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Why is the defense worse than last year ?

It is done.

Fear The Spear

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We have basically the same defense we had last year, same coaches and assistants, and actually some apparent upgrades.

The differences from last year :

Orakpo is back : improvement, right ?
Amerson is an upgrade
Our safeties last year were Madieu Williams, Dejon Gomes, and Doughty.
Now we have Merriweather replacing Williams and Gomes. That's supposed to be an upgrade, right ?
More depth at LB with Bennett and Tapp.

Unless I'm missing something, everything else is basically the same.
So, the only changes are actually what should be upgrades.
So, if anything, we should be better ?

But no, so why is the defense actually significantly worse than last year ?
Yea, I know we weren't world-beaters on defense last year, but they were playing well enough to either win us games, or keep us in games, and keep us from losing, during that 7-game winning streak. Now, even when the offense is doing well, they can't hold up their own.

The only possibly thing that could be perceived as a loss or downgrade, is the departure of Lorenzo Alexander - that's Lorenzo the Linebacker, not the Special Teamer, of course. Did we lose that much of an impact from Alexander, that he could account for the drop-off on defense ?

The offense is back on rhythm, so we can no longer blame an inept offense, for putting added pressure on the defense, like we did earlier in the year. In fact, our offensive Time of Possession has been dominating. So what is it ?
 

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Bulldog

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The defensive line is overrated. Bowen once again is trying to play through an entire season with a suspect shoulder and that is costing him in terms of effectiveness. I was never sold on Barry Cofield as a true nose tackle in a 3-4 and 2 plus years havent' convinced me either. At 305 the thinking was that he would get upfield on the OL and present a strong interior push. Hasn't happened.

Jarvis Jenkins, Kedric Golston and Chris Baker are masquerading as defensive ends. All three in my mind are natural 4-3 tackles. Indeed that is what Golston and Baker were in their past.

At linebacker, Fletcher is 39 years old. Riley makes plays but he also makes a LOT of mistakes. Kerrigan is solid for the most part and may be the defensive MVP. Orakpo on the other side has been a bust. He is nowhere near the dominating rushman that people were talking about reintegrating into the lineup after being out in 2012. He's athletic but has one move and has been neutralized two weeks in a row by an average offensive line.

Secondary? Hall is 31, he's been effective at times and makes plays, but also gives up plays as well. Wilson has never been the same since the offseason surgeries. He seems a step slow in coverage,, which is why I think we have seen more of him at safety or playing the inside routes on the slot receivers on long yardage downs.

Amerson is green as grass and was put out there so early not because he was outstanding in practice but because Wilson and Biggers looked that bad.

Meriweather and Doughty are 30 year old backup safeties. That's fine, except for the fact both are starting here :)

Maybe Rambo comes on and turns into something at free safety down the road. Perhaps Phillip Thomas comes back and secures the strong side job.

Fifth round pick Brandon Jenkins may be a pass rushing threat as an OLB in this 3-4 down the road.

But for right now, the trouble is the current defense IS the defense from last season. Except they are a year older and in some cases slower and injury prone.

Not one impact player was added and it shows.
 

Posse Lover

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I've been wanting to start a thread myself about the loss of Lorenzo Alexander, but haven't gotten around to it. I knew when we got violated by the league and didn't have money to play with that we'd lose him to FA..

LA the LB" and a team Captain should be playing here STILL. I think Snyder should've give the man THE signing bonus he deserved to secure his financial future. This article tells of his love for us and everything Redskins and how hard it was to leave. Lorenzo Alexander: Decision to leave Redskins for Cardinals was both hard and easy
 

Bulldog

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We weren't going to give him a chance to start at OLB which the Cardinals promised to do. I think it went beyond the money.

But the departure of Lorenzo Alexander is not the reason this team has regressed.
 

Nobody

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Army

The D has regressed because Haslett has been given another year to downgrade them with his unique brand of coaching. It's a style he's perfected over the years called I'm the worst DC in NFL history.
 

