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ESPN.com: Fired-up Friday: Redskins D or Cowboys D?


Califan007

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http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/27864/fired-up-friday-redskins-d-or-cowboys-d

Apparently this is in the Bubba's Breaking News forum as well :thumbsup:

Hey, we're not talking about the 1985 Bears here, OK? Only one team in the league gave up more points last year than the Cowboys did. Only one team in the league gave up more yards last year than the Redskins did. (In both cases, it was the Broncos, by the way. You wanna talk about bottoming out?) It's safe to say that both Washington and Dallas had higher defensive expectations in 2010, even though the Redskins were switching to a 3-4 and their highest-paid player didn't want to play.

There's work yet to do in both places. The Cowboys need to address safety (and maybe cornerback), and the Redskins need a nose tackle and likely will have to replace Carlos Rogers at cornerback and Rocky McIntosh at inside linebacker. But my debate question for you this Friday is this:

Which defense will have a better 2011 season? The Cowboys' defense or the Redskins' defense?

It's not as crazy a question as you might think. Washington does need the nose tackle, but as of right now I think they're ahead of Dallas in the secondary. And while the mere presence of DeMarcus Ware on the roster gives the Cowboys the edge at linebacker, I'm not sure how far behind the Redskins are at the position overall. Orakpo is an emerging force and London Fletcher and Lorenzo Alexander are strong, steadying presences. If Anthony Spencer plays the way he did in 2009, this is no contest. But at this point that's a big "if," and the linebacker comparison between these two teams could come down to Kerrigan vs. Spencer. If the rookie has a big year and Spencer disappoints again, we might be sitting here this time next year saying the Redskins have the better linebackers.

Might even be saying the Redskins have the better defense.

I'm going to pick the Cowboys in this debate for now, but I think it's close. I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to Ryan and his ability to rejuvenate the good veteran personnel they have there, and I'm going to assume they upgrade at safety. I think Bradie James and Keith Brooking still have plenty to offer, and I think Spencer and Mike Jenkins will bounce back.

But if I'm wrong on any of that, I'm not going to be surprised if the Redskins end up with the better defense. The second year is a big one, coaches say, for making strides in the 3-4 defense. The Packers, who just won the Super Bowl in Year Two of Dom Capers' 3-4 scheme, are the best recent example of that. The Redskins don't have as many star-caliber defensive players as Green Bay has (nor do they have a quarterback), so there's no reason for Redskins fans to get their hopes up too high. But I don't think Washington's defense is too far away from challenging for a spot as the best in the NFC East.

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But at this point that's a big "if," and the linebacker comparison between these two teams could come down to Kerrigan vs. Spencer. If the rookie has a big year and Spencer disappoints again, we might be sitting here this time next year saying the Redskins have the better linebackers.

Only if we can adequately replace Fletcher...because relying on Fletcher season after season at this stage of his career will come back to bite us in the ass sooner than we'd like.

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Cue everyone saying it was still a bad choice and none of our players fit, etc.

Haslett may have not been a good head coach, but he's just fine as a Defensive Coordinator

---------- Post added June-24th-2011 at 06:08 PM ----------

Only if we can adequately replace Fletcher...because relying on Fletcher season after season at this stage of his career will come back to bite us in the ass sooner than we'd like.

That's what next year's draft is for. That, or Lorenzo Alexander beefing up his resume...

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with a respectable NT, our D will be good this year. we allowed yards, but not tons of points, on average, last year. this year, with a couple of additions, this D could be very good. the S position along with rak and kerrigan could be scary.

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Woah woah, someone from ESPN actually speaking positive of the Redskins?

Rest easy brother. The infidel will be publicly hanged for his insolence at half-time of the Cowboys home opener to appease the baying masses.

The Extremely Stupid Peoples Network apologizes henceforth to it's majority Texas viewership.

Hail.

