Skins DEFENSE vs Saints


Safeties: The Saints had hot reads and gadget plays to attack our flat zones when we went with a single high safety:

We played with 2-high safeties a lot more than usual to guard the flats against these types of plays.

When Nicholson was on the field we finally used him as something other than just a deep safety.  We put him in the slot and in the box and because of his extra effort he was rewarded with a concussion.

Lining up: With Compton out Zach Brown handled lining guys up and there were a few struggles early on.

Against this “Split Zone” run Brown and Spaight needed to follow the motion of the HBack who was pulling across the formation, instead Brown (highlighted) lines up over and fires into the same gap as Nicholson.  That left Spaight to guard the middle of the field and he was unable to fit his gap inside of Anderson:

Compton’s (and Foster’s) absence was felt two-fold:

  • guys not lining up properly (three times)
  • Brown played a little slower and out of position at times.

4-3: The only new formation of note was the 4-3 we used when we were in our Heavy personnel and expected the Power run.  Last week against Minnesota the “over” shift from our 3-4 created an alley on the backside that they exploited for a big run.  This time we moved Anderson to linebacker then shifted Spaight and Brown toward the tight end which gave a more balanced look:

this also spared our safeties from playing in the box against Power.

I swear there is some good news ahead.  Not much, but I scraped out what I could.

What Happened

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Monday Press Conference 11-20-17: HC Jay Gruden

Washington Redskins on Twitter

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden live at the podium. #HTTR

  • CT and Pryor to have surgery
  • Pryor to IR
  • Perine and Byron Marshall are 1 and 2 on the RB depth chart, with Marshall most likely being the 3rd down back.
  • A third RB might come from the practice squad if they have the roster spot for it:  OLine is taking up a lot of spots right now.
  • Nicholson is in concussion protocol

On the 3rd and 1 play

couldn’t convert, you know, bad calls, bad coaching calls whatever it might be just as a group the Redskins didn’t get it done.

On the Intentional Grounding call

Kirk did what he was coached to do, I told him to throw it out of bounds [ed: wait, what?  Yesterday you said you made an audible to a bubble route but Crowder never got the signal…I’m confused.]

On Brees’ play during the late comeback

Lets credit Drew and their execution, and our execution wasn’t good enough…pressure wasn’t good enough, and when we tried to bring pressure [Brees] escaped effortlessly…when we didn’t pressure him we didn’t get any pressure, and uh the coverage wasn’t tight enough [ed: #BenchDHall]

On replacing Montae Nicholson

Fish is here [rookie Fish Smithson] already on the practice squad and we have Everett and DHall and DJ, so we have three for sure that are active and ready to go, and Fuller can also play Safety.  So that may not be a position we have to address right this second.

On other plays that could have been called on the 3rd and 1

Sneak was an option, they lined up–they covered the Center and both Guards and we figured they were gonna pinch down in there and stop the Sneak, which basically they did…We tried a little ‘down, down, and pull’ our Center got picked off by the 3 technique to his right so he couldn’t get the linebacker…and Niles saw two free players in the hole and he kinda got flustered a little bit and didn’t get any of them.…Had it be a chance for a do-over, probably would’ve run it up the middle…maybe just throw it…

We had success with that play on a short yardage on the touchdown run to Perine, out of a different personnel group…you know we have athletic lineman that can pull and for that [defensive] front we thought it would be a good play.

On the defensive injuries

Jonathan [Allen] goes out, then Ioannidis goes out, now McClain goes out, now the rotation becomes thinner and thinner.  Those guys are big guys and they’re running around they’re playing in ‘Base’ first, second down and now they’re asked to play third down rushing the passer and it wears on em.

Hats off to Ziggy Hood, I mean he’s playing his tail off and Stacy McGee is doing a great job…and Matt played with a club on his hand…so those guys you gotta hand it to em for their effort…we could use a little help to ‘spell’ em from time to time.

On Ioannidis wearing a club

he had to come out, he had to fix it a couple of times but for the most part…he probably wasn’t as effective as he normally would be, but I don’t think it was that much of a problem to where he was totally ineffective.

On Perine

I thought he ran well…good contact balance, he was patient on some of the runs, he ran through some tackles…


Skins DEFENSE vs Minnesota


We played a lot of two-high safety when Hall was in the game then switched to mostly one-high after he got replaced by Everett.  Last week I thought the 2-high switch was to keep our safeties from getting hurt but it’s probably due to DHall’s lack of range.

When we went with one-high safety, Minnesota attacked our flat zones with Arrow/Slant route combos:

and Outside Zone Play Action:

This is what most teams do to us:  Flat zones are an area we give up so we can protect deep while adding a safety against the run.  It’s a trade off that hurt us in Seattle but didn’t kill us in this game.

The only trickery of note was their empty set which drew Norman into covering a running back and left Brown and Hall to bracket Thielen:

Brown is still trying to figure out his assignment at the snap and Hall takes a bad angle:

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