The Washington Post

Jim Haslett must clear things up on defense

I have offered many reasons why the Redskins’ defense has struggled. I’ve suggested there is not enough pride, preparation and even passion about becoming a better unit. Then I began thinking about players I know on the team and I’m sure they have all those things. So why isn’t it apparent on the field?

Then it dawned on me. I began thinking of a response to a question I asked cornerback DeAngelo Hall. I said something to this effect: “You guys don’t tackle, you don’t cover, you don’t create turnovers, you don’t get sacks. You guys appear to be unprepared. Why is that?”

His response was: “That’s the million dollar question.”

If that’s the million dollar question, I need to know where to collect my money. Here is where the answer lies:

This is a confused defensive group. Nothing good comes from confusion. But a lack of confidence, an inability to execute, stress and tension are all symptoms of confusion. Sure there have been injuries, and I’m sure they have played a part. But when the outfit is confused and has little understanding of why things are a certain way, that puts you on a path to the feet of the unit’s leader.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has to address these issues immediately. Something is not right, and if there is no clarity for players, it leads to what we’ve been seeing on the field. They need to talk and talk and talk some more, until everyone in that room can look each other in the eye with an understanding of what he’s supposed to do.

That sets the stage for accountability. How can a guy be accountable when he’s not sure what to be accountable for? He can’t. It’s up to Haslett to find the answer, and restore confidence and clarity on defense--for the sake of the unit, the team and certainly his job.

Please leave your comments here and chat with me on twitter @lavararrington



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