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Meg Brings The Heat, Again

Hello everyone. Got another great column from Meg and figured I would post it. I got one from a Cowboys fan as well that will post in a few hours. Meg takes a sharp eye to the defense and we'll have to see if getting some guys back healthy - or at least relatively healthy - will help cure some of the many things that ail this D. My one big caveat would be that I don't think Marcus could switch to the middle spot midseason - you really have to study the game from that spot for a long time in this system - but I agree that drastic measures might be in order.

Okay, here's Meg's take:

It's obvious to any and all that are defense is in shambles. People run on us at will; people throw on us at will; people score on us at will--and if they so happen to feel like trying out a few practice punts, they do that at their discretion as well, not ours. The free-agent acquisitions: Andre Carter and Adam Archuleta have made next to nothing in the way of an impact; the cornerbacks and linebackers play a special zone defense called 'Go ahead and catch it, then maybe I'll try and tackle you'; the defensive line repeatedly throws themselves to turf at the start of the play in the hopes that it will stop someone, anyone, please?

All of this new philosophy and insistence on bend-but-don't-break and don't-give-up-the-big-play has paid off in the exact opposite manner in constant breakage and plays for huge amounts of yards. Across the board in the passing category the defense is statistically ranked at the bottom of the barrel: in touchdowns they rank 30 out of 32 teams, interceptions 31, and the topper is yards per average: 32. The only reason our run defense isn't so bad is that any pass thrown is almost a guaranteed touchdown reception.

Why is it in a system that is known for bringing the pressure, confusing opposing quarterbacks with multiple schemes and top-notch run-stopping the defense has all of sudden fallen off the map? Why is it that our cornerbacks no longer play a tight man-coverage? Why is it that our linebackers sit five yards deep and wait for the approaching running back to build up a head of steam, only to get flattened as he rounds the corner? Where is the pressure from years past?

Why is Grilliams stressing not giving up the big-play when our style plays right into that? What happened to the guy who said: "My philosophy is to attack. I want the players to play with confidence. I don't want them to worry about making a mistake. If we're going to lose, let's do it by making the opponent beat our best. Let's don't change what's made us successful." And Blaine Bishop, a 4-time pro bowl safety under Gregg Williams, on a defense that he(Williams) coached to the Super Bowl: "We know we're a gambling defense. We know we're hit or miss, We either make the big play or we don't. But even if an offense throws 50 bombs on us, we're going to keep coming after them."

At the moment this doesn't look like a defense that subscribes to the philosophy of attack; it looks like a defense sitting back on their heels worrying about giving up a big pass or run, and they certainly don't look like they're playing with any sort of confidence. I don't think I have the answers to those questions and besides depressing ourselves further, the only thing we have left to do is play armchair quarterback. In this case it's more like armchair linebacker but let's take a look at what can be done with the defense without waiting until next year?

I think that answer can be found from where Gregg Williams came from, and which might also explain why he went out and got Andre Carter and Adam Archuleta in the first place and what it is we can do with them so that they turn out not to be busts. First of all I'm going to make a suggestion that some players are switched around. Let's take Warrick Holdman and just plain yank him. He's gotten trod on by every running-back we've seen so far, no need for a repeat performance there.

But no, we're not going to replace him with Rocky McIntosh, we're replacing him with Lemar Marshall. Marcus Washington switches over to middle linebacker and Andre Carter is moved from defensive end to weak-side linebacker--he already played linebacker for SF so that's not that much of a stretch. We replace Andre Carter's DE slot with Renaldo Wynn: he's had three seasons with 11 sacks which is a lot better than AC's one year of 12.5.

Pull Carlos Rogers and sit him too while we're at it, any more dropped balls and I beginning to think he's allergic to interceptions; let's replace him with Troy Vincent. So, you got all that?

The linebackers now consist of (and strong-side relates to the side with the tight-end for all you non-football geeks): Carter(weak-side), Washington(middle) and Marshall(strong). The secondary consists of: Vincent(corner), Springs(corner), Taylor(free-safety) and Archuleta(strong-safety). What's that you say? We haven't changed much?

And we still haven't gotten rid of the hated non-covering non-pursuing Archuleta, right? Well, we're not. Now, before you go crazy and lynch me, just stay with me for one moment; we're going on a detour and take a look at where Gregg Williams came from. Gregg Williams has never played a down of professional football in his life. In high school he played quarterback and was even a Division I prospect before tearing his rotator cuff, scaring off the recruiters.

