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News & Notes: Blache Plans More Aggressive Calls


Greg Blache indicated on Thursday that he planned to be more aggressive with his defensive play calls in the weeks ahead.

Blache, who accepted responsibility for the defensive struggles in last Sunday's 19-14 loss to the Detroit Lions, suggested he needed to be more of a "maverick" with his play calls.

"Not necessarily a McCain-Palin maverick," he said, "but a Brett or Bart kind of maverick, a little bit more of a riverboat gambler."

The Redskins have just four sacks in three games this season after struggling in that department last year. It was thought the presence of Albert Haynesworth would improve sack results, but for the most part quarterbacks have been able to elude defensive linemen.

Blache, unlike his predecessor Gregg Williams, has not been a coordinator who deploys a lot of safety and cornerback blitzes.

Despite the low number of sacks, Blache's strategy worked well enough in 2008. The Redskins were ranked 7th in the NFL in pass defense last year.

This year, through three games, the unit is ranked 10th in the NFL.

Last Sunday in Detroit, the Redskins struggled on third-down conversions, allowing 9-of-12 in the first half and 10-of-18 for the game.

Overall this season, opponents have converted 22-of-43 third downs against the Redskins, a 51.2 percentage.

To improve on those numbers, Blache said he needed to put players in position to succeed with better defensive play calls.

"If the calls aren't real good, that's my fault," he said. "If the players don't play with detail, that's my fault because that all comes back to coaching. If we didn't have talent, you'd say, 'Well, there's a talent issue.'

"We have talent. In our league, the most talented teams don't always win. The teams that play the best win. And like last Sunday, I thought we were a better football team, but we didn't play better.

"When you stop, look in the mirror and you go through all the details, that comes back to coaching. Quite candidly, I have no problem accepting that."

Asked about the third down struggles against Detroit, Blache said: "If you go back through the tape, and you go back through the film, and you look at what is happening on third down, you go, 'Where is the problem?' There is a problem, no ifs, ands or buts, there is a problem.

"You go back and you look at it. 'Okay, this is a group of guys who works hard. They come to practice everyday. They do compete.' So how to you help them? You help them by giving them better calls and putting them in better situations."


Albert Haynesworth, Clinton Portis and Mike Sellers sat out Thursday's practice.

Haynesworth has a strained glute injury that he suffered in last Friday's game at Detroit.

Portis has a calf injury also suffered in the Detroit game. He has also been slowed by ankle injuries.

Sellers suffered a thigh injury in the Lions game.

He may be the most serious injury concern because if he is unable to play, the Redskins may have to go into this Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers without a fullback.

In that case, Chris Cooley and Fred Davis could see some action in Sellers' role. Or the team could sign rookie Eddie Williams from the practice squad.

Anthony Montgomery joined Haynesworth, Portis and Sellers on the sidelines on Thursday. He continues to be bothered by a knee injury.

DeAngelo Hall (ankle) and Cornelius Griffin (thigh) were added to the injury report on Thursday, but they participated fully in practice.

Carlos Rogers, who sat out Wednesday's practice recovering from a sprained ankle, was also full-go on Thursday.

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