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Ted Washington Discussion

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Ted Washington Discussion

Unread postby yogi » Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:05 am

I posted this over at PF on the OBR, but wanted to discuss with you guys as well and get your thoughts...

In every post I've read, it seems its a forgone conclusion that signing Ted Washington was a major mistake. I don't agree at all.
I've seen all of this years game (and last years as a point of reference) and the NT play is much, much better.
TW is not a pro-bowl calibur NT anymore, but he has come in and done what the FO and coaching staff expected him to do. Provide some stability to the DL and not get blown off the ball.
Anyone remember Jason Fisk? He got pushed back into the defensive backfield half the game. It was ugly.

TW doesn't penetrate the backfield too often and doesn't provide the push he once did. Although, if you've seen any of the 3rd or 4th and short D stops this year, chances are it was TW providing the push up the middle to make the stop happen.

Anyone remember how Phil addressed the NT situation last off-season? He tried to sign the Raven NT first and after failing that, signed TW probably using RAC's recommendation as a tie breaker with Sam Addams and Grady Jackson. I think Addams signed with the Bengals and has done no better than TW and Jackson signed with Atlanta .

We didn't break the bank or tie us up for years come signing TW either. Here's the signing announcement back in March...

Agrees to Deal with Cleveland
by Site Staff of theOBR.com, March 12, 2006 at 3:58pm ET

Ted Washington Profile

TheOBR.com has learned that Ted Washington has agreed to a two-year contract with the Cleveland Browns that will pay him $6.5-$7 million over the next two seasons. Washington will step into a key role to help the Browns stuff the run and will undoubtedly split time with some of the younger nose tackles, such as Ethan Kelley, that the team is attempting to nurture.


I'm not trying convince anyone that TW was a great signing but IMO he hasn't been a bust this year.

If his play was a disappointment to fans, it was because the fans expectation was unrealistic. He's done OK for us.
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Unread postby pup » Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:44 am

People are bitter, so all signings were bad.

A big fat dude in the middle of the 3-4 is obviously essential. The choice was to sign a TW and draft Wembley, or draft Ngata and let Chaun Thompson play the rush backer spot. I am pretty happy they went the TW/Wembley route.

Did the people that bash him expect 60 tackles and 6 sacks out of him? He has done exactly what I expected him to do. Eat up some O-Linemen, make an occasional tackle and leave enough food at local Mcdonald's so I could still eat (which is the one I was most worried about happening).
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Unread postby furls » Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:52 am

My biggest beef with Washington is that he takes plays off. I wasn't expecting an all pro, I was expecting a guy that would take up space and allow others to make plays about 60% of the time. The rest of the time I was hoping he would be off the field.

Unfortunately he takes about one in three plays that he is on the field for off, and that is not acceptable. If the Browns coaching staff was paying attention, they would pull him out a bit more and accept that he may only be able to play ~50% of the snaps. You cannot have a guy in the center of your defense taking plays off.
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Unread postby yogi » Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:41 am

Furls,

I don't know. I watched every game this year and I don't see him taking plays off. Maybe he's playing more then expected and is winded or just got beat, but I don't see him taking plays off. That's kind of strong.

I still have most of the games on my DVR, perhaps you can tell me whicg games, "he took plays off"? I'll review the game again and let you know.

I'd like to have TW back. If only to play 40% of the snaps. Its been written somewhere that if you draft a young NT, it'll take some time before he'll be effective. IMO our NT situation is adequate.

We need 2 DT's. 1 to immediately start opposite Roye. McKinnley will be an OK backup and spot player. The other DT to groom and spot Roye.
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Unread postby furls » Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:48 pm

I dont keep logs of every game or every play that washington is in. I can only give you my personal and disappointed opinion based on my observations of this seasons games. It is clear that on some plays he flat out tries harder than he does on others, to me that is "taking plays off."

Now, that said, taking plays off may be a bit harsh, but it is my interpretation of his play. I see many plays in every game (particularly of late) where he is not playing effectively as an NT. In order for an NT to be effective they must either penetrate or occupy a fleet of blockers. Lately I have seen him lined up over A gap and then end up absolutely manhandled. In order for a 3-4 to work you must be very strong up front, particularly in the middle and frankly, the browns are not.

I am not an Andra apologist, but I think alot of the blame that both the inside linebackers share for the fact that they are making plays five yards up field falls directly on Washington's shoulders and this points to a greater problem, one that I have felt since Crennel came here and definetly deserves a thread of its own, whether a team (completely rebuilding) should try to run a system (3-4) inspite of its personnel.

I hate the idea of walking into a place and slamming everyone into a system regardless of whether you have the personnel for it. A 3-4 requires an ass ton of building in order to pull it off because you need highly specialized (rare) players in order to be successful. Gaining all the necessary components for a 3-4 is a quest in and of itself.

In order to successfully run a 3-4, you need a BAD ASS NT. The guy cannot just be adequate and you need huge DE's that are more comfortable in a five technique than a nine technique. You need oversized, FAST OLBs (Rush Ends), and essentially two MLBs that know their gap assignments (all the time, we dont have these) and stick to them. The big pay off for a 3-4 is that you get to blitz a linebacker more because it really isnt a blitz when you only have 3 down linemen and the base defense is much more adaptable. The downside is that your roster is not and once you start trying to find these "3-4" elements you see that they are not all that available.

The NTs in a 3-4 are so important that they must always get the job done up front, if they don't the middle is vulnerable and our middle has been very vulnerable this year. Most folks chose to blame Andra, and I do to an extent, but I will mitigate that with the fact that our NT play has been BAD and Washington has not shown the ability to beat a double team or gain penetration one on one on any type of consistant basis.

