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    • By Destino in ES Coverage
         0
      Good afternoon Redskins nation!  I’m in beautiful Landover, MD with Spaceman Spiff who has been pulled away from Instagram models and tailgating and sent down to the field to do what he does best (roll around in the mud).
       
      Let’s get down to business...  Can we block them?  There are other story lines entering into this game but worrying about them feels largely academic.  The Texans have two terrifying pass rushers and the Redskins intend to block them with optimism and underdog stories.  Alex Smith isn’t a statue but he does take time in making decisions and getting the ball out.  This combination looks disastrous.  The sort of thing that has us all after the game consoling each other with things like “well, it was just a bad matchup" and “we caught them at the worst possible time.” 
       
      Or... we could walk away wondering just how the heck this team managed to pull off another improbable win.  Last week the gave up something like twelve thousand yards of offense to the Bucs, I’ll have to check those numbers to be sure, but only three points.  That’s not supposed to happen.  Maybe we can enjoy an outrageously unlikely result again.  Not probably, not likely, but you know... maybe.  I’m saying there’s a chance.   
       
      I’m here for that chance.  (and you know... the free food and climate controlled free seats) 

      1st Quarter Update
      Redskins are running their bend and break defense, and I’m not sure a little over three quarters is enough time for the Redskins offense to close a 10-point gap.  I’m having flash backs of week nine, but having human emotions is considered “disruptive behavior.”  I'm fine.  Everything is fine. 
       
      That Quinn celebration, whatever that was, was the highlight of the 1st quarter. 
       
      2nd Quarter Update
      Is there a better way to start a quarter than by scoring a touchdown?  There is, if you follow that TD drive with a forced turnover on defense.  Things are looking good! 

      So much for that.  A great start was quickly ended up canceled out by the Redskins offense.  With a chance to take a lead Alex Smith throws a pick six in the red zone and takes the air out of the stadium.  He followed that up by throwing another interception on the very next drive.  Alex Smith almost made me forget about Vernon Davis dropping that pass.  Almost. 
       
      Texans missed a field goal attempt and the lead remains frozen at 10. 
       
      This quarter feels like a giant blown opportunity.  
       
      Halftime Update. 
      I should have stopped at one hotdog.  I deserve this.
       
      3rd Quarter Update
      You know the feeling where you say and think all these bad things about a player and then he breaks his leg and you immediately feel bad about it?  I live there now.
       
      Colt McCoy has freed me from that place of sadness! 
       
      As much as I love this defense, they have to start forcing teams to punt at some point.  Is there a stat for defense tha thas forced the fewest punts?  We have to be near the top of that list.  Texans have punted just once today.  Holding them to three was good, though.   
       
      The lead is down to six and Colt McCoy has arrived to save us.  (Please let that be true.) 
       
      Personal Note:  Someone just stomped, loudly, out of the press area like a while muttering at his phone.  Laughter and comparisons to toddlers followed him.  The media's laugh is an evil laugh!  Good times. 
       
      4th Quarter Update
      Colt has brought us back.  Welcome to the first lead change of the season, Redskins fans.  You like that?!  (Yeesh, was that always so lame?)  I guess you could say Adrian Peterson contributed by actually scoring the touchdown.  I bet Colt told him to score though, so you have to factor leadership into things.
       
      Once again, the defense cannot force a punt, hard to feel great about holding a team to a field goal when that field goal gives them the lead in the 4th quarter 
       
      Remember that whole "can we block them" thing?  The answer was absolutely not on the Redskins 2nd drive of the 4th quarter.  Watt and Clowney each sacked our man Colt, and ended that drive before it really had a chance to begin. 
       
      Horrible, no good, very bad holding called on Norman gifting Houston a first down at the worst possible time for it.
       
      Colt chooses to throw deep at an inopportune moment resulting in a 60+ yard attempt for an injured kicker.  Heartbreaking end to a game that cost this team entirely too much (via injury) yet still seemed to be within reach several times. 
       
      I'm off to the post game press conference and locker room, check back later for updates.
       