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But if I'm wrong on any of that, I'm not going to be surprised if the Redskins end up with the better defense. The second year is a big one, coaches say, for making strides in the 3-4 defense. The Packers, who just won the Super Bowl in Year Two of Dom Capers' 3-4 scheme, are the best recent example of that. The Redskins don't have as many star-caliber defensive players as Green Bay has (nor do they have a quarterback), so there's no reason for Redskins fans to get their hopes up too high. But I don't think Washington's defense is too far away from challenging for a spot as the best in the NFC East.

Green Bay was the #2 ranked defense in the league in their first season in the 3-4 and #1 in rushing. While I agree with his point that a jump is expected the second year this is about the worst example possible. I wish I worked at ESPN.

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Green Bay was the #2 ranked defense in the league in their first season in the 3-4 and #1 in rushing. While I agree with his point that a jump is expected the second year this is about the worst example possible. I wish I worked at ESPN.

Not really. Because Green Bay invested significant draft resources in the switch the very first year. We didn't, and learned our lesson it seems.

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Not really. Because Green Bay invested significant draft resources in the switch the very first year. We didn't, and learned our lesson it seems.

How is it not really? The author is implying that defenses generally make a large jump in production from year one to year two in a 3-4 defense because of the added familiarity with the scheme. Green Bay performed extremely well in their first season making it nearly impossible to greatly increase their production in year two.

Green Bay allowed nearly 30 yards more per game in 2010 than 2009. Their points per game dropped significantly from 18 to 15 but I stand by my point that Green Bay isn't a very good example.

When discussing a team that was terrible in year one and suggesting they could make a leap in year two it would be much more applicable to use a team that made a similar leap as an example. Green Bay improved, and quite well considering how good they already were but it wasn't a worst to first or anywhere close type situation. They went from great to greater.

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How is it not really? The author is implying that defenses generally make a large jump in production from year one to year two in a 3-4 defense because of the added familiarity with the scheme. Green Bay performed extremely well in their first season making it nearly impossible to greatly increase their production in year two.

Green Bay allowed nearly 30 yards more per game in 2010 than 2009. Their points per game dropped significantly from 18 to 15 but I stand by my point that Green Bay isn't a very good example.

When discussing a team that was terrible in year one and suggesting they could make a leap in year two it would be much more applicable to use a team that made a similar leap as an example. Green Bay improved, and quite well considering how good they already were but it wasn't a worst to first or anywhere close type situation. They went from great to greater.

I didn't mean to say that the author made the best comparison, or even a good one. I misunderstood your post a bit, and thought that you were implying something else. My bad.

My point does stand that you can't really compare GB's first year in the 3-4 to ours. Because they invested in it considerably right from the get-go, and we didn't. The only comparison you can make is that we were stupid not to do what they originally did. Hopefully that's turned around.

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I didn't mean to say that the author made the best comparison, or even a good one. I misunderstood your post a bit, and thought that you were implying something else. My bad.

My point does stand that you can't really compare GB's first year in the 3-4 to ours. Because they invested in it considerably right from the get-go, and we didn't. The only comparison you can make is that we were stupid not to do what they originally did. Hopefully that's turned around.

No worries it sounds like we agree and just misunderstood each other. As you've explained Green Bay made the switch the right way. They didn't try to throw a bunch of 4-3 players into a 3-4 but instead went out and spent significant resources on the most important parts (NT and OLB) while already having the second most important (CB and S) on the roster. Even a lot of their previous 4-3 guys fit the scheme pretty well. Outside of Orakpo and possibly Jarmon if he earns a role this year we didn't really have that.

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No worries it sounds like we agree and just misunderstood each other. As you've explained Green Bay made the switch the right way. They didn't try to throw a bunch of 4-3 players into a 3-4 but instead went out and spent significant resources on the most important parts (NT and OLB) while already having the second most important (CB and S) on the roster. Even a lot of their previous 4-3 guys fit the scheme pretty well. Outside of Orakpo and possibly Jarmon if he earns a role this year we didn't really have that.

Good points, except for one thing I have to disagree with.

I think Jarmon is one of the biggest losers in this switch. What a waste of a 3rd round pick. He's a prototypical 4-3 LE. He was tailor-made to take over for Phillip Daniels. Now we've got him losing weight, putting on weight, trying to fit him in somewhere without getting him comfortable anywhere. Not to mention that weight fluctuation and the different weight training, etc. that go along with that are terrible for his healing leg.

