Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: RedskinsInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Lineup changes in nickel situations

We told you yesterday about the depth chart the Redskins will likely carry into their first preseason game, but there's a couple of more lists worth discussing. The depth chart the team has released publicly only concerns the team's base 3-4 defense. But in nickel situations, there's obviously a few changes.

When the team takes the field Friday night, look for Carlos Rogers to line up in the slot in nickel situations and Phillip Buchanon to serve as the No. 3 cornerback on the field. The team will use a four-man front that features Adam Carriker and Kedric Golston as defensive tackles and Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo as the ends. Lorenzo Alexander could possibly take that spot from Carter by camp's end, and don't be surprised if Albert Haynesworth replaces Golston in that package when he's comfortable with the scheme.

The team will also mix in an alternate nickel package that utilizes quicker players up front. Orakpo and Carter will still line up on the ends. Alexander and Vonnie Holliday would hold down the interior. Again, Haynesworth will likely earn his way into this package and would likely take Holliday's spot.

By Rick Maese  |  August 10, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  3-4 defense , Albert Haynesworth , Brian Orakpo  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Willie Parker not concerned about depth chart
Next: Keiland Williams finds himself in familiar position: with plenty of competition

Comments

I don't care who lines up where on Friday night. Just get on the field and kick the damned ball to start the game!

Posted by: beep-beep | August 10, 2010 6:21 AM | Report abuse

LOVE the plan to put Rogers in the slot...we need the physical presence in the slot, plus he'll probably get more opportunities to get his hands on some INTs...or at least tip it in the air for someone else to catch it...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

or at least tip it in the air for someone else to catch it...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 6:35 AM

Just hoping that the guy he tips it to is wearing the maroon and black. Or, are we changing the uni colors this year?

Posted by: beep-beep | August 10, 2010 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Who else but my man crush Lorenzo Alexander could rotate between OLB and Defensive Tackle?

Dude is a beast.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 10, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

From John Clayton's mailbag:

Q: I was wondering if you could speculate the extent to which Kyle Shanahan's move from Houston to Washington will affect both the Texans' and Redskins' offensive dimension. Do you expect the Texans to rely less on the pass because of the change in coordinator? And do you anticipate the Redskins to pass more due to Shanahan's arrival?


From Joe in La Crosse, Wisc.

A: The loss of Kyle Shanahan might affect the Texans more than the Redskins, but the impact shouldn't be too bad. Head coach Mike Shanahan is the architect of the Redskins' offense; all his son will do is make the unit stronger and give Mike a trusted set of eyes. Gary Kubiak can handle the Texans' offense, but new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison could help build the running offense because he's a former offensive line coach. The Redskins will have more play-action passes for Donovan McNabb and they probably will use more two-tight end sets. Kubiak's challenge is to keep the passing offense at that 4,700-yard level, because Matt Schaub had a great year and wants to build on that.

Q: What will the Redskins do with Andre Carter if Lorenzo Alexander beats him out for the OLB spot opposite Brian Orakpo? I have to imagine that a 10-sack rush end has to be worth a third-round pick to a 4-3 team, or will Mike Shanahan keep him for third downs?


From Ryan in Colorado Springs, Colo.

A: Lorenzo Alexander is expected to beat out Carter, so the plan is to use Carter as a defensive end on passing downs. The Redskins are a 3-4 team, but most 3-4 teams go to a four-man line when they go to the nickel or dime defense. Carter could get 60 percent of the playing time if opponents try to pass the ball on him, and that's where he can get the sacks. Why trade him? Carter has value to the Redskins going against Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Kevin Kolb six times a year.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

True O_e...seems to me Lorenzo could be our own version of Adalius Thomas. The Ravens version...not the flamout with the Pats version.

I was pretty worried about our D coming into this year, but it sounds like it could actually be a pretty good unit. Hopefully this isn't just sunshine being blown up our asses...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

"I have to imagine that a 10-sack rush end has to be worth a third-round pick to a 4-3 team, or will Mike Shanahan keep him for third downs?"

As much as I like A Carter, I have to also agree with the sentiment expressed in this question.

Carter should've been a draft day move.

