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Tale of the D: Gregg vs. Greg

I've been on a comparison kick of sorts, so let's look at last year's defense and this year's. Gregg Williams took his biggest hits when he ran Washington's defense for the lack of sacks, turnovers and big plays. This year, the bend-don't-break philosophy still seems to be in place, but there's a less aggressive bent overall from Greg Blache.

The Redskins have a top 10 defense this year, just as they did last year. Last year's team, like this year's, never got to really play with a lead or any big margin. So here we go with the tale of the tape:

This team has 19 sacks, led by defensive end Demetric Evans with 3½ sacks. The 2007 Skins had 33 sacks and defensive end Andre Carter posted a now-unfathomable 10½ himself. It's going to take a serious December barrage to equal that total.

The 2007 Skins had 14 interceptions (with five from Sean Taylor). This unit has 12, so they are within reach there.

The GregGSkins allowed 19.4 points per game last season. The GreGSkins are allowing 18.9.

This year's team allows 283 yards per game. Last year's averaged 305. So that's a decent margin there. Last year they allowed 3.7 per carry. This year they allow 3.8.

Last year they allowed an opposing QB rating of 77.1. This year it's at 74. Again, virtually identical.

Last year they held teams to 17 points or less eight times. They have already done that eight times this season.

So we're basically looking at more of the same, but with a decided dip in sacks, and this even despite the Skins finally making what they believed would be an impact move for a pass-rushing end and dealing two picks for Jason Taylor, as well as trading for Erasmus James, in another attempt to upgrade the pass rush. And obviously the death of Sean Taylor in November 2007 had a tremendous impact on everything associated with this defense.

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 11, 2008; 8:16 AM ET
 
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Next: Jenkins, Kornheiser on Portis-Zorn

Comments

1st

Source Meter Ownage.

Posted by: jmicrodoc | December 11, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Great idea! Fire the coach after 1 season. That works every time!

Posted by: Original_etrod

As does providing "continuity" for 3-4 years.

-Rod Marinelli
-Marvin Lewis
-Mike Tice
-Jim Haslett
-Butch Davis
-Norv Turner
-Joe Bugel
-Scott Linehan

You've gotta find the right guy first.

Posted by: psps23 | December 11, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Great idea! Fire the coach after 1 season. That works every time!

Posted by: Original_etrod | December 11, 2008 8:14 AM

Worked in Miami. Just sayin'...

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 11, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Flounder, you're not winning the talent argument. Zorn inherited an offense with 4 pro-bowl players, an efficient QB, and a top 5-10 defense. No shot in hell this team should be putting up less than 11 points per game the last 5 games. It's not Gibbs' fault Zorn refused to make adjustments to mask certain deficiencies.

Posted by: psps23 | December 11, 2008 8:21 AM |

That never one more then 10 games in a season under Gibbs, and they only had 2 pro bowlers on offense not 4 and with another year older O-Line that can not block it means nothing anyway.

Should they be scoring more sure but do not give me what a great team this was at the begining of the year.

Top 5-10 defense that can not get to the QB and could'nt under Gibbs either.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 11, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

So who do you suggest the Redskins hire if they fire Zorn.

Given that, again, beating the bones into dust, no coach worth his salt is gonna come here KNOWING FULL WELL that the players are going up the back stairs to the owner.

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 11, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Once again I think the sacks not that big of a deal. We are in the top 10 and holding people to under 20 points a game. But I guess if you are looking for negative things to say you can go with the lack of sacks.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | December 11, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I really miss watching Sean Taylor. I really hope this Portis Zorn thing is going to give the Skins the spark they need to win the next 7.

Posted by: Skew | December 11, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

pretty obvious from the casual fan's POV stats would be nearly identical to last year except sack total...because gregg loved to blitz and create havoc at any time

Posted by: forever21 | December 11, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

So in other words Gibbs had the same Defense Zorn has and he could not win more then 10 games in a season, and Zorn can still match that, so I guess he is doing just as good with Gibbs roster as Gibbs did.

Actually Gibbs only one 9 games last year with this great roster so Zorn can actually top that. The only difference is the NFC is better this year so 9 wins will not let you back into the playoffs.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 11, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Once again I think the sacks not that big of a deal. We are in the top 10 and holding people to under 20 points a game. But I guess if you are looking for negative things to say you can go with the lack of sacks.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | December 11, 2008 8:35 AM

Agreed, JM. It's PRESSURE that's important. This team could still use a more consistent pass rush, but they're going to have to actually use the draft to address it and not use 33 year-old band-aids...