He played as a part-time starter for Northeast Missouri (a Division II school) and by all accounts was one tough sob--playing his entire senior year with a stress fracture in his right forearm, which he had broken lifting weights. From there he moved over to coaching high school football. In 1998 he was hired by ex-Redskins coach Jack Pardee who was then coaching the University of Houston. When Pardee was hired to coach the Houston Oilers he took Williams along, handing him the job of quality control coach. Williams, with his relentless work habit, rose quickly in Houston and in 1993, none of than Buddy Ryan came to the Oilers to take over as defensive coordinator.

Buddy Ryan, besides being a colorful character, a great source for outrageous quotes and having a reputation for punching uppity offensive coordinators, is also known as the architect behind the '46' defense or "Bear" defense, a defense that helped the Chicago Bears win the '85 Super Bowl and is widely considered to be one of the most dominating defenses of all time. Ryan's defenses played smash mouth football, literally, and were widely known for beating the stuffing out of opposing teams quarterbacks, frequently leaving them bloodied and unconscious on the field.

The '85 Bears ranked number one in almost every defensive category; they went on a streak mid-season shutting out two opponents in a row; the first being the Cowboys in Dallas where they won 44-0, the defense scored two touchdowns, intercepted four passes, recovered a fumble and knocked out Dallas quarterback Danny White not once, but twice.

The second time he had to be carted off the field with a neck brace. In the playoffs the defense made good on Ryan's promise of a shutout not once but twice: first to a Parcells led Giants, and next the Los Angeles Rams. And by the time they had won Super Bowl XX, they had held 14 of 19 opponents to 10 points or less. Ryan only spent one year with the Oilers before moving on to be the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, but Jeff Fisher, who had once been a player in Ryan's system and had became his disciple and 46 devotee, took over the job as defensive coordinator for Houston.

Grilliams and Fisher hit it off together and when Fisher was handed the head coaching position, he promptly promoted Grilliams to defensive coordinator. Fisher and Grilliams were like two kids turned loose in a lab with the old scientists blue prints: they took the 46 and ran with it, terrorizing quarterbacks across the league with its obsessive focus on pressuring the offense and dictating the flow of the game. They tinkered with it, added and subtracted to it, played with it like silly-putty and morphed it into various unrecognizable forms into something that eventually became their own.

By the '99 season when the Titans made the Super Bowl, Fisher and Grilliams claimed that they ran a standard 46 only about 15-20% of the time. Buddy Ryan, retired by then, claimed the two of them had ruined his defense. So why this detour? Why do we care about a defensive scheme that Grilliams probably does run, at least some of the time?

And what's with the recommendations on the players above anyhow? To answer all that we need to take one more short detour and look how a straight-up, original, additive-free 46 is played and, more importantly, the philosophy behind it. The '46' philosophy is all about pressure. Pressure on the line of scrimmage; pressure on the ball carrier; pressure on the quarterback. Almost all defenses today are read and then react; the 46 is defined as a read on the run defense.

Most defenses packages are contain-based packages; the 46 is considered an attack-based package: it focuses on never giving your opponent breathing room. It's prime directive under Buddy Ryan was to get in the quarterbacks face, knock him down, sack him, do anything to rattle and unsettle him and the entire offense: make them adjust to you, not the other way around. How exactly does it do this then?

For that we need to take a look at X's and O's. And yes I know, there is no chalk board here in the blog, so you're going have to follow along; I'll try and make it as simple as possible and cut out all the extra fluff like where lineman's legs go and how many feet off the tackle people shade. At its base the 46 is a 4-3: meaning 4 down linemen and 3 linebackers. In the 46 though, one of the DTs lines up over the center in the noseguard position.

The other tackle lines up across from the weak-side guard and the strong-side DE lines up across from the strong-side guard. This gives you three across the guard-center-guard, giving you one heck of a push straight up the middle. To finish off the linemen, the weak-side DE (Wynn now) lines up across and to the outside of the weak-side tackle.

Now comes the trick with the linebackers: the two outside linebackers (strong and weak) line up on the strong side, directly across from the tight-end. That's correct, both of them on the same side, and the middle linebacker lines up across from the strong side tackle, about 4.5 yards deep. The strong-safety, on the other side, lines up across from the weak-side tackle, 4.5 yards deep just like the linebacker.