If he's worth a 3-4 rounder, let's get picks, and use his absence to get C Wilson/R Jackson on the field.

Posted by: gimmesummoe | August 10, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

brownwood

"I was pretty worried about our D coming into this year, but it sounds like it could actually be a pretty good unit."

I have always supported 4-3/3-4 hybrid style defense.

I took a lot of grief for it in this forum, and it's good to see that now, folks are getting why the change to a more 'confusion' based defense makes sense.

Our defense will rock as guys like Landry, Haynesworth, McIntosh, Rogers, et al., will now be in place to make plays rather than just playing within the philosophy of a scheme, a la G Blache.

Posted by: gimmesummoe | August 10, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

"I have to imagine that a 10-sack rush end has to be worth a third-round pick to a 4-3 team, or will Mike Shanahan keep him for third downs?"

As much as I like A Carter, I have to also agree with the sentiment expressed in this question.

Carter should've been a draft day move.

If he's worth a 3-4 rounder, let's get picks, and use his absence to get C Wilson/R Jackson on the field.

Posted by: gimmesummoe | August 10, 2010 7:34 AM
------------------------------------------
Moe, I have to agree with you. I like Carter but clearly he would be better served at this point in his career if he were an every down end in a 3-4 defense. He doesn't bring that much to the table as a linebacker that the team couldn't do without him and his trade value is pretty high. It would make way for some younger guys to get playing time.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 10, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Agree Moe...for a second I thought the guy who posed the question was a RI regular...

I doubt Carter would yield that kind of return, but if ANYONE is willing to give up a 3rd for Carter I'd make that move quickly before they realized what happened. Depth is great, but when you have as many holes in the draft board as we do, you also have to do what you can to fill 'em.

That's why I'd be willing to throw in Carter with Haynesworth to get Seattle to send whatever draft pick SD wants to make this Vincent Jackson trade happen...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

True O_e...seems to me Lorenzo could be our own version of Adalius Thomas. The Ravens version...not the flamout with the Pats version.

I was pretty worried about our D coming into this year, but it sounds like it could actually be a pretty good unit. Hopefully this isn't just sunshine being blown up our asses...

Posted by: brownwood26

If Fat Al gives effort the defense should be good. Other than Orakpo, Flethcer and Fat Al there are a bunch of decent starters. They really need those 3 guys to step up to make everyone else on the defense better. A couple of guys have to step up in the secondary. Unfortunately watching them go against the anemic wrs on offense will not show much.

Posted by: srobert1117 | August 10, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Carter has value to the Redskins going against Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Kevin Kolb six times a year.

Posted by: brownwood26

Really Clayton?We should really be concerned about facing Kevin Kolb in addition to Romo and Manning?Kevin Corn on the Kolb?Get the fcku outta here and wait until this cat plays a real game first.

Posted by: smittdiddy | August 10, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

True O_e...seems to me Lorenzo could be our own version of Adalius Thomas. The Ravens version...not the flamout with the Pats version.

I was pretty worried about our D coming into this year, but it sounds like it could actually be a pretty good unit. Hopefully this isn't just sunshine being blown up our asses...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 7:06 AM
-----------------------------------------
Yep, I take the speculation as optimism about a defense that has looked good in practice, albeit against an offense that's being transformed with with several new players as well as a new playbook. Though we have heard a lot of good things about the defense, I am discouraged by the number of deep passes the defense seems to give up in practice. I remember distinctly the coaches getting on Laron Landry's case about giving up a few. Kareem Moore seems to be solid, but what other safety do they have that can cover deep? I know it's only preseason, but I expect Buffalo to take a few deep shots on Friday night and don't be surprised to see Redskins' safeties blowing the coverage.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 10, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Moe, I have to agree with you. I like Carter but clearly he would be better served at this point in his career if he were an every down end in a 3-4 defense. He doesn't bring that much to the table as a linebacker that the team couldn't do without him and his trade value is pretty high. It would make way for some younger guys to get playing time.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 10, 2010 7:42 AM
------------------------------------------
Should read, "every down end in a 4-3 defense" - not 3-4.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 10, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

redskinhead

"I like Carter but.... He doesn't bring that much to the table as a linebacker that the team couldn't do without him and his trade value is pretty high."

