Welcome back to another Hogs Haven Round Table discussion. This week's topic is:
Given the Redskins porous secondary, with a LOT of games left, how do you fix it this year if you're Bruce Allen, Haz, and Mike Shanahan?
It would be criminal if the Redskins haven't been actively looking for any Free Agent Safeties the last few weeks. Madieu Williams has not progressed in the least bit and that's very concerning. Is Bob Sanders still alive? He's always good for 2 games a season. BRING HIM IN!! Ugh....I just don't know. But clearly, as misinformed fans, we knew before training camp started these guys stunk and here we are. I would have liked to seen ANY of our draft picks used on FS but the Redskins passed. Markelle Martin may not have been an answer but he was a 6th round pick the Titans took a chance on. In short, I have no f'n clue how to fix this.
The most ideal choice would be to trade for a proven young veteran, but with limited picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, aquiring one would be difficult. The waiver wire would not provide us much better than we already have, so we would be very limited there too. I see two options: 1)Trade a player like Fred Davis, and maybe a later round draft pick, for a younger corner or safety. Jason McCourty(CB - Titans), Aquib Talib(CB - Bucs), Jairus Byrd(S - Bills) and Kenny Phillips(S - Giants) would be some logical targets. 2)Move Hall to free safety(hope and pray Meriweather can return healthy to play strong safety), allow either one of Crawford/Griffin to play opposite Wilson on the outside, and have the other as a nickle guy. Jones would be the dime corner. The tandem of Hall and Meriweather would provide a huge up-grade at safety, and Wilson, who is a physical press-man corner, playing opposite of Crawford/Griffin, would be able to play even more aggressive man coverage, knowing we have competent and very athletic safeties behind him.
Either way, something needs to be done to shake up this hot mess we call a secondary. The loss of Jackson due to suspension, and the injury to Meriweather really hurt this secondary more than anyone will want to admit. Meriweather may come back healthy, but Jackson is surely lost for the season(and probably for good), so change is needed.
Haslett needs to tweek his defense some kind of bad, but he seems to think it will eventually work if he sticks with it. Personal is an obvious issue and the only way I see that changing is if Shanahan and Allen were to find someone to trade for. Another key could be getting Brandon Meriweather healthy and back on the field. Meriweather may not be a player many Redskins fans like, but he is an improvement on what has been taking the field lately at his position. Also, this defense needs get away from cover zero altogether until they have the players in place to effectively run it.
Honestly I don't think anything can really be done on the back-end to fix the secondary. Sure Brandon Meriweather coming back should theoretically help, but he's also been a coverage liability in recent years. I think the best way to help the secondary is to be more aggressive up front. I think they need to be bringing 5 pass rushers on pretty much every snap. Especially now that Brian Orakpo is out, getting pressure on the quarterback with just 3 or 4 guys will be pretty tough, I think the Skins need to bring that 5th man, and use a variety of different ways to do it. Per Rich Campbell, when the Redskins brought just four rushers Dalton was 10-12 for 149 yards and 2 TD's, when they brought five rushers he was 7-14 for 119, 2 sacks and an INT. That extra guy will help you more times than it will hurt you. Now I don't mind a couple times bringing 6 or even 7 guys, but that is only to mix it up a little bit and keep offenses honest. Five guys should be the standard, and that will be the best answer to 'fix' the secondary.
I don't think Bruce Allen can fix it at all. The thought has always been that Allen is the salary cap guy and Shanny is the personnel guy. So how could Allen possibly fix the secondary? I think it just has to come down to accountability as a unit and I'm going to put it on DeAngelo Hall and Raheem Morris. These guys have to be cohesive and right now they are a bunch of individuals. It seems as if no one respects one another on that unit and everyone has an unwarranted ego. DHall is jabbering away and being DHall, I mean go back to the Rams game and look at what DHall is not only doing while he's playing but what he was doing on the sideline when the offense was on the field, it was embarrassing especially coming from our "captain". Josh Wilson is off doing his own thing and playing the right way, and then the safeties are off in there own little world doing god knows what. This just doesn't look like a unit right now, rather four guys that were picked to play together in pick up ball.
I rarely wear the negative hat in this group, but I am low on answers to our defensive woes this year. We just don't seem to have the horses. If that is true, I would start trotting out a few youngsters to see what they're made of at some point soon so we can move forward with a different group in 2013. If it is coaching...I am not sure if you fire a Haslett mid-season, but the change would have to occur at that staff position to really get a fresh take on what we do on defense. At the very least, you have to think that Haslett needs to explore options that aren't currently in his comfort zone to attempt to find a way to slow down opposing offenses.