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Defense prepares for Cowboys' attack

The Redskins gave up 40- and 75-yard touchdown passes in the first quarter of their Week 10 victory over the Denver Broncos. Obviously, the defense must do a better job Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at the new Cowboys Stadium.

"Well the big plays come from [Dallas quarterback] Tony Romo," secondary coach Jerry Gray said. "He scrambles a lot, and does a lot of things to get guys open, and receivers are always working down the field. You see Miles Austin, all of the sudden he comes up with a 200-yard game because he works after the catch. It's not just, 'I'm going to beat you.' He actually works to get open, and he does a great job. That's really what you want to do when you've got a wide receiver like that."

The Redskins' defense ranks No. 1 against the pass, giving up an average of 162.7 yards and is fifth overall (288.3). Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is among the league leaders with four interceptions, but the Redskins have just five as a team. The Cowboys' offense ranks fourth in the league.

"Those guys are good, and that's why they're ranked No. 4 in the NFL," Gray said. "They can run the football. They're one of the top of the league in rushing, and they're one of the top of the league in passing. What we have to do is make sure that we're doing our best job, especially in the run game.

"They're real physical when you've got 24 [Marion Barber] in the game. They can run outside when you bring 28 [Felix Jones] in the game. They can hit you in so many different ways that you've got to make sure that you're solid all the way across the board."

By Jason Reid  |  November 20, 2009; 12:42 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Portis sees another concussion specialist

Comments

God I hope Orakpo or AH just smashes him all day, until he cries and gives up

Posted by: mhartz1 | November 20, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Go Redskins D!

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 20, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"That almost sounds like what Vinny said about a playoff roster.

Posted by: Curzon417"

Talent-wise, I never doubted it. The difference a coach makes in football is greater than in any other sport, by far.

Of course, Vinny is still an idiot for not realizing the obvious severity of the injury-prone players he was dealing with, and THAT was his biggest mistake.

Posted by: psps23 | November 20, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I doubt it. We were borderline playoffs talent wise at BEST.

Agreed that Coarching would have been the difference.

Thank you Bingo Lewis.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 20, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Redskins 24 - Dallas 13

F Dallas

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | November 20, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I think the Redskins mantra has to be "don't give up the big play". Long passes and long runs have hurt them over the last few weeks. They need to go for sure tackles on runners in space instead of trying to knock their blocks off, and in pass coverage they need to be on the lookout for the double move.

Orakpo in pass coverage on Witten concerns me. Kevin Boss burnt Orakpo in the Giants game and here we have a similar tight end in Witten. This is a game where it could make better sense to use a five man front with three safeties. Let the safeties handle the pass coverage. Let Orakpo and friends key on the running back and quarterback.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | November 20, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

There you go John D!

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 20, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

theCork

"..you just called the Redskins gay, aggressive sodomites and rapists. Keep on keepin' it classy, guy."


For christmas I'm getting you an English teacher.

You see, I didn't '...call...' anybody anything.

What you read into what anyone posts really reflects on you, doesn't it?

I was using an image to effect the idea of humiliation and dominance.

Anyone who can read would understand this.

Plus: rather than spend all day surfing posts for things to complain about, why not try being original and offering up something to say rather than hating on folks.

Or do you just like being a catcher on the sly?


Posted by: MistaMoe | November 20, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong psp, I agree. It has been obvious since mid point last year that zorn was in over his head and was not getting the most out of the talent he has on the roster. IMO he has even stunted the growth of the young guys on the roster.

We beat up on Vinny up here on RI and rightly so, and he should take the hit on hiring zorn, but he has put some talent on this roster. Too bad the season was wasted before he brought in the "bingo caller".

Posted by: Curzon417 | November 20, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

#1 pass defense is so misleading. We've had the 3rd fewest passes thrown against us and we've faced only 2.5 games of decent QBs (eli, mcnabb and 1/2 of Orton).

Our sack number is impressive, though

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 20, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

book it, Mr. Shuttle!

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | November 20, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

you KNOW they're going after that matchup, RedHed. I almost would rather Fletcher take the matchup.... almost... Kids gotta cut his teeth sometime, right?

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 20, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

ZEKE'S UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES
again brought to you by the fine people at Yahoo!

Does a win signal the end of DEBACLE '09 ®? Of course it doesn't. Can't really count on a ridiculous trick play for a TD and 30 minutes of Chris Simms quality QB work every week.

But let me take you back to a time and place, not long long ago or in a galaxy far far away. But a few hundred miles from DC, slightly less than a year ago.

It was a bad week for the Skins, the star RB had cursed out the head coach on the radio and the team went into the venue against a 1-11 team. In front of a stadium with half of its seats empty, the Skins lost.

And yet, there was magic on that day.

