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I've got the "happy ending" solution for our defense


Atlanta Skins Fan

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I've got the perfect solution to our defensive problems, Marvin Lewis's misuse of players, and the uncertainty about how long Lewis will stay.

First I debated the obvious options:

1. Grin and bear it, stick with Lewis until Lewis leaves (if ever).

2. Have Snyder take Lewis to the woodshed, tell him to watch tape of last year's games, and simplify the defense. (My fave solution up until this moment.)

3. Fire Lewis now or after the season, then see if a better D.C. can be found.

Then the perfect solution hit me.

Everyone is longing for Kurt Schottenheimer to coach the defense again. Well Kurt is going to be unemployed again by the end of the season (or earlier), when the Lions clean house and fire every coach and front office type in sight.

(Yes I know the Lions suck on defense right now, but they sucked before Kurt showed up. He's not the source of the problem.)

So, the perfect solution is:

1. Give Marvin Lewis a chance to make this work.

2. If and when Kurt Schottenheimer is fired, grade the performance of Lewis up to that point. If he gets a failing grade, just rehire Kurt Schottenheimer. He already knows most of the defensive players, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind getting to know the new ones.

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Good lord. Everyone complains about all the turmoil because of the coaching carousel we've been on for the last few years, and now you want to ditch the DC because of one lousy game?

By those standards, would Kurt have lasted through his first five games?

Stupid stupid stupid. Everyone was rejoicing when Lewis got here, and the only gripe was that he might leave after a year to become a HC. Now we want to dump him?

Come on. Get a grip -- it's a long season. Let's refrain from calling for anyone's head (except Wuerffel... or Tuthill, if he starts missing kicks... or... or... wait a minute... maybe I'm just as guilty) until midseason at least.

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My own feeling is Kurt never had any intention of staying on here as the DC after Marty was fired, despite the cordial statements by him and Spurrier about not letting Marty's departure affect their own decision-making.

But of course it did. You don't cashier someone's brother and expect them to stick around and drink champagne with you as you toast the new guy ;)

The fact Kurt chose to go to the worst team in the NFL, the Lions, and coach a defense that had little avaiable talent on it, to me speaks volumes about how much he DIDN'T want to come back here :laugh:

As far as Lewis goes, I think the situation will work itself out IF we stick with the program and don't changeup again in mid-stream.

The Ravens learned this defense as did the Steelers before them.

I don't remember a lot of Rhodes scholars on those defenses :D

If the Redskins' players get their assignments down and stop showboating and making pre-game comments about shutting people out and having the #1 defense, I think they are going to be fine down the line.

What you have now are a number of egos including Trotter, Smoot and Arrington that are just not living up to their swagger.

Smoot has been toasted in both games and it only took ONE play on Monday to see which corner the Eagles were going to throw on.

Trotter has been very quiet the first games. No turnovers, no big plays for negative yardage in the run game, nothing to indicate the Redskins are starting what they felt was the best middle linebacker in the NFC behind Brian Urlacher.

Arrington has been trying to do too much. He is trying to be Sam Huff, LT and Mike Singletary all rolled up in one. He can't be all things to all people.

It is nice to think that Arrington can single-handedly bail out the pass rush, but the simple fact is the Skins simply failed to address the DL effectively in the draft and that as much as anything else contributes to the lack of bodies when Gardener misses time and Bruce Smith needs a blow.

Arrington is 6'3 and 247. As a stand up end he doesn't have the power to take on the edge blockers that LT did or as Charles Haley did as a 260 pound DE.

Those guys were true freaks. Arrington is a very talented athlete but is he really in the same league as the best LB in recent history or a guy with 5 rings like Haley?

My guess is no. Yes, Arrington can be a player that gets 9 or 10 sacks but that concentration in the passing game is going to lessen his impact where it was felt last year, against the run and in pass coverage in the short zones.

He isn't going to be there to get the key interceptions or force fumbles tracking plays down side to side as we have gotten used to.

Last week it looked like trying to get around Jon Runyan took all the fight out of LaVar and he was on the verge of exhaustion in the second half.

