Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: RedskinsInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Thomas's Dwindling Pull

When the Redskins' rushing attack was at its best over the past four years, right guard Randy Thomas often was leading the way, pulling to the outside to blow people up in the perimeter rushing game. The Redskins are still running the ball off tackle as often as any team in the NFL, but Thomas has not been used nearly as frequently as in years past.

Thomas is known for his athleticism and though he wouldn't come right out and say it, it seems obvious that he's at least a little baffled as to why he is not being used to get off the line and surge outside much.

"You noticed that?" he said, when asked about pulling much less than he did during Joe Gibbs's regime. "Yeah, I'm probably pulling less. I've been more of a standing-in-the-box blocker."

I asked if he found that odd and he smiled and said, "What, you trying to say I'm athletic?" and added, "You trying to get me to say something?" It was clear that this topic had been on his mind before, and, as players generally say in these types of situations, he's just following orders.

"You just have to run what's called," Thomas said.

Offensive line coach Joe Bugel knows all about Thomas's strength, and the Redskins have largely left the entire running game in place as it was under Gibbs. Bugel has a lot of say in the blocking schemes, but he is also under offensive coordinator Sherman Smith (a longtime running backscoach) and Jim Zorn in the hierarchy.

Thomas has also been beaten up the last few years and several scouts who watched him in the preseason told me they believed he and Jon Jansen - the right side of the line - were slowing down big time. But Bugel generally is very loyal to his veterans and he has seen what Thomas can do when pulling. It will be interesting to see if they get Thomas on the move this week against a fast and aggressive defense that's as good as any in the NFL at stopping the run.

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 3, 2008; 12:50 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fletcher, Still in Pain, May Not Practice
Next: Report from the Practice Field

Comments

FIRST!

Posted by: MigMora | December 3, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

We will lose this game but win the last 3 to get in at 10-6. Book it.

Posted by: Rypien11 | December 3, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Jansen needs to be the FIRST OL veteran to retire. Great career but it's time to go.

Posted by: RambleOn | December 3, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I saw someone had a question about the Redskins' 4th round pick in the draft.

Washington traded its fourth-round selection in 2009 to the New York Jets as part of a trade for Pete Kendall prior to the 2007 season.

Here's another link (bonus points...it uses power rankings for draft order!!11!) for draft argumentation porpoises.

I doubt if the Skins can use a low 1st round pick to get two 2nd rounders. I think they should grab the best O.L. talent on the board with their 1st.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | December 3, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

He's not playing to his strength, cuz he's spending time trying to do something that they're not - A PASSING TEAM!! GO BACK TO RUNNING THE BALL!!! WAKE UP ZORN!!! PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS!!

Posted by: tbarz1 | December 3, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Great post.
I know they're getting old, I know that they're banged up. But they're not as bad as they've been playing.

Something is wrong, maybe this is a part of it.

Posted by: _Stumped_1 | December 3, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why people think Joe Flacco is all that...13 TDs and 9 INTs doesn't look like "Rookie of the Year" stats...Matt Forte should get it for being 5th in the NFL in rushing.

Posted by: MigMora | December 3, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Oops, duplicate linkage.

The Missing Link.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | December 3, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Argh!

The Missing Link.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | December 3, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The off-tackle sweep to the wide side of the field with Sellers and Thomas leading was a great play the last time Betts was depended on. Play action works off of it as well. Let's see if Zorn brings it out the closet. But hey: Zorn will probably call that 'smoke' screen to Moss on third and middlin' about 90 times instead...and then there's the draw play on third and long nobody ever knows is coming (joke).

Can we get to the off season: I want Derrick Ward taking over for Betts next season. To me, Betts has sal cap casuality written all over him.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 3, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

IIt's not so much the Ravens offense....their D is great at intercepting the football AND returning it for TDs.

Posted by: Lisa_R

Good thing we have the least turnover prone QB in the league.

Posted by: psps23 | December 3, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I would take that DE he is very good.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 3, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

we're likely looking at a 20th pick in the draft. This is equal to 2 mid 2nd rounders, according to the draft value chart.

Posted by: Rypien11 | December 3, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

If the coaches are calling plays that go against the strenghts of the actual players; 1. thats kind of bad coaching. 2. isn't the purpose of having a designated group of senior players is so that they can recommend/suggest different things?