This gives you 6 across the front line, with only the middle linebacker and strong safety playing what we normally think of as the linebacker positions. So what is the point of this setup? Well, the defensive line play is setup to clear lanes for the linebackers to sweep in untouched and make tackles. Holdman can't tackle and we've gotten rid of him. Washington is by far the best of the lot and we've moved him into a spot where he can make more plays.

Carter wasn't playing well from the defensive-end position, try him out at linebacker and with Marshall along side him see what kind of havoc they can wreck on people. The 46 demands just the type of run-stopping safety that Archuleta has been known to play: his sole responsibility in this defense would be blitzing and playing the run. At first the weak-side looks soft with just Archuleta playing out there, but anyone running to that side has to first pass Wynn, Archuleta , and by that time Washington and then Taylor coming up from the free-safety position.

Blitzing Archuleta is going to be going up against a running back, Wynn will be handling the tackle on that side, so we have his ineffectiveness against 300-lb'ers fixed. Any run going to the strong-side has to deal with both outside linebackers (Marshall and Carter) and Washington right away. On a passing situation you can blitz any of the three linebackers (Marshall and Carter coming from the outside, giving the option to Washington to come up the gut or from the outside as well).

The number of stunts that the defensive line and linebackers can do from this setup should more than enough for an O-line to handle in a day. Buddy Ryan used this setup almost all the time, every single down; yes he did vary it up from time-to-time, but for the most part this is what he stuck with. It's great against the run and in passing downs the front three give a huge push up the middle, which forces the quarterback to the outside, right into the blitzing linebacker(s) or the strong-safety.

And from down to down, no one on the offense is quite sure who is going to be coming: there is no need to disguise your blitzes when they play what looks like a blitz package all the time. The 46 has been criticized as a gambling defense, we aren't playing zone defense here after all with its built in safety nets. But to be fair, you can run zone coverages from the 46, but that's getting away from the basic philosophy of it which is to attack.

The main thing that worries defensive coordinators, ties their stomachs into bloated, distended knots and sends them running for the nearest porcelain convenience is that the corners have to play man coverage. But let's face it: Springs and Vincent have been around long enough to handle man coverage, and if they can't the free-safety is back there.

The free-safety in this scheme effectively plays center-field (thank Gawd baseball is over with, yay!): picking and choosing who he is going to lay his shoulder into. That style of play remind you of anyone? So how is the defense that Williams uses any different than Ryan's? For one, Grilliams uses a lot more formations, bouncing in and out of various schemes depending upon what the offense is doing. His basic philosophy is to play good, solid defense on first and second down and to set up third down as a passing down. On third down is when he brings the blitz.

The blitz packages are often disguised, the offense never quite sure whether the corners are going to roll into a coverage shell or come on something as exotic as a double-corner blitz. Whereas Ryan was considered reckless, Williams is considered "creative." WaPo columnist Michael Wilbon called what Williams does "a lot of Buddy Ryan with a little reduction sauce." I think it's pretty clear, that this year, the reduction sauce is over-done, watering down what was left of the "Buddy Ryan."

It's time Williams takes a step back, return to his roots, and play a more basic style attack-based defense: yank out all those nasty coverage schemes that Ryan disapproved of and just go after the quarterback. Sure, there are going to be times we get burnt, and burnt bad, but at least make them pay for it. So why would we want to play this against the Cowboys and Bill Parcells?

Aren't TO and Glenn going to eat us alive if we play them in man-coverage? To beat Parcells you have to change things up, throw something different at him, something unexpected. Honestly, I don't think we're any worse off playing TO and Glenn up against Springs and Vincent man-on-man. If they're going to beat us, let those two earn it; they have more than enough experience finding the soft spots in zones.

Play man-coverage with the bump and run; make it a physical game. Parcells is going to have the best prepared quarterback on the field, he's not going to be flustered by anything Grilliams throws at him. Even against all the blitzes the Panthers threw at Romo, he calmly stepped up into the pocket and made the throw (something we all wish Brunell would do). Romo is athletic but he's certainly not Michael Vick.

And stepping up in the pocket against the 46, with its huge rush up the middle, is a mistake. It forces the quarterback out of the pocket, outside the tackles, right into your blitzing linebackers. If Romo is going to beat us, let him beat us using his physical skills under a severe amount of pressure. Let's not try and confuse him with a myriad of coverages: he won't be confused (we haven't confused anyone all year) and he has the patience and the wide-receivers to defeat that style of play. Jason Witten is another major concern.

