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Expert's take: The leftovers (Part 1)

2/24/2014

Former NFL scout and current ESPN NFL scout Matt Williamson provided insight on a variety of Redskins-related topics last week (along with former player, scout and NFL executive Louis Riddick). But the questions didn’t end with those five topics and, yes, there were leftovers. Later Monday we’ll publish Riddick’s leftover thoughts. First, though, we’ll go with Williamson’s. So here he is on:

The Redskins’ offense: “I think they’ll keep the West Coast principles and that’s good because they’ll keep the same terminology and lingo, but if you look at what Jay Gruden had in Cincinnati, it was not like a Shanahan offense from a personnel standpoint. Cincinnati had one of the biggest, most-physical lines in the league as opposed to a movement zone scheme. But that defense needs everything and if they come in and say we’re changing everything we do [offensively] and you need four new offensive linemen. ... They’re not in a position to create more needs for themselves.”

“I like [Chris] Thompson from a year ago, but you can’t count on him to be [Giovani] Bernard. Alfred Morris does not resemble that at all. Roy Helu is that more than Alf, but he’s not a Brian Westbrook.”

The Redskins’ defensive needs: “There’s not a strength on that defense outside of [Brian] Orakpo. Who’s the next best defensive player on that team? I’m not positive. [Ryan] Kerrigan is probably next. Maybe [Jarvis] Jenkins becomes something. I would say the back six needs more work than the front five. Maybe David Amerson is a better player than we know. I liked him coming out of school; a lot of people thought he might be a rangy free safety because he’s stiff in the hips. He doesn’t flip real well, but he’s what they’re looking for in terms of height, weight, speed and he made a lot of plays in college. For where they got him, he was a fine pick.”

“They have a ton of needs and won’t be able to fill them all this year. Some players they have, Jim [Haslett] will really earn his money as far as putting players in a position to succeed. It’s an overused term, but applicable. You can’t just get the best player at each position. They need guys like Amerson to pick it up. He needs to play the game more cerebrally at a more consistent level. They need a safety. They need to replace London [Fletcher]. They have a lot on their plate, man. They have to really develop guys that aren’t ready made right now and turn them into the Byron Maxwells or Richard Shermans.”

Trying to copy Seattle: “They’re using fifth-, sixth-round picks on big corners and it’s working. But it works because the pass rush is so good. Big corners are stiff if they have to cover a long time. There aren’t many 6-2, 6-3 guys who can clip their hips to cover a Santana Moss in his prime. I don’t know if you can put a 6-3 guy out there and say we’ll be fine. Seattle didn’t make them cover long and Earl Thomas makes a lot of problems go away over the top. That’s huge. That defense can take any style of defensive player. They’ll take a nose tackle or a 3-4 end or a 3-4 outside linebacker or a pure 4-3 end. They never look at a guy and say boy he’s a really good player, but we don’t have a spot for them. A lot of teams pass on players because they’re not good for them.”