The magic, as some might have quickly surmises, wasn't about the Redskins, but about the team the Redskins lost to on that day. The Bengals. In fact, since that miserable day, the Bengals have gone 10-2. Literally, the fate of the franchise turned on a dime. 1-11 ended against the Redskins. It started a roll that is now up to 10-2, including 2 wins over the defending champs.

While its rare to see misery turn so quickly to success, its also worth realizing the Skins are better equipped than most teams to go from ugly duckling to athletic swan.

There is considerable talent here, except perhaps on the OL. The biggest issue has always been about heart. So let me cover some of contributions of the less talented, less costly and more expendable guys on this team.

Rock and Betts, two 30 year old RBs who were considered expendable by many up here, ran behind a patchwork line with success. The younger RB with the straight pockets hasn't looked that good all year. Reed Doughty, who had to fight his way onto this roster led the defense with 9 tackles. Todd Yoder, a backup's backup caught another TD and blocked like he knew what he was doing. Lorenzo Alexander, a minor role player, created a turnover. And then there is Levi Jones.

It took 9 days from the time Chris Samuels went down until Jones got a job here. Heck, the Skins played another game before deciding to even consider Jones, who had been unemployed all season. Talk about low expectations. Jones went from unemployed to starter and played good football on Sunday.

But perhaps the prism that is most useful, is to recall Jones was a member of the 2008 Bengals. An injured Jones had already played his final game for Cincy by the time the Skins rolled into town in 2008. When the Bengals turned it around on that dime, Jones didn't play a part in the turn around. More than anyone, our new left tackle knows how quickly a turnaround can happen.

Can the 2009 Redskins do what the 2008 Bengals did? Only if they have the heart.

And that is it for this week's ZEKE'S UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES, as always, brought to you by the finest people from Yahoo!

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 20, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins need to do what they've done in the past. Shut down the run. Then clamp down on the receivers with cover-2 plus. Then see if the "beasty" boys can do the job pass rush wise without any help from blitzes.

Campbell needs to come out throwing. Sideline out passes to the wide outs. Up the middle to tight end's Fred Davis, Yoder and Betts. Draws and screens to keep Ware and company honest.

Posted by: periculum | November 20, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"catcher on the sly"

lmao @ Moe

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 20, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Guys,
Agree that S. Lewis has made a difference.

Disagree that the talent on offense is anything other than mediocre. I especially worry about the offensive line. They have looked good for one game and there were spots in that game where things could have been done better. I like Levi Jones in there. He brings in an aggressive attitude. The knock against him was the old injury bug. That's the knock with 3/5 of the offensive line and that's why I think depth is still an issue. When ranking Heyer and Williams, neither would rise above half of the right tackles in the league. The offensive line is playing well, but we are really still one injury away from making Jason Campbell the tackling dummy again. If Dallas gangs up on Heyer, they might make Campbell a tackling dummy this week...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | November 20, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Consensus here seems to be that Sherm Lewis is a good play caller. We beat Denver using Redskin(smash-mouth)football. Does this mean that Vinny and the West Coast are toast?

Posted by: Keyskonnection | November 20, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

ZZ - we only need two more wins for me to consider this season a success: This weekend and Nov 27. I'm good w/ that.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 20, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

dikshuttle

"catcher on the sly"

That dude TheCork needs to change the lotion he's using as it doesn't help him get pleasure in the way he seems to like it.

I'd tell him to go get a grip, but he probably already has one.

Most of his posts are his taking snippets of a line or two of some cat's words, then turning them into a 150 word thesis about the blogga's person ethics.

Like that is ethical in and of itself.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 20, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

BiggerVance, if you don't wanna get bit don't feed the animals. wouldn't be a need to carry it like that, if people just didn't mix in or up with others up here.

F*** you, suck my d***.

Now I'm even sure that a comeback a 13 year old has owned up to before. Why don't you and Cork hold a two man session and figure out a way to get the homies Moe and Red banned?

Posted by: RedDMV | November 20, 2009 12:04 PM |

I'm not trying to get you banned, just trying to get you to raise the level of your game. I'm sure every 13 yr old would own up to "F*** you, suck my d***". But it would have been when they were 9 yrs old and it was something new and exciting to say. The point is all your attacks are the same. Trite and lame schoolyard taunts that have nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Never a slick turn of phrase, a witticism, a double entendre, clever word play, etc. Just repetitive, boring brain dead phrasing that incorporates various combinations of what your version of George Carlin's famous "seven words" is.

Posted by: BiggerVance | November 20, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Red, I think Bigger is calling you a Bama

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | November 20, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

redskinhead

"Agree that S. Lewis has made a difference. Disagree that the talent on offense is anything other than mediocre..."

I agree about the talent part.

And that's why keeping Sherm around has to happen.

