Haslett said the Redskins wouldn’t have surrendered a touchdown on the play if they had lined up properly with cornerback DeAngelo Hall covering Green in the slot instead of the slower Gomes. Hall initially covered Dalton on the play, and he was too far away to catch up to Green.
“They were just taking a shot,” Haslett said. “If DeAngelo gets on him and you’re off at 10 yards, then you’re still fine.”
The Bengals’ other two long touchdowns were clear player breakdowns. On the 59-yarder, receiver Andrew Hawkins beat rookie Richard Crawford to the deep middle in a Cover-2, a weak point in that defense Crawford is coached to defend.
Armon Binns went 48 yards for a touchdown on a quick out route on second-and-20 after cornerback Josh Wilson slipped coming out of his break.
The Redskins blitzed seven defenders without any safety help, hoping to force a quick throw that could put the Bengals in third-and-long. They were successful — Dalton released the ball 1.4 seconds after the snap — but Wilson didn’t make the play.
That re-ignited last year’s discussion about the risks and rewards of the Cover-0 blitz, of which Shanahan is a proponent.
“I had a guy like Champ Bailey,” said Shanahan, who coached the all-pro cornerback in Denver. “He wanted to run zero blitz every play. He wanted an opportunity to make a play. But the zero blitz is not very good unless you can put pressure on that quarterback and a guy is free. So a lot depends on the confidence of your corners. A lot depends on how well you disguise things to keep an offense off-balance.”
As the maligned secondary pushes forward this week, Haslett is confident it can positively impact games. He cited its strong performance against the Saints.
Although Washington gave up a long touchdown pass on a double move, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees in that game posted his lowest single-game completion percentage since 2006.
“They’re in tune,” Haslett said. “We covered our butts off in the first game against maybe the best offense that ever played in the National Football League, so I know they can do it. We’ve just kind of got to keep working.”
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