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WT: Wynn helps start up defense


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Wynn helps start up defense

By David Elfin

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

http://insider.washingtontimes.com/articles/normal.php?StoryID=20051022-123652-7563r

Renaldo Wynn has recorded more than 60 tackles or three sacks in only one of his nine NFL seasons. But the left end's importance to Washington's fifth-ranked defense can't be measured in statistics.

"It's like an automobile," explained Redskins defensive line coach Greg Blache. "You see the hood ornament and all the fancy stuff. You never see the inner workings that make it run. Renaldo's the engine, one of those guys inside that makes it work."

Nine Redskins have more solo tackles than the eight tallied by Wynn, who has gone 11 games without a sack. But those who have played with the 31-year-old Wynn appreciate that he makes them better.

"You won't see any flashiness, no real big plays with Renaldo, but he's going to be where he's supposed to be and do his job to the best of his ability," said ex-Redskins linebacker Antonio Pierce, who signed with the New York Giants in March after leading Washington in tackles. "I made a lot of tackles last year because I could trust Renaldo to fill his gap. I would flow over the top and make a play."

Assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams, usually not one to gush about a player, raved about Wynn's smarts, character and leadership.

"If I had to pick one word that would [describe] Renaldo it would be 'professional,' " Williams said. "He's about the team. I really can't say enough good things about him."

Wynn, who came to Washington from Jacksonville in 2002, will start his team-leading 54th consecutive game tomorrow against San Francisco. Linebackers LaVar Arrington and Lemar Marshall are the only other players left from the 2002 Redskins defense, but Arrington is a little-used backup now just as Marshall was then.

Of the 17 Redskins defensive linemen from 2002 and 2003, only Wynn remains.

"I've always been a survivor," Wynn said. "I'm from a family of West Virginia coal miners. My grandfather lost a leg and a couple of fingers that got caught in a conveyor belt. He ended up dying of black lung disease, but he got out of West Virginia after he was disabled because he didn't want his son to have that type of life."

So Whit Wynn moved to Chicago. His son John had a son who was quite an athlete, but one with that same coal miner's mentality.

"Renaldo comes every day with his hard hat and his lunch pail," linebacker Marcus Washington said. "You know you're going to get a good day's work out of Renaldo."

And Wynn had his own obstacles to overcome.

"My high school wasn't a football powerhouse," Wynn said. "We were last in the league. People always told me, 'Go to a small school. You're not going to play at Notre Dame or Michigan. They've got too many top guys.' Then when I was part of the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation at Notre Dame, I had three high school All-Americans and three upperclassmen at my position. I redshirted my first year, but I played a little bit as a sophomore and from then on, I started."

Wynn boosted his NFL stock and his weight by sticking around as a grad student after earning his sociology degree. He was drafted 21st overall by Jacksonville in 1997. Midway through his rookie year, he was starting at defensive tackle for the playoff-bound Jaguars. He was a lineup fixture over the next four seasons before Jacksonville's salary cap problems sent him looking for a new home.

"Coming to Washington, I felt there wouldn't be a revolving door, but obviously that didn't happen," said Wynn, who marvels at being the lone survivor of those 17 defensive linemen. "Each year, we would change coaches and lose seven or eight D-linemen. This is the first year that we kept most of the guys."

And unlike Jacksonville, where the Jaguars were 18 games over .500 during his tenure, Washington has been 11 games under that mark.

"I've always kept a positive attitude," Wynn said. "I'm not a complainer. I'm not a 'what if?' guy. I bring a lot of intangibles to the table. I transfer things well from the classroom to the field. I'm a hard worker. I provide veteran leadership. I've always wanted to be a guy that people can depend on."

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Sounds like a good guy. Future coach somewhere maybe?

Seems to me that with what Williams expects from Wynn -- contain, control -- it's even more important we have fast, sure tacklers at the linebacker positions. Of our starting three, Marcus fits the bill, but the other 2? Not sold yet (I know, I know, the coaches don't care, it doesn't matter, yes -- just my opinion :) ).

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After reading this article, it makes you wonder how much better we would be if we just had a DE who could get to the QB. Wynn is average at best and has been his whole career. While its a feel good story and you root for the guy, its obvious by the 8 tackles he is not good.

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After reading this article, it makes you wonder how much better we would be if we just had a DE who could get to the QB. Wynn is average at best and has been his whole career. While its a feel good story and you root for the guy, its obvious by the 8 tackles he is not good.

Kind of missing the point of the entire article and what kind of a player Wynn is . It also highlights the problems of judging players by stats alone .

Take cornerbacks for example people gush over players who have like 5+ ints in a season because they must have the skills but equally that might meen he is a gambler who opposing teams victimise and just by the law of averages he gets the picks through the shear number of balls thrown his way.

When LBs have a huge number of tackles on the season is it because they are a sideline to sideline tackling machine or is it becasue they are constantly on mop up duty making picking up quite easy tackles the D line missed .

Equally on the D line if a player is percived as a weak link then teams will design plays towards them. It is why alot running plays go towards pass rushers (like Kerse for example) to nullifiy them . Equally if you know a player over pursues plays or gambles and bites on play action teams will target them again with cut backs etc trying to get them out of positions . If they know a player is going to be in his area always ready to make the plays teams will not go at him as often .

Belive me when Wynn isn't there you will notice a difference. Daniels you can replace with anyone Wynn is a cogg, a Jon Janson of the defensive line.

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Great article!!! Certainly paints a different picture of Wynn and his importance to the defense. Also important is his presence in the locker room, which cannot be underscored enough. The Vikings could say a lot about the importance of veteran leadership and great locker room guys right about now, huh? Just look at what can happen to a talented team when they are deficient in those key areas.

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After reading this article, it makes you wonder how much better we would be if we just had a DE who could get to the QB. Wynn is average at best and has been his whole career. While its a feel good story and you root for the guy, its obvious by the 8 tackles he is not good.
:doh:

I took the liberty of pasting Antonio Pierces comments,below, because it appears that you may have missed that part of article....

"You won't see any flashiness, no real big plays with Renaldo, but he's going to be where he's supposed to be and do his job to the best of his ability," said ex-Redskins linebacker Antonio Pierce, who signed with the New York Giants in March after leading Washington in tackles. "I made a lot of tackles last year because I could trust Renaldo to fill his gap. I would flow over the top and make a play."

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Amazing. Coaches and teammates gush about the the importance of a certain player and that stats don't tell the story.

Then some dweeb comes on here and feels like he has to say that the player isn't very good and then cites his tackle numbers.

Amazing. Like clockwork.

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The problem is too many "football fans" really don't understand football beyond the highlight real. Every defensive system is different and relies on different positions to do certain things. Many defensive coordinators (and Blache and Williams fall into this category) expect the defensive line to "take up space, i.e occupy more than one offensive lineman" so that the linebackers can make the play. Others rely on the line to shoot gaps to make big plays with linebackers filling the void....and the variations go on.

Many times the DE's primary job is simply to turn the play inside for the linebacker. A perfect example was against Denver when Phil Daniels made the right play by turning Bell inside. Unfortunately, the neophytes blamed Daniels for failing to make the tackle to prevent Bell from scoring his long touchdown. Daniels did his job and did it well. The problem was Holdman and Marshal got blocked which is why that play went for big yards.

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