Skins Offense Runs Through Haynesworth

Improved pass rush should lead to better offense

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The best offense is a good defense.

    When the Skins signed Albert Haynesworth, one of the complaints (beyond the gigantic contract) was that he didn't really address one of the team's needs. Last year's defense was decent; it was the offense that really needed work -- whether better receivers, a better line, or Snyder's and Cerrato's offseason-long attempts to replace Jason Campbell.

    While there's some truth to that, Haynesworth appears to be one of those guys who makes those around him better, one of those players opposing teams have to game-plan around.

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    The Skins' thinking is that he's such a game-changer on the defensive line that it's going to dramatically improve the defense.  Instead of a good one, they'll have a great one.

    The biggest weakness with last year's Skins defense was how few turnovers they created. They had just 13 interceptions, tied for 17th in the league.  Worse, they recovered just five fumbles, 30th in the league. Neither is acceptable.

    Some of the apparent weakness in the offense is the fact that they so infrequently had a short field to work with. If the team can just figure out how to up those turnover totals, it should improve the offense, right?

    That's where Haynesworth comes in.

    By clogging up the line, he does two things. First, he should dramatically improve the pass rush. He's likely to be double-teamed, which should free up Cornelius Griffin and Andre Carter to do their thing one-on-one.

    If they can beat their men, that gives the QB less time to wander around the pocket, waiting for plays down field.

    Second, if the QB and receivers have less time, it means big plays won't have time to develop, and most importantly, the QB is going to be hurrying some throws. When throws get hurried, mistakes get made.

    There's going to be a prime opportunity for the cornerbacks to step up and convert turnovers, and break up big plays.

    If the improved pash rush can create, say,  five more INTs, that's likely to lead to quite a few more short fields for the offense -- and more points on the board.

    All that thanks to Haynesworth.  Maybe he really is worth $100 million?  Time will certainly tell.