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Redskins Roundup: Tuesday, September 25

Trent Williams suffered only a bone bruise and is listed as day-to-day. Robert Griffin IIIs chiropractor is disappointed. Photo by dbking. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Here are Redskins stories that have caught my attention since Sunday's 38-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. And some musings:

  • Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's actions at the end of that loss will be reviewed by the NFL to see if it warrants a fine. Given that the league warned coaches not to tell the replacement officials what a lousy job they're doing, Shanahan should start making plans to make do with less money. According to a report from ESPN 980, Shanahan chased down an official and unleashed a profanity-filled, highly-offensive tirade. If the report is accurate, he probably deserved the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Not to defend Shanahan, but it's worth keeping in mind context here. Two officials had just informed him (erroneously) that the game was over, and most of the Bengals players and coaches were on the field to shake hands. Shanahan still needs to do a better job of maintaining his poise, of course.
  • Sigh of relief on reports that Trent Williams has suffered "only" a bone bruise to his knee. I say "only" because, only in football would a bone bruise be viewed as something relatively minor. A bone bruise is actually a pretty significant injury -- it's bleeding and swelling in the bone. I've had one of these, and yeah -- it hurts. No word yet on how much time Williams will miss. Hopefully not much. I don't think Robert Griffin III could take much more Jordan Black at left tackle.
  • The end of that Seahawks-Packers contest was fun, right? I loved the simultaneous opposite calls from two refs. It was sorta like when a kid does something and mom scowls at the precise moment dad laughs. I felt bad for Packers fans, because Green Bay should have been the winners. That said, Russell Wilson can play. Hard to believe that guy lasted until the 75th pick in the draft. By the way, the officiating crew that botched the call for the Packers is also the one that lost control of the Redskins-Rams game.
  • Head coach Mike Shanahan  told reporters that Griffin took too many hits in the team's loss to the Bengals. Shanahan blamed it on the team falling behind, which sorta makes sense...actually, no it doesn't. Griffin got pounded because the offensive line is bad. They used the triple option because they couldn't pass protect and they were struggling to adequately block "conventional" running plays. Griffin getting hit wasn't caused by falling behind; the team fell behind for the same reasons that Griffin got hit.
  • More "bad refs" stuff. Before that final play Sunday, the Skins were penalized for a Fred Davis false start and then Kyle Shanahan's unsportsmanlike conduct. First graders nationwide know that 5 plus 15 equals 20. For the refs, it somehow equaled 25, which is what they marched off. The league office acknowledged the error -- the ball should have been marked at Washington's 46 instead of the 41. Not that it made much difference. Officials were correct in not running off 10 seconds after Davis's false start since the clock was stopped at the time. However, they should have docked 10 seconds when Leonard Hankerson got hurt with just over a minute to play. Weirdly, they announced the 10-second runoff, told the official timekeeper to do it, and then let play start without the clock being changed.
  • One coaching decision that bugged me was Mike Shanahan choosing to punt on 4th and 1 from the Cincinnati 44-yard line. Shanahan initially had the team set to go for it, which would have been the correct call in that spot. He changed his mind during a Bengals timeout -- something he's done in the past. Given the team's weak defense, I'd like to see them get more aggressive on 4th and short. The data suggests that teams should go for it more far more frequently. Research also suggests that the less talented team can gain an advantage by choosing strategies that create more variability. In other words, going for it on 4th down carries more risk than the conventional strategy of punting or kicking a field goal. If the team fails, it's likely to hurt them. But, if they succeed, they'll increase their odds of winning -- even against teams that have superior talent. With Griffin at QB, their odds of converting 4th and short opportunities should be pretty good.
  • I wonder how long it's going to be until we see Brandon Banks throw out of that triple option set. He threw a 49-yard touchdown pass last season, so it's a weapon in the arsenal. I wouldn't be surprised to see it in the coming weeks.