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News & Notes: Overdue For Turnovers

The Redskins' defense has forced just two turnovers in four games this season-and none in the last three games--a statistic that makes the team's 3-1 record all the more remarkable.

Linebacker Lemar Marshall recorded an interception in the Week 1 win against the Chicago Bears and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin forced a Kyle Orton fumble, also in Week 1 against the Bears.

Last year, Gregg Williams' defense logged 18 interceptions and 10 forced fumbles. Despite his aggressive schemes, it wasn't until the Week 15 win at San Francisco that a defensive player scored a touchdown off of a turnover. (Antonio Pierce returned an interception 78 yards for a score.)

The dearth of turnovers has been a focus this week in practice.

Williams has noticed that opposing quarterbacks have taken to throwing passes away.

"In our first four games, we've had 11 balls just blatantly thrown away by opposing quarterbacks," Williams said. "We may lead the league in that category. We took away the quarterback's first, second and third options. The quarterback had a chance to avoid a sack, so he threw the ball away."

Added safety Sean Taylor: "I think we are trying, but you can only do so much when the offense gives you so much. If they put it up there and we are able to take it away, we're going to do it. We haven't been fortunate because we haven't had that many passes downfield.

"I'm sure we won't have that problem against Kansas City, but we definitely have to be better around the ball."

Williams said offenses appear to be staying away from throwing in Taylor's direction. The second-year player had four interceptions and two forced fumbles last season.

"It's been funny to see teams stay away from him a little bit," Williams said. "They really have, with the exception of the double-move and gadget play in Dallas. He hasn't had many opportunities in that way. His few opportunities may have a little bit to do with how much pressure we put on people. There aren't a lot of extended routes because of that."


Kansas City's Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez has 16 catches for 129 yards so far this season and is a big part of the Chiefs' offense.

Williams said that several players could cover Gonzalez in Sunday's game, depending on the packages.

"We always have to know where he's at, especially in the red area," Williams said.

Said Taylor: "You just have to get in position and not let him use his body or basketball-type awareness to box you out and get the ball."

Williams said that competing against a player of Gonzalez's caliber will be helpful as the Redskins gear up for NFC East opponents later this season. With the Giants' Jeremy Shockey, the Eagles' L.J. Smith and the Cowboys' Jason Witten, the NFC East has some of the top tight ends in the league.

"That's one of the reasons we drafted Sean Taylor," Williams said. "Looking at our division, we're not as worried as much about those matchups. We're never at an advantage on defense because it's a pass-oriented league. Any ticky-tack touch that happens downfield is a new set of downs. So it helps when you have a presence in the secondary."

Added Williams: "For the big tight end matchups, you have to have big safeties. It helps having Sean."

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