Can the Washington Commanders fix their godawful defense? #Washington #Commanders #fix #godawful #defense Welcome to Americanah Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:
“I like to think we’re still looking forward,” Rivera said Monday of his defense. “When they get down to the detail of what we do, then that’s where we just gotta continue to work it, make sure that we all understand it…and we’ll go from there.”
We have to ask what the detail of what they do actually is, because we’re certainly not seeing it.
Generally speaking, most immediate defensive improvements are made by new coordinators who come in and break everything down to the basics. That’s not to say that these coaches are trying to make their defenses simplistic, but they would prefer their players to act as opposed to reacting, and to move quickly as opposed to overthinking. In the NFL, a second is a lifetime, and if you have too many things in your head, you’re not going to be where you need to be. That’s just as true if you’re asked to hit the field without any plan at all.
If you look back to the Dallas’ Cowboys’ 2020 defense under Mike Nolan, you see a defense that was often working against itself, because the players weren’t buying into Nolan’s playbook, and it was a public thing.
“That [criticism] is outside-the-building noise. It doesn’t really affect us inside the building,” linebacker Joe Thomas said that season. “If there was an effort issue, it would’ve been addressed inside the building. I don’t think that was an issue at all. It’s just communication. When we’re all on the same page and we know what’s going on, we play faster and it looks a lot better.”
Communication? Sound familiar? That Cowboys defense finished 23rd in DVOA. Dallas replaced Nolan with Dan Quinn in 2021, and Quinn brought two concepts that are fundamental to him — make the fronts tough to defend with their multiplicity, and make the coverages somewhat multiple, but simple enough for even the kids to carry it to the field. The 2021 Cowboys ranked second in Defensive DVOA.
It’s easy to say that Micah Parsons made all the difference, and that the light went on for Trevon Diggs… but as we have asked before, do we really think that Washington’s defensive staff would have helped Parsons to become a weaponized edge-rusher, or walked Diggs through his own coverage busts to the other side?
Whether it’s Del Rio or somebody else, somebody needs to cut out whatever is causing these players to be so hesitant, and in the wrong places so often. Until and unless that happens, the Commanders have no shot at contention, no matter how dynamic their offense may be.
The Commanders face the Eagles and their amazing offense this Sunday, so… maybe fix a few things this week, guys.