- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
FENNO: Forget RG3; Redskins won’t beat anyone until defense stops beating itself
The problem isn’t No. 10.
The problem isn’t the brace on Robert Griffin III’s right knee or the read-option gathering dust.
The problem isn’t even the offseason myth the Redskins and the executive producer, er, quarterback propagated that eight months after major knee surgery he could return to play the most demanding position in sports without so much as one preseason snap.
The problem that plagues the Redskins two miserable games into the season can’t be solved by a ginned-up quarterback controversy unless, of course, recent author and current clipboard holder Kirk Cousins can play defensive back.
The Redskins can’t stop anyone.
Defense isn’t just a problem, but an Albert Haynesworth-size dumpster fire that will devour the remainder of the season in historically awful fashion if not corrected.
Sure, we’re at the dawn of the season. Much time remains to leave the all-out collapses against the Eagles and Packers as unsightly footnotes to a year that could well end in the playoffs. But the defense allegedly strengthened during the offseason hasn’t simply been bad. It’s been outscored 50-7 in the first half bad. It’s surrendered 1,023 total yards bad.
The performances have been so flat-out uncompetitive and lacking in fundamentals as to turn the coming weeks into less a referendum on Griffin’s health than defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s future.
Questions about the defense made Haslett bristle last week, as if the problem rests more with inquisitive reporters who don’t understand the NFL’s alchemy than the 11 men on the field who seem to have forgotten how to tackle.
Then last Sunday happened.
To shrug off the stream of defensive follies as the logical result of facing All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be to miss the point. The Redskins made things easy and, in the process, exposed the depth of the problems the defense faces.
In two games, the Redskins have missed 30 tackles. (Pro Football Focus shouldered the burdensome task of counting each one.) That’s 10 more than the next closest team. And the usual excuses shouldn’t apply. By average age, the Redskins have the NFL’s oldest defense. There are plenty of veterans, despite the reliance on rookie defensive backs David Amerson and Bacarri Rambo. Even with just one day of contact allowed in practice each week, football’s most basic skill can’t have eluded them.
The head-scratching inability to tackle, like Packers tight end Jermichael Finley ping-ponging his way for a 27-yard gain, is the sort of thing that can cost coaches and players jobs.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- FENNO: No obvious answer for Redskins in determining Mike Shanahan's fate
- FENNO: After another loss, Redskins a franchise in free-fall
- Learning to play football right: Some hope to bring safety back to game
- FENNO: NCAA finds way into Rep. Linda Sanchez's crosshairs over concussions
- FENNO: RG3's words not the Redskins' biggest problem
Latest Blog Entries
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Obama: Nelson Mandela now 'belongs to the ages'
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, dies at age 95
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Activists encourage Obama to circumvent Congress, use more executive authority
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!