This story contributed by Scott Hirsch.
Did you hear that Brandon Meriweather is retiring after his first full year of only clean tackles?
His head isn’t into it anymore.
Seriously, there are four top things that will make or break this season for the Redskins. The first is getting lucky on the injury issue (just ask Jerry Jones). The second is the execution and more important the defensing of screen pass plays. Third is the Redskins offensive line. Fourth is the play of the Redskins safeties.
Let’s look at the screen play issue here.
The Giants are shifting to a screen passing offense. The Eagles already have a deadly one with McCoy and now Sproles. That’s 4 of the 6 most important games of the season. The Redskins lost horrific chunks of yardage on defense to screen plays last year.
The Redskins, like the Giants, are shifting to a more screen passing offense. That means a big opportunity for Chris Thompson and a solid place for Darrel Young in the offense.
The Redskins on defense are really counting on a faster, more aggressive front 3 especially with Hatcher who has the tenacity to chase down running backs. This is crucial for getting stop & shift backs like McCoy and Sproles who pause to juke middle linebackers and safeties giving aggressive defensive lineman an extra shot to hunt them downfield. A 6’6″ Trent Murphy rushing the QB on 3rd down should also add to batted screen passes.
However, the Redskins are primarily relying on the speed and length of Keenan Robinson at middle linebacker to defend against screens (and today’s fast tight ends).
Players and Coaches are raving about Robinson’s play. If he lives up to his billing and can stay healthy, there are reasons to be optimistic that the Redskins can win more regular season games than pre-season games (ouch!) this year for a welcomed change.
Scott Hirsch follows the Redskins from another country. That makes him a better fan they you or I.
Image: Redskins ILB Keenan Robinson