Parcells has always had great tight-ends, but this year Bledsoe wasn't utilizing him enough. Enter Romo and Witten becomes his best-buddy, his safety-valve. The Skins can't afford to let him off the line. Playing a 46, one can bump the tight-end with both outside linebackers, and even the middle-linebacker, before he even gets five yards. The Skins need to bloody him early and take him out of the game plan. Putting Taylor in the roaming capacity of the free-safety in the 46 frees him to do what he does best.

Which is take a flying head-start at the running backs, and be able to line up teeth-rattling shots on TO when he crosses over the middle. Need I say more? Grilliams strikes me as a stubborn man, insistent on doing things his way. His old high school coach , Sam Brown, tells a story about Grilliams when he played quarterback for him: "He was always changing plays on his own," said Brown. "We had a big, crucial game, and I kept calling a play and he'd keep changing it. Finally I just said, "You know what? You just go ahead and call the rest of them. You take it. I'm not even going to call any more.' He was smart and he could see what was happening. We won the game. He always wanted and needed the reins."

And no doubt Buddy Ryan was just as stubborn an old mule: "I can get along with anybody, as long as they do things my way." But I'm going to make a desperate plea here, for once, just once oh great Grilliams: just do it Buddys way.

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 3, 2006; 1:00 PM ET
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Next: Our Other Guest Columnist


Honestly, to long for me to be bothered. I have the Adult ADD. That's why I am on this blog and not working.......

Posted by: 4th Floor | November 3, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Didn't read the entire long post either. I thought this was the blog of a "Redskins Insider". Why all these guest bloggers? Can't they get their own blogs? If I want to read stuff posted by any ordinary fan, I would go to Extremeskins.

Posted by: Bart | November 3, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Same here. Too long. And a rehash of everything else. Stop wasting your time Megskin.

Posted by: Bored out of my Mind | November 3, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

This was way too long. Jason, if you can't post, we understand, you are super-busy. But PLEASE stop posting other people's articles. They are not that good. 1TCCL.

Posted by: Too long | November 3, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse


I found this online today. Please do not tell me this is the case?!?

"You've heard a third-round pick, but that's not entirely accurate. The compensation will have the draft pick trade chart value of a third-round, but it may not be a third-rounder that changes hands. According to Bill Williamson in the Denver Post, and confirmed by Warpath's John Keim, these are the possible scenarios:

- The two teams exchange first-round picks, in which the Broncos would make a huge jump up the round
- The teams flip-flop their first-rounders and the Broncos get a fourth-rounder in 2008
- The teams flip-flop their first-rounders and the Broncos get a third- rounder next year
- The Broncos get a third-rounder in 2007 and a fourth-rounder in 2008.

To make this as expensive as possible, let's assume that they are looking at the point value of the first pick in the draft, which on the 2006 chart was 265 points. So, somehow or another, the Redskins have to transfer 265 points to the Broncos. Obviously for any of the first three scenarios listed to happen the Broncos would have to the picking later than the Redskins meaning that the Broncos would need to have a better record in 2006.

Posted by: BT | November 3, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

jm220 just got fired for reading that meg. I would definately get fired for trying... I'll give it a shot over the weekend. Good form though. Making JLC's job easy on Fridays. Let's go gettem this weekend Skins. Show some heart.

Posted by: Dorf | November 3, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

If you didn't read it, then don't comment. She obviously put a lot of time into it. If you don't have time for it, then just wait for the next "We need a GM" thread to come along.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | November 3, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse


Sorry, this is regarding the Duckett deal.

Posted by: BT | November 3, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse


Nice article. Well thought out, well writen.


That is true. The only way it really hurts us is if we just miss the playoffs and Denver wins the Superbowl. They'd go from 32 to like 20. If we get a Top 10 pick then they get a 3rd and 4th or something like that.

Last week in one of the blogs I linked to an article on Denver's website laying out the deal. I got the link from

Posted by: Skinz | November 3, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

BT, that is correct.

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | November 3, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Did I just read someone say something about JC possibly playing???

Where did you hear this from?

Posted by: 4th Floor | November 3, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Good show, Joe in Raleigh.

Thanks Megskin. I'll read when I get a millenium. ha ha... just playin.

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | November 3, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't stand Buddy Ryan when he was in Philly. He'd blitz the QB with little thought to covering anybody or so it seemed. That being said I'd like to see the skins be more agressive. Just mix it up. Keep the cowboys and romo guessing ala R. Petibone. Bring back the 'Bone!!!

