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It all comes down to Big Daddy in '03


GSF

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From an article posted by Bufford...

"DT Dan Wilkinson is a proven veteran who is quick and strong, can play end or tackle and can generate an inside pass rush. But he still hasn't reached his potential. He needs to work on getting low and using his leverage with more consistency."

As the offseason goes on I keep thinking that Big Daddy is probably the most pivotal player for the Skins next year. Here's why.

First off, I know you will say that Ramsey is the most pivotal player, but I have no doubt that Ramsey will play well enough for the Skins to win games. We all saw that he has the goods in the Tenn. and some other games. He seems very smart and coachable. He'll have a few pics and fumbles due to his inexperience, but overall he'll do well. With Ramsey's armstrength and our wr's speed, opposing defenses will have to respect the deep ball, and our oline will give Ramsey time to work.

The offense will be exciting to watch, but they'll struggle at times with ball control. We're very young on O now with a lot of new players. We'll have our share of turnovers and miscues. That's where the defense comes in. We'll need to be able make stops and create turnovers. In order to do those things you have to be able to disrupt in the backfield with the dline from the end and tackle positions. Hopefully will get something on the end from Bruce and Upshaw, but we know that, unlike Gardener, Noble isn't that kind of player. Everyone says that Edwards will create pressure with our LB's, and that will help, but not suffice. If Big

Daddy can get some serious pressure going up the middle, guys like Lavar, Trotter, and Smoot will be freed up to read, react, and make plays which suits their playing styles much better.

If Big Daddy plays well, I think our D will play well. They'll make big stops and create turnovers keeping us in games enough for young Ramsey to win games. If Wilky succombs to the dark side of McDonalds and gets fat and slow we won't get any pressure up the middle, and our D will give up lots of yards and points. Ramsey would have to carry the whole team with huge performances every week and he's probably no ready for all that.

So you guys going to training camp show some support for Big Daddy and tell him to stay in shape b/c we're counting on him!

My predictions:

If Big Daddy finally "reaches his potential" and had a great year we go 10 - 6 and win at least 1 game in the playoffs.

If He struggles creating pressure we go 9 - 7 and maybe get to a wildcard game if we're lucky.

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I agree with both if you guys...........with one exception; I'm taking Ramsey as the ONE most important player.

Big Daddy can be #2 on the WHOLE team and the most important person on the defense, if you like, but the fortunes of the whole team depend on Ramsey. If Ramsey (meaning the offense) scores points and maintains possesion, it will keep the D as a whole, and Big Daddy specifically, fresh.

We've seen Big Daddy step up to the plate and deliver at times, problem is that we've seen the other BD too. Which one will show up? One large indicator (excuse the pun) has been his ability and commitment to drop the weight. There is of course the physical benefit of playing a bit slimmer, but I'm here to tell you that there is a HUGE mental benefit as well, if for no other reason that he has accomplished a personal goal and scored a victory of sorts!

But that is a good point GaSkinsfan, I think you're right :notworthy and of course I'm hoping that he (we) succeeds!

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Big Daddy has always been a solid player, but two years ago he came into his own. I think that Marvin Lewis was a real adjustment to him just like Shotty was. This is his second year with a familiar coach and I think he will have a great year. The defense can slip a couple slots in the rankings this year and still get us to the playoffs.

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I wouldn't be surprised if we stayed in the top five because every year we have learned a new defense scheme and have finished well and early in the season we struggled and didn't come into are own late. Now since there won't be to much learning and everyone is comfortable we should be able to start off good. If we can have a good safety come out of training camp it will make up the lack of strength we have on line.

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I don't think the play of a FS ever makes up for weakness along the defensive line......

Wilkinson is indeed a key for 2003. That became apparent when the Redskins decided to avoid drafting a DT again this season and instead draft 3 offensive players.

That was after drafting 8 offensive players in 10 selections in the last offseason.

Wilkinson at 31 is at a crossroads. He is in all likelihood playing his final season in Washington. He will need to put up a good 2003 season to get a solid contract next offseason from another club.

A mediocre season and Wilkinson could be playing for near the minimum.

