The tragic death of Sean Taylor late in the 2007 not only ended on brilliant football career, it derailed that of his teammate and fellow safety Laron Landry, then a rookie. Landry had been drafted 6th overall earlier that year to play strong safety while Taylor, regarded by some as one of the greatest physical talents in NFL history, dominated the rest of the field at free safety. Taylor's death led to Landry being moved to free safety, roaming center field 25 yards from the line of scrimmage. It was not a role he was suited to play and the results confirmed this. He frequently took a poor angle to receivers, bit on fakes and let big plays happen in front of and behind his position. And his tackling was inconsistent, often poor.
Landry doesn't think he was well-suited to the Greg Blache defense, which was predicated on preventing big plays over the top. It's an easy criticism of Blache, though, to be fair, the offense was so bad that preventing big plays became critically important for the defense. In any case, Blache fielded two top 10 defenses in two years, though neither produced turnovers. However, Landry feels almost reborn in a 3-4 defense that suits his talents.
Free safety Kareem Moore was supposed to start alongside Landry this season, but a sprained MCL in the right knee in the Ravens game has put Moore on the shelf for 4-6 weeks. This hurts the defense and no one knows that better than Landry.], [Chris] Horton ... we're great back there. We've got chemistry back there. But the speed that Kareem has back there, he reminds me of my range.
"He's athletic. Things can be great back there with us, so it kind of hurt me when he had to have his knee scoped. I'm like, 'Damn, I hope he can be back by the Cowboys game.' We have something special going and it can be great. We just need him to get his knee right and get back."
Rich Tandler at CSN reviews the options the Redskins have at safety with Moore out.
Here is the injury list for Friday night's game against the NY Jets.
Mike Jones at TBD writes that Andre Carter is beating Lorenzo Alexander for the starting WLB spot. I'd like to see Lorenzo on running downs and Carter on passing downs and neither of them dropping into coverage.
DC Pro Sports Report breaks down the wide receiver position and handicaps each player's odds for making the team.
Live Microphone: Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher supports Mike Shanahan in his battle with Albert Haynesworth.
Big Stein gives us the low-down on what Darrell Green, Chris Cooley, Santana Moss, Herm Edwards, Richie Petitbon and Warren Sapp think of the Haynesworth situation. Also, former Redskins WR Laveranues Coles takes a funny shot at Dan Snyder.
Ravens DL Trevor Pryce played 9 years for Mike Shanahan in Denver. He has his own opinion about the Shanny-Haynesworth battle.
My view of all this Haynesworth drama: It's just the silly season.
Vinny Cerrato resurfaced yesterday to dodge responsibility for things. His BS did not go unanswered, so read about it.
John Keim breaks down the running back situation:Parker is the forgotten runner. At least that’s how he sees things in the Redskins running back competition. He’ll get his first start of the preseason Saturday vs. the New York Jets. “I’m forgotten, but I’m ready,” he said. “Everything I hear [about] Willie Parker is like … he’s this, he’s that. That just motivates me. I’ve been there before.” In Pittsburgh, he emerged despite joining a team that already had Jerome Bettis and had just acquired Duce Staley. If he wants to do so this time, he must show he can still turn the corner. And he needs to improve a major weakness: pass protection. “It is what it is right now,” he said. “It always can get better. By that first game hopefully I’ll be all right.”
If Johnson is the No. 2 running back — and before Saturday’s game vs. Baltimore it appeared he would be — then the Redskins shouldn’t expect great numbers. Not unless he gets a lot of carries. In the past three years he’s had a combined 15 games in which he received 12 or fewer carries in a game. In nine of those games he averaged 2.8 yards or less per carry.
For Williams to make the roster, he must show that he can be an effective back on third downs. Thus far he’s shown flashes. Williams, at times, has picked up the blitz. But he also whiffed on one protection in the first preseason game and had his head down on another. He does have good hands, with four catches for 46 yards.
I make no bones about it, I'm a Keiland Williams fan. Right now, unless Willie Parker really impresses on Friday, I'd like to see Mike Shanahan throw caution to the wind and go with a youth movement at running back. Keep Clinton Portis as the starter, of course, because he looks great and is the only back who can be trusted with blitz protection on third down. After that, go with Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams. Leave Johnson and Parker on the shelf, they haven't shown as much as the kids anyway.