Every week, Redskins.com chats with a Redskins coach about a hot topic. This week: assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams discusses the state of the defense:
"Big plays have hurt us this season, but it's never been any one thing or any one player. Sometimes it's a matter of missing a tackle, or sometimes there's a personnel mismatch at the point of attack.
"Usually what offenses have done is try to use max protection and go down the field for a big play. In this league right now, with the way the rules are structured, teams are doing a better job of what we call 'Get the ball, get the call.' Teams are telling the receivers to go down the field, take their shots, and if they don't get the ball, they're going to get the [pass interference] call anyway. The only opportunity for the defense is to bat it down or take it away. But that's just a 1-in-3 chance.
"What we have to do is minimize those blows and that happens with technique, it happens with our personnel being better and it also happens with the pass rush.
"If we can get more pressure, the pass rush doesn't give the quarterback an opportunity to get the ball down the field. But until you take it away and make a team pay, they're going to continue to do that.
"We have the cornerbacks and linebackers jam at the line of scrimmage quite a bit. I put that in the huddle call. But there are formations where we don't want to do that--when we know what the offensive attack will be and what the offense will use in certain situations. There are certain times we want [to jam receivers], there are certain times we don't--and we have to do it by opponent. And we do it sometimes by situations.
"What we do every single week is take a look at what the opponent is doing and if they cooperate, then we will be aggressive [in the pass rush]. It's based on the opponent and what they are trying to deploy and what we are trying to do--we just don't recklessly go and do those things.
"We have it calculated when we go into a ball game with who we are playing, as far as the opponent, who we have up and ready to go with us, and also from the packages and formations that they use. A lot of those types of things are predicated once you get into the ball games."