Saturday, October 18, 2014

State Of The Redskins (Defense)

Plenty of fans and NFL media analyst believe the Redskins are never gonna win again and that there's no hope for this franchise. I disagree and believe this team is on it's way to finding it's identity and learning how to win and will become contenders again.

  If you've read any of my articles before you know I tend to lean towards the positive rather then the negative. I'll rather figure out why we have the issues and not just harp on the issues. After a 1-5 start for the Redskins I've heard everything from this team sucks to this team wont ever win again until they change the name and the owner. Instead of making up crazy reasons why this team hasn't been able to win consistently I'd rather look at what is causing this. One of the most heard issues is with Brian Orakpo and his franchise contract. Yes I agree he is not an elite pass rusher by definition but he is a complete OLB. Most elite pass rushers can't say that. Many don't remember that Orakpo came into the league never playing linebacker previously. In the time he's been here he has developed into
One of the best all around linebackers in the game even tho fans
and some media don't agree.
a well rounded LB that plays his position well. Only flaw in his game is he hasn't been able to come up with the game changing play or sack when it matters. You have to take into account that unlike the so called "elite" pass rushers he always lines up on the left side against the best offensive lineman on the team in most cases. Most other OLB's move around all over the defensive front and make the offensive line find u and figure out how to block you before the snap of the ball. This makes it easier for defenses to neutralize Orakpo's pass rush by chipping him with the running back or tight end. When they're not doing that they're sending the third wide receiver on his side to force him into coverage and when they're not doing that they quick throw so there is hardly any chance of a QB sack or even pressure. I hope to see Coach Haslett starts moving him around like they do Ryan Kerrigan. Kerrigan has lined up over center, guards and even a few stunts with the D-lineman to help get pressure on the quarterback. I feel once Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen get back on the field the defense will be better. Once you get your true rotation going it puts everyone back in their correct roles and should make everyone more effective which will improve the whole unit. As for the contract situation with Orakpo it's a sticky situation because some team will pay him what he wants if the Redskins don't and if he leaves via free agency that will leave this defense with an even bigger hole to fill on defense. That will compound one of the Redskins problems as a franchise. Development of talent has been a inconsistent process with this franchise. Too many hit and miss prospects that sometimes goes elsewhere to produce the results the Redskins were looking for.
    One of the next biggest issues talked about is the secondary. They have also had a inconsistent season and have not been able to create any turnovers. Once DeAngelo Hall went down with the season ending injury some didn't realize the impact it would have on the defense as a whole. His absence is hurting this defense two fold. the first is his veteran presence on the field. The next issue is with Tracy "Glass" Porter who has only been healthy for one game this season  and it has forced Bashaud Breeland into a starting role. Which the team was
The rookie is playing solid football, he just has to limit his
mistakes. Without the veteran presence of D. Hall it's a little
harder for the rookie while learning on the job.
hoping would to avoid. They wanted to use the same formula they did with David Amerson last season. Gaining experience playing the nickel back and gain more snaps and experience in a lesser role throughout the season. The rookie has been learning on the job with some good plays and some bad, but the valuable experience you can't replace. I believe he will be a quality starting corner in this league. There's talk of converting him to safety because of his aggressive nature and physical style. His lack of elite speed makes him a candidate for the move. He's naturally long and athletic which helps him at CB. Now the other rookie Trent Murphy hasn't made any plays yet but also hasn't made any rookie mistakes either. Looks as if the rookie is finding his way in the league. Sometimes it takes more time for some then others to pick up the speed and pace of the NFL game. It will also help the rookie if the team had a lead and could force a team to throw to catch up it will allow the rookie and the other pass rushers a chance to pin their ears back and go get the quarterback. Now at safety Ryan Clark is a steadying force in the secondary and his knowledge is invaluable and should help the young players learn. There's hope for Phillip Thomas, being that he's still on the practice squad and hopefully getting healthy. I've documented the issues at safety for this team and it's crazy how they can't find someone that plays well and sticks at the position. Brandon Meriweather has had a forgettable season that started with a unjustified suspension for the first two games of the season. I believe this has hurt his play in two ways. The worst of the two is that he's unsure in his tackling which is making him hesitate which leads to mistakes and miss tackles. Brandon has had both of these issues happen since his return. The second is that he wasn't in football shape when he came back because of the suspension and not being able to be around the team.

   With all of that being said this defense is ranked 10th in the league in total defense. Which is very good stats for 1-5 team but we all know this game isn't won on paper it's won on the field. Now imagine when all the pieces are back healthy and ready to return this unit will gel and hopefully start to live up to their full potential. I think creating turnovers starts up front with getting pressure but teams are quick throwing and throwing a lot of screens to combat the teams pass rushers. The team should start trying to bat more balls down when teams start to do this. Deflections are just as good as a clean int. I would also like to see more of Chase Minnifield on the field to see what he has. With this being his second season on the practice squad he only has one more year of eligibility and the team needs to see if he can play in this league. The same can be said for Phillip Thomas. It's only seven weeks into the season so it's too early to proclaim anything about this defense or this team. They have to learn how to win, play as a team, play a full 60 mins and find an identity. This season will play itself out and I'm hoping it starts to trend in a more positive way to finish out the season strong. As always #HTTR #BeatDaTitans.

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