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Thursday, September 22, 2011
Washington would be wise to blitz a bunch

By Tim MacMahon

IRVING, Texas – Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall’s comments about wanting to put his “helmet on whatever’s hurt” regarding Tony Romo’s ribs wasn’t exactly classy.

Hall’s public plea to come on some corner blitzes isn’t quite intimidating, either. It’s coming from a finesse player who has a grand total of one career sack during his eight-year career.

But Washington would be wise to blitz Romo early and often. That’d be the case regardless of Romo’s ribs condition.

Romo has struggled this season when the defense brings a blitz from the secondary. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Romo has completed only 41.2 percent of his passes when at least one defensive back blitzes, averaging only 5.4 yards per attempt with no touchdowns and his only interception. Compare that to his impressive stats when a defensive back doesn’t blitz: 69.2 completion percentage, 11.4 yards per attempt, four touchdowns, no interceptions.

The Redskins blitz defensive backs a lot anyway. They’ve done so on 23.2 percent of opponent dropbacks this season, which is the sixth-highest rate in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

“We’re going to blitz him every down if he’s playing,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said of Romo.

Shanahan’s laugh indicated he was joking, but there’s a lot of truth told in jest.