Saturday, September 7, 2013
Meriweather absence affects blitz packages
By Nic Reiner
Washington Redskins starting strong safety Brandon Meriweather will likely be listed as questionable for Monday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. If Meriweather can't play, veteran Reed Doughty will likely start in his place. With Meriweather out, Washington may be more limited in the kinds of blitz packages they can employ.
Resident Redskins reporter John Keim makes the good point that the team might have to adjust their defensive strategy because of the Eagles' speed and explosiveness near the sideline. As Keim notes, the Redskins blitzed the quarterback from the outside in the first matchup with the Eagles last season.
"This left DeSean Jackson free for a moment. But the Redskins had done so because of Meriweather’s speed and ability to rotate over quicker than their other strong safeties," Keim said. "Meriweather adds speed in the secondary, and when facing a team that makes you defend sideline to sideline that’s a necessary element."
Without Meriweather, who hasn't been at 100 percent for most of the summer, the Redskins will have to be more conservative with their blitzes, doing so more often from the slot than from the outside. Should Meriweather suit up, one can assume the Redskins will still choose to play safer in the secondary.