You Say Goodbye I say Helu
I had every intention of posting this yesterday, but in all honesty I was still so upset it was coming out just a little too negative. When it looks like a season is going nowhere, the Dallas games are the only hope of Redskins fan happiness.
After deciding no good was going to come out of posting yesterday here I am refreshed and ready to roll.
Let’s be honest for a minute… as far as the offense goes this season, it is pretty easy to find something that leaves you wanting. The offensive line has been shaky and rearranged just about every week, injuries to just about every offensive unit have caused major issues, the quarterback play has been, well terrible and the running game has been almost non-existent.
Out of this laundry list of bad juju surrounding the Redskin offense the thing that is the most surprising is the poor ground attack. Mike Shanahan teams are known for having a devastating rushing attack that sets up play action and bootlegs. Take away the run game and you take away the ability to keep defenses off balance.
With the injury to Tim Hightower, who was expected to be the feature back this season, the run game as been pitiful and that is putting it as nicely as I can. The team only has one game this season in which a running back has rushed for more than 100 yards, and that came against the St Louis Rams and their miserable run defense.
Since then Torain has been a nonfactor. On the Season Torain has 55 carries for a whopping 192 yards. What makes the 192 yards worse is that 135 came against St Louis. For all the math guys out there that means since the St Louis game in week 4 Torain has racked up 57 yards averaging a stout 1.5 yards per carry.
When you have such poor numbers coming from a guy who has definitely showed he can play, you have to start looking for reasons.
Some people may say that this is a direct result of the seemingly notorious poor play calling of Kyle Shanahan, and don’t get me wrong the guy definitely could go to the ground more than he has. But the truth of the matter is when your starting running back is netting 1.5 ypc you really can’t run the ball as much as you should.
Others will blame the offensive line and that is fair, they have not been amazing. BUT they also have not been as bad as they look right now. If you watch the line during the games the holes are there, maybe not as consistently as they should be but they are. This system is predicated on finding the cutback lane and Torain seems to have lost the ability to find the hole. This makes the line look worthless because we see Torain running into brick walls.
The truth is the poor play that we have seen from Torain is handcuffing Kyle in what he is able to call during the game. Here lies the problem.
My problem with the coaching staff is not as much play-calling; it’s not pulling the plug on Torain.
Like I said earlier Torain has 55 carries for 192 yards on the year, Rookie Roy Helu has 51 carries for 242, not to mention averaging 4.4 yards per carry.
More importantly than the stats, he has in his limited carries, is the fact that Helu is the prototypical Shanahan Back. The guy showed Sunday that the holes in the line were there it was just a matter of finding them and making that cut to pick up chunks of yards. Some have even said they see a young Clinton Portis in Helu.
Honestly the fact that at this point in the season this offense is not showcasing Helu is maddening.
Mike Shanahan said this week that he didn’t want to put too much on Helu. Don’t get me wrong I understand the premise here but honestly Mike there is no pressure to win games at this point. Sure be competitive, do your best to win but Helu is not going to feel like he cost us the playoffs.
Mike talked about making decisions that are in the best interest of this team moving forward. If that is the case the time to give the ball to Helu is now. He has shown flashes where he looks like he can be the guy at RB for the next few years but even if he is not he can’t do much worse than 1.5 yards per carry can he?