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Coach's Corner: Williams Sees Improved 'D'

Every week, chats with a Redskins coach about a hot topic. This week: assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams discusses improvement on defense and the team's crowded secondary:

"We have gotten in some good quality work this preseason, but I am never satisfied. We have a lot to do before the opener.

"The years that we have been very good on defense, we have been dominant on third down. You would like to be able to make a difference-making plays on third down, not just get off the field.

"There have been years we have been good at that, but you would like to take the ball away on third down. We were deficient in both of those areas last year and we need to improve. We need to make a significant jump in those areas.

"Coaches are always talking about stopping the run and being able to do things with an attitude and toughness. You can't get knocked off the ball. The only way you have the chance to overwhelm an opponent is with speed.

"Our team speed is better this year. When you are able to overwhelm an opponent with speed, you can be a little smaller at particular positions that may not match up size-wise.

"You match up with speed so that you can get in position where it is two, or three, or four on one. We would like to get to the point to where it is 11 on one as many times as we can, with everyone improving their speed."

"Our secondary is very competitive this year. There is no one in our secondary that does not belong here.

"You are going to see a lot of playing time by a lot of guys in Thursday's preseason game [against the Jacksonville Jaguars]. We are going to mix and match a lot in the ball game so we can get some quality evaluation snaps for those guys.

"I don't think you can ever have too many cornerbacks in this league. As the league has become more wide open and as the rules in the National Football League are doing everything in the world to create more explosive plays with more points on the board, the only way you can negate that or attempt to slow it down is to have good matchups at corner.

"We feel like our corner play will help out our defensive line play. We have a lot of good combinations there.

"We have some veteran guys with age, and some youthful guys with legs, and with their combined efforts we should be able to manipulate the snaps and take off some of the pounding of those legs [on the defensive line]with the good number of corners that we have."

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