Posted by: skinswest | November 3, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Meg, very interesting and well done. I was especially interested in the X's and O's part which you did a good job describing. A couple comments:

1. I thought Marcus played on the Strong side not the weak. I'm SURE Lemar was moved to WLB in 2004 when Arrington got hurt. I'm not so sure about Lemar at SLB -- seems too small to me.

2. Vincent hasn't played corner for several years. We're probably stuck with Rogers as the 2nd CB and TV at safety in passing/coverage situations. That said, maybe it's not such a bad thing to give Rogers playing time. He's still young.

3. I love the idea of the 46 attacking defense as a solution to our d's woes. But has anyone (other than Grill/Fish) been successful with it. Ryan's kids have tried it without success, right?

4. Did you actually talk to Grill's HS coach? Impressive.

5. Dallas sucks. Attack you idiot.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | November 3, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Meg - Long, yes. But very well thought out and well written. Fortunately, bossman is out of town today, so all blog all the time.

As thought provoking as this may be, I agree with Jason that moving M. Washington to the middle would result in a long learning process and sloppy play initially. I have no doubt he could pick it up, but it would take some time.

I would love to see what Grilliams' reaction to this would be - Jason, any chance you could shove this in his hands?

For the defense we all know and love (the pre-2006 D) to work effectively, the corners need to be able to lock down their receivers with little or no help. Even if Springs is able to limit TO, I just don't see CRogers or Vincent being able to stay with Glenn.


Posted by: CO Skins Fan | November 3, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

From John Clayton's 1st and 10.

"What's always interesting in Owens' games against the Redskins is how Washington safety Sean Taylor is like a heat-seeking missile in his attempts to hit Owens. If Owens goes across the middle, as he tends to do, Taylor usually gives him a big, highlight-grabbing shot"

Posted by: Da Truef | November 3, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if anyone actually reads anything about the redskins anymore. I mean even the post doesn't seem to care, with a redskins column not even getting a top billing on the webpage. I think the fans have finally gotten to the boiling point and are starting to lose interest. I think its been too many dissapointments and too much heart break. You can only get excited for a certain amount of time before everyone just says F it. I'm watching hockey or basketball. I mean i don't know about you all but when we lose I barely read the articles in the post. It just hurts too much. I stay away from it until sunday and then watch to see if they've made any improvements (which they haven't). I'm a season ticket holder and I'll still go to the games but I ain't buying shirts and drinking beers as much cause I don't want to lose and lose money in the process. Its like going to the prom and you know you aren't going to get some.

Hey la canfora! Can you go and see website stats that shows how many less clicks the post has gotten since the redskins wins vs. losses? I bet you the post wants them to win cause it sells newspapers and get advertising dollars up on the internet.

Anyone agree?

Posted by: Who Cares anymore | November 3, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

A couple comments:
1. I thought Marcus played on the Strong side

My main idea was to suggest Washington play in the middle, with two the outside linebackers playing on the strong side, which was key in the 46.

And no, this is not really a realistic option for...probably ever.

2. Vincent hasn't played corner for several years. We're probably stuck with Rogers

Most likely

3. I love the idea of the 46 attacking defense as a solution to our d's woes. But has anyone (other than Grill/Fish) been successful with it. Ryan's kids have tried it without success, right?

I haven't seen Oakland play at all so I don't know what they run. I watched Baltimore play last week and I didn't tape the game, stupid of me, I know. But Rex Ryan is known as "The Mad Scientist" and they run so many different things it's just bizarre.

At one point, when the Saints were down at Baltimore's 5 or 8 (or something) they dropped back to pass and the entire defense of the Ravens dropped back into coverage--yes, all 11 of them. Brees looked so confused, as did the linemen, and threw a pass that got batted away by a defender. Peyton Manning, after he played them, says they don't play a 46 and has no idea what to call it.

4. Did you actually talk to Grill's HS coach? Impressive.

Historical quotes.

5. Dallas sucks. Attack you idiot.

That pretty much sums it up in more realistic terms.

I would love to see what Grilliams' reaction to this would be

He would laugh and call me an idiot.

Posted by: Megskin | November 3, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Da Truef, great quote.

JLC, if Swoop does it again (which I firmly believe he will), can we start referring to TO as Too Ouchy?

As in, "Going over the middle against the Redksins makes me Too Ouchy."

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | November 3, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Meg needs to get outside a little. Geez.

Posted by: Cliff Huxtable | November 3, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Washington would do well in the middle. The skill sets are different. He's a fast guy who can cover on the edge and chase down and fill caps.

