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Packers' blitz will be a challenge for Torain and company

The Green Bay Packers are tied for the NFL lead with 16 sacks, and second-year outside linebacker Clay Matthews tops the league with seven.

Clinton Portis is second to none among running backs in blitz pick-up, but the nine-year veteran is sidelined at least four to six weeks because of a third-degree groin tear. Ryan Torain, Washington's new starter, recently acquired backup Chad Simpson and rookie Keiland Williams, if he is activated from the practice squad, must at least perform adequately in picking up Packers' blitzers.

Quarterback Donovan McNabb is counting on them - especially Torain.

"He's been continuing to progress, as these games have continued on, ever since he was moved up" from the practice squad, McNabb said earlier in the week. "We feel confident, no matter who's in there, that they'll do their job."

The running backs view the situation similarly.

"We've got to pick up the slack," Simpson said. "One man went down, unfortunately, and you wish that wouldn't have happened, but we're here. Wherever they need us, just got to do what we got to do."

And picking up blitzes is something the Redskins' backs must do throughout the game, Simpson said.

"Oh, yeah, definitely, you focus a tremendous amount on blitz pick-up, you have to," he said. "Especially this game, where they got a lot of guys just walking around and doing all type of different things. We put in a lot of work on that."

By Jason Reid  | October 8, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Running backs, Ryan Torain  
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Next: McNabb, Redskins need more receivers to catch on

Comments

If the skins don't put up 17+ points in this game then we lose. If McNabb and the coaching staff don't plan and execute well then we ain't gonna put up enough points. I think we are going to miss Portis on this one. Throwing to the HB out of the backfield, blocking, and an effective running game are all part of beating the blitz and Torain may not be the man for the job.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | October 8, 2010 6:10 AM | Report abuse

As excited as I am to see Torain as a runner, I'm just as scared to see him as a blocker. Here's hoping they can coach him up on that...

monkey, you could say that about ANY game...unless you have a dominant defense (and we don't), you need to count on scoring at least 20 points to have a legit shot at winning. While I don't like the Packers offense against our defense, I certainly like our offense against that depleted Packer D. If we can manage 27-30 points and force Rodgers into a couple mistakes, I think we'll win this thing by about a touchdown.

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 8, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse


Other lame things from the NFL that might be considered for "most lame thing associated with sports":

1. Pink gloves, towels for breast cancer awareness
2. Super Bowl hoopla
3. Annual Pro Bowl
4. HOF Game
5. Fourth pre-season game
6. Coin toss ritual
7. 2/3's of the TV broadcast personalities
8. Indoor stadiums and artificial turf
9. Jason Reid's reporting
10. Most of the posts on RI, including this one

Posted by: beep-beep | October 8, 2010 6:23 AM |

beep, that list looks like the ten most wanted.

I wish football wasn't considered to some as entertainment. To me it's a game. That's the only thing I'd add to your well informed list.

Posted by: hessone | October 8, 2010 6:42 AM | Report abuse

12. Alexander is no longer on punt return duty, a nod to his increased role from scrimmage. But he’s still on the coverage units. One thing I have to say about Alexander; the guy hasn’t changed one bit since he came here. Always humble; always willing to do whatever; always gracious with his time. Good to see guys like that rewarded

Lo Alexander has to be my fav player on the Skins in forever. He's a throw back to a time when the guys loved to play and would do whatever it took to make the team. He's good at all the different positions too. Many of todays players are not as dedicated imo.

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | October 8, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't get what's wrong with the coin toss ritual...the XFL showed what can happen if you have guys sprint to midfield after the ball for opening possession...

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 8, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

I don't get what's wrong with the coin toss ritual...the XFL showed what can happen if you have guys sprint to midfield after the ball for opening possession...

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 8, 2010 7:05 AM

No reason why you have to bring players out to midfield and toss a coin. What does that have to do with the play of the game?

It can be done a half hour before the game and announced. Overtime coin toss is different, though.

Posted by: beep-beep | October 8, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

I guess beep...I mean, it's not like it's televised...

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 8, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

1. Pink gloves, towels for breast cancer awareness

I love breasts so much I married a woman with two.

What I'm trying to figure out is how a league of men does so little to speak on the issue of testicular cancer.

I mean, every NFL player has two, so why highlight "Save the Tat-Tats" when the testicular cancer is something that kills so populations (black men) at alarmingly high rates.

I guess the league just doesn't want its mostly male fan base to self examine their testicles for lumps or slight pain for fear guys will find some other pleasure to spend time and energy on.