The answer is to get better pass rushers on the line.

People like to talk about Peter Boulware's 15 sacks in a Lewis defense last year.

But when the Ravens defense was truly stifling in '99 and '00 you saw defensive linemen like Michael McCrary and Rob Burnett post good sack totals in the front four and apply adequate pressure on their own.

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Marv wasnt met with unanimous enthusiasm by the all knowing on the board but he is a good DC.

However if we continue to see mismanagement of our players when every one in DC except Habib the bag boy at Safeway knows our corners are the man to man type and Lavar works best in space what else do you expect to hear?

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Contrary to many posts on here about the DC..

The sky is NOT falling.

I am amazed how posters "predict" a 10-6 or 9-7 season, yet after the 1st lose of the season, the cry is "OFF WITH HIS HEAD."

If this one were sent packing as many have suggested, and another comes, at his first lose, will the cry be again "OFF WITH HIS HEAD"?

It is now Thursday. Shall we get over it?!

Blondie

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Originally posted by bulldog

Smoot has been toasted in both games and it only took ONE play on Monday to see which corner the Eagles were going to throw on.

For the record, this is why I hate a system that assigns CB's to sides of the field rather than to WR's. They may still want to pick on Smoot, but we at least get to ensure that if that's their choice, they'll have to be throwing to their #2 or #3 WR. But that'll be tough.

Do you really think that the Cardinals or 49'ers, for example, can afford to scheme Boston or Owens respectively out of their game plan just to avoid Bailey if we assign him to them? I don't think so. :nono:

And that's true for most teams who, even if they don't have a superstar WR, still have a clear #1/QB favorite WR.

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Originally posted by MRMADD

Good lord. Everyone complains about all the turmoil because of the coaching carousel we've been on for the last few years, and now you want to ditch the DC because of one lousy game?

By those standards, would Kurt have lasted through his first five games?

Stupid stupid stupid. Everyone was rejoicing when Lewis got here, and the only gripe was that he might leave after a year to become a HC. Now we want to dump him?

Come on. Get a grip -- it's a long season.

Maybe I should have phrased my post better, because I think you got the wrong point.

I'm getting heartburn watching our defense -- and have been since the Patriots game. My "happy ending" solution is a proposed Valium for the forum and the team. (Or Pepto Bismol -- to stay with the heartburn thought.)

My "happy ending" option is actually good for Lewis. Notice that my early preferred solution was to have Snyder (or Spurrier) force Lewis to simplify his system. Now, with the Valium approach, Lewis gets the whole season to prove his system will work. My "happy ending" option is that there's light at the end of the tunnel -- an alternative to Lewis (if Lewis fails) that won't involve forcing our defense to learn yet another system. Most of the defense already knows Kurt's system and thrived in it. And Kurt will likely be "available" at the end of the season.

So now I can watch these games and not get heartburn watching the defense. Marvin gets the year to make his system work. If it works, terrific. If not, we'll probably have an option that wouldn't set us back another year learning another system.

So, in a strange way, my "happy ending" solution offers Lewis more breathing room -- a year of patience to do things his way. Does that make sense?

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hallelujah Blondie and MRMADD...we have proven quality coaches and they need to be given the chance over time to succeed. They can't however make open field tackles. If I were seeing just a defensive scheme that didn't work, but outstanding individual play and effort, I'd be more willing to blame the coaching staff. Lets be brutally honest, no scheme is going to win a game if the players don't show up. And that is what happened last Monday.

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look, we were not talking about Terrell Owens. James Thrash is not Terrell Owens. There is no excuse for Smoot being caught on the first play of the game other than the fact he blew his coverage.

Thrash WOULD be the #2 receiver on most teams....................

As far as Boston goes, he is going to get his catches. You can't shut him out unless he is having a case of the dropsies. He caught balls on the best secondaries last year as well.

But what Smoot did that caught Lewis' ire was allow himself to be turned around to give Boston an easy long score.

And he got turned around because he got caught looking in at the qb instead of staying with his man.

