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Redskins v Browns -- Defensive GT Review

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Old 10-22-2008, 02:49 PM   #1
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Redskins v Browns -- Defensive GT Review

Two weeks ago, pass pressure was a major issue in terms of the overall health of the defense. Last week, the Redskins did fine, but it was the Rams' OL, so we had to temper our expectations. This week, I'm nearly ready to declare the pass pressure a non-issue.

However, Browns QB Derek Anderson had a lot to do with the amount of pressure we got on him. It wasn't because Anderson held the ball too long. It's because Anderson redefines the term under pressure. I chart a QB pressure as any play in which the Quarterback's delivery is rushed because of the defense flushing him out of the pocket or bearing down on him which disrupts the timing of the play. Against Donovan McNabb, you really need to be on top of him to disrupt his passing motion. With Anderson, you simply need to push into an area that makes his pocket slightly imperfect, and then he can't hit the ocean with a pass from a boat.

The Redskins were charted with 19 (!) pressures of Anderson, and only one sack. Anderson is quick to get rid of the ball, so that explains the sack. However, the pass rush problem might not actually be solved by what pressure the Redskins got on Anderson, because I think a lot of the pressure was created by Anderson's general lack of pocket presence and just a fear of taking a sack.

The Redskins had a total meltdown in the fourth quarter on defense, especially in coverage. Following the first Goal Line Stand, Derek Anderson started to take his drops with a purpose, and throw his passes with the intent of completing them. Granted an NFL QB should not need 3 and a half quarters to get a feel for the pace of the game, but Anderson nearly found it in time to beat the Redskins. Then, the Redskins started to get pressure on him in the final few passes of the game, and he lost it again, delivering way low on a pass to an open Braylon Edwards that would have put the Browns in position to win it.

Edwards himself, nor the Browns OL, did Anderson any favors. Eric Steinbach got beat flat out on multiple occasions by Anthony Montgomery and Andre Carter. Whereas the Redskins offense thrived off of picking up the blitz, a blitz by Washington usually meant someone getting pressure on Anderson, and a pass nowhere near it's target.

So, enough of the help that the Browns gave the Redskins, lets look at why the Redskins defense was able to hold the Browns to only two scoring drives.

Greg Blache

Like the offense, I'm going to cut the defensive personnel package stats from the reviews. This week, Blache opted to move exclusively in between Nickel and Base 4-3 packages, swapping only Leigh Torrence for Marcus Washington. The only new formation wrinkle to the defense is that Blache now uses a short yardage formation with 5 defensive lineman, three linebackers (Blades in, instead of Washington), and three DBs (Horton goes out). The Goal Line formation where the Redskins made their stand was basically just like this formation, except that Horton stays in and Washington stays in and BOTH Corners go out. Obviously this was a very successful play for the Redskins, with 6 of 7 goal line plays for the Browns gaining 0 or negative yardage.

Here are the blitz packages for the Browns game (39 passing plays [non-screens]):

5+ Rushes = 20 (51%)
6+ Rushes = 9 (23%)
7+ Rushes = 1 (3%)

Blitz Personnel:
Rocky McIntosh x9 (1 pressure, 1 QB hit)
Marcus Washington x9 (1 pressure)
London Fletcher x8 (4 pressures, 1 QB hit)
Chris Horton x4 (1 pressure)
LaRon Landry x1

Pass Defense

Vital Statistics:
Total Adj Yards = 143
Yards per Play = 3.32
Success Rate = 15/43 (34.9%)

I already talked about Derek Anderson in the open, so let's jump right into the coverage numbers.

