5 Redskins Players Mike Shanahan is Grossly Misusing

As much as Redskins players say this year's woes are part of the learning process of a new system, there is something bigger we need to highlight - bad coaching. When I spoke with Charles Mann two weeks ago, he told me that Andre Carter had been coming to him all season for advice on coping with a system that does not fit his strengths. Of course, we all know Haynesworth's frustrations on how he's used. Cooley spoke earlier this week on his confusion of why himself and Fred Davis are not being targeted more. Why? BAD COACHING.

Player How they're misused
Fred Davis I greatly respect the Football Outsiders, so I was a bit surprised to see that Fred Davis is the 14th ranked TE in DYAR* and the 3rd best TE in DVOA**. Cooley is ranked 26th and 31st in these 2 categories. With as porous as the Redskins offense has been this year, it makes zero sense Cooley and Davis are not on the field every play. We've already seen these guys line up in the slot or off the Tackle, so why not do this more? The 2009 Redskins were not creative at all with their play calling, yet Davis had 6 Tds and 48 receptions (10.6 yards per catch). Why has this guy been riding the pine all year????
Brian Orakpo/Chris Wilson Every time I see Orakpo standing up for a pass rush it makes me cringe. Rak is not an agile, shifty rusher like Clay Matthews. He's a power rusher than can use downhill speed to get around the edge, often a bonus from a Tackle prepping for his 5-star bull rush. Why not keep Rak on the line and allow the much speedier and shiftier LB Chris Wilson to handle these OLB duties?
Andre Carter There's not much explanation needed here. Despite all summer long hearing from coaches they'd use Andre different than how his coaches used him in San Fran, the OLB experiment had the same result as Bill Gramatica's TD celebration. The Redskins have moved #99 back to DE, but he's struggling in double coverages whereas in a 4-3 he saw more 1-1 opportunites (11 sacks last year).
Albert Haynesworth No one except Peyton Manning or Tom Brady can live up to a contract of that size. I'm over it. Put him in the middle of a 4-3 and let him do his thing for 75% of the plays. What is there to lose at this point? The Redskins have been getting GASHED up the middle on the run all year. Kemo has consistently been getting man-handled by a single OLineman. It's laughable they've been sticking with him at NT for so long.
Donovan McNabb Shanhan has his master playbook, and he pulled a top, veteran QB to run it. The problem is McNabb is not an accurate Quarterback. What McNabb excels at is extending plays with his feet, which allows players to get open for big yardage plays down-field or on screens. Shanny appears to finally be adjusting his scheme, so there is some hope here, but again, what took so long?

 

The 3-4 defense was supposed to be that magical turnover defense. Well, I got a stat matrix for you after the jump. Last year's D was about the same or better in most key categories...

So, looking at this table below (comparing key stats from last year's D to this year's D), the Redskins are MUCH worse in sacks, much better in forced fumbles, and mildly better in INTs. Forcing fumbles have nothing to do with the defensive scheme, so I'm really wary of this stat. You teach guys how to strip, punch, and attack the ball - something Blache failed to do. So, now that guys are conscious to do this, can we stop with the 3-4? Ken made a good point that the 3-4 is not a light-switch type thing where the D will all of a sudden be great. It takes years. Fine...but you know what...you can't run a 3-4 without a NT. End of discussion. Make the 3-4 a small subset of the D and ease it in. The Redskins have been doing of that late, but the bottom line is players are still out of position (see 2010 sack stats). Have we tried Kemo and Haynesworth lined up next to each other?

A comparison of the Redskins defenses: 

2010 2009
Tied for 8th with 17 forced fumbles (11 kept). Tied for 20th with 21 forced fumbles (6 kept)
18th with 22 sacks. 8th with 40 sacks
15th with 10 INTs.
If it wasn't for that 1 four interception game by DHall, the Redskins would rank 30th in this category.
Tied for 26th with 11 INTs


These acronyms apply to Table #1.

* DVOA, or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. This number represents value, per play, over an average TE in the same game situations. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the player's performance.

** DYAR, or Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement. This gives the value of the performance on plays where this TE caught the ball, compared to a replacement-level TE in the same game situations and then translated into yardage.

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