      Final Thoughts
      I’ve always found it preferable to watch my favorite team simply get destroyed, than to feel that they were the better team and still managed to lose.  The Redskins gave this game away with mistakes in the 2nd quarter.  Fred Davis makes a routine catch and Alex Smith doesn’t throw a pick six, and the scoreboard shows at least 7 fewer points for the Texans.  Even if the Redskins had settled for field goals, that’s a 13 point swing in 2 point game.   
       
      Losing the game wasn’t even the worst part.  Losing Alex Smith, for at least the remainder of the season, is likely enough to push the Redskins past the point where they can continue toughing their way through key injuries. 
       
      We'll all feel better after a win against the Cowboys next week. 
       

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KDawg

Chalk Talk: Defensive Line Techniques

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http://dawgvision.blogspot.com/2009/01/defensive-techniques.html

I thought I'd change the pace a little bit here and do something on defense, as the majority of my threads have been offensive related. To start, I want to go over the technique system that everyone so often hears about. How often do you hear someone talking on TV saying that a defensive tackle is in a 3-Tech or a 5-tech? The majority of football fans really have no need to know what that means, although I'm sure some of you do.

Let's start with the 0-Technique. The 0-Tech is headup on the center, traditionally either played by a Mike linebacker (Middle) or a nose. In some 5-2 type defenses some teams utilize the Mike as the nose, although you see that more at the collegiate, high school and youth levels more than you see it in the NFL, but there have been some instances where it has occured.

The 1-Tech is either shoulder of the center. In order to differentiate between the two, formation strength dictates the name of each side. For instance, in a I Right type formation (TE to the right, flanker split out to the same side off the line of scrimmage and there's a split end on the line of scrimmage to the non tight end side), the right side of the center (from the offensive side of the ball) is the strong side. That makes it the left side for the defense. So I could call the left side (defensively) of the center the strong 1. But in non goal line defenses assignments are generally clear enough to not have to differentiate between the strong and weak sides.

The 2-Tech is the inside shoulder of the guard on either side of the center(I keep saying 'shoulder', whereas some defensive coordinators use the term 'eye', the meaning is slightly different, but generally the same).

The 3-Tech is the outside shoulder of the guard on either side.

The 4-Tech is the inside shoulder of the tackle on either side.

The 5-Tech is the outside shoulder of the tackle on either side.

Now is where it can get semi-confusing. I'm sure there are defenses that have simplified this a bit, but I'm going to go through the traditional way of numbering (Or the way I have always learned it and used it).

The 7-Tech is the inside shoulder of the tight end on either side.

The 6-Tech is headup on the tight end to either side.

The 9-Tech is the outside shoulder of the tight end to either side.

The 8-Tech is a farther outside alignment off the tight end, generally a yard off where the tight end would be.

Now the semi-confusing part. These technique assignments remain the same to the non-TE side. So on the side where the tackle is the last man in the box, if you're supposed to be in a 6,7, or 9 technique you line up as if there IS a TE there, even though there isn't. The same with an 8-Technique. So if you're in an 8 to the non TE side, you're going to have quite a bit of distance between you and the tackle.

That will give you a big advantage as far as pass rush goes as that tackle will have difficulty getting out to someone in an 8-Tech, TE or no TE. But offensive teams are generally aware of such things and often call for blocking changes. Perhaps a pulling guard to attack that 8-Tech player or maybe even a fullback. One thing you'll see more often than that, though, is a simple off-tackle run. It's not often you see a DE lined up out there to a non-TE side, and the reasoning is it opens a huge gap for the offense to attack. Most of the time, if you see something like that and you're going against a competent defensive coordinator, they're trying to disguise something going on. Whether it's a stunt to plug that gap, run blitz, weak slant on the line, or whatever it is they have planned. I would say that alignment is used to bait the offense into running into that gap. It would be a lie, though, if I didn't say I've seen some defensive coordinators do that just to enhance a pass rush.

Techniques.JPG

I'm aware that this edition of chalk talk is fairly simple and not too in depth, but this should help at least a few people out there :)

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