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Jim Haslett confident his personnel will execute the new defense

We've written a lot about the Redskins' transition from a 4-3 base front to a 3-4 and how certain high-profile players might fare in the transition.

After two mini-camps and two sessions of organized team activities, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett says he's confident Washington has the players to execute the scheme effectively.

"Obviously, we've got to get some guys healthy," Haslett said Wednesday at Redskins Park. "We've got a couple of guys hurt, we've got to get 'em out here, like [outside linebacker] Andre [Carter] and [nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu]. Those guys are big pieces of it. We've got to get [safety] Chris Horton, and get everybody healthy, I think that's the key thing.

"I think players like it and I know the coaches like what they see. You can do so many things out of it. They've been good. They haven't made a lot of mistakes. They're into it."

"It's a fun defense," he added. "And, you know, obviously, there are weaknesses to every defense. But there are answers to it in this defense."

Coach Mike Shanahan scrapped the team's successful 4-3 scheme of the previous six seasons, in part, because the Redskins produced too few turnovers. Last season, the Redskins tied for 25th in the NFL with seven fumble recoveries and tied for 26th with 11 interceptions. The trend in the league is toward the 3-4, but "that kind of goes back and forth," Haslett said. "There's a million different types of defenses. It's about 50-50 right now in the league.

"This defense is totally different than New England ... this is more the style of Pittsburgh and Green Bay. It's that type of defense. It's a little bit different. There's more movement, there's more blitzing. There's just a lot of things to it."

By Washington Post editors  |  May 28, 2010; 10:02 AM ET
Categories:  3-4 defense  
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Next: Safeties will be asked to do a lot more

Comments

Championship

Posted by: Original_etrod | May 28, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Still don’t get how switching to a 3-4, or 3-4 hybrid is “going to create more turnovers”…..doesn’t it come down to pressuring the qb, catching interceptable balls and tackling in a manner which actually causes fumbles and then actually pouncing on the ball? Does the 3-4 cause the ball when fumbled to bounce right to one of our guys, whereas the 4-3 caused it to bounce right to the other team? This one is a head scratcher to me……

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

moo?

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | May 28, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

was wondering where the rest of you guys were...

haze, I think the idea is that we're going to be blitzing more with the linebackers and safeties to create pressure and (hopefully) turnovers.

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | May 28, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Looking forward to watching a true-blue attack defense.

I feel like we've been hearing for years about how we need to generate more turnovers and make plays, only for the season to begin and then watch a stand-around defense that either gets pressure from the RDE or nothing.

Posted by: p1funk | May 28, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

jiminny christmas!

Posted by: chrislarry | May 28, 2010 9:42 AM

Minced Oaths

The English, being a restrained lot, have a long list of euphemistic phrases, many of which became part of the language before it spread to other parts of the world. The root cause of these is a wish to communicate without being explicit. This is something the English are particularly fond of, hence their long tradition of double-entendre comedy.

Euphemisms aren't all from the distant past though. For every Shakesperian 'beast with two backs' there's a 20th century 'knee trembler'.

Minced oaths are a sub-group of euphemisms used to avoid swearing when expressing surprise or annoyance. If you hit your thumb with a hammer when great aunt Edith is in the room what do you say? It's probably going to be a minced oath. Shakespeare might have resorted to 'gadzooks' (God's hooks - referring to the nails in the cross), we might try 'shoot' or 'freaking heck'.

They are usually, although not exclusively, religious in nature and date from the days when it wasn't acceptable to use the name of God, Jesus or other religious notables in everyday speech. To mince your words, or mince matters, means to choose words so as not to offend anyone. Some example are 'Jiminy Cricket' (Jesus Christ), 'dagnamit' (God damn it'), 'for Pete's sake' (for St. Peter's sake).

It's interesting that, while we continue to generate new euphemisms, new minced oaths are few and far between. Perhaps that's because, while there are still taboos about discussing death, disability, homosexuality etc, the restrictions on swearing out loud when surprised or annoyed have slackened somewhat.

