A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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Behind Enemy Lines

Creativity Wanted, Apply Within

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I have always believed that coaches coach and players play and I work hard to keep that in mind as I am watching football games. I try to look the play call, or what I think is the play call, and grade what I see accordingly.

This view has afforded me the option to defend either players or coaches at times when few others will. It also allows me to throw either under the bus.

And this week I am throwing Jim Haslett under the biggest damn bus I can find.

Oh, I have heard all the voices crying about the state of the secondary and claiming that Haz is just trying to cover up for the total lack of talent there. Most of those voices are the same ones singing the praises of the secondary from Week One too. You remember Week One don’t you? Big win in NOLA against a strong Saints team. A now 0-3 Saints team. Yeah.

News flash for everyone who lauded our Defense after the Saints game…we gave up more yards and points to Brees than we have to either Bradford or Dalton. The Secondary sucked then too. You just liked the outcome more and you had expected Brees to hang about 70 points on us so it was all good.

Expectations make a huge difference don’t they?

Now, I know it is vogue to be down on the Skins secondary after two weeks of torchings by guys who, while pretty good, are never going to be confused with Joe Montana. I have had my moments of feeling like that too as I have watched the game off my DVR (I was mercifully at a birthday party for my Mother-in-Law on Sunday when the game was played…think about that one for a moment and I’m sure you will get what I am saying here). And sure, the secondary had its moments of seriously bad play. Josh Wilson’s horrible angle on Binns sideline route comes to mind.

However, the more of this game I watch, the more irritated I am with the defensive coaching staff and the scheme we are currently running.

Granted, I am a neophyte in more than just screen name when it comes to things like this as I have never played organized football at any level but it seems to me that any scheme that puts any Safety not named Sean Taylor on AJ Green, one on one, in any situation is flawed. Can I get an Amen?

I’m also pretty sure that if you call for a Zero blitz, putting the CBs in one on one coverage, you might want them to play press, right at the line, so the timing between QB and WR is disrupted, thus giving the blitz a chance of getting home. Giving them any cushion at all is just an invite for the QB to beat you and if the CB misses the tackle then the play goes long. Like TD long.

It also occurs to me that if your secondary is weak and you know it is weak, pressure on the opposing QB is a must. With our front 7, even a front 7 missing names like Orakpo and Carriker, pressure on the QB should be possible however the Skins are currently tied for 18th in the league with just 6 sacks in 3 games. Just for a frame of reference, the Bengals got that many sacks on Griffin in just 60 minutes on Sunday. Chris Clemons had 4 last night against Green Bay by himself and yes, that Chris Clemons. We had more than 6 sacks in the Rams game alone last year.

In fact, our whole team would only be tied for 1st on the individual sack list with Clay Matthews, who also has 6 sacks in 3 games.

All we have heard about since Shanahan got here 3 years ago and switched us to the 3-4 is how the goal is pressure on the QB that creates turnovers. Admittedly, we have seen a rise in sack numbers over the previous defense but I don’t think it is anything like what any of us expected and I blame the scheme, not the players.

When was the last time you saw a Redskin defender come completely clean at the QB? Pretty sure it was Week 1 when Hall got clean run at Brees coming off an overload on the left side. I don’t remember the last time before that.

When was the last time you saw a Redskin defender camp in an opponent’s backfield for play after play because the guy across the line of scrimmage from him just couldn’t handle him? For me, that is the Oakland game Rak’s rookie year and he was still playing with his hand in the dirt then.

Football is a game of matchups and that is the coach’s domain. Their job is to study the opposition and figure what the most advantageous matchups for their people are, then figure out how to get those matchups as much as possible. At a more granular level, it is about finding a way to get the other team to leave themselves open.

We all saw a great example of it on the first play on Sunday when Jay Gruden lined his guys up in such a way as to get Green in single coverage against a second string safety. He had watched tape and he knew that in Haslett’s base defense a CB always takes the outside receiver and a Safety lines up over a man in the slot so he moved his QB to the flanker position and put his best WR in the slot. It resulted in a TD.

This is the level of creativity we need but do not get from Haslett.

This team does not lack for talent on defense. It lacks for creativity which is all on the coach.

Comments

  1. Om's Avatar
    Amen.

    Working on a blog piece that gets into the Haslett thing as well.

    It ain't a pretty picture.
  2. Rymanofthenorth's Avatar
    nice work Neo.

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