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McIntosh: Skins defense knows what it must do

Weak-side linebacker Rocky McIntosh believes the Redskins' run defense is better than its 25th-place ranking in the NFL would indicate.

"We've just given up a few long runs, that's why were not ranked that high," McIntosh said. "But we know what type of defense we are. We just take of that, and we'll be fine. Guys know what we have to do."

The Redskins have the top-ranked pass defense and are eighth overall in yards per game. The Saints have the league's No. 1 offense and quarterback Drew Brees is having an MVP-caliber season. But the Redskins' defensive players are confident in their scheme and ability to perform well against the Saints.

"I feel good. I always feel good," McIntosh said. "Guys want to go out there and try to make plays. Like I said, we know what we have to do."

The return of Gregg Williams

Many of the Redskins' defensive players will be facing their former coach, Gregg Williams, when the Saints roll into FedEx on Sunday. Williams was assistant head coach/defense in Washington under Joe Gibbs.

The Redskins have remained a top-10 defense since owner Daniel Snyder fired Williams following the 2007 season and instead hired Jim Zorn to replace Joe Gibbs as head coach. But after a one-year stint as Jacksonville's defensive coordinator, Williams has brought a missing component to a New Orleans team that already boasted one of the league's top offenses. Now, playing strong on both sides of the ball, the Saints bring an 11-0 record into Sunday's game at FedEx Field.
"We always were known as a great offensive team and the defense is just adequate," said Saints safety Darren Sharper. "We wanted to change that type of mentality, change that type of outlook on our defense. From Day One, Gregg preached that to us, we're not going to be second-hand, play second-fiddle to anyone."
He used similar motivational tactics that veteran Redskins had seen years before, harping on young players, preaching conditioning and instilling a philosophy in his players that games hinge on turnovers.
Thus far, it's paid off. The Saints lead the league with seven touchdowns, four more than any other team. They have a league-best 22 interceptions -- 15 more than Washington -- and have forced 32 total turnovers, five more than any other team.

By Jason Reid  |  December 3, 2009; 12:44 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Jarmon vows to 'pick up where I left off'

Comments

"I would like to know what set of eyes one uses to view a game when a Stephon Heyer is called "decent" and could be seen as a starter?"


Joe Bugel's.

His eyes have been evaluating Stephon Heyer for a couple of seasons now.

Joe Bugel's eyes see in Heyer what redskins' fans don't see.

Me?: I saw Michael Oher last year and thought, "Draft that guy!"

But apparently, Joe B and the FO felt otherwise, and decided to give Heyer, Bridges, and M Williams a shot at right tackle.

So if you question the eyes assessing Heyer, include Joe B's in your answer.

My answer in '08 was Sam Baker and M Oher in '09.

But I guess you didn't see that.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 3, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"But the Redskins' defensive players are confident in their scheme and ability to perform well against the Saints".

As long as they send Double Move on a corner blitz every play. Please don't put that donkey in coverage.

Posted by: ksquare | December 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The Saints being +15 in turnover ratio doesn't change the fact that Gregg Williams has flapjack man boobs.

Posted by: Original_etrod | December 3, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 3, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

LOL at Moe evoking J Bugel to defend his Vinny like thought process on why you don't draft OL/OL in rd 1/2.

So now it's Bugel's fault why Oher was not drafted. Yeah, that's the ticket. Good one.

Posted by: Skins930 | December 3, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The Saints being +15 in turnover ratio doesn't change the fact that Gregg Williams has flapjack man boobs.

Posted by: Original_etrod

Good stuff OE, he'd look real hip if had a rat tail to go with that platinum blonde spiked do.

Posted by: bhoang888 | December 3, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Moe, I'm one of the ones that Joe Bugel should be held more accountable for the horrid line play than what other think he should.

True, it's no he has first to third round talent to coach up, but still if you're going to give him all the kudos for line play from "the hogs" all the way up to o-line play as recent as a few seasons ago, then you you have to be critical of him and his coaching when they play bad.

Shout outs to you for wanting them to draft Baker and Oher, but they didn't.

It's like an unpaid parking ticket, the longer you let it linger the harder it comes back to bite you in the ass. That's what the 'skins are going through right now. It's not going to just go away. They still have to address the offensive line in rounds one through three.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 3, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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

Part 1

To understand the intersection of tragedy and football, I'll cite the best example I know, as reported in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, in an article covering the memorial service for Bill Walsh.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20070811/NEWS/708110378/1010/SPORT01

In 1978, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated. Also, there was a mass murder-suicide in Guyana that claimed the lives of more than 913 people from the San Francisco-based People's Temple. By the end of 1981, nine people had died of a mysterious disease later known as AIDS.