SkinsOrlando

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Because the arrogance of our coaches that we run even a remotely viable form of the 3-4 instead of 4-3. This is year 4 and the defense is still crap without the right personnel, the cap penalty hurt but if I have the ingredients for bake a cake I don't instead attempt to bake a pie.

I tried to buy into the 3-4 but we're just not a 3-4 team. Yeah we are hypothetically worse than last year but a lot of defensive pressure was applied due to an offense that couldn't maintain any time of possession. Last nights loss in the defense, a lot of losses have been on the defense but their not worse than last year, there just that much more exposed because of a stagnant offense earlier on and the Shanny's atrocious time management and play calling at critical times.
 

Yusuf06

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Because the arrogance of our coaches that we run even a remotely viable form of the 3-4 instead of 4-3. This is year 4 and the defense is still crap without the right personnel, the cap penalty hurt but if I have the ingredients for bake a cake I don't instead attempt to bake a pie.

I tried to buy into the 3-4 but we're just not a 3-4 team. Yeah we are hypothetically worse than last year but a lot of defensive pressure was applied due to an offense that couldn't maintain any time of possession. Last nights loss in the defense, a lot of losses have been on the defense but their not worse than last year, there just that much more exposed because of a stagnant offense earlier on and the Shanny's atrocious time management and play calling at critical times.
^^ This, and Haslett flat out sucks. Contrary to Ryman's now seemingly prescient commentary, I wanted to give both a chance. Unfortunately, it really looks like he was right. Though far from perfect, our offense is enough to have is in the paloff hunt IF our defense could consistently limit opponents to 20-24 points. I've basically written off this season but I'm really bullish on us for the future. We have a very good, potentially transcendent talent at QB and we've been competitive with no defense, cap space or first round picks with which to build a team around him. That starts to change this offseason. A few OL FAs plus a fired Haslett could easily put us in the drivers seat in the NFCE.
 

riggins44

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Part of the problem is due to our players. We knew the secondary would be a liability going into the season. General thought was the front 7 would make up for their inexperience. We haven't gotten the pressure on QB's to help the secondary.

I feel Haslett is our biggest problem. I was underwhelmed when Shanahan brought him onboard. If you look at his numbers over the years it is easy to see he isn't a top flight DC.

I've read we should bring in LeBeau if Pittsburgh clears house. I see him retiring before going anywhere else. We do need a good 3-4 DC for this system to have a remote chance with us.
 

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Two big reasons in my mind and both have been touched on above to greater or lesser extents.

1. Coaching - Slowick is a real downgrade for the LB from Spanos and it is obvious every game. Spanos was making progress with all these guys when he left and every single one of them have taken a step back since he left. Considering that solid, consistent LB play is absolutely essential to a great 3-4 defense this is a huge issue.

2. Age - And by age I mean both old and young. London probably stayed a year too long. He just isn't showing me anything this season and I don't mean any disrespect by that. It is just the truth. He is still the great on field coach that he has always been but he isn't the player he has been. Combine that with Amerson and Rambo, both gifted physical players without the experience at this level, and we have gaps opening up that we shouldn't have.

There are some other contributing factors to be sure but I don't think they are as big as the two above and I am not sure Haslett is much a part of the problem as people think, my self included. I want Spanos back for the LBs and I'd love to see a couple of big, fast middle LBs brought in.
 

Win4us

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Some good answers so far. I agree that age is one of the biggest factors in the middle (fletch). Missed tackles seem to be a constant this year, like worst i can remember in a while bad.

Our d-line is pretty uninspiring too. Occasionally Cofield causes havoc but he's it.
 

Bulldog

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At the heart of the matter, Shanahan came in here convinced that a switch to the 3-4 was the tonic that was going to produce a top level defense, irrespective of the personnel he inherited, etc.

3 years later the 3-4 here is still limited. We do not have an anchor on the DL. We have a collection of linebackers that outside of Kerrigan don't look to be slam dunk keepers for the future.

The backfield is a bit of a mess. The safety situation has been a mess here ever since Shanahan came in 2010.

We finally drafted safeties in 2013 and they may develop, but we really needed to move on the backfield before the 3rd season under the current regime.
 