"All that'll happen," Roger Goodell says. "Is that hand lotion will replace the Sunday Ticket as a must have for our fanbase."

(Cynics remark that teenage boy NFL fans are already pioneers in checking themselves, so why encourge them to more of what they're already good at?)

And so, the good people here at Moe's Advertising have created a couple of football related slogans to remind men that they need to get an annual exam:

"Save Your Sack"

"Let's Go For Two"

I know, these are lame.

But it's a start.

Just remember to wash your hands after you check yourself.

That is, if you can stop.

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Re: Packers' blitz will be a challenge for Torain and company

--

More so a challenge for "and company."

Don't think we can expect Torain to suddenly acquire pass-blocking skills, and it's an even less reasonable expectation to think that Williams will be able -- that is, if he even gets to suit up. I'm sure that each will try to do what they can, but I wouldn't count on much success from either.

Am also curious to know why there's no discussion of Mike Sellers stepping up and shouldering more of the load. Admittedly, he'll whiff on a few blocks every game, but when he commits and brings it, he can be a beast.

Either way, it looks like it could be a long and painful day for McNabb -- and he might want to double-up on the flak jackets.

Posted by: Vic1 | October 8, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Yankees Take 2-0 Series Lead


Some people need a calender to know what time of year it is.

Me?: I just turn to the sports page.

Headlines like this tell me it's October.

Which means it's Yankee Time!

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I suspect the absence of a competent pass blocker in the backfield will lead to more than a few screen passes and draw plays on passing downs. I like Cooley moving back to half back and getting a little swing pass. They used that in Philly. They will also roll McNabb out a lot to get him away from Matthews. With Barnett out, this might be a little easier to do and McNabb has shown he can still pull the ball down and run. I am still a big fan of little five yard dinks and dunks to the tightends. The Packers have a lack of depth so I think this can be exploited with four receiver sets. And one last thing to remember is the Redskins need to make the defense adjust to the offense, not the other way around. If GB brings eight guys then the Redskins should have four guys running pass routes - someone will be open.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 8, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

If the skins don't put up 17+ points in the first half then we lose.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | October 8, 2010 6:10 AM | Report abuse

There, I fixed it for ya! But I do hope we ACTUALLY score some 2nd half points this week, especially in the 4th qu.

Posted by: monk811 | October 8, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

What I'm trying to figure out is how a league of men does so little to speak on the issue of testicular cancer.

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 7:42 AM


Amen.

And moreover, why not bring attention to pancreatic cancer, which claimed the life of the NFLPA president just last year.

I get trying to appease the female fans, but cancer in general is a real problem, not just of the breast variety.

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 8, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

RSH

"I suspect the absence of a competent pass blocker in the backfield will lead to more than a few screen passes and draw plays on passing downs. I like Cooley moving back to half back and getting a little swing pass."

Agreed.

Mike Sellars really should be more involved in blitz pick up, too.

And speaking of tight ends, I wonder if the team will 'flex' Fred Davis to Clay Matthews side and try quick passes behind his rush to make the packers pay for blitzing.

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

You know how Torain can help us deal with blitz?

By running the ball for more than 2 ypc.

I know, I know - it's a novel thought here around Redskins Park and it's not something we are used to game-planning for.

But I see other teams do it alot. They give the ball to a running back who is able to gain yards and it helps them do things like get first downs, stay out of 3rd and long, and dictate tempo to the defense.

Posted by: p1funk | October 8, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

i hope portis wins a super bowl with the Washington Redskins, not as much for his sake, it would be nice for him

but it's for us, the organization, DC, Maryland and VA

what uppppppp

HAIL

Posted by: retroskins14 | October 7, 2010 4:10 PM

On that note...I'm going home...

Posted by: PlayAction | October 7, 2010 4:11 PM

can't handle the truth playaction?

Posted by: retroskins14 | October 7, 2010 4:21 PM

Oh I can handle most anything retro...I just had no clue what you were trying to say...and I was going home.

Posted by: PlayAction | October 8, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

"Save Your Sack"

"Let's Go For Two"

I know, these are lame.

But it's a start.

Just remember to wash your hands after you check yourself.

That is, if you can stop.


Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Here's a couple more:

"Ballin' for Balls"

"Let's 'Sack' Testicular Cancer"

"You Gotta Be 'Nuts' Not To Check Yourself"

"Don't Let Testicular Cancer Kick YOUR Balls"

Posted by: monk811 | October 8, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe all the mysoginistic posters up here who are against an anti-breast cancer campaign?