There are many examples:

Jiminy Christmas --> Jesus Christ
Jiminy Cricket --> Jesus Christ
By George --> By God
By golly --> By God's body
By gosh --> By God
Cripes --> Christ
Dad gum --> God damn
Dagnabbit --> God damn it
Dagnammit --> God damn it
Dang --> Damn
Dangnabbit --> God damn it
Dangnation --> Damnation
Darn --> Damn
Darnation --> Damnation
Doggone --> God damn
Drat --> God rot it
Egad --> A God
For crying out loud --> For Christ's sake
For Pete's sake --> For St. Peter's sake
Gadzooks --> God's hooks
Gat Dangit --> God damn it
Gee --> Jesus
Gee whizz --> Jesus
Gee willikers --> Jesus
Golly Gee willikers --> Jesus
Good grief --> Good God
Goodness gracious --> Good God
Jeepers Creepers --> Jesus Christ
Sacré bleu --> Sang de Dieu (God's blood)

Posted by: 4thFloor | May 28, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

What about "Heavens to Mergatroid!"?

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

or "HOLY SH_T!"?

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Will switching to a 3-4 make CR22 hands more susceptable to actually CATCHING those INTs?

Posted by: 4thFloor | May 28, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

'Heavens to Murgatroyd' is American in origin and dates from the mid 20th century. The expression was popularized by the cartoon character Snagglepuss - a regular on the Yogi Bear Show in the 1960s, and is a variant of the earlier 'heavens to Betsy'.

The first use of the phrase wasn't by Snagglepuss but comes from the 1944 film Meet the People. It was spoken by Bert Lahr, best remembered for his role as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. Snagglepuss's voice was patterned on Lahr's, along with the 'heavens to Murgatroyd' line. Daws Butler's vocal portrayal of the character was so accurate that when the cartoon was used to promote Kellogg Cereals, Lahr sued and made the company distance him from the campaign by giving a prominent credit to Butler.

As with Betsy, we have no idea who Murgatroyd was. The various spellings of the name - as Murgatroid, Mergatroyd or Mergatroid tend to suggest that it wasn't an actual surname. While it is doubtful that the writers of Meet The People (Sig Herzig and Fred Saidy) were referring to an actual person, they must have got the name from somewhere.

No fewer than ten of the characters in Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera Ruddigore (1887) are baronets surnamed "Murgatroyd", eight of whom (or is that which?) are ghosts. Herzig and Saidy were well versed in the works of the musical theatre and that plethora of Murgatroyds would have been known to them.

Where then did the librettist Sir William Gilbert get the name? It seems that Murgatroyd has a long history as a family name in the English aristocracy. In his genealogy The Murgatroyds of Murgatroyd, Bill Murgatroyd states that, in 1371, a constable was appointed for the district of Warley in Yorkshire. He adopted the name of Johanus de Morgateroyde - literally John of Moor Gate Royde or 'the district leading to the moor'.

Whether the Murgatroyd name took that route from Yorkshire to Jellystone Park we can't be certain. Unless there's a Betsy Murgatroyd hiding in the archives, that's as close as we are likely to get to a derivation.

Posted by: 4thFloor | May 28, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Thanks 4th. That's one to grow on.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I thought that the RI staff were the only one's allowed to plagerize....


http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/heavens-to-murgatroyd.html

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | May 28, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

^^^????

Posted by: 4thFloor | May 28, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

plagiarize, sorry

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | May 28, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

4th,
nice list of euphemisms we've generated to avoid breaking the 3rd commandment - like that's gonna fool god.....

i'd like to add yosemite sam's "con sarnit" to the list....

(note that "lord's name" is the 2nd commandment for catholics or certain lutherans. totally cracks me up that judeochrislams can't even agree on something as basic as the 10 commandments....hahahaha)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 28, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

skinsfanintampa

The Rays are ballin.

I think they'll be able to sustain it.

Wade Davis is the best pitcher I've seen this year--I've watched him pitch three times, dude is the real deal.

Are folks in Hillsborough County pumped or are they just waitin' for the next Bulls/Bucs/Gators/'Noles football game?

Posted by: MistaMoe | May 28, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

b00bs!!!

Posted by: rmcazz | May 28, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

$th, that list was impressive but did not include the classic "tarnation", as in: "What in tarnation is going on here!?"

