The way Kedric Golston sees it, the Washington Redskins’ defensive breakdowns in Monday night’s season-opening loss to Philadelphia had little to do with the Eagles’ uptempo offensive scheme. They had much more to do, according to Golston, with fundamental defensive breakdowns exploited by talented Eagles players.
“Regardless of the score, it still goes down to tackling, assignments, things like that,” the veteran defensive lineman said. “And that’s pretty much what it is. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We don’t have to sit over there and question everything we do defensively. It comes down to simple mistakes that make the team look average. That’s what I think it was. Obviously we need to tackle better. That’s something that we’ll work on and get fixed.”
Golston suggested it was Eagles’ playmakers such as tailback LeSean McCoy, quarterback Michael Vick and wide receiver DeSean Jackson who gave the Redskins’ fits Monday, more so than the fast-break offense of Philadelphia’s first-year coach, Chip Kelly.
“We knew the challenges Philly had,” Golston said. “Let’s not even talk about their head coach but just Pro Bowl players at multiple positions. It’s not how we wanted to start the year. I don’t think everybody was just shocked. There were simple mistakes that made us look extremely average, that we knew we could fix once we settle down. In the second half, I think you could kind of see what we wanted to be the whole game. But there’s nothing we can do about that now.”
The take-away for this weekend’s game in Green Bay and beyond, Golston said, is that the Redskins simply must tackle better.
“Tackling is the fundamental of defense,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with our schemes, nothing wrong with our system. You’ve just got to get people on the ground. And when you play players of that caliber, that’s what they do. Somebody else would have got a five- or six-yard gain. They get 40 on it because that’s the kind of talent that they have. The only thing we can do today is go out there, get better, focus on the Green Bay Packers. What happened Monday night is definitely something we didn’t want to happen. But it’s water under the bridge now. We learned what we can learn from it and move on.”
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.
● A fantasy football-based look at the Thursday night matchup and more on Redskins vs. Packers.
● The Redskins practice at 1 p.m. Coordinators Kyle Shanahan and Jim Haslett are expected to talk to reporters.
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