Is RI for breast cancer?

RI - It's FOR breast cancer.

Posted by: p1funk | October 8, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I love breasts.

Posted by: PlayAction | October 8, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

RSH

"I suspect the absence of a competent pass blocker in the backfield will lead to more than a few screen passes and draw plays on passing downs. I like Cooley moving back to half back and getting a little swing pass."

Agreed.

Mike Sellars really should be more involved in blitz pick up, too.

And speaking of tight ends, I wonder if the team will 'flex' Fred Davis to Clay Matthews side and try quick passes behind his rush to make the packers pay for blitzing.

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 8:07 AM
-------------------------------------------
Wouldn't be a bad idea. I would like to see the receivers involved more in this one but won't happen unless they unleash their 3 and 4 wide receiver sets.

Three unknowns for the Redskins that may have an impact:

-Will Trent Williams play?

-Who backs up Torain? I like Simpson's speed in this offense, but I think he was signed more for his kick return ability.

-Will Brandon Banks have a role? Unmistakably we need him on punt returns, but, if they run a 4 receiver set, I like his speed to stretch the defense even if he doesn't get a pass thrown to him.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 8, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

(self-post, sorry)

"I wonder if the team will 'flex' Fred Davis to Clay Matthews side and try quick passes behind his rush to make the packers pay for blitzing."


I'd like to elaborate on this issue for two reasons:

a. the skins need a threat opposite SMoss.

b. athletic tight ends are a blessing in today's NFL

We ape about DT not playing more, but the real issue is why Fred Davis isn't used more like a big wide reciever, and less like a blocking tight end.

Consider the Curious Case of Jermicheal Finley:

2010 21 (catches) 301 (yards)

Like Davis, Finley is a Class of 2008 big school, athletic tight end with wide receiver ball skills.

Thing is, the packers don't pretend that Finley--one of the league's emerging players, mind you--is a blocking tight end in the way the skins do with Fred Davis.

Finley will present a serious match up problem for Lo Alexander or anyone who tries covering him upfield.

We can use Fred Davis the same way, but, well, I guess they'd have a guy who can run and catch block...

...and not be a dynamic threat in the center of the field.

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

"Lets Get Ballsy"

"Don't Get Cut Up, Time To Nut Up"

"Numb Nuts"

"Don't Check Down, Check For Deep Balls Over The Top"

My personal favorite:

"Sack My Nuts!"

Posted by: RedDMV | October 8, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I love breasts.

Posted by: PlayAction | October 8, 2010 8:17 AM

Finally, something we can all agree on...

Posted by: edvar | October 8, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

monk

"You Gotta Be 'Nuts' Not To Check Yourself"

LOL!!!!!

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

p1 - ur an idiot. 6.3 vs. Stl and 5 vs Philly, 4 overall. It took 4 weeks for the line to figure out what run blocking was in this scheme.

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 8, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I love breasts.

Posted by: PlayAction | October 8, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I like Big Breasts and I can't deny......

Posted by: monk811 | October 8, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

In honor of Breast Awareness Month, I plan to wear my pink DM5 Vikings jersey to FEDEX Field this weekend. Figure I may as well get a headstart on next season.

However, am wondering if Dan Snyder will have me thrown out. He seems to be pretty obsessed with the way some fans dress these days.

Posted by: Vic1 | October 8, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe all the mysoginistic posters up here ...

Posted by: p1funk | October 8, 2010 8:15 AM

Good thing you don't believe it, because there are none. You're not half the idiot we take you for. Being against pink gloves and towels in an NFL game does not make people misogynists.

The most common cancer in the US is prostate cancer. Number two is breast cancer. In terms of death rates though, the five most deadly are:

1. Lung cancer
2. Prostate cancer
3. Breast cancer
4. Colon and rectum
5. Pancreatic cancer

Moe's favorite, testicular, isn't even in the top ten.

http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/uscs/toptencancers.aspx

Posted by: beep-beep | October 8, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

And who says this month has to just be about saving the FEMALE ta-tas. Look at those big Offensive and Defensive linemen, some of them have bigger boobs than most chicks I know. So here's a saying for you, the men with breasts!

"Don't be a 'Boob', check your 'Moobs'"

Posted by: monk811 | October 8, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

vIC

"However,.... Dan Snyder... He seems to be pretty obsessed with the way some fans dress these days."


Dan Snyder: Is there some reason why you've come to the game dressed like Mickey Mouse?

fan: I just wanted to express my feelings about how you've run the team the past decade is all.

