- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2016

Another week, another chance for Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry to explain his strategy.

The Redskins are 0-2 and tied for 27th in total defense. Only two teams have allowed more points.

Chief among the issues that continue to trail Barry is his usage of cornerback Josh Norman. Norman did not follow Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Antonio Brown in Week 1. Brown caught eight passes for 126 yards against Bashaud Breeland.

Going into Week 2, Barry said having a cornerback follow a specific receiver throughout a game makes it easy for that cornerback to be lined up, but can make proper alignment for the other defensive backs difficult, particularly if trying to make that kind of change within the game. The Dallas Cowboys were coming to town with burly receiver Dez Bryant, which again appeared to be an opportunity for Norman — the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history — to cover the opposition’s best receiver.

Instead, Norman played his side for the majority of the game. According to Breeland, the Redskins changed their strategy, one they had not practiced during the week, to start the fourth quarter. Norman began to go wherever Bryant went. By that time, Bryant had done most of his damage against Breeland.

Thursday, Barry contended switching Norman to Bryant was their strategy all along, not something that they did on a whim during the game. He also said the change did not come late in the game.

“I didn’t think it was quarters — it wasn’t,” Barry said. “That was just our plan and we stuck with the plan. That was what we talked about going into the game. There wasn’t any real sideline adjustments or anything like that. That’s what we had… again, we put a lot of detail, a lot of effort, into every single game plan.”

Barry flatly said placing Norman on Bryant “was discussed and talked about” before the game.

Sunday against the New York Giants, Barry and Norman will be faced with another potent passing offense when they line up against Eli Manning, Odell Beckham and company. Everyone will again be watching how Norman is dispatched.


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