoming week(s) is where we start to see the shine beneath the rust.

The greater questions are, is Griffin completely healthy enough to play? And, does the play calling reflect the coaches’ desire to protect and rein him in?

This Redskins fan is not worried that the team’s culture can’t withstand the early, 0-2 hole.
But he is upset that it has to even crawl out of one.

From The Post:

Boswell: Get a defibrillator, stat! Listless Redskins clinging to hope

The Takeaway: Across-the-board issues start with tackling, blocking

Griffin isn’t himself, and nobody can put a finger on exactly why

Meriweather’s return fleeting | First halves setting Redskins back

D.C. Sports Bog: Redskins-Packers Best and Worst

What’s ahead:

• Mike Shanahan speaks to reporters at 3 p.m.

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