If there’s anyone who knows how cornerback Josh Wilson felt after giving up a touchdown on a Cover-0 blitz against Cincinnati, it’s fellow corner DeAngelo Hall. Hall last season surrendered completions on Cover-0 blitzes in separate losses to Dallas that extended the Cowboys’ game-winning drive in each game.
“It is what it is, a play call,” Hall said Monday. “Whatever is called you’ve got to go out there and play.”
Coach Mike Shanahan is a big proponent of the Cover-0 blitz despite the risks involved. “Sometimes you have to take some chances,” Shanahan reiterated after Sunday’s loss.
In the first quarter against Cincinnati on second-and-20 from the Redskins’ 48-yard line, the Redskins blitzed seven defenders against a six-man protection, leaving four defenders in coverage with no safety help. Such an aggressive call could have forced a quick throw that could have put the Bengals in third-and-long.
Receiver Armon Binns ran a speed out route, and quarterback Andy Dalton released the ball 1.6 seconds after the snap, too quickly for the unblocked blitzer - in this case free safety Madieu Williams - to get to Dalton in time to alter the throw.
And when Wilson stumbled coming out of his break, Binns was able to catch the pass and race 39 yards after the catch for a touchdown.
Hall on Monday restated his view on the Cover-0 blitz, which we heard last season from him after the Dallas games.
“It has its pros, it has its cons,” Hall said. “Obviously its has its pros to you ain’t got to sit back there and cover all day. You know that ball is getting out of his hand. The con is you got one chance to play it perfect or try to play it as close to perfect as possible. If you’re not perfect, big plays will happen, touchdowns will happen.
“Everybody has to be on the same page when running that blitz. If it gets home, we’re not talking about this right now. But because it was a great throw, great catch and Josh kind of stumbled a little bit out of his break, the guy was able to make a play.”
Williams said the onus is on the rushers to get to the quarterback.
“Honestly, it all falls back on the guys on the field,” Williams said. “You can’t worry about the calls that’s being made on the sideline. It’s up to us to execute whatever call that is made, regardless of the situation. Obviously, we’ve got to get home in Zero Blitz. We can’t allow the guys to be in coverage that long. We’ve got to get home and hit the quarterback, get a sack, force an errant throw. But a completion in that situation that goes for a touchdown is not what the pressure is designed to do.”
Williams praised Dalton for his quick release on that play.
“He did a good job of identifying where to go with the ball,” Williams said. “That’s one of the things you’ve got to give him credit for. He did a great job of finding where the hot reads were, and obviously he had a hot on the out route. But we’ve got to do a better of job of just making sure that we hit it a lot faster than what we did, so that we don’t leave our corners out there like we did.”