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Scout’s View: Numbers Are Deceiving With Skins’ Defense

Posted Oct 9, 2013


Defensively the numbers say that the Redskins are struggling badly. Teams have been able to run the ball but throw it as well with equal success against them. This is where I do not believe the numbers tell the whole story. In studying the Green Bay game, this pass rush knocked Aaron Rodgers around all day. There were times where he did not even get set up before someone was on him. I am not saying this to blow smoke or trying to steer you down the wrong path, but this front can cause some problems.
 
Outside linebacker, Ryan Kerrigan is a heck of a player and Doug Free will have his hands full all day. Kerrigan is relentless and never stops attacking the scheme. He can rush from a two point stance or put his hand down and come at you that way. There are situations where they put he and Brian Orakpo on the same side and let them attack you that way. Orakpo who missed all of last season with an injury, is working
himself back into shape. There still is that ability as an edge rusher to his game. Where teams have taken advantage of him is when they run the ball at him. He is very aggressive trying to get up the field and tackles have been able to work him out of the play.   
 
Barry Cofield is very active at nose and he will be a nice test for Travis Frederick, who had trouble with the quick swim move which Cofield can pull off. Cofield is playing with one hand because the other is completely covered with a cast.  When the Redskins go to nickel, they will move Cofield to tackle and slide Kerrigan inside to rush the passer and this gives them their best pass rushing group. There is nothing special or dynamic about the way that Stephen Bowen or Kedric Golston are playing up front. Both seem to get stuck on blocks in the running game and give them very little when opponents throw the ball on early downs.
 
London Fletcher is still the leader of this linebacker group and if you leave him unblocked, he is going to find ways to make plays. Fletcher might have slowed down a step or two but he still plays this game with a great deal of passion and intensity. Perry Riley plays next to Fletcher and he leads the team in tackles. Where he does a nice job is reading the scheme, then making his way to the ball. On tape you can see that if he gets in position, he can finish plays. Rookie Brandon Jenkins is not a starter at outside linebacker but he does see action as a nickel rusher off the edge.
 
Defensively where the Redskins has struggled the most has been in the secondary with their pass coverage and opponents have been taking advantage of that.
DeAngelo Hall is the veteran of the group and still plays with that swagger during a game. He has made a career of playing routes and staying in position while in coverage. He can play press man and do it quite well. Where Hall has always been productive was when it came to baiting a quarterback into a throw. There are times where you see him playing this way. There is always a risk when throwing it in his direction. This year, he already has one interception for a touchdown.
 
If there is a corner to attack, it’s Josh Wilson who is the starter on the right side. Wilson also doubles as the nickel and there are plays to be made there. Where Hall shows aggressiveness, Wilson shows none. Ball that are thrown in his direction are generally successful plays. There is some separation in the way he plays. He is not as physical as he needs to be in coverage. Against Green Bay, he struggled when the screen was thrown in his direction and he came forward and dove on to the ground going for an ankle tackle. Have been used as a blitzer from the slot and has one sack to his credit. Would take my chances going after him instead of Hall.
 
At safety, Brandon Merriweather finally looks healthy and is capable of making plays in coverage. Bacarri Rambo is only a rookie but there have been snaps where he has played very well. What I like about Rambo is that for a young guy, he is always looking to create a turnover. These ball carriers need to be fully aware that when he comes forward to make a tackle, he is going to try and rip the ball from you.
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