THN Weekly with Andre Carter - Week 7
For the Redskins, who now sit at 3-3 and are currently third in the division, the drastic improvements from the 2009 season are obvious when they take the field but the ability to capitalize off of opportunities and close out games is something that must be worked on.
Down by three to the Indianapolis Colts, the Redskins had two offensive possessions in the final two and a half minutes of the game but failed to get into position to even send it to overtime. On the defensive side of the ball, three turnovers were recovered, which was a rare sight last year but there were also key interceptions that were dropped by cornerback Carlos Rogers and safety Kareem Moore.
“Who knows what could have happened if those plays were made? There could have been additional points on the scoreboard by our offense. It could go either way. Regardless, as a strong defense we need to create big plays when the opportunity presents itself,” linebacker Andre Carter said.
Another point of emphasis that Carter has talked about all year long was tackling, or the lack thereof, which was evident Sunday Night against the Colts. Since it has been emphasized in practice all season long, why hasn’t the tackling improved much, if at all to this point?
“I couldn't tell you,” Carter said. “We will get it resolved. We don't sit back and not try to tackle, but it's a mindset. We continue to work on the fundamentals in practice and hopefully we can emphasize that component on game day.”
Despite being the oldest team in the league, an on-the-field maturation process needs to be completed on offense and defense in order to regularly take down teams like the Colts when the opportunities come about.
The confidence to win these types of games is certainly shared by the players every week but there is room to grow in order for that to actually happen.
“We expected to win and unfortunately we didn't,” Carter said. “We created big plays on all three sides of the football. However, we left so much on the field. When you play a former Super Bowl championship team, those plays that we should have had matter.”
“We have the talent and heart to match up with anybody,” he continued. “Now what we must do collectively is detail our work for four quarters, know our assignments, our responsibilities, create big plays, etc.”
This week, they will have to make those improvements against the 4-2 Chicago Bears in a critical NFC matchup that could have playoff implications if the Redskins are still in the postseason race late in the year.
The Bears have a porous offensive line that has allowed 27 sacks in six games, 23 of them on Jay Cutler and 10 in one game against the New York Giants three weeks ago. Expect the Redskins to blitz and blitz often in order to disrupt quarterback Jay Cutler.
Perhaps the most important player on the offensive side of the ball for the Bears is versatile running back Matt Forte, who is the team’s leading rusher, second leading receiver and has six total touchdowns this season. He is an agile, athletic back who can make plays when given the chance and is someone Carter is keeping his eyes on all game.
“We have to cover him for four quarters consistently because if he finds an opening in the run or passing game, he will create scoring opportunities for the Bears,” Carter said.
It will be important for the Redskins defense to keep Forte contained in order to force Cutler into passing situations and allow blitzes to be executed.
Another important task for the burgundy and gold will be to contain return man Devin Hester, who tied former Redskin Brian Mitchell’s record for the most kick and punt returns for touchdowns last Sunday. The Redskins special teams, especially the kickoff and punt coverage units, were phenomenal against the Colts and will need to execute the same exact way in order to have a chance this Sunday considering this is Chicago’s strong point.
Another aspect from Sunday night that the Redskins will have to repeat in order to be successful will be the steady run game, led by Ryan Torain, who had two touchdowns and 100 yards and 20 carries against the Colts. Torain runs with a lot of power and determination and showed good elusiveness through his spin moves against Indianapolis. Even though the Bears defense will provide a much stiffer test than the Colts below average run defense, Carter has faith in Washington’s “All Torain Vehicle.”
“I am confident in Ryan. If he can stay healthy he can create big plays on the offensive side of the ball,” Carter said.
PAPDOG67: Andre, I know the overall goal of a defense is to keep points off the board but is it frustrating to be giving up this many yards game in game out?
AC: It is very frustrating coming from a top 10 defense these past few years, to being ranked on a low scale this year. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to redeem ourselves. To give up 400-600 yards per game is flat-out uncalled for regardless of what scheme we are playing. We need to be more gap sound in the run game, tackle efficiently and create turnovers when the opportunities arise.
REDEEMEDSKIN: Andre, be honest. Who's got better hands, you or 'los?
AC: Lol. Los because, well, because he has a few interceptions more than me.
This article was released on 2010-10-21.
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