BTW: I brought the mouse ears hat for you.

You already own the rest of the mickey mouse outfit.

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Just remember to wash your hands after you check yourself.

That is, if you can stop.


Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 7:42 AM


I wash my hands before so I don't get anything dowm there dirty.

Posted by: wireman65 | October 8, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

MistaMoe,
Know where you're going with that but it doesn't fit Shanny's "run first" philosophy. And I like the idea of lining up Davis occasionally as a receiver, don't get me wrong. I just think Shanny won't do it.

Plus, Fred Davis needs to start showing the hands and ability to get open he had last season if he wants more balls thrown to him.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 8, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Ok, prediction time!

The Redskins get their running game ROLLING, no Barnett and weak safeties means career highs for BOTH Cooley and Davis up the seam, and our D keeps Rodgers in check. Look for us to score 28 1st Half points and suck in the 2nd Half, AGAIN, and survive a late Packer surge:

Redskins 31
Packers 24

Posted by: monk811 | October 8, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

People who don't support Cancer Awareness = NERDS!!!!

Posted by: monk811 | October 8, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Redskins 31
Packers 24

Posted by: monk811 | October 8, 2010 8:38 AM

You're very close monk...but here's the final score...drum roll please......

Redskins 24, Packers 20

Posted by: PlayAction | October 8, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Rushing
Chad Simpson: 30 147 3
Ryan Torain: 40 185 2
Keiland Williams: 0 0 0
M Sellers 48 157 3
rush yds tds

Receiving
Chad Simpson: 6 31 0
Ryan Torain: 0 0 0
Keiland Williams: 6 29 0
M Sellers: 110 911 18
recpt yds tds


Well everyone wanted to bring in some new blood and we got it. Sellers is by far our most experienced Back now, not a good thing. This group pretty much has everything to prove, nothing should be assumed of any of these players even Torain, his stats are from 2 years apart.

Hopefully people step up if not its gonna be tough sledding for Dmac and the offense.


Posted by: Stu27 | October 8, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Redskins 30, Packers 24

Kareem Moore puts us up to stay with a pick 6 in the 4th quarter.

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 8, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Here's a couple more:

"Ballin' for Balls"

"Let's 'Sack' Testicular Cancer"

"You Gotta Be 'Nuts' Not To Check Yourself"

"Don't Let Testicular Cancer Kick YOUR Balls"

Posted by: monk811

And Vinny Testicleverde can be the spokesperson.

Posted by: smittdiddy | October 8, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

beep-beep

"Moe's favorite, testicular, isn't even in the top ten."


You're right, and I understand.

Thing is, I really don't feel comfortable encouraging men to perform self-exams on their prostate gland given its hard to reach location.

That is why we recommend the regular blood screenings at the behest of a urologist.

With the advent of national healthcare there is not reason why any man should feel he can't afford to get this done.

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Redskins 31
Packers 24

Posted by: monk811 | October 8, 2010 8:38 AM

You're very close monk...but here's the final score...drum roll please......

Redskins 24, Packers 20

Posted by: PlayAction | October 8, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Wow PA, didn't see that one coming at all, way to diversify!

Posted by: monk811 | October 8, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

What I started to see last week was a two tight end set to start a drive adn set up the run.

Novel, eh? Joe Gibbs started doing it 30 years ago.

But that is the way to beat the blitz.

Run the ball and use the 245 Cooley and 257 Davis to flank the edge.

And then use the run to set up the TEs in the passing game.

Clay Matthews will be occupied covering Cooley or Davis in that 5-15 yard zone past the line of scrimmage.

If McNabb hits these guys early, Green Bay will have to dial back its aggressiveness and cover the pass.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | October 8, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

What I'm trying to figure out is how a league of men does so little to speak on the issue of testicular cancer.

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 8, 2010 7:42 AM
--------------------------

I think Chiefs' defensive tackle Shaun Smith would beg to differ with you. He checked Browns' center Alex Mack and 49er's tackle Anthony Davis in consecutive weeks, and said they're "A Okay."

Posted by: walkdwalk | October 8, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

@Mistatoe -- Mike Sellers misses the blitz pickup at least twice a game, resulting in a busted play or tackle BEHIND the line of scrimmage everytime. He can not / will not block well. Put Cooley back there and line up Fred Davis out wide. Put Moss AND Galloway on Davis side with Armstong alone on the opposite side. Torrain behind Cooley and you tell me, who do you pick up? So many ways to go there.

Posted by: joeyndan | October 8, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

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