Two weeks ago the NFL released the 2009 preseason schedule. The Washington Redskins will face Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New England, and Carolina. While some fans find the preseason useless, I’m actually looking forward to the games that don’t count. These games can be used as a major learning tool for coaches and players. For starters, 3 of the 4 teams that will be played this preseason are from the AFC. Those same teams run 3-4 defenses.
The Redskins play the AFC west this upcoming season. During the 2005 campaign the Redskins went 0-4 against their division. Both the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs, from the AFC west, run a 3-4 defensive scheme as well as division rivals Dallas Cowboys.
Last season Washington struggled against the 3-4 defenses; only winning 2 of 5 games against it. In particular the AFC style of the particular defense. Baltimore held the skins to one touchdown while Pittsburgh yielded no trips to the end zone for the Redskins. From the most recent 16 games against the AFC the Washington Redskins have went 5-11.
Coaches and players alike should not take the preseason for granted. Just like OTA’s and voluntary work outs, the preseason sets the foundation for the regular season. If the intricacies of that type of defense are learned early, the Redskins will be going into a few games this year well versed in the 3-4.