Manny Benton brings his morning thoughts in today's edition of "Morning Manny," covering both sides of the run game and the Josh Doctson experience.
I often tweet random thoughts regarding the Washington Redskins at random times of the day that typically bring interesting dialog. Now, from Monday through Thursday at around 9 a.m. you can find those Twitter-sized thoughts in "Morning Manny." Complete with explanations!
The Redskins may have outsmarted themselves at the running back and nose tackle position by not making it more a priority this offseason.
Having a run game and defending one was evidently pretty low on the Redskins' priority list this offseason. The team opted not to upgrade its backfield and treated the nose tackle position as if it didn't exist. Considering the Redskins ranked 20th in rushing and 26th in rush defense in 2015, it's an interesting tactic.
Some of their reasons are justifiable. A one-gap scheme rarely uses the traditional zero technique (nose tackle over the center) who weighs 330 pounds or more. Not to mention, the scheme is susceptible to allowing runs up the middle based on the mere fact that defensive linemen are in attack mode and not holding their gaps.
As for the running back position, allowing young backs to develop isn't a bad thing. Washington's saving grace on offense would be if one of its young running backs emerged as a legit player. But there's no guarantee that will pan out.
The NFL has moved to being more of a pass-first league. However, the Redskins could be in danger of outsmarting themselves if these areas don't improve. It's hard to imagine that they've done enough this offseason to become a better run offense and defense.
Whether Josh Doctson is active week one or not, it doesn't matter. He's not ready to have early success.
The Redskins invested a first-round pick in Doctson with the hopes of adding size to their small group of wide receivers. Unfortunately, he's barely practiced since being drafted due to a lingering Achilles injury that head coach Jay Gruden
While at TCU, Doctson had issues rounding off routes and getting off the line against physical defensive backs. He has missed a major opportunity to prepare against guys like Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland during training camp. Now he'll have to learn on the fly during the season, if he's even able to stay healthy.
I think it's naive to believe the Redskins drafted Doctson in the first round only to redshirt him for a year. They drafted the 6-foot-2 target with the expectation that he would immediately provide a "big man's game" to this offense. Sure, he might be able to just run a fade route in the end zone and out-jump everyone. But in the NFL, it takes more than height and leaping ability to have success in the red zone.
It's going to be tough for him to have success this year, let alone early in the season. Many fans don't care and consider 2017 the year for Doctson anyway. But I'd advise that level of optimism be lowered.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.
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