It is nice to see that Smoot is not going to get so down on himself over a couple of bad weeks that he becomes useless to the team, but at the same time you can't keep saying you have another game NEXT week to show what you can do.

It's week 3, time to show what you can do NOW :D

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How about we just let him do his job, and suck it out. We can't get any worse than what happened on Monday night, especially if we have all the right personnel in there (Gardener). This is definitely not the time for panic. I really don't know why some of you actually are in panic mode after 2 games. That kind of attitude in itself defies logic.

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ASF It is Helton's fault for any failures with the defense.

Oh, were you happy lil-bro-of-Marty's defense last year after the Packers beat us 37 to 7 in the second game, another Monday Night game?

Get real, we need continuity in the coaching staff, after having four DCs in the last 4 years.

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ITS ONLY ONE GAME!!!

Some of you sound like a 14 year old kid who's first date was a disaster and wont stop whinning and fretting about it.

let it go already. Its one game, you can't judge anything by it except that our players arent exactly executing the defense (or offense) fluidly. They will eventually.

The REAL perfect solution is the following:

WHEN our defense performs like its supposed to ML will become a HC someplace and we can hire Kurt Schottenheimer when he becomes available when the Lions implode.

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Actually the ultimate decision as to whether Lewis is shown the door at the end of the season ought to come from the players.

Unless the players buy into and unilaterally support Lewis' defensive schemes, the unit collectively will rank far below their off-season hype and generally regarded potential.

I'm not sure if Kurt Schottenheimer's simplifiying the defense was responsible for last year's defensive turnaround as much as LaVar's inspirational (or immaculate?) interception against Carolina served to inspire the entire team. I.e., perhaps the defense hadn't quite bought into what Schottenheimer was selling (and it didn't help that his brother had alienated the players with drill sergeant tactics).

To some extent I believe that Lewis is right when he thinks (expects) the players to make his system work. These guys are exceptional atheletes and properly motivated, should not have too much of a difficult time in adjusting their games. Whether Lewis is a motivator remains the $64,000 question. A veteran player or two will have to step up and back Marvin here or we could see an uninspired defense take hold for the remainder of the season.

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No offense meant Kurp, but which is it???

The player's ought to decide ML's fate?

or

Lewis is right to expect the players to make his system work?

You can't have it both ways. I can tell you this much, the PLAYERS will not determine anything with SS and ML except how they play within the system. Despite Spurrier's country-boy persona, he does not strike me as weak kneed when it comes to dealing with someone who wants to be an individual and ML can't even take being second-guessed by the media, you think he's going to tolerate it from his players? They'll either play the system's or I predict they'll be gone.

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Originally posted by Tarhog

No offense meant Kurp, but which is it???

The player's ought to decide ML's fate?

or

Lewis is right to expect the players to make his system work?

I don't see it as a mutually exlusive proposition.

When you look at it, players ALWAYS hold the ultimate power when it comes to who coaches them. Sure, coaches can have players fired, traded, or released but their replacements must accept and buy into the coach's philosophy or the team will never succeed.

Whether it's this current set of Skin's players or their replacements, Marvin's got to get their wholehearted support or eventually he'll be gone, either by force or by choice.

As for Marvin's expectation that the players adapt to his defensive strategy, well, that's why he was hired. He'll sink or swim with these players or players just like them. Success will either come this year with this team, or down the road with different players and perhaps a different team. Marvin's success with Baltimore has earned him the right to stick to his philosophy. Cummulative failure however might relieve him of that right. For now, I'm willing to be patient and hope, expect, the current set of players to adapt and improve where needed, so that this team, at least defensively, plays like they belong in the top 10.

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I have a happy ending, we let Marvin Lewis have some time to make it work and get all of his players on the same page. It is clear that they just don't know the scheme well enough. I must admit that I have not seen fans turn on a coach so fast in my life. Even Bill McPeak had more time before the chants arose at what was then D.C. Stadium "week to week, we suffer with McPeak"

Besides Kurt Shottenheimer already rejected the skins DC job.

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