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Reed Doughty and Chris Horton: The Depth Chart Switch And That Penalty From Last Week

Posted by Matt Terl on October 1, 2009 – 6:40 pm

Things have been pretty good for Reed Doughty this season, and he knows it. Every time I’ve spoken to him, he’s emphasized just how much better he feels, how much smoother he’s playing, what a difference this is from the start of last season.

Here’s what he had to say on Monday about his steadily-increasing role in the defense: “Whatever coach wants, whatever he feels is necessary at that point. I’m focused on special teams and I’m playing third down; if he says, hey, you’re up with first defense, I’m up with first defense. That’s just how I play it.”

Today, that’s pretty much what the coach said, elevating Doughty to starter in place of second-year safety Chris Horton.

“Reed’s playing as good of football as he’s ever played for us right now,” defensive coordinator Greg Blache said (between long paragraphs of throwing himself under the bus). “He’s got experience, he’s very savvy player. So we always thought those guys were 1 and 1. One guy has a little bit better athleticism, another guy’s got a little bit more in experience and recognition, and it was just a decision that we made.”

Horton and Doughty are close — the two are always together around the edges of the practice field, almost always talking with the elaborate hand motions that go with describing plays and coverages — and this will do little to change that relationship. Read more »

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London Fletcher Says "Why Not," Throws Self Under Bus Also

Posted by Matt Terl on October 1, 2009 – 5:07 pm

I missed this during open locker room today, but the team’s PR staff just sent some quotes around and it appears that London Fletcher also joined defensive coordinator Greg Blache and head coach Jim Zorn in taking the vast majority of the blame for the defense’s struggles.

Here, per the transcription, is Fletcher’s contribution to the bus-throwing effort:

“I think Coach Blache is being harder on himself than he should be. I watch the film, I know the calls, and I know what everybody’s responsibility is within the call. So, when I don’t see the call executed the way it’s supposed to be [executed], we all have a part in this. And I think for him, as the coordinator, he’s going to take a lot of the blame. I think that we as players have to go out and execute the way the defense is designed to be executed. If they make a play on you, then so be it, but at least let the defense looks like it’s supposed to look.”

I guess the underside of that bus must look really comfortable or something. Read more »

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On The Field For Practice – Coach Zorn Throws Self Under Bus With Blache

Posted by Matt Terl on October 1, 2009 – 4:41 pm

Talking after practice today, coach Jim Zorn would not let his defensive coordinator take full responsibility for the difficulties the team is experiencing on defense.

“I wouldn’t even give it to Greg [Blache]. It’s my responsibility. I mean, I’m in charge of offense, defense, and special teams. So Greg doesn’t have to do that, that’s my responsibility. That’s why … we want to continually improve. We want to continually get better in all phases. I think we’re … it’s hard to say we’re on our way, because it’s my responsibility and we had a big ‘L’, which stands for loser, in the game. So we’re taking care of that, and I appreciate Greg for saying that.”

I look forward to tomorrow, when even more people can follow suit in taking full blame. The coaching staff may have made some questionable calls in the last couple of games, but there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of responsibility on their parts.

Other quick notes from practice:
Read more »

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Greg Blache Throws Self Under Bus, Implies More Attacking From Defense

Posted by Matt Terl on October 1, 2009 – 1:54 pm

Big day for defensive coordinator Greg Blache‘s media availability, and not just for clever turns of phrase. First of all, he announced that Reed Doughty will be replacing Chris Horton in the starting lineup.

“Reed’s actually played better the last couple of weeks,” Blache said, “and Chris has struggled a little bit. You know, he had a play last week with bad eyes and got the interference call; he had an incident the week before … and it’s not that we’re down on him. But the fact that you have a guy in Reed that’s so close to him, it gives you an opportunity to get a guy that gives Chris a chance to catch his breath, refocus, come back strong. It’s a long season, and at the same time it gives Reed a chance to get out on the field more and give us an opportunity to make some plays.”
Read more »

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Thursday, October 1: Todd Yoder Loves Small Furry Mammals

Posted by Matt Terl on October 1, 2009 – 10:00 am

One of Larry Weisman’s many responsibilities since joining the Redskins (in addition to his articles for Redskins.com and his blog at Redskins Rule) is co-hosting The Jim Zorn Show alongside Dan Hellie. The show, which airs in the DC area at 7:30 Saturday nights on NBC-4, is taped earlier in the week, which is how Weisman came to mention to me yesterday that Todd Yoder names some of the Redskins plays.

Here’s the snippet, from this upcoming Saturday’s show.


And, for those of you who are terrified of moving pictures, here’s what Zorn has to say when Hellie asks if he has any interesting tidbits about Yoder: “About Todd? Well, he would be our resident linguist. I would have to add [Chris] Cooley to this, because they’re kind of partners in crime. But Todd is very good about creating words for formations, blocking schemes. Like, weasel, squirrel, things like that. So we have some of that on our football team just based on what Todd Yoder has to say about it.”

So I talked to Yoder yesterday about his role as developer of team nomenclature, and about facing his former team. Read more »

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