"The days were dark, the winds were strong, and the fog was deep," said Sen Dianne Feinstein, who became San Francisco's mayor after the assassinations.

Then, along came (Bill) Walsh's 49ers to help change the climate in the city with a Super Bowl title. The decade of the 1980s began with the 49ers considered laughingstocks in the NFL. In Walsh's 10 seasons as coach and architect of the franchise, the 49ers won three Super Bowl titles.

"We will always remember the hope you restored to this great city," Feinstein said.

******

To understand what great players want, I always go back to a comment made by a great athlete about his coach. I can't recall who to attribute it to, but it went something like this. "I always wanted to be a champion and my coach made me into a champion. I will always love him for that." There is nothing a great player wants more than to be a champion.

******

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 3, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

ZEKE'S UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES Part 2

Gregg Williams comes back to DC this week. And with him, he brings a formidable defense on a formidable team. Just under two years ago, I was among those who wanted Williams to be named the next head coach of the Redskins. My thinking was clear.

He had the support of the locker room, the players played very hard for him and he connected with the players. They had become more than the sum of their parts. They had tasted greatness.

Williams didn't make the 2007 Redskins into Super Bowl champs, but he played a huge role into making them champions in life. At the intersection of football and tragedy, the Redskins had taken tragedy and turned it into a force that brought people and players together. No doubt, there was a taste of a championship on a human level, if not on the field of play. Simply put, you could sense the love the players had for Williams then, and you can sense it now in New Orleans.

Its rare to see a team have the chemistry of the 2007 Redskins. Gregg Williams earned the opportunity to be head coach and should have gotten the job. But not merely because he helped this team become something special (to me, its the #1 criteria), but because in the cold light of day, it was a no lose situation. If Williams had managed to keep up the unity and intensity with the Redskins players, there was a real shot at greatness. If Williams failed, he would have been moved aside for a new coach -- and everyone would respect that decision. So too, would have other potential coaches. The difference being this: the front office would have shown a willingness to let Williams determine his own fate. No coach wants, or deserves, more than that. Should Williams have failed, coaches with the best pedigrees would have been interested in coming to DC.

But the Redskins management disrespected a key contributor to the best team the organization had produced in over a decade. Instead, karma struck in the persona of Jim Zorn. Whatever can be said about Zorn, he got a job that he didn't earn.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 3, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

ZEKE'S UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES Part 3

On Sunday, Zorn's offense will see a Gregg Williams defense. An undefeated defense, ranked number 1 in getting turnovers. A defense that believes a championship is possible. Representing a city that has known tragedy in recent times like no other city in America.

To compare the tragedy of New Orleans and the hurricane victims to the potential triumph of a football team is incongruous on one hand and yet, as Sen Feinstein indicated, it is very meaningful.

Gregg Williams was a leader on taking a team from tragedy to triumph here in DC. He is now in New Orleans, attempting to be a leader on a team that is seeking to help move a city from its own tragedy into brighter days.

I'll be, as always, rooting for the burgundy and gold come Sunday. But in the bigger picture, I hope Gregg Williams and the Saints are able to provide to New Orleans what Bill Walsh and the 49ers provided for San Francisco.

And that is this week's ZEKE'S UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES, once again, brought to you Yahoo!'s finest

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 3, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

So now it's Bugel's fault why Oher was not drafted. Yeah, that's the ticket. Good one.

Posted by: Skins930 | December 3, 2009 1:14 PM

F Oher....

still.........

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 3, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

red, how about a little credit my way, I was up here on RI SCREAMING about spending a late round pick back in 2000 on a guy named Tom Brady......

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 3, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

red, how about a little credit my way, I was up here on RI SCREAMING about spending a late round pick back in 2000 on a guy named Tom Brady......

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 3, 2009 1:23 PM

A "late" round pick on one of the greatest QB's ever? What were you thinking. Should've been a first rounder.

Posted by: skinswest | December 3, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

red, how about a little credit my way, I was up here on RI SCREAMING about spending a late round pick back in 2000 on a guy named Tom Brady......

Posted by: BeantownGreg1

I'm guessing you just copied the guys at PFT for that one ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 3, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

4th i really don't get your dislike of Oher....based on on-the-field play you could not have been more wrong. Dude is a good player and story....why hate?

Posted by: chrislarry | December 3, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

red

"... I'm one of the ones that Joe Bugel should be held more accountable for the horrid line play than what other think he should."

You see things the way I do.

Nothing against Joe B, but, come on, the team's line play is bad and the team has mediocre level players.

Blame Vinny all you want.

But at least Greg Blache has the guts to somehow get the studs he needs for the defense.