Posted by: manlius1 | May 28, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Under Pressure

Do do do da de do do
Do do do da de do do

Posted by: alex35332 | May 28, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I’m not a huge baseball geek, and I typically only catch a few games every now and then, mostly on weekends. Mostly root for the O’s and to a lesser extent the nat’s, but I am surely going to make a point of watching Strasburg’s debut next week. He’s already got a rookie card selling on ebay for over $16,000. Unbelievable.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious -- any scheme is only as good as the players responsible for executing it.

Am pleased to hear that Haslett believes he has the players he needs... including a few who have been out with injuries.

Also noted his (or the writer's?) omission of AH92... but not sure what to make of it,

Will be real curious to see if and where they plug the big lunk into the system, if and when he reports to camp next month.

Regardless, I wouldn't bet on Fat Albert having much of a role in the new system... just can't say why -- just yet, at least. Time will tell.

Posted by: Vic1 | May 28, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Under Pressure
Do do do da de do do
Do do do da de do do
Posted by: alex35332 | May 28, 2010 10:53 AM

Nice try. That’s obviously the vanilla ice version. Which wasn’t plagiarism by the way (HA!)

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

MistaMoe,

Good call on Davis.. The whole rotation is money. I personally enjoy watching Price pitching tonight).

Folks in the area are very fair-weather, so they are riding the Rays for now, but they will jump back to the Yanks or Sawx if the Rays start losing.

As for the Bulls/Bucs/Gators/'Noles, well they talk about them all year, which forced me to purchase Sirius XM 2 weeks ago (which is awesome btw)


Posted by: skinsfanintampa | May 28, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Still don’t get how switching to a 3-4, or 3-4 hybrid is “going to create more turnovers”…..doesn’t it come down to pressuring the qb, catching interceptable balls and tackling in a manner which actually causes fumbles and then actually pouncing on the ball? Does the 3-4 cause the ball when fumbled to bounce right to one of our guys, whereas the 4-3 caused it to bounce right to the other team? This one is a head scratcher to me……

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 10:14 AM
----------------------------------------
That's a good question, but I think if you look at a comparison, 3-4 defenses do traditionally get more turnovers. I think some of it has to do with having just a little edge in speed on defense for defenders to more often gang the ball carrier. Then there is also the element of a QB having to watch for one more player that could drop back into coverage or blitz. Still, and to your point, the 3-4 isn't going to make Carlos Rogers catch an interception any better, and if the players aren't any better coached at stripping the ball, there won't be many fumbles. Let's just say this defense gives them more opportunities. We'll just have to see what they do with those opportunities.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | May 28, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

^^ Jeff Niemann is legit, second best ERA in the AL. That rotation + the overall team defense + the amount of runs the lineup can generate = deep playoff run.

Posted by: Stu27 | May 28, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Nice try. That’s obviously the vanilla ice version. Which wasn’t plagiarism by the way (HA!)
Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse


Wait whats the original, is it "Do do do Da Da do do" or "do do do Da De do do"? I forget how Bowie settled it.

Posted by: alex35332 | May 28, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

b00bs!!!

Posted by: rmcazz | May 28, 2010 10:47 AM
-----------------------------------------
That was the word of the day yesterday. Today's word of the day is legs!! Now, go out there and spread the word...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | May 28, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"Attack, you idiots!" Lust for mayhem. And etc.

Good God, I'm glad this three-day weekend is upon us.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | May 28, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

skinsfanintampa

"As for the Bulls/Bucs/Gators/'Noles..."

Nothing against the Bulls, but I think this year's Gators v. 'Noles showdown will be must see t.v..

Tebow is gone and Brantley v. Ponder will allow for a more even game provided the 'Nole defense gets back to grindin' like it used to.

And as for the Bucs, well, they do play in a nice stadium...

...and the best thing about it is that it's right across the street from George Stienbrenner Field.

Posted by: MistaMoe | May 28, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Heavens to Betsy!

To quote the late Peter Tosh

Plagiarize it.... And I will advertise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5dgAszVslA

Happy Friday beeeotchs!

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | May 28, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

^^ The Bulls play there too.

Posted by: Stu27 | May 28, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Great Odin's Raven!

