Redskins Hog Heaven analysts Greg Trippiedi and Anthony Brown offer the best moves for the Redskins to make now to save the season.
Greg Trippiedi: Bring up WR Terrence Austin from the practice squad and release Joey Galloway
Galloway was signed in April to be a veteran presence among the receivers. Unfortunately, the only thing that Galloway does like a veteran is be old.
He hasn’t been a productive short ball, long ball, or any other type of ball receiver. Like everyone else in this receiving corps, he blocks fairly well on the edge and downfield. But unlike the rest of the receivers, Galloway isn’t used to get up on a linebacker or defensive end in run blocking. He’s not a vital piece in the run blocking schemes, and he’s one of the worst receivers in football by any value metric. Even Darrius Heyward-Bey is catching 38% of passes thrown to him this year. Galloway: 31% and tanking.
Terrence Austin was a fairly exciting player in the preseason. This move is more about Galloway’s removal from the receiving unit than Austin’s promotion, as it’s actually Roydell Williams who will become the third receiver. But with Brandon Banks out for two games, Austin is a valuable body who can be used in the receiving rotation.
And after all, he can’t be any worse than Galloway has been. No one can.
Anthony Brown: Make up your mind on Mike Sellers or Fred Davis
Fred Davis and Mike Sellers are stealing plays from each other. That’s hurting an offense that needs more receiving options for Donovan McNabb/Rex Grossman and needs better interior blocking. Sellers can address that in the fullback or H-back role, or Davis can do it in a two-tight end set with Chris Cooley.
Sellers’ eye-opening 2005 performance (12 receptions, 7 TDs) marked him as a red zone threat, but no coaching staff has used him as such since then. Once renowned for his lead blocking for Clinton Portis, Sellers should have the heft to fend off defensive linemen like, oh say, Ndamukong Suh. We don’t see Sellers in that role often enough.
Fans drooled at the prospect of a two tight-end set with Davis and Cooley in preseason. Davis was thought to be the blocking tight end. Two tight-end sets are not a big feature of the Shanahans’ offense. It should be for the flexibility it brings to the blocking scheme.
Every defensive coordinator on the schedule has seen how the Lions attacked the Redskins’ offensive line. There is no free agent or practice squad player who can fix this. The solution is better use of someone already on the active roster. We now know that someone is not Donovan McNabb (alone). It might not be Clinton Portis until we know the state of his health. Sellers or Davis are the next best options.
Washington’s second best bye week move is for Mike Shanahan to polish Donovan McNabb’s reputation, as he has been doing recently for Albert Haynesworth. The Redskins need draft picks. They gave up two first round picks (second round this year; third round in the next draft) to get McNabb. The benefits of those picks are lost if McNabb leaves after the season.
Since McNabb is an unrestricted free agent this year, the front office has to: sign him to an extension, find a trading partner before McNabb reaches free agency, or franchise him.
Washington is unlikely to franchise McNabb, because no other team would give up the draft picks needed vie for him. It seems unlikely Washington wants to be on the hook for the one-year income a free agent franchise quarterback would make.
Coach Shanahan has to make up his mind about McNabb now. And Shanahan needs to talk up McNabb’s accomplishments after every game whether or not McNabb is “the guy.” Otherwise, cold-eyed GM’s will simply wait out Shanallen until McNabb reaches free agent status.
McNabb, Haynesworth and Carlos Rogers are the best commodities the Redskins can offer for trade picks. So no matter how they play, boy-oh-boy, they are the best players on the team!