MLB is much more about reads and shedding blockers, taking on blockers to fill a whole. Their pass coverage is more zone than man coverage.

I agree with Joe IR in regards to Vincent. Carlos is young and I'm not ready to give up on him just yet. Furthermore i'm not sure Vincent would be that much of an upgrade.

Vincent is old and I think that playing a Nickel back/safety on passing downs is a perfect fit for him. He'll make a greater impact replacing Arch than Rogers.

Posted by: Skinz | November 3, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree completely. Too much fancy shmancy balogna. Attack! Get burned! Get sacks! Get interceptions!

Posted by: Lavar Walt Clark | November 3, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't necessarily agree with the conclusion, but the effort is exemplary. Its sad that with posts of this length that the first people to comment are inevitably going to be people who didn't read it. And therefore their opinion is worthless, and it therefore clouds up some of the more thoughtful responses.

Bart says that if he wanted to read posts by ordinary fans he would go to extremeskins.

If I wanted to type 30 second no substance replies to a well thought-out free blog post, Bart, thats exactly where I'd go.

JLa, as long as you have readers who are willing to write out posts of such knowledge, interesting points, and details please KEEP POSTING THEM.

Ignore the haters who can't think of a more detailed thought than, "Oh my god, is Santana playing this week or not?!?!?!"

Posted by: rain man | November 3, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

negative infinity TCCL: Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae: I would rather braid BOOFER's butt-beard than have to scroll past another of your brutally annoying, self-centered, pseudo-intellectual, post-ironic, stream of consciousness blitherfests which are clearly part of some kind of pathetic self-promotion that will inevitably lead to you telling us to read more on such and such blog once you decide that people sufficiently adore you. Go away.

Posted by: LWC | November 3, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

your words couldn't be the prom date analogy.

last time i read a whole week's worth articles was the OT win against jax....after that i just stopped caring

Posted by: re: who cares anymore | November 3, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BOOFER | November 3, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I think MegSkin needs to get a life.

Posted by: Borat | November 3, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I only have one thing to say to that, "Put me in Coach."

I'm not sure it will solve our problems, but it would make some awesome You Tube videos. If we are going to give up yards (not something I want to see), lets do it by stampeding the QB.

Thanks for the post.

Congratulations Megskin, your moving up the rankings from gumshoe to super sleuth.

Posted by: bbpt89854726 | November 3, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse


That made me lose it. I just busted out laughing and got some looks.

Posted by: Skinz | November 3, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I would think that the 46 was more successful under the old NFL rules than it is today. The new rules force teams to be less aggressive because the DB's can't be as physical with the WR's as they used to be. Grilliams hinted at this in his interview this week. These days, after 5-yards if you so much as put a fingernail on the WR's jersey you are going to get a pass interference flag. So I think that is part of the problem. You don't see much "true" man-to-man coverage since the rule change.

Posted by: Max | November 3, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that's extensive. I haven't written 3,000 words on a single topic since my college paper on how the plague became endemic in North America.

Posted by: Harvey Martin's Funeral Wreath | November 3, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

And, the rule change really benefits the Quarterbacks that like to throw the ball downfield, so our offense really can't take advantage of that.

Posted by: Max | November 3, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Nice article, but very long. I know MEGSKIN is a loyal poster and reader of the blog, but come on JLC. I respect the time and effort she put in to writing it, but let's keep things in perspective. I think her input is posted a little too much. She provides a subjective opinion and hypothesis built on facts. I look forward to reading YOUR input on the skins. I look for interesting updates and info, not MEGSKINS opinion. Can we get more "redskins insider" info and less redskins "outsider" info. I hate to complain, but I like to hear about Moss updates, Portis and the run game, internal issues...etc.


Posted by: all-american corner | November 3, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

And with the new QB rules:

1. Helmet to Helmet is a personal foul. That's what helmets are for aren't they?

2. Any defensive player hitting a QB or tackling a QB below the waste is a personal foul unless you are blocked into him. Some of these QB's are like RB's, it's almost impossible to tackle them unless you go low.

3. If the ball has been released from the QB's hand and your momentum carries you into him and knocks him down it's a personal foul.

Really takes the aggressiveness out of defesne doesn't it.

Posted by: Max | November 3, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Macon, GA

Nov 3 Today
Sunny. High 61F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Nov 3 Tonight
Mainly clear skies. Hard freeze expected. Low around 30F. Winds light and variable.
Nov 4 Tomorrow
Mainly sunny. High 63F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Nov 4 Tomorrow night
Mostly clear. Cold. Low 32F. Winds light and variable

Posted by: loco mullin | November 3, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was a great article. Philosophically I agree with the attack-first offense, but I think 46's time has come. Still, well researched, worded, and an interesting read.

