Redskins mixed up their players' nickel defense roles against Tampa Bay

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The Redskins and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett are trying to be creative rushing the passer with linebacker Brian Orakpo out for the season. They tinkered with players’ roles in the nickel defense against Tampa Bay. Outside linebackers Chris Wilson and Rob Jackson lined up inside at defensive tackle on multiple plays, and Stephen Bowen, who usually lines up inside at tackle, lined up wide at end.

“This team is so diverse in its personnel that we can get some different things done,” Wilson said. “There are certain advantages I can take care of from a 3-[technique], as well as the big guys on the edge. It’s just a difference. You want to just keep pitching at those guys and make sure they have to play everything nice and honest. You know how Haslett is. We’re going to mix it up.”

Bowen had experience lining up outside the offensive tackle in Dallas.

“You have more space to work with, but also, if you get too high, the quarterback has a lane,” Bowen said. “If you take a move inside and get pinned, he’s able to roll out of the pocket. I think it’s easier for you to make a mistake inside, but you also have more room to work outside.”

Wilson enjoyed lining up inside.

“It puts some speed on them guards. Guards don’t like that,” he said. “I did sniff a screen out. Those are things you don’t necessarily see when you’re blazing upfield.”

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