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5 Takeaways: Joe Barry's Eagles Week Presser


Here's five takeaways from Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry's media session with reporters on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in Loudoun County, Va.

1. The fashion in which the defensive was able to come up against the Ravens was huge.

While there was definitely a Redskins presence in the stands at M&T Bank Stadium last Sunday, the Ravens have built quite the home field advantage over the years.

But the Redskins were able to go into Baltimore and hand the Ravens a second straight home loss behind a defensive unit that shut down Joe Flacco and Co.

After Baltimore opened the game with a 75-yard touchdown drive, the defense allowed just three points the rest of the game.

The much-maligned three-down defense clamped down when it counted most, allow the Ravens to convert on just 20 percent of plays on the "money down." They also didn't allow a game-winning score in the final seconds when the Ravens were penetrating Redskins territory.

Barry hopes the momentum from that performance can carry over to this week's game against the Eagles in front of the Redskins' home crowd.

"Obviously our main goal every week, we don't care about anything except getting out of the stadium – whether it's home or away – with a W," Barry said. "But to go there and win in the fashion in which we did, in that stadium, was pretty sweet."

2. There was no extra urgency on third downs, the unit just happened to have some success.
It looked like the problem was going to extend well into the fifth game of the season.

Check out the top images from the Washington Redskins' defense and special teams in their 2016 Week 5 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens Oct. 9, 2016, at M&T Bank Stadium.

Through the first four weeks of the season, the Redskins allowed opponents to convert on nearly 60 percent of third down plays, easily the worst percentage in the league.

Then on Sunday after the Ravens got the football to start the game, they converted on their first two third down attempts, a 35-yard gain by Terrance West and a six-yard completion to Mike Wallace that set up a touchdown on the very next play.

But that was the extent of the Ravens' success on third down, as they would finish the game just 3-of-15 on that down.

"It wasn't like last week we were like, 'OK guys, we really have got to play better – we really have really got to pay attention to third down now,'" Barry said. "We take great pride both as a coaching staff and our players of daily improvement. And daily improvement, on Wednesdays we focus on first and second down. On Thursdays we focus on third downs. Tomorrow we'll focus on red zone. But that's our approach and our mentality every single day. We as coaches, especially on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, we're in this building for 20 hours a day. Our players are with us for 10 of those hours. We're talking about game planning, and strategizing, and winning every and each situation."

It just all came down to execution.

"We played well, we tackled well, we hustled well," Barry said. "But I think from a preparation standpoint, we prepared like we always did last week, just like we're going to do today, just like we did yesterday."

3. The Redskins must be ready for a rookie playing lights out.
The domino effect that started with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's season-ending injury opened the door for 2015 second-overall pick Carson Wentz to entering the lineup.

Coming in from North Dakota State – an NCAA Division I-AA school –and not playing a single snap with the first-team offense in the preseason, Wentz was expected to experience quite a few growing pains in his debut year.

It's been the complete opposite, as he's led the Eagles to a 3-1 record behind seven touchdown passes to just one interception, a ball that was thrown deep last Sunday with Philadelphia trailing late to the Detroit Lions.

"I think he's athletic, can make all the throws, can create things and win," Barry said. "When things break down around him, he's athletic enough to create. They do a great job of really calling the game for him. It just seems sometimes it's really hard to tell until you're face-to-face with a guy on game day, but from what you can see on film, he doesn't seem fazed by much. It doesn't seem really too big for him. No. 1, he's a rookie. No. 2, he's a rookie coming from the program that he came from – a I-AA school. It's just a great example, you don't need to be from one of the top five programs in the country to come in and play in this league. He's got all the tools, he's got the skillset, and they're doing a great job coaching him and calling plays for him."

Barry said that even if the perfect defensive play is called, Wentz can create without putting the offense at risk of a turnover.

"He has been impressive, he really has," Barry said. "And, again, I think their coaching staff should be given a gold star because they've done a great job of managing him, they really have from what they do, what they give to him, what they present to him and simply the play calling."

4. Will Blackmon is almost like a 31-year-old rookie at his new position.
A lifelong cornerback, Blackmon along with DeAngelo Hall made the switch to safety in the offseason. Backing up Hall the first three weeks of the season, Blackmon has started the last two games.

He's appeared on every single snap defensive snap the last two weeks, recording nine tackles.

With each coming play, though, Blackmon is starting to get settled in at safety.

"Just like I tell you guys all the time with rookies, they get better every single day," Blackmon said. "They get better every single week because they experience things. They see things that they've never experienced before. Will is a great, veteran football player. He's been around, he's seen a lot, played in a ton of games but at that position, it's new for him. So, he experiences and sees things every single time he gets a snap whether it's on the practice field or on the game field."

Barry sees Blackmon getting "better and better" as he once again becomes a key cog on the defensive unit.

"The thing that sometimes I have to be careful with because Will is so experienced and he is so football savvy and he's very aware and really understands football, I've got to be careful with overloading him and not playing him in too many different spots because he is playing a new position full-time for the first time," Barry said. "But, as far as his progression, I am happy with where he is at, he's getting better every single day, every single week."

5. The "arrow is definitely going up" for rookie defensive end Matt Ioannidis.
Starting the season on the practice squad before being called up the active roster for Week 3, 2016 fifth-round pick Matt Ioannidis is quickly improving.

Last week, Ioannidis played a career-high 29 snaps, collecting two tackles.

"It was great to have him out there, great to see him not only be out there but, you know, somewhat affect the game and play well, impact the game, make some plays," Barry said. "So, yeah, I was very happy with Matt."

Ioannidis' presence also provides Ziggy Hood the opportunity to move around the defensive line.

"It allows Ziggy to kind of be out on the edge and do what he does best whether it is a 3-technique or a 5-technique," Barry said. "You know, I think my mindset is with the defensive line, those guys have got be able to fluctuate at different positions. Any one of them can play a 1-technique, a 3-technique or a 5. But obviously they have roles and they are better suited at certain positions. When we have Matt playing the nose guard position that allows Ziggy, it allows Bake [Chris Baker], it allows Ricky [Jean Francois], even Cullen [Jenkins] to play on the outside and get on the edge of a guard or get on the edge of a tackle."

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