Redskins' change of defense hasn't paid off

Posted Dec. 11, 2010 @ 5:51 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Blaming suspended DT Albert Haynesworth for the team's struggles defensively is misguided because he didn't consistently play all that well when the team was a top-10 unit in a base 4-3 last season. But the Haynesworth no-show this season has underscored what has been a miserable defensive season in most respects. When Mike Shanahan came on board, he quickly decided he wanted to run the vogue 3-4 defense despite the fact that he Redskins clearly lacked the proper personnel to run it — and not just with Haynesworth, their highest-paid player, who had no interest in going along with the switch. The lack of a proper nose tackle, no bookend rusher to couple with Brian Orakpo, and a pair of ill-fitting inside linebackers have been at the heart of the team's fall in the defensive rankings to near the bottom of the NFL. Shanahan comes off as either ignorant or arrogant for the fact that he changes schemes so dramatically despite the fact that last season's unit showed it fit well in the previous scheme. He'll have next season to show that the move was justified.