How comes this continually is not the case for the redskins' offensive line?

Folks say, "Draft linemen in rounds 1 and 2," as if the gang that hasn't done it in the past will do it in the future.

I remember some broadcaster who stated that the redskins are following an 1980s style philosophy that believed any player could be molded into a quality offensive linemen.

And which redskins' coach was at the top of his game in the 1980s?

Maybe Zorn should stay.

And Joe B should go.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 3, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

fwiw, we're not the only team with an idiot for a coach. Seattle has the EXACT same thing going on, where an injured RB sat and the backup RB was much better. But the HC said the injured starter keeps his job.

Just substitute the names of Zorn, Portis and Cartwright for Mora Jr, JuJones and Forsett.

The opening of the article ...

Everyone thinks the Seahawks have found a new lead running back in Justin Forsett.

Everyone except Jim Mora.

http://www.seattlepi.com/football/2020ap_fbn_seahawks_discovery.html

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 3, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm only hating for whoever said we should have gotten him @ #13.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 3, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

From the Times:

Rookie defensive end Jeremy Jarmon is optimistic about making a full recovery from surgery to repair the ACL he tore in his left knee covering a kickoff last Sunday at Philadelphia.

"It's definitely disappointing," said Jarmon, who missed six or seven months following knee surgery as a freshman at Kentucky. "It's a setback for me, but I'm going to recover. I'm going to come back stronger. I know that. I know it's going to be a long recovery process, but I'm up for it. I'm looking forward to it as much as I can be."

Jarmon, who just turned 22 on Nov. 20, was chosen in the third round of July's supplemental draft after losing his NCAA eligibility. He finished his rookie with nine tackles, two hurries and a pass defensed while seeing limited action in 11 games.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 3, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Folks say, "Draft linemen in rounds 1 and 2," as if the gang that hasn't done it in the past will do it in the future.

=======================

whether or not the FO does the right thing and drafts OL in rd 1 & 2, we fans know it's the right thing to do.

Thinking that any of the OL tackles on the roster today is the answer is straight tart.

The only way you don't draft OL in rd 1 & 2 is if during FA these positions are addressed with real talent.

You cannot go into next season thinking that Levi is the answer at either tackle, much less Heyer or we are in the same place in 2010 w/the OL that we were in 2009.

Splashy has no place in 2010 draft for the Skins.

Posted by: Curzon417 | December 3, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

moe, I think it might be time with Joe B as well...put him in the Ring of Fame, and lets get someone much younger in here....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 3, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Levi Jones may be part of the answer. He held up well vs dallas, but got owned by philly. Jury is still out.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 3, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: Curzon417 | December 3, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Bean, The best way to introspect is to retrospect. Study your habits, see the wrong in them, understand how you could do better, and just go and do it.

But it's not like Vinny, Dan, and them understand this concept. So I understand you Moe when you say: "Folks say, "Draft linemen in rounds 1 and 2," as if the gang that hasn't done it in the past will do it in the future."

And that's where you have to see this as if you're the Redskins -- Vinny, Dan, and them.

Which is why I expect to see Eric Berry or Taylor Mays in a 'skins uniform next fall.

Moe, as far as Joe Bugel and the line goes, it's simply called 'doing more with less'. Coaches around the NFL at all positions on units do it all the time on other teams. Sometimes you just got make do what with you have.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 3, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so we want to rewrite history again, eh? Sam Baker was the #7-10 ranked OL in the 2008 draft. I'm not gonna defend WR-TE-WR, but every year everyone Up Here wants us to trade down and get more draft picks, and the one time they're able to do so it's the wrong move? Given where they were when the opportunity arose, I think it was a smart trade -- all the elite OL were gone, none of the elite WR were gone, and we needed players at both positions.

As for Oher, we would be Up Here screaming about what a bust he is right about now, because the churn of other players on the line would've set him back. The most level-headed comments would be "who can tell whether he's any good or not", which is all I can say about BMW, Rhino, EWill, WillM, even Rabach and Dockery.

As for Bugel, he's gotten a pretty ragtag bunch blocking... better. Certainly not great, maybe not even well enough to win, but given how weak our talent was when fully healthy and the lack of quality depth, JC should be dead by now.

Posted by: daggar | December 3, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The Skins will put up a fight for the 1st quarter. But Williams is gonna force some early turnovers that Brees will convert to TD's and the game will be over by half-time. Mark Brunnell will play most of the 2nd half running out the clock. Skins will retain top ranked pass-defense cause Brees' touchdowns will come off short fields.

Posted by: coparker5 | December 3, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

WHO DAT!!!!

Posted by: uptjeff | December 3, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

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