Jim Haslett was fired this week and although that comes to a relief to many Redskins fans, it's only the first of many moves that need to be made in order to restore a level of comfortability with this defense. Almost three years ago, I received an opportunity to write for Hogs Haven after submitting an article titled, "The Redskins Primary Concern is their Secondary Concern." The time has flown by yet I could change the names in the article and push it like I wrote it yesterday which is a problem. The safety play has been sub-par all season and this past Sunday was no different. I've taken the time to chart their short-comings in the pass game for most of the season but on Sunday they had troubles in the run game. Let's take a look.
1. The Cowboys are going to run left here and have everyone accounted for except Ryan Clark.
DeMarco Murray has a cutback lane set-up because of Tyron Smith releasing to the second level and washing the LB outside but doesn't take it. Ryan Clark looks to meet DeMarco Murray outside.
Ryan Clark over-pursues outside, then Murray takes his cutback as T.Smith is still washing his man outside. Clark should have made the tackle here.
Instead, it becomes a 32 yard gain.
2. Cowboys are running a draw here. O-Line blocking to the right on the first level and have two players releasing and blocking to the left on the second level.
Here is Jason Witten with the unnecessary holding penalty on Perry Riley. Lance Dunbar releases to the third level and Ryan Clark and Phillip Thomas are untouched.
First, Dunbar makes Thomas miss in the open field.
Next, he makes Ryan Clark miss.
Dunbar then cuts all the way against the grain and doesn't stop until he has an 80 yard touchdown. Luckily, this was called back on a holding penalty.
3. It's late in the game and Jim Haslett calls a Cover 0 run blitz. Ryan Clark is coming off the edge and Phillip Thomas has a clean look through the C-gap.
Both players come free into the Cowboys backfield as Joseph Randle makes his first step with the ball.
Ryan Clark was a bit behind Randle and ends up getting body whipped into Phillip Thomas taking both players out. With a Cover 0 blitz, there is no third level as both safeties are in the backfield now. Joseph Randle has clear sailing for a 65 yard touchdown.
It doesn't matter if Wade Phillips is coaching the defense or A.J. Smith is helping more in the player acquisition process, if they don't do an overhaul on this group expect to see more of the same.