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The great debate

By Jason Woodmansee

As a Redskins fan, there are two paths one could take after this awful loss.

Option 1 - The glass is half full. Listen, it’s game 3 of a season with a new coach, new QB, and a ton of new players - to be 1-2 is not a huge deal. Some other teams that are currently 1-2 include the Cowboys, Giants, Vikings, and Chargers -- that’s not bad company. Everyone acknowledges that this is a rebuilding year and lots of people picked the Redskins to finish under .500. At least the running game seemed to be much better -- which could show some balance in the offense down the road. This is no time to panic.

Option 2 - The glass is empty and broken on the floor. The Redskins are a holding penalty away from 0-3. They demonstrated that they can choke away a big lead to a decent team (Texans) or get blown out by a horrible team (Rams). The offensive line is a mess and Clinton Portis got benched (let’s not even get started on the special teams). This loss means that they go into the McNabb Bowl next week totally out of sync while Michael Vick is playing like the pre-prison Michael Vick. The Redskins show yet again that they can’t win the games that they are supposed to. Perhaps Shanahan 2.0 will be much like Joe Gibbs 2.0 -- has the game passed him by? It is the perfect time to panic.

I am trying very hard to convince myself that we’re dealing with Option 1. Stay tuned.

By Box Seats blogger  | September 27, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Woodmansee, Redskins  | Tags:  Redskins-Rams  
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"Everyone acknowledges that this is a rebuilding year"

Except the 3 people (Snyder, Allen, Shanahan) that traded away 2 high draft picks for a soon to be 34 yr old QB who is consistently inconsistent.

Posted by: pearlbullets | September 27, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse


On the one hand we could be 0-3, but on the other hand if we would play a 4-3 defense, we're probably 2-1.

All that was ever needed on last year's 4-3 was a more attacking mindset and some proper personnel placements,namely Orakpo playing his natural end position and Landry playing at strong safety.

I understand the logic Shanahan gave for his reasoning as to why he wanted a 3-4 defense and asked Haslett to create and coordinate it. Shanahan said, when he watched games from the couch last year, he saw the mayhem the 3-4 created and decided he would run one his next gig.

When it has the right mix of personnel and scheme, a 3-4 is effective, but the same could be said of ALL defenses.

If only Haynesworth had gone about it differently when making his point about the defense, Shanahan and Haslett may have been more receptive to a overall scheme in-season adjustment.

As it is, the two are probably locked into a defensive stance,so no one dares suggest going back to a 4-3.
A shame, really, because Shanahan obviously wants to win now, but forcing the 3-4 defense on 4-3 personnel actively thwarts his own grand design.

Players say it all the time, I remember S.Moss and the offense saying it about Al Saunders 700 page offense at the time...sometimes you don't need all the tricks, sometimes you just have to line up and execute. Sure wish the coaches would see that about the 3-4, we don't need all the tricks.
Besides, Landry playing up gives a natural 8 man front-look anyway, that can be tricked-out.

Though Orakpo is lean for a strongside DE, he played it in college and would grow into the position. A.Carter can return to the weakside end. I'm on my soapbox about Chris Wilson-this kid must see the field more often. I believe in this kid at the LB in a blitzing 4-3. C.Wilson seems to have that "it" that marks a good pass rusher particularly from WDE-look, I'm a fan,I know, but C.Wilson reminds me of Robert Mathis/Charles Haley-he looks too skinny to play end, but he can.

I would like AH in the middle with K.Golston. Last year everything funneled to L.Fletcher & we know how that turned out-Pro-Bowl tackling machine. R.McIntosh showed some promise blitzing from the WLB in the preseason and Robert Henson was all over the place-too bad he's now hurt and on the practice squad/barely in the NFL.

So to cap, it could be worse, however, if we would ease into (we can't simply abandon the 3-4 after an offseason of installing it,nor should we) into a 4-3 defense as the base and do our fancy 3-4 tricks on passing downs, the team would be 2-1, at the least.

Oh yeah, what is the deal with Devin Thomas, how can a young player show Shanahan anything on offense if he barely plays? He's our biggest, fastest, youngest and most lively receiver, at this point I don't care what reason(s) Shanahan gives, put the kid in the game more on offense,if DT can run back kick-offs, why isn't he running reverses or end-arounds?

Posted by: ArmchairGM | September 27, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs 2.0 gave us two playoff team. Shanahan's team is a LOOOONG way from that.

Posted by: jbkulp | September 27, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

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