Didn't A Carter say that he was very uncomfortable playing in space during the time San Fran tried using him as a linebacker?

You'd think an 11 sack rush end would've been at the center of the new scheme, not an afterthought.

A Carter really seems out of place in the new defense.

Me?: I would've traded him away for value.

Posted by: gimmesummoe | August 10, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Really Clayton?We should really be concerned about facing Kevin Kolb in addition to Romo and Manning?Kevin Corn on the Kolb?Get the fcku outta here and wait until this cat plays a real game first.

Posted by: smittdiddy | August 10, 2010 7:48 AM


You have to consider who you're talking about here...this is John Clayton. The same guy who puts about 15 QBs in the "elite" category, including Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco. So no surprise that he's buying the Kolb hype before dude has even played a REAL defense.

RSH, we won't REALLY know what we're dealing with until we see them up against another team. I mean, if the offense/defense from the same team is playing each other, one side has to win a given play and the other has to lose. So one will look good for a spell and the other will look bad and you don't know for sure who has the better unit. I try not to read too much into practice anyway since it's practice...you're pretty much there to get all the screw ups and miscues out of your system before gametime. That's why I'm geared up for Friday night...we may start to get some answers to these questions.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

redskinhead

"....I am discouraged by the number of deep passes the defense seems to give up in practice."


You see the glass half-empty.

I'm shocked that our offense is able to complete deep passes on the regular.

I wonder, though, if the quarterbacks could be sacked, would the deep passing even happen?

Take a stop-watch to the next practice you attend, and give the q-back 3-4 sec. to make throws.

If they are getting way more time than that, it's the practice situation, not the coverage.

Posted by: gimmesummoe | August 10, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Re: Carter

Dude is what? 30? 31? No way someone coughs up a 3rd rounder for someone that old, unless you are talking about a multiple Pro Bowl QB. Also, Carter has mixed in a couple of double digit sack seasons with a couple of no-show seasons. I'm sure teams are a little concerned about his inconsistency.


Re: Oline

Starting to get a little concerned about Jamaal Brown. He needs to learn RT and get back in football shape after sitting out a year, and that's not gonna happen very effectively if he's sitting out with the hip. I can't take another season of Heyer in the starting lineup...I just can't...mercy...


Re: Zo

Dude is a baller, no question. But he's no Adalius Thomas. Thomas was a beast in coverage (for a 3-4 OLB). I just can't see a converted DT being that effective when he has to drop in coverage.


Re: Vincent Jackson

Brownie, why are you still up here wearing your VJax t-shirt?? Let it go. It's not gonna happen, and he's not worth whatever we'd have to give up and pay him.

Posted by: p1funk | August 10, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

redskinhead

"....I am discouraged by the number of deep passes the defense seems to give up in practice."

You see the glass half-empty.

I'm shocked that our offense is able to complete deep passes on the regular.

I wonder, though, if the quarterbacks could be sacked, would the deep passing even happen?

Take a stop-watch to the next practice you attend, and give the q-back 3-4 sec. to make throws.

If they are getting way more time than that, it's the practice situation, not the coverage.

Posted by: gimmesummoe | August 10, 2010 8:07 AM
------------------------------------------
I think it's a combo of both, to be honest. The blitz has definitely gotten to the QB a few times and the o-line is still a work in progress, BUT, LL still bites on the double move and both Horton and Doughty are much better within ten yards of the line of scrimmage than beyond it.

Moore's turning out to be the best coverage safety they have, but the depth behind him is shakey. Before Moore came on, I suggested they move Carlos Rogers to free safety as a starter, but now, since Moore has really come on strong, I am thinking a good insurance policy would be to transition Barnes to free safety as a backup.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 10, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I know it's only preseason, but I expect Buffalo to take a few deep shots on Friday night and don't be surprised to see Redskins' safeties blowing the coverage.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 10, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse


I know it's only preseason, but I expect Buffalo to take a few deep shots on Friday night and don't be surprised to see LaRon Landry blowing the coverage.