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 11, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

noticed after the bmore game the blip about opposing team's media was taken down...like to see that come back to read about our weekly opponent's take on the skins

Posted by: forever21 | December 11, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

How much does the fact that its a brand new offense effect the team. I mean certainly you have to take that into consideration, when comparing this year, and last year.

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 11, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Given that, again, beating the bones into dust, no coach worth his salt is gonna come here KNOWING FULL WELL that the players are going up the back stairs to the owner.

Posted by: BeantownGreg

(1) I haven't said to fire Zorn yet. I'm just not opposed to a 1st year head coach being shown the door if his performance isn't up to standards.

(2) The players never did that to Gibbs. And you know Snyder had Gibbs' back from day one if that ever would happen. It's a reflection of the coach, not the players, that this type of thing happened from the players to the owner.

Posted by: psps23 | December 11, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

So, in other words, the Redskins don't get enough pressure on the QB, right?

THANKS FOR THE BREAKING NEWS JLC!!!!

With such great analysis and insight I can't believe that ESPN hasn't snatched you up for a job on their NFL Matchup Show

JLC = repetitive, beating a dead horse moronic sportswriter

HTTR

Posted by: PASkinsFan2 | December 11, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

psp, answer the question, don't tap dance around it, you've stated if Zorn doens't right the ship then he gets bleep canned.

Who do you bring in, don't bring up Gibbs, because that ship has sailed, and don't bring up Cowher, because he's gonna want FULL CONTROL, and thats not going to happen, so WHO IS IT GONNA BE????

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 11, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

So in other words Gibbs had the same Defense Zorn has and he could not win more then 10 games in a season, and Zorn can still match that, so I guess he is doing just as good with Gibbs roster as Gibbs did.

Actually Gibbs only one 9 games last year with this great roster so Zorn can actually top that. The only difference is the NFC is better this year so 9 wins will not let you back into the playoffs.

Posted by: Flounder21

Yes, IF Zorn wins out and the team plays well, he will be held in high regard. But IF the team continues on this 5-game path of crappy football and Zorn ends the season 7-9 or 8-8, then he does not get the benefit of the doubt. Especially when you consider that Gibbs' teams got better in December/January.

Posted by: psps23 | December 11, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

but they're going to have to actually use the draft to address it and not use 33 year-old band-aids...

Posted by: brownwood26

I agree with you on that one. All of us thought Taylor was a good pick up. (including JLC) So I am not going to act like I was against it from the start like some people on here.
JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | December 11, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

1st

Source Meter Ownage.

Posted by: jmicrodoc | December 11, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse


Another Warcraft Nerd. Grats on first. Hopefully you Pawn him next time!!

Posted by: Gweez | December 11, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

You know for a fact that Cowher wouldn't take the Redskins job? Where could you possibly have seen this? I seem to remember Gibbs having full control.

Posted by: psps23 | December 11, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

People do realize that Joe Gibbs for all the good that he did for this team over the years, is not coaching it now, correct?? He's not coming back, neither is/are ANY of the guys who won Championships with the team back in the 80's and 90's. Not trying to be a kill joy, or anything like that, but sometimes a dose of REALITY is needed every now and again........

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 11, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Yes, IF Zorn wins out and the team plays well, he will be held in high regard. But IF the team continues on this 5-game path of crappy football and Zorn ends the season 7-9 or 8-8, then he does not get the benefit of the doubt. Especially when you consider that Gibbs' teams got better in December/January.

Posted by: psps23 | December 11, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abus

So Zorn needs to be at least as good in his first year coaching as a HOF coach in his second stint; and if Zorn is not, then it would be reasonable to fire him...that's the kind of jacked-up Snyderesque logic that I hope this FO has grown up from...

Posted by: p1funk | December 11, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

So basically what your stats say is that we are just as good or slightly better in points, yards, turnovers, QB def. and yards per rush, even with a less sacks.

Perhaps as fun and sexy as they are sacks are not REQUIRED to have a consistent and sucessful top 10 D. I mean Gregg and Greg are both well regarded, sucessful defensive minds and seem to be okay with it, but I look forwards to Jasno continuing to school us up on why they are wrong and we need more sacks. He certianly is the most knowledgeable of the 3

Posted by: JLR75 | December 11, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

psp, you still have YET to answer the question of who you bring in??

