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backrow 06-16-2004 07:30 AM

Defensive Assessment!
 
Courtesy of HailRedskins.com.

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[url]http://www.midatlanticsports.net/wa003.htm[/url]
Quote:
The Big Remaining Question

By Trevor Walters

After an off-season which brought widespread improvement and football optimism the likes of which Redskins fans haven't seen since the senior Bush occupied the Oval Office, the defensive line still remains an unresolved issue. Despite all the other changes made for the better this off-season, the defensive line remains the fulcrum on which this season will turn.

The line was not a need that went unnoticed this off-season. With the addition of Cornelius Griffin, our total of legitimate defensive linemen shot all the way up to, well, one. Griffin is a very good tackle, and is exactly what this unit needed. As bad as the ends were last season, the tackles were worse, so his signing addresses the largest need directly. The question surrounding him is whether or not he is good enough to produce in a situation in which he is clearly the best foot we have to put forward.

The other notable addition to the line, Phillip Daniels, was signed to provide depth, but is quickly finding himself penciled in as a starter for the upcoming season. Daniels is solid against the run, and has the versatility necessary to move inside to tackle as the situation dictates. Think Renaldo Wynn, add production, and subtract an absurd salary, and that is what I expect to see from Daniels. Surely Greg Blache had a large hand in Daniels' acquisition, and while Blache is not the absolute authority on who is and who is not a productive lineman, his past experience as Daniels' coach does demand a certain level of credence be given to his recommendation that we sign Daniels.

Realistically, I don't expect Daniels to match his career best 2001 campaign and register nine sacks and tackle numbers in the 70-80 range. What I do expect is a solid veteran presence that we can count on to do what he's supposed to do, be where he's supposed to be, and be stern against the run.

With Griffin a given, and Daniels probable to start, the other two positions are wide open. The opposite defensive end slot, last year occupied by the thankfully departed Bruce Smith, will be a competition between Wynn and Regan Upshaw. I am going to predict here and now that Upshaw will earn the nod, and will actually perform admirably in his new role. Last season, while also playing behind Smith, Upshaw was in his first full season after his surgery, a season which is widely regarded by most experts as a sort of functional rehab period in which a player can play, but has yet to regain full form. I believe that Upshaw, when healthy and given the chance to play, can and will have a productive season, and will supply us with a decent pass rush from the end position.

The list of players vying for the other tackle position is kind of like Bill Clinton's little black book; there are a bunch of names, all of them are fat, and you wouldn't take any of them if you had a better option. Should he be healthy enough, Brandon Noble is the logical choice. His rehab, by most accounts, is ahead of schedule, so this is a possibility that can't be ruled out. But assuming he can play in 2004, his productivity will surely be abbreviated. Never known as a dominant tackle, Noble's game is based upon occupying blockers and keeping them off of the linebackers. This should actually work in his favor as he endeavors to return to form. Consider that if he were a pass rushing specialist, the surgically repaired knee would certainly limit his explosiveness and speed around the corner. However, as a tackle whose productivity is predicated on how well those around him do, as long as he has adequate strength in the knee, he should return to form quicker than someone who depends more on speed.

A more realistic approach is to assume that Noble is still months, if not a full season, away from returning, and to look to others to fill the void. Jermaine Haley was moderately productive in 2003 when he wasn't injured, though I seriously doubt that thoughts of a healthy Haley will make anyone more comfortable with our defensive line. Listed at 325 lbs., Haley does have good size, and that is an important asset given that Griffin is a relatively small 300 lbs. But, Haley's list of pluses pale in comparison to the list of questions surrounding him.

Competing with Haley and possibly Noble, is veteran free agent acquisition Joe Salave'a. Salave'a gained the bulk of his experience playing on then Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' defensive line from 1998 - 2001. Salave'a has not put up numbers that boggle the mind, but given that he has some experience playing in a good defensive scheme makes him a viable candidate to make the squad. Realistically, I don't expect him to start, but I also don't think that making the team is outside the realm of possibility.

joethiesmanfan 06-16-2004 08:05 AM

My question is what player do you give up for a defensive linemen? Smoot, Coles, Ramsey, Arrington, Taylor, Portis, Brunnel? defensive linemen are expensive I don't think there is a team in the NFL with as much offensive talent as we have will ever have a huge defensive line star. Lolok at the RAms who are their best defensive tackles?, then look at a team with good defensive linemen like the panthers they have no secondary. You can't have it all let's work with what we got and take advantage of other teams weaknesses if we have a strong offense and score alot of points then defensive tackles are not as valuable. How are you gonna pound the ball on the Redksins this year? Coach Gibbs is gonna score alot of points. A good coach uses the strengths of his team against the weaknesses of other teams to win. every team has weaknesses that why a good coaching staff is a must nowadays.