...there, fixed it for you...

Posted by: p1funk | August 10, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

LOL pfunk...I knew somebody would get riled up just at the mere mention of VJ's name.

For the record, I only want him if we can unload some spare parts to get him. The only way I'm trading anymore picks at this point is if the Lions put Megatron on the block and we all know that ain't happenin'...

I'm standing by and holding on to hope that Devin Thomas can ball out this year. Looks like that's our only option anyway...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

p1funk

"I just can't see a converted DT (Lo Alexander) being that effective when he has to drop in coverage."

Ditto.

I mean, if Orakpo is blitzing, that leaves Lo covering a back/tight end on the opposite side of the offense.

Can you see Alexander effectively covering F Jones/C Johnson/S Slaton/V Shiancoe/A Peterson/O Daniels this Fall?

I really think what we need is a young, athletic OLB the next draft to make this defense work--unless, of course, Lo Alexander surprises us all.

Posted by: gimmesummoe | August 10, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm standing by and holding on to hope that Devin Thomas can ball out this year. Looks like that's our only option anyway...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 8:23 AM

I hope DT can do it as well. However, I'm not sure where I saw this or heard this, but I think DT is now over 230 lbs. That's concerning and maybe a reason why he's on the third team.

Posted by: TWISI | August 10, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse


Even if we get him for free, I don't want to pay him what he's asking. The kind of money he's going to demand should go to pay game-breaking playmakers...and VJax is not one.

In years past I've lamented the lack of a bonafide second WR, but seriously I don't think it will be a big issue here. K.Shanny will know how to use the TEs, M.Shanny will give us a real running game to prop up the passing game. DMac's strength is spreading the ball around to multiple receivers, and he's proven to be a very effective QB without requiring star wideouts.

Posted by: p1funk | August 10, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Moe, pfunk...seems to me the Ravens didn't exactly think that Adalius was a whiz in coverage when he first started playing for them either. Dude was a 6th round pick and didn't play regularly for at least 2 or 3 years. So they developed him into that role. Not saying that the Skins will make Zo into the coverage LB that Adalius was, but I wouldn't rule it out either.

Both guys are about the same size and Adalius played DE in college, if I'm not mistaken. So while it may not be ideal playing them in coverage, it's not impossible either.

I mean, should we really bet against Lo Alexander in ANYTHING? All dude has done since he's been here is play all over the field on both sides of the ball...if someone told me he's punting this year I wouldn't doubt it.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

That's why I'd be willing to throw in Carter with Haynesworth to get Seattle to send whatever draft pick SD wants to make this Vincent Jackson trade happen...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Please stop with stuff like this. This would decimate our dline... these are not spare parts

Posted by: Stu27 | August 10, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

However, I'm not sure where I saw this or heard this, but I think DT is now over 230 lbs.

There is not a SHRED of truth to that at all....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 10, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"I have to imagine that a 10-sack rush end has to be worth a third-round pick to a 4-3 team..."

IMO that's one of those overly sunny fan evaluations of a player from the home team. NFL teams evaluate players differently. Andre's 31 years old. His average over the past four seasons in Washington has been 7.9 sacks, not 10. Some of the credit for the jump in sacks last season will go to Haynesworth. And draft choices (outside the Top Ten, at least) are more prized than they once were.

Not that Andre isn't a very good pass rusher; he is.

His value might go up if some club's star pass rusher goes down with an injury. But right now, he seems to be adapting to the new defense fairly well, so he's more valuable to Washington.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 10, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I was all for the notion of trying to convert LL30 into a 3-4 LB.

Instead of taking DEs and DTs and converting them, why not take a freakishly string and athletic SS and convert him?

I'm pretty sure he can bulk up and play at 250, his strength is being around the LOS and rushing the passer, and though I hate the idea of having him chase WRs deep in the secondary, I don't mind the notion of having him cover/jam up RBs and TEs coming off the line.

Posted by: p1funk | August 10, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"both Horton and Doughty are much better within ten yards of the line of scrimmage than beyond it."