In the first year, Shanahan/Allen/Haslett did a few things right in terms of the 3-4, and that's it. Here they are:

1. Picking a scheme that will showcase your best, young defensive talent: Orakpo and Landry.

2. Moving Landry back to SS and letting him do what he does best. He IS Polamalu in this defense, with less coverage skills. Which might not even be the case, since the Steelers can scheme to cover up any deficiencies in Troy's game.

3. Trading for Adam Carriker. Such a great value move, and he fits the defense.

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Good points, except for one thing I have to disagree with.

I think Jarmon is one of the biggest losers in this switch. What a waste of a 3rd round pick. He's a prototypical 4-3 LE. He was tailor-made to take over for Phillip Daniels. Now we've got him losing weight, putting on weight, trying to fit him in somewhere without getting him comfortable anywhere. Not to mention that weight fluctuation and the different weight training, etc. that go along with that are terrible for his healing leg.

In the first year, Shanahan/Allen/Haslett did a few things right in terms of the 3-4, and that's it. Here they are:

1. Picking a scheme that will showcase your best, young defensive talent: Orakpo and Landry.

2. Moving Landry back to SS and letting him do what he does best. He IS Polamalu in this defense, with less coverage skills. Which might not even be the case, since the Steelers can scheme to cover up any deficiencies in Troy's game.

3. Trading for Adam Carriker. Such a great value move, and he fits the defense.

Year two is starting off well:

1. Signing Atogwe

2. Drafting a pass rusher opposite Orakpo

3. Drafting a DE/NT and pure NT (am I the only one thinking Jenkins might turn out to be similar to Haloti Ngata?)

4. Moving Lorenzo Alexander to ILB (90% sure thing on that). He's a much better fit at ILB in our defense. Stout against the run, and can take on guards, centers, and tackles.

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Year two is starting off well:

1. Signing Atogwe

2. Drafting a pass rusher opposite Orakpo

3. Drafting a DE/NT and pure NT (am I the only one thinking Jenkins might turn out to be similar to Haloti Ngata?)

4. Moving Lorenzo Alexander to ILB (90% sure thing on that). He's a much better fit at ILB in our defense. Stout against the run, and can take on guards, centers, and tackles.

Only thing I'd change is adding Kerrigan at OLB. *Edit: somehow missed it in your post originally. Oops. But if he works out, Jenkins at DE/NT could be just as important. I know what you mean, I see him moving around a lot on the DL.

Then I'd add the addition of Nield in the 7th. I know, crazy. But I've got a good feeling about this guy. Even having him rotate in on running downs to give Bryant and Jenkins a breather will be great to see. But I think he can grow to be a legit NT.

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Only thing I'd change is adding Kerrigan at OLB. But if he works out, Jenkins at DE/NT could be just as important. I know what you mean, I see him moving around a lot on the DL.

Then I'd add the addition of Nield in the 7th. I know, crazy. But I've got a good feeling about this guy. Even having him rotate in on running downs to give Bryant and Jenkins a breather will be great to see. But I think he can grow to be a legit NT.

Kerrigan fulfills number 2, Nield fulfills the "pure NT" part of number 3.

One step ahead of you ;)

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4. Moving Lorenzo Alexander to ILB (90% sure thing on that). He's a much better fit at ILB in our defense. Stout against the run, and can take on guards, centers, and tackles.

I'm happy someone else sees this. Lorenzo is great against the run but just doesn't have the speed or agility to play on the outside. He's a perfect fit as the runstop MLB that comes out in nickel sets. Riley and Henson can provide depth to he and Fletcher, hopefully.

I agree with the rest of your points, and also anything Connskins posts normally, but Lorenzo being a success at MLB seems to be the surest bet of all.. He's everything Rocky wasn't, and should have been playing there all along.

I'm sure we all would have loved to see Chris Wilson or Rob Jackson opposite Orakpo last year, anyways.

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