Coverage
(Targeted, Completed, Successful Plays, Yards)

Carlos Rogers 12, 6, 6, 67
Fred Smoot 2, 1, 1, 6
Chris Horton 5, 2, 2, 26
London Fletcher 4, 1, 0, -2
Rocky McIntosh 3, 2, 2, 10
Marcus Washington 4, 2, 1, 14

Pass Rush

Sacks: 1
Andre Carter

QB Hits: 4
London Fletcher
Demetric Evans
Corneilius Griffin
Rocky McIntosh

Pressures: 19
London Fletcher x4
Andre Carter x3
Anthony Montgomery x2
Kedric Golston x2
Marcus Washington x2
Jason Taylor
Lorenzo Alexander
Cornelius Griffin
Demetric Evans
Chris Horton
Rocky McIntosh

Passes Deflected: 4
Anthony Montgomery
Demetric Evans
Jason Taylor
Kedric Golston

Carlos Rogers, despite some nice hits, had some trouble in coverage for the first time this season. Rogers got beaten in coverage by Braylon Edwards three separate times in the second half, but luckily he dropped one of those passes, or it could have been a lot worse. One of the passes that Rogers defended was a deep route where Edwards was well behind Rogers, and Anderson under threw the ball with no pressure whatsover. He's been great this year and at times in this game, but he did struggle. Smoot has now put together a two game stretch of being not awful, and Torrence nor Landry was ever targeted.

London Fletcher has played so well the last three games, both in coverage and in rushing the passer. Anthony Montgomery is really coming on and has earned more playing time. The favored DT combo of Greg Blache right now is Monty and Golston, with Griffin playing on about 30% of the downs. All three are playing very well, and they all rush the passer about equally well, but Golston is the strongest of the three against the run. It's Montgomery that earns all the double teams. Lorenzo Alexander had a hot start, but hasn't done much recently, and now only plays on third and long. Demetric Evans is still outplaying Jason Taylor.

Rush Defense

Vital Statistics:
Total Adj Yards = 100
Yards per Play = 3.7
Success Rate = 13/27 (48%)

Interestingly enough, the success rate of the Browns running game is higher than the success rate of the Redskins running game. I thought the Browns OL beat us up pretty good in the running game, but the Redskins limited the long gashing runs which allowed them to keep the Browns out of the endzone for the first 55 minutes.

Tackles
(# of Tackles, Successful Runs, Yards)

Rocky McIntosh 6, 5, 25
London Fletcher 5, 1, 6
Marcus Washington 5, 5, 25
Kedric Golston 5, 2, 13
LaRon Landry 4, 3, 36
Chris Horton 3, 0, 5
HB Blades 2, 1, 2
Fred Smoot 2, 0, 9
Andre Carter 1, 0, 1
Corneilius Griffin 1, 0, 1
Demetric Evans 1, 1, 7

One thing I've noticed about the run blocking schemes is that this year's schemes by Blache are not centered around funneling the play towards London Fletcher. Rather, they like to get Chris Horton up in the box and play a strong one-gap scheme with discipline. The results have been pretty darn impressive so far, given the pass rush personnel.

The linebackers have been great this year, but I think Rocky McIntosh is not playing at the same level he was earlier this season. I thought he was having a better year than Fletcher through 4 games, but now it's clear that Fletch is still the best linebacker that the Redskins have.

Overall Defense

Vital Statistics:
Total adj Yds = 243
Yards per Play = 3.52
Success Rate = 28/69 (40.6%)

We knew coming into the year that the pass defense would be the strength of the defense, so it's nice to see that the pass rush can pick up for the secondary when it gets run down by injury and Rogers has an off day. The run defense is doing what it needs to do: play disciplined, don't get gashed, and keep the offense in third and long. The two sides of defense are coming together nicely.

Hopefully, they can get those sack totals up against Dan Orlovsky this week and force him into making mistakes and turning the ball over. The offense could use a nice, easy game.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:55 AM   #2
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Defensive GT Review

Defensive valuation, this game:

1-5) London Fletcher
6) Marcus Washington
7) Anthony Montgomery
8) Kedric Golston
9) Andre Carter
10) Carlos Rogers
11) Chris Horton
12) Demetric Evans
13) Corneilius Griffin
14) LaRon Landry
15) Fred Smoot
16) Rocky McIntosh
17) Jason Taylor
18) HB Blades
19) Leigh Torrence
20) Lorenzo Alexander
21) Chris Wilson
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:28 AM   #3
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Re: Redskins v Browns -- Defensive GT Review

Well done again!!!
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