And no, I don't know for a fact that Cowher wont come here, however the deck is stacked against it, there is certainly a greater propensity for it not to happen then for it to happen.....

And this dust-up with portis did nothing to help it....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 11, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Sacks don't make a difference? Have you seen our offense at work lately?

Posted by: mack1 | December 11, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

People do realize that Joe Gibbs for all the good that he did for this team over the years, is not coaching it now, correct?? He's not coming back, neither is/are ANY of the guys who won Championships with the team back in the 80's and 90's. Not trying to be a kill joy, or anything like that, but sometimes a dose of REALITY is needed every now and again........

Posted by: BeantownGreg

Who said Gibbs is coming back? Reading things that aren't there again?

Posted by: psps23 | December 11, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

template for "w" @ bungles

offense
- pound portis down their throats
- get cooley involved early
- use play-action to attack downfield 3-4 times w 89 or 11

defense
- timely blitzes to pressure and force TO's
- zone d to confuse fitzpatrick
- lights out as usual

Posted by: forever21 | December 11, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

B if Zorn does go the person that I hope they bring that my boy CL push last year is Grimm.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | December 11, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

And this dust-up with portis did nothing to help it....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 11, 2008 9:04 AM |

That is true Greg, because Cowher does not take sh!t from players, plus the Pittsburgh FO's would back there coach 100 out of a 100 times.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 11, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Sacks don't make a difference? Have you seen our offense at work lately?

Posted by: mack1 | December 11, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. Pressure is nice; sacks are what we want. Pressure forces an errant throw (maybe); sacks kill off a drive with lost yardage (e.g. 2nd and 20 instead of 2nd and 10) and allow a defense to attack; sacks create alot more forced fumbles. Sacks demoralize the opponent far better than pressure and help turn momentum.

Posted by: p1funk | December 11, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"Especially when you consider that Gibbs' teams got better in December/January"

Just trying some forward thinking...Gibbs is gone, and this isn't his team anymore, its Jim Zorns team.

So who do you bring in again, sorry you never answered that????

This from the Times:

Jim Zorn isn't worried that he may be one-and-done as the Redskins coach.

“We’re trying to build something with substance here, not just a little toothpick house with glass walls,” Zorn said. “We want something solid here. That’s what I’m all about. That’s where I’m trying to go. I feel very comfortable.”

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 11, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

beep beep
(forever21, thanks for the feedback on the baltimore link. we want to make that a weekly feature.)

Posted by: CindyBoren | December 11, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 11, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Especially when you consider that Gibbs' teams got better in December/January.

Posted by: psps23


Once again I think the sacks not that big of a deal. We are in the top 10 and holding people to under 20 points a game. But I guess if you are looking for negative things to say you can go with the lack of sacks.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage

It's obvious that people don't understand sacks are important! I can't beleiev I'd have to even write that? Sacks often shift momentum, move an offense out of FG range, creat fumbles, etc..... Gibbs team last year had almost double the sacks of this years team. It makes a difference.

Ask JC how a sack feels.

Posted by: lsskinsfan | December 11, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you on that one. All of us thought Taylor was a good pick up. (including JLC) So I am not going to act like I was against it from the start like some people on here.
JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | December 11, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

But I think alot of us didn't agree with giving up a 2nd rounder for Taylor. I know I didnt. Especially since the Jets gave up only a 4th round conditional pick for Favre.

Posted by: ga8085 | December 11, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Redskins 2008 Record based on # of sacks:

0 Sacks 2-2
1 Sack 2-0
2 Sacks 3-2
2+ (5) Sacks 0-1

So no for those of you who count sucess in wins and losses more sacks do not equal more wins.

Posted by: JLR75 | December 11, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

the zman will learn to adjust his team just not this year. he should never be fired for this year that would definately make me boycott buying any skins stuff. this team needs continuity not unrest any more. the fans have been through enough of that. i for one never expected them to be as good as they have been i dont think most anyone did not even snyder.

Posted by: rls1041 | December 11, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

The year isn't over yet, so the skins may wind up closer to last years 33 sacks than the current 19. I believe they were 8th overall in defense in the NFL last year, and currently they're 5th, which is excellent considering how long they're on the field each game. With the OT situation a mess the prospects on offense remain grim...

Posted by: sysadb420 | December 11, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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