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Sunday's pivotal matchup between the Buccaneers and the Redskins could hold the fate of the respective teams' season on the line. We wanted to give you the Washington Redskins perspective of our SB Nation brethren Hogs Haven.
Parks Smith is one of the main guys at Hogs Haven and he was gracious enough to give us a few minutes of his time.
BN: RG3 has been the talk of the NFL. How have Redskin fans taken to the new quarterback and what do you think he needs to work on?
Parks: It's hard to find a Skins fan who isn't in love with RG3 at this points, actually I think it would be blasphemous. As great as Griffin has been you can still see the rookie come out of him at times. Our offensive line has been sub-par this year (what's new) and Griffin has to find a way to take less hits, last week he was hit pretty good about fifteen times. There have also been some instances of him holding on to the ball a little long, but that's something that should improve with time. He's no Rex Grossman, lets just say that.
Parks: Obviously with Orakpo out our primary pass rusher becomes Ryan Kerrigan, who has a solid game against the Bengals. In Orakpo's place you'll see a three man rotation who fared pretty well last week in Chris Wilson, Rob Jackson, and Markus White. Jackson even had an interception for a touchdown. Replacing Carriker is "rookie" Jarvis Jenkins who missed his actual rookie year after blowing out his knee in preseason a year ago. Jenkins still doesn't look like he's up to the speed he was in 2011 and the Redskins frontline has had some trouble generating a pass rush.
BN: Alfred Morris has been a bit of a surprise to the rest of the league - what has been the secret - is he just that good or has the Hogs in front been mashing people?
Parks: Expect to see a lot of Morris this week. The Saints game was actually Morris' least efficient game of the year. Since that game he averaged over five yards per carry against the Rams and put up 89 yards and then ran for 78 yards and touchdown on 17 carries last week. I think in terms of his success its been more of the scheme than the actual personnel. I mean Mike Shanahan does find one or two of these guys every year. Morris seems to be perfect for the one-cut zone blocking system and he has thrived this far. Another reason you'll see him a lot are injuries to Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster, which forced the Redskins to sign Ryan Grant on Tuesday. You likely won't see Helu at all and I wouldn't be surprised to see Grant on the field for five to eight carries on Sunday.
BN: Pierre Garcon looked unbelievable against the Saints (then again, who doesn't these days?) - will he be available for the Bucs game?
Parks: Redskins fans have been salivating to get Garcon back after his performance against the Saints, but he has a nagging foot injury and the prognosis doesn't look good. When he set out against the Rams it was said to be a precautionary measure and many expected him back last week, but the saga is still going on. I doubt he will play this week, but he'll certainly be one of those guys you're waiting to here about when inactives are released on Sunday.
BN: Is there a Redskins player on offense or defense that Buc fans may have not heard of but will know his name by the triple zeroes on Sunday?
Parks: On defense I think Buc fans will become familiar with Perry Riley. Riley is now in his third year and has been mentored by London Fletcher over the course of those years. I mean, who better to learn from? We're going to miss Fletcher when or if he ever retires, but a lot of fans feel like we're in pretty good shape with a young, solid linebacker like Riley in the middle.
On offense I'd look for Aldrick Robinson and Leonard Hankerson to step up. Both have built a good rapport with Robert Griffin III and have come through in big spots this year. They've also had their fair share of drops this year, especially Robinson who could've changed the outcome of the game in St. Louis. The Shanahans actually seemed to lean on these young receivers last week rather than veterans like Santana Moss.
BN: While RG3 has been doing it more with his legs than his arm the last couple weeks, is it because of poor offensive line play or does he take off a little too soon?
Parks: In the Saints game you could seem him improvise with his legs and the same can be said for much of the Rams game, but at the same time you'll see a lot of scrambling due to the poor offensive line play. After struggling much of the first half against the Bengals, the Redskins came out in a gimmicky zone option read offense with Brandon Banks (our punt returner) at running back. It worked, but it's not viable long term in my opinion. It's great to have a quarterback with legs, but RG3 is also taking a pounding this year.
BN: How have Redskin fans taken to Raheem Morris as their DB Coach?
Parks: People were really excited when Morris came to town and some thought he'd be the magic bullet for our secondary. With that being said, our defensive backs have STUNK this year and it's probably the weakest unit on this football team. Hopefully Brandon Meriweather potentially coming back will help this week.
There was rift in Week 2 where internal team sources said that Morris took over defensive playcalling for Jim Haslett. Many Redskins fans are not fans of Haslett and aggressive defense, so naturally many took the side of Morris. It's something to keep an eye on, but right now Morris just seems like just another positions coach. I definitely haven't seen him as animated as he was in TB.
BN: Bonus Question: Who wins Sunday and Why?
Parks: Man, that's a tough one. I feel like the Skins always play well in Tampa, except for the Alstott game (admit it! you know he didn't score!), and I am a Redskins fan! I think the Skins will have their way with Tampa's defense so it comes down to who the heck is going to stop Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, and others. I think the Redskins respond this week after a tough one last week and win 35-27. I mean with Raheem Morris, Bruce Allen, Kyle Shanahan, and the ghost of Jonathan Crompton this is basically home game, right?
We'd like to thank Parks for his time and be sure to check out Hogs Haven for the Redskins perspective!