Monday, November 12, 2007

A Lack of Defensive Depth

It's been apparent for the past decade what the Redskins' main fault is; lack of player development and necessary depth. In this day and age, no player can or does play every down. Their physical limitations just don't allow them to compete at the level necessary every minute of every game. The Redskins have a very good starting defense, but once you get past that front line, it's incredibly weak.

This chink in their armor was revealed again versus the Eagles after a third quarter knee injury knocked Sean Taylor out of the game. The hole left by his absence was exploited by Brian Westbrook whose speed and agility was more than a match for the second hand scrub the Redskins used to replace Taylor. In addition, regardless of being physically gifted, every Redskin defender showed their inexperience and lack of game awareness against the Eagles as they continually bit on screen pass after screen pass; the biggest one resulting in the winning touchdown. It's not enough to just be a coordinator in this league. These coaches need to make their players better. Good teams improve throughout the season, but the Redskins are making the same mistakes they made during week one and have shown little growth. It is vital that they not only recognize what continues to go wrong, but that they fix it.

Offensively, the Skins are taking baby steps. Jason Campbell looked comfortable in the no-huddle scheme, but I don't think for a second that he is capable of running an offense the way someone like Peyton Manning or Kurt Warner does, so while it's nice to know he can compete in this fashion it should not be an every week kind of thing. Still, in the end, the offense failed when it mattered. Campbell only completed 2 of 7 passes for 17 yards in the final two possessions with two fumbles and a sack. This shows Campbell's continued hesitation and indecisiveness and in this area he needs to continue to get better. I'm not really sure what it takes, other than experience, to thrive in pressure situations, but I'm afraid the young stud may not have what it takes to win under pressure.

The Skins need to get better as an entire team. They have a lot of potential and a lot of raw talent but at this point in the season and in their careers, they haven't put it all together. It's a good start, but their shot at 2008 playoff glory faded this past week.

-The Hokie

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