If you didn't read it, don't critique it. If you think it's too long to read, then don't disingenuously say "too long, I won't read it" as it takes less time to simply not type anything at all than to type that.

Good times.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | November 3, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Meg -
Excellent breakdown. I just dont think THIS front 4 can play in a 46; Note: I was too young for the 85 bears and Buddy's philly's teams; with that said, dont you need some really big uglies up front. I'm talking the Sam Madison's and the Tony Saragusa size folks. Griffen's big, but not that level, Neither are the 2 rookies that play now. So the push up front would not happen 'like it should'. So the linebackers would not be able to break free.

Just a thought; but I did read the entire thing and I appreciate the X & O's; especially on a friday.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | November 3, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I just dont think THIS front 4 can play in a 46

You're probably right about that; they might just get steamrolled.

And yes Max, you had a good point about the rule changes taking the aggressiveness out of the defense. Dilutes football in my opinion--but I'm sure offensive minded people enjoy the game more now.

Posted by: Megskin | November 3, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the conclusion of my paper -- that the bubonic plague became endemic in North America as a result of rats imported from Kazakhstan as pets by Eagles fas -- earned me an A.

Posted by: Harvey Martin's Funeral Wreath | November 3, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Good writing, Megs. I'm currently convinced that we not only need to switch defensive personnel around, but we need to simplify the system as well. Unless Greggilligan gets off his high horse and simplifies his system, we're just going to be spinning in circles.

Given Gregilligan's tendency to believe that "It's In The System", he's certain to have a rather sizable Defensive Methodology Of Unusually Sadistic Expectation(DefMOUSE). I'm starting to wonder if DefMOUSE is the reason why the defense is malfunctioning as it is.

Yes, there's cases of sheer inability on the part of some players, like "Can't Getta" Holdmann. But there really isn't any way to explain why it seems just about everyone is out of place, or having so many difficulties. Unless Vinny Cerrato has the uncanny ability to bring together the entire Southeast Jerome School Of Mental Mediocrity Remedial Math team into our defense, I'm not sure there's any explanation why our defense seems lost besides the DefMOUSE.

Let's throw in the fact that we're constantly adding more free agents to the mix. Given that Gregilligan spent all that time trying to coach up Archubingus about the defensive scheme (as per JLaC's free agency article), and he's still looking like he's a taco and enchilada short of the combo platter, how could we expect last-minute free agents and young players to do much better? Maybe St. Joe's rubbed off on Gregg, nowadays - rather than try to work the system around the players, he just opts to coach 'em up, instead.

Yet again, long on supposition, heavy on the despair, short on answers.

Posted by: FlimFlam | November 3, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse


Why didn't anyone TELL ME there was another blog entry? boo hoo.

Posted by: SallieMae | November 3, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Excellent - simply outstanding. Thank you for taking the time.

Posted by: SallieMae | November 3, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse


Why didn't anyone TELL ME there was another blog entry? boo hoo."

I think the answer to that question is pretty apparent.

Posted by: Skinz | November 3, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

he's a taco and enchilada short of the combo platter

OK, that is now my favorite thing to say. Hilarious. Everything else is 2nd, except for this: attack you idiot.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | November 3, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

one of the problems you fans have is DENIAL another is understanding football.your talking about front 4 which is avg at need a front 8 you have to have a rotation.this team has no depth at all positions and avg talent at most starting.

Posted by: Redskins Suck | November 3, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't think simplifying the defense will help. Simplyfying a defense only makes it "simpler" for an opposing offense to pick it apart. Look at how complicated New England and Baltimore's defenses are. They are so complicated and confusing to offesnes, that Peyton Manning doesn't even know what to call them!!

Posted by: Max | November 3, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Good job Meg. 1 TCCL to all of those who said the article is too long or doesn't deserve a space in this blog. It's not that long. And it's well-researched and well-written. In any case it's good education for you guys, who probably cannot tell the diff between a WLB and SLB.

Posted by: GmBrZ | November 3, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Go skins!! Don't give up on my boys. Dallas will lose!

Posted by: red-dude | November 3, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't think simplifying the defense will help. Simplyfying a defense only makes it "simpler" for an opposing offense to pick it apart. Look at how complicated New England and Baltimore's defenses are. They are so complicated and confusing to offesnes, that Peyton Manning doesn't even know what to call them!!

