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Redskins take a look at Eric Berry with creating turnovers in mind

We know that Coach Mike Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett believe the Redskins must create more turnovers. The emphasis on that area is among the reasons the Redskins are expected to shift from a base 4-3 front to a hybrid 3-4 scheme.

Although the Redskins again had a top-10 defensive unit (they ranked 10th in yards per game) last season, they had only 17 turnovers with 11 interceptions and six fumble recoveries. In terms of turnover differential, the Redskins ranked only 28th in the league at minus-11.

The Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions were the only teams that had worse differentials.

And the turnover game also could prompt the team to draft All-American free safety Eric Berry, who in three seasons at Tennessee had 14 interceptions. Berry - honored as the nation's outstanding defensive back last season as the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award - wasn't just a playmaker in terms of having a high interception total - he was at his best after getting the ball.

Berry had 494 return yards and scored three touchdowns. As a junior, he had seven picks for 265 yards and two touchdowns. That's why he has been compared with Baltimore Ravens future Hall of Famer Ed Reed, who arguably is as good as anyone who ever played the position.

In their mock drafts, some talent evaluators have linked Berry with the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 5 overall. The Redskins currently hold the fourth pick. In the 2007 draft, Washington took LaRon Landry sixth overall.

With Sean Taylor at free safety and Landry at strong, the Redskins envisioned having the league's top safety tandem for a decade. After the slaying of Taylor during the 2007 season, Landry eventually moved to free safety, the position he has played the last two seasons.

Landry has not developed as quickly as some in the organization expected. He struggled at times in coverage last season, especially against double moves. In Washington's 33-30 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 13, the Saints specifically targeted Landry with double moves.

He was burned for 40- and 53-yard touchdown passes - the latter tied the score at 30-30 with 1 minute, 19 seconds left in regulation. Some Redskins observers believe Landry is better suited to play strong, the position for which he was drafted. But Landry also struggled at times playing in the box, team sources said.

We're hearing Shanahan wants to draft and "raise" a quarterback. If the Redskins fail to maneuver into position to select former Oklahoma star Sam Bradford, expected to be the first overall pick, former Notre Dame standout Jimmy Clausen figures to be available at No. 4. If the Redskins, however, decide to address their defensive backfield, they could do much worse than Berry.

Elsewhere in the NFL ...

Have recent events involving Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes diminished the Pittsburgh Steelers' stature? Talk now with The League panelists.

By Jason Reid  |  March 30, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  3-4 defense , Jason Reid , Jim Haslett , Mike Shanahan  
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Next: Tim Tebow reportedly will visit Redskins next week

Comments

We basically used the entire 2009 draft on defense (yeah, I know we did use 1 7th round pick on offense), plus signed Albert and resigned Hall. Our needs are on the other side of the ball.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | March 30, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Smoke and mirrors right here!

Posted by: rickyroge | March 30, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: League-Source | March 30, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

NO!

NEVER TAKE A SAFETY WITH A FIRST ROUND PICK!

Safeties are a dime a dozen, same with fullbacks.

NEVER!

Only Vinny Ceratto does that and you see where this team is now.

Next topic.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | March 30, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

If SUH there for the SKINS should they draft him?? I know the need for OL and QB but SUH to me seems like a player you can't pass up on.

Posted by: taylormade218 | March 30, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Draft him! The best defensive player in this draft bar none! may even be able to trade down a couple spots and still get him. They took #21 in the top five, and I don't think anyone would call that pick a mistake. This guy isn't the heavy hitter that Taylor was but he has everything else. He is a ballhawk! If the Skins don't draft an OL with thier 1st round pick, then this is the guy to take.

Posted by: kbourgault2000 | March 30, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I have said this before and I'll say it again; I think yards allowed is a bogus metric to assess overall defensive quality. The Redskins offense couldn't move the ball, and the kickoff and punt coverage units regularly gave up big returns, and as a result opposing teams regularly played on short fields. Additionally, the offense's inability to score meant opposing offenses could engage in clock-burning strategies for much of the second half of each game. Assigning an overall defensive grade should be based on some sort of multi-category assessment -- yards per-play, red zone defense, defensive scoring, turnovers, third down efficiency, AND overall yards allowed.

Okay Washington, DC statisticians, the gauntlet has been laid down. Work your magic! I am eager to see if the Redskins still rank in the top 10 after a more complete assessment of defensive quality is performed.

Posted by: tkoho | March 30, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The defensive stats were not realistic because in the second half the Redskin defense could not stop teams on 3rd down nor could they stop the run...
Landry is a strong safety, Blatche played conservative schemes , he played players out of position due to his stubborness and no pass rush was generated

If Suh or Berry are there at 4 along with Clausen, and Okung is gone I say take the best player available regardless of position and in my scenario it's Suh and Berry even if Clausen is available it would be a huge mistake to take him

Posted by: BeatDontStop | March 30, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting tired of seeing these "experts" have us draft Clausen at #4. No way do you take the second best player at any position at #4. A pick that high has to be for the best player at a position. If Bradford is gone, take the best O-lineman, best safety or even best D-linman available before taking the #2 QB in the draft.

Posted by: unquiltom | March 30, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't boo the pick, if only because "FS" brings back fond memories, which Landry will never fill.

Posted by: trousers | March 30, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I just don't see how how we pass on Okung if he is there at #4 considering that if BMW and Hicks are really being considered as G's only,then we have Heyer plus 2 rookies with a total of THREE games of experience between them. That's it. That being said, it would be foolish not to at least consider Berry at #4 if you weren't going OT. You don't judge a potential draft choice by his position, but by his potential impact on the team. Wouldn't you consider a kicker at #4 if he were 90% on FGs from 70 yards and in?

Berry would do the following for us:
1) Allow Landry to move into the box, where he has a much better chance of becoming an asset than he does at FS where he is currently a liability.

2)Give us an ace centerfielder so when CR22 bites on a double move it is not an easy TD or even an easy completion anymore.

3) Allow D Hall to play more aggressively and make more interceptions.

4) Berry's ball hawking skills are unquestioned. He's not just fast, he's great at tracking receivers and the ball and has great hands. He will undoubtedly make some big time interceptions with some big time returns.

5) He has the coverage skills of a good coverage CB, so will greatly increase the flexibity of the D in calling and disguising coverages and DB blitzes.

Posted by: kenboy1 | March 30, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Too bad we don't have 3 or 4 1st round picks this year. He'll be a good player for some other team. Just doesn't fit our A Class needs this year, especially at the #4 pick.

HTTR

Posted by: DC2AZ99 | March 30, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jason, for referring to turnover differential, rather than the frequently used (and semantically confused) term "turnover ratio."

...although I would point out that it is Santonio Holmes, not Santanio.

Posted by: DrewDC | March 31, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

There is no way Bruce Allen would ever draft a GD safety in the first round...much less a top 5 pick. It's going to be Okung and look for Shanahan and Allen to draft the QB of the future in either the 2nd or 4th rounds.

Posted by: cariduros1 | March 31, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Redskins take a look at Eric Berry with creating turnovers in mind: How about drafting some OL to prevent offensive turnovers?

Posted by: dc4life | March 31, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Sean died.

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | March 31, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If he has so many return yards after the INT, maybe he could make a good special team return guy, whch we are also in the hunt for.

Posted by: Teddyrux1 | March 31, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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