Wilkinson has been a solid player for the most part in Washington. What he has not been is the do-everything, all-star that was promised when Charley Casserly introduced him with Dana Stubblefield in 1998.

Wilkinson cost the Redskins #1 and #3 draft choices. And for that kind of compensation you expect to see pro bowl berths down the road.

Such was not to be. Wilkinson was the team's best DL in 1999 and again in 2001. The defense in 1999 was one step away from awful otherwise and in 2001 the team started 0-5 and the drama surrounding Marty and Jeff George overshadowed the play of #95 inside.

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If Wilkinson plays to the level he finished 2001 playing at, then, we're going to not only be alright on the line, but quite good. Wilkinson was every bit as good in 2001 as Gardener was last year though in a slightly different way. Gardener made more plays for himself. Wilkinson made more plays for everyone else. Wilkinson was routinely blowing up plays with interior pressure, whether in the run or pass.

His style for getting that pressure though makes it hard for him to make a ton of plays and I think he won't probably make a ton this year. But, he can be disruptive. Wilkinson is a guy who plays too high and without enough leverage. He always will be. But he IS strong and he is big and he has a great first step. When he splits the gap and gets on a blocker's shoulder, he's won the battle. He'll rodeo the blocker into the backfield when he's going well, and others will sweep in and make plays.

But, I don't think Wilkinson is really much of a pivotal player for us. Certainly if he plays exceptionally well we'll be better for it, but, he simply needs to stay healthy as he's always been before last year, and he needs to occupy. We have linebackers capable of dominating teams. That's what Wilkinson needs to help foster.

If he also returns to being the player he was at the end of 2001, then great, because it'll be even easier.

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I wouldn't isolate Big Daddy, but I would say that a big concern is the line in general going into the year. We need to be able to put pressure on the QB and disrupt plays using our front four. This will free our linebackers to do a lot and play to their instincts. The thing that usually hurts us is when we depend on our LBs to blitz and put pressure on the QB.

That being said, if Noble is going ot be able to take on two guys every play like he did in Dallas, then I think that creates one on one matchups or an OL and a RB or a TE on a defensive lineman. This should really help our guys get into the backfield as they should be able to win many of these one on one matchups.

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problem with BD is that he doesn't show up for every play - even when he is playing well. he'll take plays off; stop his up field pressure; simply disappear. this happens particularly at inopportune times late in the game when he has tired.

I agree with the importance attached tohis doing well. but, I also think that after all these years, the track record is there for everyone to see. the pass defense will be weak this year to the degree that the LBs and safeties have to compenstae for a d-lne that is competent against the rush, but weak against the pass. this will be the major challenge. let's hope that there is enough quality depth that late oin the game a good rotation can compensate for overall weakness.

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Originally posted by Art

If Wilkinson plays to the level he finished 2001 playing at, then, we're going to not only be alright on the line, but quite good. Wilkinson was every bit as good in 2001 as Gardener was last year though in a slightly different way. Gardener made more plays for himself. Wilkinson made more plays for everyone else. Wilkinson was routinely blowing up plays with interior pressure, whether in the run or pass.

I completely agree w/ this and that's why I say he's so pivotal next year. If BDW plays like he did in '01 or better, this defense could really be very good. We more or less know what we have with the rest of the guys on the line, but BDW could go either way. If we get constant pressure up the middle from BDW, guys like Lavar, Trotter, Smoot, and Bailey will get lots of chances to make plays. If not, opposing qb's will have tons of time to operate which does not bode well for some of the guys in our secondary. Relying on our LB's to create pressure gets away from the strenghts of our players IMO.

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He should have a good year if he is motivated (which I would think he would be given his contract status). I don't think it will be pro-bowl level... but he doesn't have to be. If he can get into the backfield with some consistency, the unit will do well.

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I'm expecting mediocrity across the defensive line. If someone steps up, that's great. But I don't see Wynn (who's always been a pretty solid guy) suddenly becoming a great edge rusher. I don't see Bruce re-gaining it (And how will he play once he gets the sack record? Just mail it in?).

Our defensive strength comes from our linebacking corps and secondary. Anything we get from the D-line will be gravy.

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