When Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett watched the tape of Sunday’s 49-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, he saw cornerbacks sitting on underneath routes while receivers ran free behind them. He saw simple coverages — two-deep and three-deep zones — result in lengthy touchdown passes.
The mistakes are correctable, Haslett told reporters Thursday, but it’s disappointing that some of them happened at all.
“That was probably the most disappointing thing,” he said. “We didn’t do anything [complex]. We played three-deep. You learn that stuff in high school.
“That stuff’s disappointing. But that can be overcome. Obviously we didn’t do a very good job last week and gave up way too many big plays. We’ve got to eliminate that from our game and make people go the long way.”
Haslett’s remarks echoed what coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday, and what several Redskins players have repeated over the course of the week. All agree that some of the most glaring coverage breakdowns occurred on simple schemes.
“We’re trying to do the basic stuff, just to let them play and have the opportunity to perform,” Haslett said. “And like I said, three-deep, we gave up two touchdowns. Two-deep, we gave up one. That’s poor. That’s not doing a good job. Obviously I didn’t get through to them, and we didn’t do a very good job of getting it executed. That falls on us.”
Haslett praised rookie Bashaud Breeland, who played nickelback at times Sunday in place of the injured E.J. Biggers. But beyond that, there was little praise to go around. Entering Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams, the Redskins are focused on shoring up coverages, improving communication and preventing those big plays.
“Everybody has to be on the same page,” linebacker Keenan Robinson said earlier this week. “We need to get back to our basics, make sure we handle the stuff that we’re good at and prevent ourselves from beating ourselves. Because that’s what happened [Sunday]: we beat ourselves a few times with busted coverages.”