Well, yes. Simplyifying it to the point where it can be picked up easily is indeed a bad route to go.

But our problem is that our defensive players have shown an inability to play effectively with the system as it is. A defense where our own players have no idea where they need to be going is not helping matters one bit. You can try to confuse a quarterback all day, but when you have gaps and holes the size of some small Middle Eastern countries, you're not doing yourself a favor.

Posted by: FlimFlam | November 3, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

You rock, Megskin!

Posted by: QFB | November 3, 2006 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Guess that JCam rumor has sort of wilted on the vine. Haven't heard any more about it.

Posted by: RMilot | November 3, 2006 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Go Meg! The last one was 5 pages when transferred to Word, this one is 8!

I find the articles to be insightful. Yeah, it's long, but who cares?! They are fun to read. Besides, its not like the Skins are doing anything this season that is worth talking about, except stinking up the NFL.

Posted by: Skins Fan in New Orleans | November 3, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we'll see KCam. That's probably about it, though.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | November 3, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Ocho Ouchy?
That is genius. Blog law on that should the Reaper do his thing? I vote in the affirmative.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | November 3, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, I don't think they have the talent and beef at D line to pull off the 46 either, but I think it's great food for thought and an excellent analysis.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | November 3, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Carter is not suited to play weakside LB. In fact, one of the reasons the 49ers got rid of him is that he couldn't adapt to playing OLB in a 3-4 defense and he is too small to play DE in a 3-4. So the 49ers didn't make any effort to re-sign him. Not that they would have outbid the Snyderman if they did try. Unfortunately, Carter's best position is RDE in a 4-3, which is the position that he is playinig now. I think back injuries over his career have significantly slowed him, and that really affects a speed rusher.

Posted by: GlorySkins | November 3, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

It's long but it's a good read. I learned from that post and I don't care if It's jason or meg writing something I need something to read during the day so I don't go crazy.

Posted by: Franky Four Fingers | November 3, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse


Joe - you ask, so you shall receive.

Raleigh, NC

Nov 3 Tonight
Mostly clear. Cold. Low 31F. Winds light and variable.
Nov 4 Tomorrow
Plentiful sunshine. High 53F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Nov 4 Tomorrow night
A mostly clear sky. Cold. Low 31F. Winds light and variable.
Nov 5 Sunday
Sunshine. Highs in the upper 50s and lows in the upper 30s.

Posted by: loco mullin | November 3, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Megskin? You work for ESPN, WashPost or SI? WOW! Great content and excellent thoughts.

I will be sitting at my favorite VAB sports bar SUnday helping the D with everything I got - What do I got? I can prayer in real time, I can should and holler, and if JlaC gives me Grilliams cell phone I can also phone in some suggestions.

Posted by: X.Hog | November 3, 2006 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I will be sitting at my favorite VAB sports bar SUnday helping the D with everything I got - What do I got? I can prayer in real time, I can should and holler, and if JlaC gives me Grilliams cell phone I can also phone in some suggestions.

I probably need to try that. I can say for sure that sitting at home, yelling invectives until my face turns blue, and throwing things most definitely doesn't help.

Posted by: FlimFlam | November 3, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Damn, Jason. If you wanted to take off today, just do it. Don't subject us to this. The short, succinct comments to YOUR blog entries/articles from us amatuers are sufficient. No offense, Megskin. You da woman in your comments.

Posted by: Casual Friday | November 3, 2006 6:05 PM | Report abuse

""...then Taylor coming up from the free-safety position.""

After reading this, not too much I disagre with except this. Taylor is a natural strong safety, not free safety. He was drafted and I quote GWillimas "To stop the tight ends in the division."

Taylor is now being asked to cover wide receivers. He is not used to doing that so his play(along with the departure of Clark) is suffering.

They need to dump Archuleta and get someone who can play free safety. They say they got him in case Taylor went to jail, but to me that's BS because they never got someone to replace Clark.

Otherwise moving Washington to the middle and everything else seems good on paper anyway.

It's also funny what you said in your last paragraph, I was yelling for that week one. They haven't attacked at all this year, but then again thier d-line sucks so what are you going to do about them?

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | November 3, 2006 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Spot on Meg! great work! an enjoyable read even at this late hour! You nailed it, D is the key to stopping the spiral . . .

Posted by: skinsfan@8KaboveMSL | November 5, 2006 2:20 AM | Report abuse

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