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#PickSix: Jaret Patterson And Pass Protection


The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of the team.

There's less than a week until the Washington Football Team makes its final roster cuts, and with a game against the Baltimore Ravens coming soon, there are still plenty of questions for the team to answer.

So, let's jump into what Washington fans want to know.

-- Bogart H.: We all know who the four receivers are " locked" in. I would like to see one tall receiver make the team. Until Last night, Gandy-Golden had not shown much. I thought he showed the advantage of his height and strong arms with his receptions. What do you expect his chances of making the team are?

If I had to give a guess right now, I would say he's got a strong shot of making it.

The reason I say that is because he's been playing quite well ever since he had his dropped two-point conversion attempt against the Patriots. He had a shot to make up for that against the Bengals -- the two plays basically mirrored each other -- and to use Ron Rivera’s word, he plucked the ball with some impressive hands. That's exactly what Washington drafted him for. If he shows that again on Saturday, he's a lock in my eyes.

-- Michael K.: I still see more tackling problems with the DB'S & LINEBACKERS. That has to improve to be champs.

Tommie T.: Last game was a blast. I haven't seen the team tackle that good in a century it seems. Can we expect more this season?

I find it entertaining that these hit my inbox about a day apart. For one, it adds evidence to the old belief that people are going to see whatever they want in the preseason. With that said, I believe the starters were much better at tackling against the Bengals. The linebackers were shooting gaps and Landon Collins was laying out to bring down pass-catchers. To be fair to Tommie, it's still not a finished product. But that's what the preseason is for; this is the time for players to fine-tune their skills for the regular season.

-- Reggie W.: Because Jaret Patterson is looking good as a backup running back, has shown the ability to catch and could be a possible kick returner, do you think that makes J.D. McKissic expendable? They could use that extra spot for depth at receiver or a different position. Do you agree?

I'll start off by saying this: J.D. McKissic is one of Washington's most valuable pieces on offense. McKissic was the second-best pass-catching running back in the league last year behind Alvin Kamara. That alone should tell you how valuable he is to this unit. And yes, Jaret Patterson has been impressive in camp, but I don't see that affecting how Washington uses McKissic, specifically. That might be the case for other players, but McKissic will continue to be a versatile weapon for Scott Turner to use this year.

-- Michael H.: I was watching Julie Donaldson's interview with Fitzpatrick and he said something that concerns me. He said he has never been in a system whose reads and progression principles are like Scott Turner's. For someone who's been around as long as him, do you think it has any bearing on the way the passing offense has performed so far in preseason?

Maybe a little, Michael, but not to the point where I would be concerned. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a highly intelligent individual who has been in the league for almost two decades. If anyone can figure out a scheme on the fly, it's him. He's done it before, so I have confidence in him. That doesn't mean he can simply pick up a scheme and run it to perfection. Even Tom Brady had to adjust to Bruce Arians' scheme with Tampa Bay. It takes time, but I feel the offense will start clicking more consistently soon.

-- Michael M.: Can Jaret Patterson block well enough to protect the quarterback?

From what I've seen, Michael, he's held his own so far. Pass blocking is an area that can take time for running backs to improve upon. For example, Antonio Gibson has said he's still making adjustments to that part of his game. So, I think fans will need to be patient if he misses an occasional assignment. That doesn't mean he's incapable of being a solid blocker. It just means he needs to keep working on it. And it seems like he's on the right path.

-- Vincent C.: Ron, have you thought about moving Sam Cosmi to the left side and bringing in a big fullback to help block and possibly run in short yardage situations?

Rivera is currently at practice right now, so you'll just have to deal with my answer. I think Sam Cosmi is fine where he's at right now. Charles Leno Jr. has looked great against Chase Young and Montez Sweat, and if he can hold his own against those two, he'll be okay. Maybe if an injury occurs, he'll move over there, but at this point, there's no reason to mess with that lineup.