The Redskins have many concerns. The defensive line and center positions were positions of need heading in the 2016 off-season. Neither were addressed and that falls flatly on GM Scot McCloughan. The defensive line starters have fared poorly, but the depth on the defensive line is just down right frightening. In terms of center, it wasn’t just Kory Litchensteiger’s mental error that ran 10 seconds off the clock in the fourth quarter that makes the position especially bad, but his blocking has been horrendous. The Redskins are in a world of hurt in middle of the offensive line.
Taking all that into consideration, the regression of QB Kirk Cousins and CB Bashed Breeland have been absolutely devastating in this young 2016 season. Breeland was absolutely owned and embarrassed Monday night by Antonio Brown. You can fault some of that to defensive coordinator Joe Barry for failing to make an adjustment and put one of the best corners in the NFL on the NFL’s best receiver. Unthinkable. However . . . Washington has a Breeland problem. Breeland is a good cornerback. We have seen it. The problem is, he had a truly horrific game against the Steelers and that performance has led to a complete meltdown of his confidence on the field. He is playing off receivers, much more so than Norman. That is a clear sign of his lack of confidence.
The coaching staff did little to help this week, having Breeland cover Dez Bryant, much more than he should have been. That will just lead to more of a melt down for the young corner. Essentially, Breeland is being failed by his coaching staff. When a player loses confidence, good coaches put them in position to gain that confidence back. The Redskins defensive staff did the opposite.
Despite not addressing center and defensive line, the fact that GM Scot McCloughan didn’t pull the trigger on a big money, long-term deal with Cousins is looking like an act of brilliance. For Cousins, it looks like a gamble gone real bad. His regression against the Steelers carried into today against the Cowboys. Cousins had several receivers he overthrew. If he planted the ball in stride on Josh Doctson’s 57 yard reception, that suddenly would have been six points for the Redskins. Cousins over threw DeSean Jackson twice. The interception in the end zone was a dagger into the heart of the game for the Redskins. They never recovered from that poor throw.
Reality is, Cousins should feel lucky he entered the locker room with just one, very costly interception. His accuracy is off and his chemistry with Jackson seems to be non-existent. The fade calls in the corner to Josh Doctson were poor calls by Sean McVay. However, the throws by Cousins weren’t accurate either. Folks the Kirk Cousins of 2015 has yet to make an appearance this season. That is a bad sign. Not only do NFL defenses now have plenty of tape on Cousins, but Cousins magical accuracy of last season seems to be a forgotten trait.
Despite opening the season at home the first two weeks, the Redskins are 0-2. They are 0-2 for a multitude of reasons. However, two very big contributors to the Redskins poor start have been Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland’s regression from last season. The bigger question is, what, if anything, can this coaching staff do about it? And that question makes for an even more dismal view of the remainder of the 2016 season.
The scary thing of all is that the owner of this franchise is still Daniel Snyder. McCloughan has done a fine job rebuilding a horrible roster. It’s going to take two more seasons. But, bad starts like this, well, it could give Snyder some very ugly thoughts. And that folks is down right scary.