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Jim Haslett keeps focus on bottom line, not yards surrendered

A season ago, the Redskins finished with the NFL's 10th-ranked defense, in terms of yardage allowed. They won four games. This season, the Redskins are ranked last in defense but already have three wins.
According to defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, the numbers don't always tell the full story.
"Here's the thing: At the end of the year when they say how many yards you give up, nobody says that equates to wins and losses," Haslett said. "The only things that equates to wins and losses is points and turnovers."
Well, there is a loose correlation. Of the top 10 defenses last season, six teams reached the playoffs, including five of the top six. Of the bottom 10 defenses, only New Orleans (ranked No. 25) reached the playoffs.
Not that he needed to, but Haslett offered a sound defense of his unit's play.
"We've played overtime games; we've played great offenses," he said. "We're not playing the slappys in the NFL. There's not too many of those anyways, but we haven't played any of those. We're playing the elite. We're playing - at least from our perspective - the best offenses in the league up to this point."
In fact, four the Redskins' first six opponents are ranked in the top 10 in total offense entering Week 6.
"Will you give up some yardage? Yeah. Are we happy with the yardage we're giving up? No," Haslett said. "But there's reasons for it. We've played more plays than anybody in the National Football League. That's our fault early; we didn't get off the field. We can do a better job of that. But the bottom line is, how many wins and losses have we got? We've got three wins; they had four last year. Obviously, we're doing a better job.
"In my eyes, what the bottom line in the NFL, that's to win games, so if we can hold teams down in points and we can win games, you can have all the yardage you want in the world.

By Rick Maese  | October 15, 2010; 2:44 PM ET
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Meat and Potatoes

Posted by: AndrewDiceGoldsteinfeld | October 15, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: p1funk"

Gotta disagree.

One, the Redskins reworked all of those contracts prior to the CBA negotiation year to allow players like ARE, Carter, Samuels, Daniels, and Griffin to have their contracts terminated within 2 years. The uncapped CBA year was unnecessary for us to unload dead weight.

Two, this team has been in the 7th stage of salary cap hell since Snyder signed Deion Sanders and Mark Carrier, yet this team has ALWAYS managed to move money around, restructure contracts, and manipulate the cap in order to sign big money free agents in the offseason or re-up current players with record-setting contracts.

The Redskins are second to none in managing financial decisions with regards to the salary cap. That's why the Redskins can consistently be top 3-4 in the league in payroll on a yearly basis while still maintaining salary-cap integrity without penalty.

Now giving that money to the proper talent is a different story...

Posted by: psps23 | October 15, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Agree to disagree.

I'm saying nothing different than what that JI Halsell guy (who used to be the Skins cap manager) has been saying.

The strategy has always been to extend veteran contracts by adding more years and restructuring the $$ as a signing bonus, which can then be paid out over the length of the remaining contract.

This has been the practice and it has created short-term year-to-year fixes to allow the Skins to bring in new players, but it never solved the $$ situation - it only pushed the problem further out into the future.

This stupid way of doing things is the reason why the Skins were forced to keep playing the same skills-diminished vets year after year even though they weren't producing.

It's the total opposite strategy of organizations like the Colts, Patriots and Eagles - organizations that have been perennial contenders for the past decade and haven't been straddled by cap/dead money situations that prevent them from turning over their rosters when necessary.

This year the Skins are able to eat a pile of dead money and cut guys like Cornelius Griffin, Randy Thomas, Randle El and Smoot and afford to do it b/c there's no cap to count all that against.

I hope that BA and Shanny have a different way of doing business than what we've seen for the past decade.

Posted by: p1funk | October 15, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the Colts won't be able to convert 400 yds in to points, we're fine.

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | October 15, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The stat that I liked last week besides the final score was 2-13 on 3rd down. That's pretty, pretty good against a really good offense.

We were only 5-17 and that's not exactly getting it done either.

Posted by: Diesel44 | October 15, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

double beeps

Posted by: hessone | October 15, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

We were only 5-17 and that's not exactly getting it done either.

Posted by: Diesel44 | October 15, 2010 3:02 PM
our offense is new.

Posted by: jcnjcnj | October 15, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Yards allowed is a bogus metric to assess a defense. Last year the Redskins offense couldn't score or convert on third down, so opposing teams were always ahead and playing on a short field. As a result there was little need for opponents to take risks in order to rack up yards and points. In most cases 13 points would have been more than enough to get the win.

To gauge a defense you need broader measurement: yards allowed PLUS points allowed, red zone scoring, turnover differential, punts forced, defensive scoring, third down conversions, penalties for/against ... One or even two of those does not offer a sufficient picture of defensive quality.

Posted by: tkoho | October 15, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks that staying last will help in any way is kidding themselves

It means the Skins are getting lucky and that will END at some point...probably soon

Good teams have good defenses....and the Skins D is terrible right now

Posted by: Bious | October 15, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

This D reminds me of the D when Monte Coleman and Mel Kaufman were in the LB core. Of course a lot of other greater known ones at other positions. They would bend a lot, but they stopped the points from happening.

Posted by: AZborn | October 15, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Right. This could blow up with Manning. Don't want it to. I hope Has has has something. Let hope AL and Brian meet at the qb. Go Skins!

Posted by: tomass169 | October 15, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

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