Posted by: REDneckSKINhead | December 3, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

On turnovers, I think all but 1 of our offensive turnovers have come on passing plays (the Betts fumble at Seattle the lone run play).

Just one more reason why Portis is so valuable.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 3, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Go back and watch the past 4 games, and you'll see the reason Thomas isn't asked to pull as much - he has blown and whiffed on way too many blocks that its obvious the coaches don't trust him as much. When he isn't whiffing, he's been too slow to get to proper spots.

Posted by: tedunni1 | December 3, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

If someone could post that link to who they have us drafting, I'd appreciate it.

I'm hoping that Betts gets the start this weekend, and Portis sits. No one gives more of himself than CP, but the man is doing more harm to himself than he should....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 3, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Who is gona be the sacrificial lamb on the coaching staff this year? My money is still on Sherman Smith and Stan Hixon (WR coach). Not that they are at fault but if my name was Snyder I would be looking for flashy new coaching toys. Not that we have many big name WR coaches or OC's out there.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 3, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Here you go Greg:

20. Washington Redskins - Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss.*
The Redskins' experiment with Jason Taylor has not gone as plan, so the 'Skins finally get their DE in Hardy. Hardy is the 2nd ranked pure DE in the draft, and really not too much lower in value than Michael Johnson who went #1 in this mock draft, so that is great value at #20. Hardy also knows how to play against the best, as he practices against top 10 pick Michael Oher everyday in practice.

Posted by: Curzon417 | December 3, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

20. Washington Redskins - Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss.*
The Redskins' experiment with Jason Taylor has not gone as plan, so the 'Skins finally get their DE in Hardy. Hardy is the 2nd ranked pure DE in the draft, and really not too much lower in value than Michael Johnson who went #1 in this mock draft, so that is great value at #20. Hardy also knows how to play against the best, as he practices against top 10 pick Michael Oher everyday in practice.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 3, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Alex,

That is the problem the coach should pick his coaches not the owner.

Zorn should get to fire who he wants and hire who he wants.

Smith is OC only in name Zorn calls the plays.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 3, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

20. Washington Redskins - Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss.*
The Redskins' experiment with Jason Taylor has not gone as plan, so the 'Skins finally get their DE in Hardy. Hardy is the 2nd ranked pure DE in the draft, and really not too much lower in value than Michael Johnson who went #1 in this mock draft, so that is great value at #20. Hardy also knows how to play against the best, as he practices against top 10 pick Michael Oher everyday in practice.

That's who, Greg. My third attempt worked (unless you're making fun of me for my feeble link-fu *sniff*).

I'd prefer to see one of the OL candidates mentioned.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | December 3, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

portis also fumbled

Posted by: jonthefisherman | December 3, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

No ! No! No! Once and for all, I am NOT interested in taking your g!ddam Survey. Stop asking me Lifeforce or whoever the High holy halibut you are. I wlll NEVER take that survey.

Um, so you don't think I'm crazy (or crazier than usual) is anyone else getting this annoying popup EVERY time there's a new post?

Posted by: TheCork | December 3, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Ifthe,

Greg can not go to links so we paste the strories for him.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 3, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Cork,

Turn on pop up blocker

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 3, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, it's "Voicefive"

Has ANYONE taken their stupid survey?

Posted by: TheCork | December 3, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks guys.

How big is he? We need an end who can ANCHOR, and can get through the wash, and create havoc...

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 3, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"Um, so you don't think I'm crazy"


WAY, WAY too late for that.....Just kidding corky....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 3, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

Greg Hardy Scouting Report
Projected Draft Position
by FFToolbox Writers
Randall Weida's 11/18 Mock Draft Round 1: #20 by WAS
Joel Welser's 11/14 Mock Draft Round 1: #27 by ARI
Raul Colon's 11/10 Mock Draft Round 1: #20 by CHI
Ricky Dimon's 11/5 Mock Draft Not selected
Dustin Claussen's 10/28 Mock Draft Round 1: #20 by GB
Position: DE
School & Year/Status: Mississippi - Junior
Height & Weight: 6'4 - 265 lbs.
Ranked #32 on our Top 100 Prospects Board