The '08 draftees (Kelly, Davis, Thomas,) should be put to use in ways a vet playcaller like Lewis understands.

They'll mature under the watch of a guy who'll figure out how to utilize them.

Let'em all grow together.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 20, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeh, but J.D. Salinger jokes are few & far between. Kudos!

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 20, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to get you banned, just trying to get you to raise the level of your game. I'm sure every 13 yr old would own up to "F*** you, suck my d***". But it would have been when they were 9 yrs old and it was something new and exciting to say. The point is all your attacks are the same. Trite and lame schoolyard taunts that have nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Never a slick turn of phrase, a witticism, a double entendre, clever word play, etc. Just repetitive, boring brain dead phrasing that incorporates various combinations of what your version of George Carlin's famous "seven words" is.

Posted by: BiggerVance


First, I don't play games.


Second, didn't I tell you to go f*** your mother?

Don't worry about the substance of my post, I mean goddamn, why are you so worried about how another dude gets down up here? Are you mad because when I'm not arguing with little f***s like you, I actually do have decent convos about who and whatever?

Why are you soooooooo worried about what and how I post? I was done being "son'd" seven years ago, don't need you or any other maotherf***er to come up here and try to "raise my game".

Why are you on my d***?

I'm going to tell you like I told Cork: Get off my d***. Understand?

Posted by: RedDMV | November 20, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Why are you on my d***?

I'm going to tell you like I told Cork: Get off my d***. Understand?

Posted by: RedDMV | November 20, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I wish Danny would talk to Vinny like this.

Posted by: VaBeachBlitz | November 20, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Red, I think Bigger is calling you a Bama

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | November 20, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

On a sidenote are there rules to using the word Bama?

A non Bama calling a Bama a Bama seems to be pretty insulting.

If you're a Bama and you call someone else a Bama that happens to actually be a Bama is that a term of endearment or is it still an insult?

What if you're a bama and you call a non Bama a Bama? Is that just awkward or seen as a joke?

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | November 20, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

MistaMoe,
Sounds like a plan to me. I like the idea of Sherm Lewis hanging around. I don't think Zorn should be the head coach, however. I am just not a fan. Who knows? Maybe the team brings in Holmgren to replace Cerrato, promotes Lewis to head coach, gets a youngster WCO coordinator to coach the offense and soak up some of Sherm Lewis' knowledge, re-signs Campbell to some low ball salary for a year, and then drafts offensive linemen in the first three rounds of the draft. I could live with that strategy.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | November 20, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

BiggerVance, can put these bigger nuts in his mouth and kiss my black ass.

I don't have to use any spiffy words to call you a a**hole, Vance. I just call you an a**hole, ya dig?

But somehow you think using elaborate words makes you have that much more intelligence.... on a blog... while cursing or degrading someone. I mean why don't you gain some perspective as to what this actually is. It ain't a thesis on political science, the national deficit, or health care.

It's fans talking s*** here and there on a blog. No need to be extravagant up here. It's called trying too hard. I say what I mean and that's it.

Posted by: RedDMV | November 20, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: RedDMV | November 20, 2009 1:30 PM |

Hey dude, this post was the first intelligent response we've seen from you today. I thought I had done a good job of making my case but you just one upped me. Thanks.

Posted by: BiggerVance | November 20, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

With a nod to Jeff Foxworthy:

If you have to ask the etiquette behind using "bama" then you just might be a bama...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | November 20, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

a thought on playoffs. we win on Sunday and we're two games back with 3 games still to play in the division, 2 at home. None of the other teams in the division are what they expected, as injuries have hit key players on every team.

Its unlikely, but 2 back with 6 games to go isn't a crazy scenario, either.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 20, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

With a nod to Jeff Foxworthy:

If you have to ask the etiquette behind using "bama" then you just might be a bama...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | November 20, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Sweet, now I can anyone a Bama. BTW, wouldn't knowing a Foxworthy routine also make you a Bama?

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | November 20, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

From PFT:

Orakpo making immediate impact
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on November 20, 2009 1:14 PM ET
We've criticized the Redskins front office more than a few times on PFT, so it's only fair to give them credit when they get something right.

Drafting Brian Orakpo thirteenth overall was very right.

The rookie linebacker/defensive end has seven sacks in his last seven games. That number alone is the most for any rookie since 2006, and it's amazing because he only plays with his hand down as a pass rusher one-third of the time, according to Rick Maese of the Washington Post.

Orakpo has successfully transitioned from a college defensive end to a strong-side linebacker on most downs. He is often responsible for covering the opposing tight end. This week, he takes on Jason Witten and tries to build his defensive rookie of the year candidacy. (There are a few good options.)