Rymanofthenorth

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the key here is something shannahan said before he was even our coach and its seemingly been forgotten" Brian Orakpo is a guy who you build a 3-4 defence around"

this is the reason why we are terrible, our coach was such a pisspoor evaluator of talent that he thought Rak would be better as a 3-4 OLB than a 4-3 DE. Mind you he also thought that somehow Haslett would be the key to making Carter into a great 3-4 olb as well. We had a major rebuild coming on the offence and shanny in his brilliance decides that we should take a strength (the DE position with Carter, Jarmon, Rak and Daniels at the time) and remove it as DE is a wasted position on a 3-4 team. He alienated the one player we had who was physically capable of playing the nose, and then used no resources to upgrade any positions. He hired a guy who was known as a motivator type coach not a schemer and then we all wondered why this was such an epic fail?

what boggles my mind are the guys who are still saying this wasnt an epic fail when 4 years later we still suck.
 

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Ryman,

I won't go over the arguments I have made before about this but I will address a couple of new things you have said.

Haynesworth had said multiple times in public that he was NOT going to be a NT. He didn't want to do it and he wouldn't do it. Nothing and I mean nothing, Mike did or said was going to change that so put this on him. He didn't alienate Albert. Albert started the fight by telling the world that he would not do what his coaches told him to do and when forced to do it he did it so half assed that no one wanted him in there.

The DE position was not the "strength" you seem to think it was. Daniels was servicable but in definite decline and had issues staying healthy. Carter has started all of 14 games since leaving here after the 2010 season and has 13.5 sacks in that time. Additionally, he is too light to play the LE position and he wasn't going to play ahead of Rak in the RE position. Jarmon was an interesting prospect but he is out of the league now so what does that tell you. Of the 4 names you dropped only Rak is still doing anything so DE was not a "strength". It was a position that had been a "strength" but was becoming ever more exposed as a weakness that we were covering up with exotic blitz packages. Our 4 down linemen almost never got the required pressure when it was absolutely necessary.
 

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According to Haynesworth the Redskins promised him during negotiations that he would play in a base 4-3 modeled on the one he was in down in Tennessee. Do I believe it? Yes, because Blache was running a 4-3 and the Redskins didn't change to a 3-4 until 2010 when Zorn was fired.
 

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According to Haynesworth, he was in top physical shape, and he wasn't gonna take the money and run. I don't believe a word that comes from his fat stupid mouth.
 

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And if we'd simply taken the 3rd round pick for him the Titans offered that year, we would not have lost around 75% of that bull**** cap penalty either!
 

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I think the biggest difference this year has been Fletch. Last year we could see him slowing down, but he was still making plays. He has been virtually non-existent this year.

In general, this defense is either very old or very young at most positions. Very few players in their prime on this defense, and it shows.
 

Ax

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A very troubling accusation, IMO, that I heard from Chris Russell on 980 today. He says that Hazlett, has not been aloud to run the kind of blitzing, aggressive defense, so far, that he ran during last years 7 game run. That he will finally get to do so now.

Totally believable, IMO. Shanahan, hires a DC, dictates he run a 3-4, then micro manages the defense, instead of letting the DC do what he feels is needed.

If true, it backs up the fears I had about Shanny from the get go. Brother Ryman, has also discussed this very thing, on numerous occasions.
 

Lanky Livingston

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A very troubling accusation, IMO, that I heard from Chris Russell on 980 today. He says that Hazlett, has not been aloud to run the kind of blitzing, aggressive defense, so far, that he ran during last years 7 game run. That he will finally get to do so now.

Totally believable, IMO. Shanahan, hires a DC, dictates he run a 3-4, then micro manages the defense, instead of letting the DC do what he feels is needed.

If true, it backs up the fears I had about Shanny from the get go. Brother Ryman, has also discussed this very thing, on numerous occasions.
That's just disheartening to hear. We finally get rid of Tiny Napoleon micro-managing and running the team into the ground, and he gets replaced with the Over Tanned Wonder, micro-managing and ruining the defense. Oy vey...we can't catch a break!
 

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