Redskins vs. Panthers: Blogger Q & A

After a three week hiatus we are back with blogger Q & A. Kevin with Hogs Haven was kind enough to answer some questions I sent his way. Be sure to check his site for my answers to his questions. Without further delay, here we go.

Question 1: You've got John Beck starting at QB over Rex Grossman. Do you agree with the switch? What do you expect from Beck against the Panthers to call it a good day (other than a win)?

Kevin: Yea, I agree with the switch (Grossman needs the National Guard to escort him around in public in these parts). Rex simply does not protect the ball well. From 2003, when Rex entered the NFL, through 2011, Grossman has the highest interception percentage of any quarterback in the game (and then there's his 26 career fumbles, 16 lost). Sexy Rexy simply cannot protect the ball for the life of him. Last week was the last straw. Our defense just picked off Vick on their side of the field. We could feel the momentum changing, and then Rex turned it right back over. When Beck finally came in to start the 4th, he scored a TD and without doubt added a spark to our offense. It'd be foolish to extinguish it now.

I'm hopeful the Panther defense can force Beck to make some errors and help the offense with field position. 

Question 2: I see Ryan Kerrigan has started well with 2 sacks and an INT. What former Redskin or NFL player would you most compare Kerrigan's game too?

Kevin: Hmm. That's tough to do since the Redskins were never a 3-4 defense in their history until just last year. He plays like a defensive end but rushes from the LB position (standing up). Despite being 30 pounds heavier, Kerrigan reminds me a bit of Redskins LB great, Ken Harvey. Kerrigan doesn't have the speed Harvey had, but they both are experts in shedding blocks and forcing fumbles (Kerrigan led the nation in forced fumbles with 7 at Purdue).

Rookie RT Byron Bell will have his hands full with the fellow rook Kerrigan. This could be a key match-up for the Redskin defense.


Question 3: You've done a little shuffling on the offensive line this week. What is your biggest worry (if any) based on the expected starting line- up Sunday?

Kevin: Oh man, our OLine situation is reaching Lindsay Lohan trainwreck status. Our entire running game was based off running behind Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger (Left Tackle and Left Guard). They were easily our two best lineman and now they're out. Will Montgomery, our starting Center all year, is moving to Guard and a former seventh round pick, Erik Cook, steps in at Center. He's 6'6" so he has trouble staying low and had two false starts I believe last week. If the Redskins can't get the running game going, it's going to be a long day.

If our defensive line is going to have a good day this is their chance. I expect big things from the Panther D this Sunday.  

Question 4: You've had a bit of RB by committee approach this season. Who do you expect to start and how do you expect the carries to be split between Torain/Hightower and Helu?

Kevin: Last week Shanahan announced Hightower was starting and then post-game he said he told the media that to give the Redskins an advantage. (Oooh that Shanny's a crafty one!!!) I fully expect Hightower to start. He's our best pass protection RB and has had three weeks to heal that shoulder. Ryan Torain and Helu will certainly see some action. I'd guess Hightower sees 50% and Helu/Torain split the other 50%.

I'm more worried about Torain than I am the other two. I'm sure given the Panther run D is last in the league (or near last) that the ‘Skins will hand it off a lot. How well they stop the run on 1st and 2nd down will determine a lot.

Question 5: Can we expect DeAngelo Hall on man up on Steve Smith much this game? How do you expect the Redskins to scheme their coverage on him?

Kevin: The Redskins aren't a team to stick to one coverage. Haslett has been a big fan of mixing in the casino blitz as of late (all out blitz leaving corners 1-on-1). With Cam Newton's size and athleticism, I expect the Redskins to shy away from that. A big concern is free safety, OJ Atogwe, has missed practice all week with a knee injury. Whoever is at FS, I expect him to be over the top of Steve Smith all day. Smith's ability to break tackles alone is reason to never leave him 1-1. 

Good point about Smitty breaking tackles. I still hope they go deep to him but I also expect a good number of passes to TEs Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen.

Got a score prediction?

 Kevin: The fact the entire country is betting Panthers makes me like the Redskins more. The Redskins are a team that loves to control the clock, which makes them a team that never puts up big points, so I like the Skins to win a snoozer, 17-13.

Snoozer? I guess he hasn't watched any of our games.

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