Not Doughty. He's a smart player who does best when he's out in center field. Both Horton and Doughty have their weaknesses as athletes, which is to Moore's advantage.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 10, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

This would decimate our dline... these are not spare parts

Posted by: Stu27 | August 10, 2010 8:40 AM


"Decimate"? Really? AC doesn't even play on the line anymore and has a good chance of being a backup LB to Lo Alexander. That's by definition a spare part. And don't get me started on how blatantly wrong the sentiment that we "need" Haynesworth is...

The most important players on the D-line as of today are Kemo at NT and Carriker at LDE. If Haynesworth plays up to expectations, that's gravy as far as I'm concerned...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 10, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

About Lorenzo: in the 3-4, you need to have some size at OLB, and Lorenzo has it. Rocky doesn't, which is why he's inside. McIntosh will be a better cover LB than either of the two OLBs, but Alexander is better prepared to take on blockers including the TE and FB.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 10, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: gimmesummoe | August 10, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse
Can you see Alexander effectively covering F Jones/C Johnson/S Slaton/V Shiancoe/A Peterson/O Daniels this Fall?


What friggin lbs besides Willis and Beason are gonna cover even half these guys anyways.
Most dbacks cant run with the rbs you listed???


I think doubting on LO is pretty dumb at this point. Hes done everything asked of him and excelled. On special teams he does an amazing job of running though and around traffic to make tackles. I dont fully like our LB situation as concerning pass coverage but i'll take a chance with LO and be just as confident as anyone else that we have.

Posted by: Stu27 | August 10, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"both Horton and Doughty are much better within ten yards of the line of scrimmage than beyond it."

Not Doughty. He's a smart player who does best when he's out in center field. Both Horton and Doughty have their weaknesses as athletes, which is to Moore's advantage.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 10, 2010 8:51 AM
-----------------------------------------
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one point, Samson. Doughty is not a deep coverage guy. I don't think he has great footwork and he really isn't that fast. Let me ask you this: of all the camp updates we have seen, how many have raved about how well Doughty is doing in his conversion to free safety? If you've seen one please post it as I would like to become a convert. Look, Doughty and Horton have made some great plays for the Redskins but they are what they are: strong safeties most effective within ten yards of the LOS.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 10, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

discussion about whether carter can cover TE/RB'S. about time there's football talk going on...this was my question when everybody was concerned about whether shanahan and haynsworth would kiss and make up. or could the danny stay out of it. it maybe that carter will be your 1st down olb and alexander will come in on 3rd down. there seems to be a lot of flexible of possibilties, with all the players and their skill sets. it will be interesting to see if haslett can work some magic with the talents he working with. remember the team defense hasn't been that bad the last few years, even with all the disaray around the team. the defense looked better, more often than not. so with the talent available, maybe haslett can best figure how to use landry, horton, doughty in the saftey rotation. they all have strenghts and weakness. getting them in the games at the proper moments will be the challenge, and not getting burned to bad when they are in at a disadvantaged time. football talk...ain't it great...

Posted by: joerutgens72 | August 10, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"Let me ask you this: of all the camp updates we have seen, how many have raved about how well Doughty is doing in his conversion to free safety? f you've seen one please post it as I would like to become a convert. Look, Doughty and Horton have made some great plays for the Redskins but they are what they are: strong safeties most effective within ten yards of the LOS."

That's not much of a standard of excellence: a favorable review of a practice by a journalist who doesn't coach football? Don't tell me you're relying on those.

But look, neither Horton nor Doughty is a classic strong safety.

What

Posted by: Samson151 | August 10, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I find it really amusing to see someone try to identify the Skins' likely Nickel Unit at this stage in the preseason, because I think it is one of the areas that Haslett is planning to be the most creative with once the season starts.

When it comes to them playing Nickel, nothing would surprise me because I think it is with an eye toward those situation that so many D-Linemen are being turned into Hybrid LBs. The list includes names like Alexander, Carter, and Jarmon to go along w/last year's hybrids (Orakpo, Wilson, and Jackson).

I foresee situations where Haynesworth would be the only pure DL on the field in Nickel while surrounded with one true LB and a bunch of Hybrids jumping around to confuse the Offense.

Posted by: SportzWiz | August 10, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company