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Redskins will be aggressive, plain and simple

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Posted Sept. 30, 2011 @ 3:41 a.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

If there has been a prevailing theme through three games, it's that the Redskins are flawed but daring. They are willing to take chances and stay aggressive offensively, sometimes to a fault, and the same clearly is true on defense.

Coordinator Jim Haslett has been grilled this week following his 3rd-and-21 all-out blitz on which Cowboys QB Tony Romo hit WR Dez Bryant on a freelanced 30-yard gain that changed the momentum late.

CB DeAngelo Hall ripped the call, saying that teams eventually adjust to the fact that Haslett always is aggressive in those situations, although the player recanted and said that he might have been a bit "overzealous" in his postgame rant.

Hall has a point, but it's a criticism a lot of other teams' fans would live with. Many coaches and teams are fairly conservative when you really boil it down, even in a passing age, and even those teams that are not rarely have both an offensive and a defensive coach who share that aggressiveness.

Head coach Mike Shanahan continued to push the ball hard in his play-calling in the first two games with leads late in the game, and he didn't back down in the Week Three loss, either. The thinking is that he has realized a few things: One, Rex Grossman is a good but also a flawed quarterback; and two, they have not run the ball early in the season the way they had hoped. In two of the three games, the Redskins have averaged three yards per carry or less.

The bottom line is that you shouldn't expect much in the way of a philosophy change. Grossman is not going to change who he is this late in his career, and the offensive line doesn't have a much higher ceiling than the level where it is playing now.

There is some talent on both sides of the ball, but Shanahan and Haslett are going to try to win games by pushing the action whenever they can. They would rather swing and miss doing that than to sit by passively and let the opponent take control of the game. It's the Redskins mantra that fans likely will live and die by this season, for better or for worse.

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