Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Not the Defensive Talent, It's the Coaching

Tom Boswell’s column in yesterday’s Washington Post is spot on. I have been saying all year to anyone who will listen that the problem with the Redskins defense is the coaching.

This defense is TALENTED. But when the coaches come in and take a perennial top-ten defense and turn it upside down by going from a four-three to a three-four and when its most important defensive player (Haynesworth) flat out said the three-four does not fit his style of play, which leads to his benching and limits his playing time, then that is poor coaching.

The Redskins went from the top of the league in defense to dead last despite having more talent than before; it is ridiculous. This team could win the division this year just on its defensive talent alone. This defense can overcome McNabb's poor decisions such as the Detroit game when McNabb made a really poor decision to throw into triple coverage deep in Redskins territory when he had a lead and there was only four minutes left in the game, or the Philadelphia game when he ran out of bounds to kill the clock after he picked up a first down, which left the Eagles enough time to throw into the end zone at the end of the game.

With two games left against the Giants, it is not too late. They need to make the adjustment NOW.

…The Redskins have one of the NFL's most physically gifted group of defenders, including a ridiculous eight players who were taken in the top 17 picks in their drafts: LaRon Landry (No. 6 overall), Andre Carter (No. 7), DeAngelo Hall(No. 8), Carlos Rogers (No. 9), Brian Orakpo (No. 13), Adam Carriker (No. 13), Albert Haynesworth (No. 15) and Phillip Buchanon (No. 17).

Few teams have so much raw speed, strength and skill. That doesn't include undrafted London Fletcher, the team's best player.

The Redskins' defense has enough talent, as it has shown the last three years. It's just not being used properly, starting with Haynesworth. You can cut him, you can trade him or you can play him. What you can't do is keep him, and his huge personality, on your team, then deliberately thwart and embarrass him every week...

...Who besides Landry, whom Shanahan now praises as one of the greatest athletes he's ever seen, is clearly better in the 3-4?

Fletcher is going to make his impact in either defense. Nobody's yet blocked Orakpo, whether he's standing up or has his hand in the dirt. Out on his island, Hall, who leads NFL cornerbacks in interceptions and tackles, is only marginally affected by the change.

But Haynesworth is erased and Carter, who had 11 sacks last year, has no true position.

The Eagles' eruption was part of an ugly trend. That was the fourth time in nine games the Redskins have allowed 30 or more points. In their previous 48 regular season games, that only happened five times.

No team switches its basic scheme quickly in midseason. But you can play more 4-3. You can evolve.


Post a Comment

<< Home