2009 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:
person
Greg Hardy, DE, Mississippi
Hardy missed Ole Miss' first three games of the season while recovering from a foot injury, but he returned for game four against Vanderbilt, and the Rebels have to be thrilled about that. After all, the absence of the SEC's 2007 sack leader (Hardy had 10) is no small loss. Hardy also recorded 64 total tackles (18.5 of which were for a loss) in picking up First Team All-SEC honors from both the coaches and the AP. He also started nine games as a freshman in 2006, so he has the experience to step in and make an impact at the next level right away even if he decides to leave school early. More importantly, Hardy has the necessary blend of size and speed to thrive at defensive end on Sundays. He is 6'4 and 265 pounds and can run under 4.7 in the 40-yard-dash. Obviously the only real drawback to Hardy at the moment that could cause NFL scouts to shy away is durability concerns. If Hardy can stay healthy the rest of his junior season and post similarly strong numbers, he could be tempted to pack his bags by being a sure first-round pick in next April's draft.

Posted by: Curzon417 | December 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I know I may get ripped for this, but I was thinking that Norv Turner will likely be fired by San Diego after the season, what is the consenus thought that he should come back to D.C. as offensive coordinator?

You can say what you want about Norvel, but his track record for helping QBs develop is pretty good. Look at what happend to Alex Smith once he left, and I think Rivers has gotten better since Norv came in - we all know about the QB he helped develop in the early 90s.

I think him and Zorn working together on calling plays on offense and coaching up Campbell isn't a bad idea.

Bring on all the "your a idiot" and "thats a stupid idea" post.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

+++Cork,

Turn on pop up blocker

Posted by: Flounder21+++

Unfortunately, like Thomas, my Pop up blocker is a victim of the new zone blocking scheme.

Seriously, thanks!

Posted by: TheCork | December 3, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Greg Hardy
# 86
Defensive Lineman

Height: 6-5 Weight: 255 - 265

Sophomore

He's a little small depending on what site you look at, but at 6-5 he should be able to bulk up without losing much speed

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 3, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: CindyBoren | December 3, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

You can say what you want about Norvel, but his track record for helping QBs develop is pretty good. Look at what happend to Alex Smith once he left, and I think Rivers has gotten better since Norv came in - we all know about the QB he helped develop in the early 90s.

I think him and Zorn working together on calling plays on offense and coaching up Campbell isn't a bad idea.


Bring on all the "your a idiot" and "thats a stupid idea" post.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 3, 2008 1:43 PM |

Another new offense no thanks.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 3, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Who is gona be the sacrificial lamb on the coaching staff this year? My money is still on Sherman Smith and Stan Hixon (WR coach). Not that they are at fault but if my name was Snyder I would be looking for flashy new coaching toys. Not that we have many big name WR coaches or OC's out there.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 3, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse


No way Sherm gets fired. He's responsible for helping JZ install the offense. And the offense isn't fully installed yet!

Plus he's like his best friend, other than Largent. He'll be around for next year, guaranteed.

Stan Hixon would be the most likely candidate to go since someone's gotta take the heat for the poor development of the young WRs.

Posted by: Predator48 | December 3, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

curz, thanks. Little smaller than I'd like, and seems injury prone, but under a 4.7 40 sounds great.

Red, you're not an idiot, Norv had his greatest success's, as an OC, you could make an arguement that he's darn near brilliant. That being said, the chances that he'd be willing to work for Snyder are probably mute, moot, and none.

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 3, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Red... I think you've already called yourself an idiot for that stupid post. No need to pile on.

Posted by: outsider6 | December 3, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

+++I think him and Zorn working together on calling plays on offense and coaching up Campbell isn't a bad idea.

Bring on all the "your a idiot" and "thats a stupid idea" post.

Posted by: RedDMV +++

Nope, no "your an idiot" post from me.

But first, I think SD is keeping Noval for another year. The only thing I can figure about him is he must hire an illegal video taper like Bellichick. Only, HIS Guy tapes the owner with a hot lady. How DOES this guy last?

I can't see Zorn giving up the offensive reins. I think he has to either improve, or someone has to paint his house jobwise. (I'm reading a book about Hoffa's top hit man, and the term they used for a hit was to "paint somebody's house." But I digress, blaming the caffeine.)

Maybe Zorn needs to install his own running game, or at LEAST install the better parts of Gibbs 2.0.

Posted by: TheCork | December 3, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company