We check in with John Keim, a regular at Redskins Park, regarding our mounting concerns on the Redskins roster and what he's seeing out of Haslett's 'aggressive' schemes.
So, who is now taking the majority of snaps at Right DE? I'm thinking Kedric and Vonnie Holliday split the spot, but that is very concerning given their sizes if they're the only two on the final roster. Would Carriker get moved over?
John: As of now, Kedric and Vonnie seem to be the main two working at this spot for now. I've seen Carriker working mostly on the left side, but I'm sure he could play on the right in a pinch. But you're right, if Albert isn't here they would need another body at this position. Holliday is 285, which is on the lighter end for a 3-4 end; but I would imagine they want him more to rush the passer. Golston is 300 pounds; a good size for a 3-4 end. He's very workmanlike and has the right mentality for this sort of scheme. But they would be thin at this spot. Don't forget; they'll also play the 4-3 and in that case, Andre Carter or Orakpo could play RE.
Haslett has continually mentioned how much more aggressive his scheme will be. Have you been able to notice any of this? Specifically, what gaps Carter/Orakpo are hitting, how close the CBs are to the line, and what roles the safeties are playing.
John: I've seen a lot of blitzing during these camps. I've seen corners coming from the edge and from the slot. I've seen safeties lining up as down linemen, then standing up and blitzing from over the tackle. I've seen two linebackers coming from the edge -- Orakpo and Alexander -- and I've seen the OLB's hitting it inside, with success I might add. You will see the corners play more zone -- it's a better defense to get turnovers. I am a little worried about the free safety spot. I'd like to see some more consistency in coverage. I'll also say that whenever a new defensive coordinator comes in, the mantra always is that they'll be more aggressive. I think if Haslett had followed Gregg Williams, I would laugh at that notion. But following Blache? Yes, they will be more aggressive.
I still have my concerns with Artis Hicks. How's he holding up the right edge?
John: Getting better. I thought he struggled initially; his footwork was off. I wondered if it was a sign of him as a player or due to the fact that he's always bounced around. But in watching him today he was much further along than when I paid close attention to him a month or two ago. I thought a couple times he let the defender get in too close to his body, but he looked more comfortable overall. His footwork was better. I'm curious to see how he'll do when the pads come on and we get a chance to see him in one-on-one situations.
What's more concerning...OLine depth or DLine depth?
John: Hmmm; interesting question. I've gone back and forth on this one and I'm not sure. I like the DL depth better because they'll also use a 4-3 and in that case, Carter becomes a DL as does Lorenzo. But in the 3-4? I don't know about their depth or even about their starters; if Albert plays, then it's fine. But if he doesn't, then the depth needs to be improved. I don't like the OL depth, though some of the guys I have not seen play before so it's a little harder to say. I'm concerned about depth at tackle and uncertain about the other spots.However, if the line stays healthy, they won't have to play and won't be an issue. But we all know that's rare.