Big C 06-16-2004 10:41 AM

Rams have 3 good tackles. Damione Lewis (First roudn pick 3 years ago) Ryan Picket (1st round pick 2 years ago) and Jimmy Kennedy (last year)

memphisskin 06-16-2004 10:58 AM

I like our tackle rotation. We may not have big names, but I think we have plenty of bodies and one thing I'm sure we will not lack this season is effort. If Gibbs and Williams really thought we needed another tackle then they would have gone out and gotten one.

Big C 06-16-2004 10:59 AM

We need to consider bringing Bernard Holsey back. He was our best DT last year, he worked hard, and would come cheap.

Drift Reality 06-16-2004 11:34 AM

I think the idea to bring Holsey back is sound.

As for shopping one of our stars for a d-lineman - I just don't see it happening at this point in the year.

I think we are pretty much going to go ahead with what we have.

My only question is why the hell did we ever sign Renaldo Wynn to such a ridiculous contract?

Can someone answer this question?

memphisskin 06-16-2004 12:32 PM

I think why did we ever sign Renaldo Wynn? That was a blunder, Kenard Lang did everything we asked of him that season, even moving to tackle when needed. It's like a lot of our moves, our FO always seems to think that the grass is greener somewhere else. Wynn is solid, but I'd rather have kept Lang and used the savings somewhere else.

Our FO has done a horrible job of rewarding our own players, we'd much rather go out and pay a free agent instead of our own guys. That's the history of our FO, hopefully that culture will change now. I think that's part of why Champ wanted to leave, that and the five defensive coaches of course.

Big C 06-16-2004 12:33 PM

nope, cant answer that man, we signed him to it with him comin off a 40 tackle year, 6 sacks, best of his career. that is not deserving of the contract we gave him

cpayne5 06-16-2004 01:31 PM

[QUOTE=memphisskin]I think why did we ever sign Renaldo Wynn? That was a blunder, Kenard Lang did everything we asked of him that season, even moving to tackle when needed. It's like a lot of our moves, our FO always seems to think that the grass is greener somewhere else. Wynn is solid, but I'd rather have kept Lang and used the savings somewhere else.

Our FO has done a horrible job of rewarding our own players, we'd much rather go out and pay a free agent instead of our own guys. That's the history of our FO, hopefully that culture will change now. I think that's part of why Champ wanted to leave, that and the five defensive coaches of course.[/QUOTE]
Lang was in a contract year when he decided to play hard. (Don't be suprised to see Rod Gardner have a similar-type year.) I was glad to seem him go. Wynn has been much more consistent than Lang ever was for us.

Bergman14 06-16-2004 03:32 PM

[QUOTE=Big C]nope, cant answer that man, we signed him to it with him comin off a 40 tackle year, 6 sacks, best of his career. that is not deserving of the contract we gave him[/QUOTE]

actually it was 75 tackles and 5 sacks, how much was the contract and SB?

backrow 06-16-2004 03:38 PM

Bergman,
 
Check out CrazyCanuck's Cap figures in the other thread!

:httr:

Big C 06-16-2004 03:49 PM

[QUOTE=Bergman14]actually it was 75 tackles and 5 sacks, how much was the contract and SB?[/QUOTE]

Where did u get those stats from? I got mine from ESPN...it was 5 sacks tho
[url]http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/stats?statsId=3924[/url]

SKINSnCANES 06-16-2004 05:08 PM

Our dline wont be as big of a problem as people think. Last year our dline was blamed becuase they couldnt put pressure on teh QB, but at the same time our DBs were gettign beat, linebackers were out of position...it was a poorly coached mess all the way around. This year, if we call better plays and if we cover their receivers tight then the QB holds the ball longer and we'll have a better chance to get to him. If he forces a thorw Taylor will be there to pick it off.

Bergman14 06-16-2004 06:20 PM

i was looking at the redskins website.. can someone give me quick directions to those cap figures?


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