His job is to make teams play him with a guard and the center, and frankly, right now they do not have to. This frees the center to move on to the next level and block an ILB or the guard to pull and take out an OLB.

I think the Browns should resign Washington, use him about 40% of snaps while working in a new, younger DT/NT. Washington is not the root of all the problems, the greater problem here is that the Browns had the roster for a 4-3, dumped it to go 3-4 and don't have the pieces to make that work. I could see doing that if you were solid elsewhere, but this is a team with a hole at nearly every position. The last thing you need to do is to make more so that you can have your system. Particularly when that system requires so many specialists.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:04 am

Not to turn this into an Andra Davis debate, but I could make the same case that his poor play is what has people thinking Ted is the problem. The same excuses where used to defend Davis during the 4-3 days. Poor defensive tackle play caused him to absorb too many blockers. Then that d-line went to Denver, posted the same stats as they did in Cleveland but were credited with playing better, because the linebackers in Denver made tackles at the LOS.
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:08 am

Andra Davis gets a bad rap. Again, he is far from an elite MLB. But it's not easy playing ILB behind one of the leagues worst defensive lines year in and year out, and thats what Dra has been forced to do.

Look at what happened in Crackmore the year Baltimore disbanded their DL, and had some injuries on top of it. Everyone said Rayenthal was overrated, washed up. From what I've seen, hes back to playing at an elite level this season with Ngata, Adalius, and some of the other beasts they have up front.

Washington ... I'm sorry, he's disappointed me this season. And painfully, I've watched every game as well. Rarely do I see him legitmately tying up two blockers. Rarely have I seen him shed his man (or men) on runs up the middle and make plays on opposing ball carriers. Rarely has he opened holes for blitzers up the middle to make plays.

The bottom line is this - this team has been atrocious against the run this season, and while I don't have stats to prove this ... most of that has been right up the gut.

With Fisk and a cast of stiffs in the middle last year, the Browns allowed 4.2 ypc and 137.7 ypg. This year they have been even worse despite the addition of Ted and not one injury of note on the DL until a game or so ago. They have allowed 4.5 ypc and 145.3 ypg on the ground.

Washington simply does not demand double teams anymore at this stage of his career, and thats what you need out of a 3-4 NT.

If you bring him back, I don't want him playing more than 35-40% of the snaps, which means you need to carry 3 NT's. The whole Browns DL needs upgraded BIG TIME, its a monumental weakness of this team, both in starter talent and depth.
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Unread postby yogi » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:26 am

Swerb, it seems as though your basing your defense of Andra Davis's poor ILB play based on the DL not eating up blocks and there's always OL in his face.

Please explain how that effects him hitting the wrong hole consistently.

Why does he miss 2 or 3 tackles a game? I mean arms wrapped around a RB or TE and he breaks free? Good LB's don't miss 2 or 3 a year!

Why is it that Andra Davis never (or rarely, because I can't recall a single one) lays out a RB or TE?

Hell, we all saw Ralph Brown do that on a TE last week!

Andra Davis, IMO, is a poor excuse for a LB. We'll be much better with Williams or Thompson in the middle. At least they're more physical.


Getting back to TW. I agree he doesn't command the double teams anymore. But I still say his play was a big improvement over Jason Fisk from last year.
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:07 am

Yogi, I will say this. I have soured slightly on Andra this year. I still feel he is a viable ILB. And in a 3-4, you need four guys that can play ILB. Im also probably slightly biased by the fact that I like Andra as a person and a player. Hes been a warrior through this mess here, never mouthing off, always giving 100% effort, and never missing time with hangnails and the sniffles like alot of guys on this team.

Maybe I'm being naive when I say I like our LBs. Certainly they deserve some of the blame for the disaster this team has been against the run. But ultimately, from watching this team play, my eyes are telling me that this DL is one of the worst (if not the worst) in all of football, and that it's putting our LBs in bad spots.

Wimbley, Andra, D'Qwell, Thompson, Leon ... I like that quintet as a base LB corps to build off of. Young, athletic, and all but Andra are still improving as players.

The DL OTOH, it wouldn't upset me to see none of these guys come back, save perhaps Orpheus as a guy that plays 50-60% of the snaps at one of the DE spots. Maybe Fraser brought back as a spare part.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:48 am

Im also probably slightly biased by the fact that I like Andra as a person and a player. Hes been a warrior through this mess here, never mouthing off, always giving 100% effort, and never missing time with hangnails and the sniffles like alot of guys on this team.


Yes, he is all of those things and I respect him for that. I would like to see Davis stay here, but as a 3rd ILB, not a #1. He and Jackson are the same player from what I saw this year, but Jackson seems to be more agressive attacking the LOS. Now they need a bad ass who runs all over the field and kills people to team him with.
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Unread postby yogi » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:27 pm

The bottom line is this - this team has been atrocious against the run this season, and while I don't have stats to prove this ... most of that has been right up the gut.


Just 1 more point in reference to the above.

I agree the the major chucks of yards come between the tackles.

While you were watching Big Ted get neutralized by 1 man, I was watching Andra Davis stuffing up the wrong hole!
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:58 pm

While you were watching Big Ted get neutralized by 1 man, I was watching Andra Davis stuffing up the wrong hole!

When you're giving up 4.5 yards per carry and teams are running the ball 33 times a game for 150 yards on you ... there's blame to be spread all around.

As always, you bring up some good points Yog.

I never played linebacker, but to me, a linebackers job is made increasingly tough when the guys in front of you are getting manhandled game in and game out, and you have running backs coming at you full speed, running downhill, and your first chance to stick em is often 2-3 yards on the wrong side of the line of scrimmage.
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