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Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Redskins emphasizing run defense

By John Keim

Apparently there are times when giving up 50 points is not crushing for a defensive back. For Washington Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall, doing so in a game like Denver’s 51-48 win over Dallas on Sunday, is, at least, acceptable.

“It’s easier than when you get blown out 50-0,” he said. “Those two offenses were having a field day. As a defensive player those games you don’t mind being in. Obviously it doesn’t look good on film but you can leave the game with your head held high like, ‘Man I had a chance to make plays; this is where I messed up, this is what I’ve got to get better at.’ You can live with that. They’re not talking about Denver's secondary being the worst one. Denver won the game; they’re talking about Dallas’ offense was great. The NFL would like to see games like that. This is an offensive league. The offense definitely gets the glory.”

The NFL evolved into a passing league long before this season. That doesn’t mean the No. 1 goal for a defense is to stop the pass all the time. Rather, the goal is to make an offense one-dimensional and the Redskins say the best way to do that is by stopping the run. Of course, the Redskins did that versus Detroit and still allowed -441 total yards and 27 points.

“From a coach’s perspective, if you can’t stop the run there’s really no answer,” Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. “If there’s eight in the box and you’re not tackling and getting run over or getting outmatched, it’s a long day. There’s nothing you can do about it. At least in the pass game there are things you can do. You can blitz, you can play coverage -- two deep, three deep. Our emphasis is always on stopping the run.”

Don’t expect that emphasis to ever change.

“If you let someone both run and pass then you’re guessing with them every time and it’s a long day,” Haslett said. “At least get them into a situation where they have to throw the ball. Your opportunities for sacks and your opportunities for big turnovers obviously increases.”