Some people close to Orakpo interviewed for Maese's article believe the former Longhorn would be even more successful as a full-time pass rusher. But that's a good problem for the Redskins to have. In a mostly lost year for Washington, at least the team has found a core young player on a squad needing a few more.

Washington's next coach should appreciate the help.

Posted by: mattylight | November 20, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: Curzon417 | November 20, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

ya Red your posts are some sh*t.

Even Chia is more clever.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | November 20, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

lmSJKao: You might be a Bama if:...

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 20, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

From the Times, NOT GOOD

By David Elfin on Nov. 20, 2009 into Redskins 360
SubscribeDon't expect Albert Haynesworth to play Sunday at Dallas.

The All-Pro defensive tackle isn't on the field again this morning. He hasn't practiced all week because of the left ankle he sprained last Sunday against Denver.

As of Thursday afternoon, Haynesworth's ankle was still in a boot.

Coach Jim Zorn said on Thursday that Haynesworth would be a game-time decision, but if the man can't even work on the side while his teammates practice, it's hard to see him lining up on FieldTurf against the Cowboys two days later.

Kedric Golston, the starter in 2006 and 2008, would start if Haynesworth can't play. Anthony Montgomery, the starter in 2007, could then be active for the first time all season.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 20, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The Next mrsmoe?

A Tearful Winfrey Explains Her Departure
By BRIAN STELTER

Oprah Winfrey announced that she will end her daytime talk show in September 2011.

So once her money runs out, I wonder if a brother will have a chance to hook up.

Oprah has been alone longer than I been broke.

But I been waiting since The Color Purple to do like Harpo and 'hit' her.

Now, here's my chance.

Without a job, she'll get bored.

Her funds will get low.

She can only watch so much television and eat that much healthy food.

Her being a 'big girl' means nothing to me if a joint bank account is involved.

She can only last so long before she'll break down, need to pay her bills, and give ol' Moe a call looking for someone to help her out.

I can see the 2 am call where she cries about her crumbling empire and the need for help.

"What about Stedman?" I'll ask.

"He ain't here," she'll say. "He tryin' to holla at Star Jones now that I don't have a job."

"He say he can't support me and Dr. Phil and Gayle King."

I'm the same age as Oprah, so that ain't nothing but a number.

So I'll sit by the phone and wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait......and...

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 20, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

a thought on playoffs. we win on Sunday and we're two games back with 3 games still to play in the division, 2 at home. None of the other teams in the division are what they expected, as injuries have hit key players on every team.

Its unlikely, but 2 back with 6 games to go isn't a crazy scenario, either.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 20, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah but we still have a real uphill fight based on us screwing up the easier portion of our schedule. The division is out, so best we could do in theory is the WC. One of the tiebreakers is record against the NFC, and right now we're 2-5 (W's against Rams, TB, L's to DET, CAR Iggles, NYG, ATL).

We still have 5 games left against NFC teams, so I think to get in we'll have to run the table in those games, and if we drop a game, have it be against SD or even the pathetic Raiders. That would leave us 9-7 with a 7-5 record against the NFC.

8-8 could still get in as well, but IMO we would prob get the short end of things if we're 6-6 or worse in the conference...especially since two of the teams we're competing with for the WC are the Falcons and Panthers, who both have head to head advantages over us...

Long way to go though, and a win against F Dallas would give us a lot more hope...

Posted by: mattylight | November 20, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by zcezcest1:
"a thought on playoffs. we win on Sunday and we're two games back with 3 games still to play in the division, 2 at home. None of the other teams in the division are what they expected, as injuries have hit key players on every team.
Its unlikely, but 2 back with 6 games to go isn't a crazy scenario, either."

Ummm- Yes, I think it is. :) Just a little pre-weekend banter before the big game! Cowboys/Skins is always a crazy deal, so even if your scenario IS a crazy one, anything can happen. And in this, the greatest of all NFL rivalries, we all know strange things usually DO happen. I know one thing - it should be a good game! GO COWBOYS!!

Posted by: LoneStarJim | November 20, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Ummm- Yes, I think it is. :) Just a little pre-weekend banter before the big game! Cowboys/Skins is always a crazy deal, so even if your scenario IS a crazy one, anything can happen. And in this, the greatest of all NFL rivalries, we all know strange things usually DO happen. I know one thing - it should be a good game! GO COWBOYS!!


Posted by: LoneStarJim

Unlike most Cowboy fans your comments were respectful and I would agree that this is the greatest of all NFL rivalries. But, F U and DALLAS too!

Posted by: dcwun | November 20, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"The Redskins' defense ranks No. 1 against the pass"! These guys must be great. Why aren't they undefeated?

Only thing is, when a team gets a lead, it runs the ball. The Redskins' opponents have led must of the time, so naturally they haven't passed much, and that's why the Skins haven't given up many passing yards.

Posted by: donnolo | November 20, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

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