Posted by: Diesel44 | May 28, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Anyone ever notice Kemo's name is Kemo-eat-u. That's scary, cause he looks like he did eat someone. Just like Fat Bastard! "Get in my Belly!"

Posted by: monk811 | May 28, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Nothing against the Bulls, but I think this year's Gators v. 'Noles showdown will be must see t.v..


That is must see TV every year! But seriously, the Gators recruit better than any college in Fl. which leaves the other teams scraping for the leftovers.. and btw USF is starting to get a lot of them, with the addition of Skip Holtz... They are a team to watch out for in the Big East this year.

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | May 28, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

There is also W. C. Field's "Godfrey Daniel" and another saying he said to avoid to be politically incorrect was "There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply." One can figure that one out fairly easily.

Posted by: chopin224 | May 28, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Wait whats the original, is it "Do do do Da Da do do" or "do do do Da De do do"? I forget how Bowie settled it.

Posted by: alex35332 | May 28, 2010 11:07 AM

I saw some clip of Vanilla ice explaining the “difference”….. what a joke. I think it was on one of those “I love the 80’s” shows on VH1. He was acting like there was some major differences and that he wrote it himself.

If you can access youtube from work, it’s probably out there somewhere.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Haslett was on Redskins.com just gushing about Lorenzo Alexander's play at linebacker. I wouldn't hand the other OLB job to Wilson just yet...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | May 28, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Risa_L | May 28, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

If you can access youtube from work, it’s probably out there somewhere.
Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I know that clip.. how sad.

If I remember correctly it was different because one of the notes is something like 1 octave higher, and you hear a soft hit on a cymbal at the end.

Posted by: alex35332 | May 28, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Great Ceasar's ghost!

Posted by: learnedhand1 | May 28, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Hypothetical Question:

What if we find out this year that Carlos Rogers was actually right in his asssement of the defense. Meaning that under Gwilliams and Blatche they played alot of man coverage which can be hard to get Int's, but in a 3-4 system where they play a lot more zone coverages would be better for him because he gets to get a jump on the ball because his back is not always to the play?

I predict Carlos Rogers 7 INT's This year, anybody want in on this bet?

Posted by: GreatOne1 | May 28, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I, for one, am really excited to see this 3/4 defense. The linebackers should be flying all over the field, including behind the line of scrimmage. Just taking away a few seconds from a QB because he's trying to make sure he's not going to throw in coverage will lead up to more sacks and more interceptions. Combine that with getting more stripped out fumbles and our offense may get a chance to chew the clock up and score more.

I don't know, but this could be a great year for us! It can't get much worse than last year.

Plus, I may be moving back to DC in a couple months, so that would be awesome! Hello tailgating in Landover!

Posted by: DC2AZ99 | May 28, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I predict Carlos Rogers 7 INT's This year, anybody want in on this bet?

Posted by: GreatOne1 | May 28, 2010 11:44 AM |

I'm one of the few who thinks that CR22 is an adequate CB...However considering he has 6 career INTs in 5 years, I'll take the Under.

Posted by: Diesel44 | May 28, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Sweet Lincoln's mullet!

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | May 28, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Great Ceasar's ghost!
Posted by: learnedhand1 | May 28, 2010 11:42 AM

Ha! I almost posted that one myself. Good ol Perry White.

And I will take the under on Rogers’ int count. But if he can suddenly catch this year, I will give all credit in the world to Haslett and his 3-4.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I predict Carlos Rogers 7 INT's This year, anybody want in on this bet?

Posted by: GreatOne1 | May 28, 2010 11:44

Sorry...no. Rogers can't catch a cold.

Posted by: DC2AZ99 | May 28, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I would liquidate everything I own and max out all credit cards to take the under 7 picks for brick hands. I'd be happy if he could get 5.

Posted by: ToddStinkston | May 28, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Still don’t get how switching to a 3-4, or 3-4 hybrid is “going to create more turnovers”…..doesn’t it come down to pressuring the qb, catching interceptable balls and tackling in a manner which actually causes fumbles and then actually pouncing on the ball? Does the 3-4 cause the ball when fumbled to bounce right to one of our guys, whereas the 4-3 caused it to bounce right to the other team? This one is a head scratcher to me……

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 28, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse
**************************************************************

Its not the switch to 3-4 as much as it is the defensive philosophy. Before it was a limited set of look with little disguise but well executed and the challenge to the offense was "you have to get past us". Now, it sounds anyway, that the philosophy will be to disguise coverage and try to trap QBs into bad reads and incorrect coverage adjustments. (Yes, Carlos will need to catch more than balls that hit him in the stomach, but that's another matter).

Problem here is, we play Peyton Manning who tends to eat this type of defense alive because he's not stupid. But aside from upper echelon QBs like that, the philosophy is pretty sound and generally generates more turnovers (if you catch them). This is all assuming this really is more like Pittsburgh like he says in the article.

JMHO...

Posted by: JoelV | May 28, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm willing to be patient and wait for the Skins to acquire the type of talent (especially at LB) that Pittsburgh has on defense. I seriously doubt that Carter, Jarmon, Wilson, Alexander etc... would even get invited to Steeler or Packer training camp as linebackers. Carlos and D.Hall will give up as many big plays as they make. I hope the Skins commit to the 3-4 and stay in it for 5,6,...10 years. It'll be fun to see some attacking defense.

Posted by: coparker5 | May 28, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Bart say 'Aye Carumba'?
And Homer says 'DOH!!!!'

Posted by: monk811 | May 28, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"'Heavens to Murgatroyd' is American in origin and dates from the mid 20th century. The expression was popularized by the cartoon character Snagglepuss - a regular on the Yogi Bear Show in the 1960s, and is a variant of the earlier 'heavens to Betsy'..."

Posted by: 4thFloor | May 28, 2010 10:27 AM |

Why not just link it instead of copy/paste?

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/heavens-to-murgatroyd.html

Posted by: ScoGrass | May 28, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I predict Carlos Rogers 7 INT's This year, anybody want in on this bet?

Posted by: GreatOne1 | May 28, 2010 11:44 AM |

Is the bet 7 INT's or that the ball will hit his hands 7 times?

Posted by: dmr0834 | May 28, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Still don’t get how switching to a 3-4, or 3-4 hybrid is “going to create more turnovers”…..doesn’t it come down to pressuring the qb, catching interceptable balls and tackling in a manner which actually causes fumbles and then actually pouncing on the ball? Does the 3-4 cause the ball when fumbled to bounce right to one of our guys, whereas the 4-3 caused it to bounce right to the other team? This one is a head scratcher to me……

All true, but we wont be so predictable and surprise causes turnovers as well.

Posted by: coastallp74 | May 28, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

A made a big poo in my pants!

Posted by: dooshbag | May 28, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Who cares.
I miss Vinny. He was a genius.

Posted by: dooshbag | May 28, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyou88 | May 29, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Seems like for any defense to be effective..you must start with quality players. Having those..like the saints as an example.can make most NFL defenses work.
Turnovers...just the passes that Carlos Rogers has dropped..would have moved us up off the bottom in getting turn-overs. Our corners and safeties play too far off the receivers, and rarely are in a position to make an interception.
They won 4 games last year...and while the offense stunk..often the d would allow that late critical score by the other team.
The Steelers are very physical as are the saints. They flatten people..and intimidate receivers. No one on the Skins can be accused of that! Wonder why we have so few take-a-ways......

Posted by: blazerguy234 | May 31, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Had we caught all those balls came Carlos way, wouldn't 4-3 had created more turnovers than an imaginary 3-4?

Posted by: DesiHungama | May 31, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Rogers will be lucky if he has 7 interceptions for the rest of his career. Clearly, Vinny's worst choice( or is St Joe's fingerprints on this one?)
So Andre Carter is an outside linebacker?
What's next? Haslett wants BigAl to be able to drop into coverage? This is what happens when you change coaches every 2 years..

Posted by: markappraiser1 | May 31, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Rogers will be lucky if he has 7 interceptions for the rest of his career. Clearly, Vinny's worst choice( or is St Joe's fingerprints on this one?)
So Andre Carter is an outside linebacker?
What's next? Haslett wants BigAl to be able to drop into coverage? This is what happens when you change coaches every 2 years..

Posted by: markappraiser1 | May 31, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

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