Coordinator Corner: Fewell Must Work Around Defensive Injuries

Jim Mancari, Contributor

We already know that Jason Pierre-Paul, Trumaine McBride and Corey Webster have been ruled out for Sunday’s contest in Washington against the Redskins.

So it’s up to defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to optimize the pieces he does have healthy in order to contain Robert Griffin III and the Redskins’ offense.

RG III has been hampered himself by injuries all season, but Fewell still considers him the same dynamic player that he showed he can be last season.

“He (Griffin III) surprised everybody with just his abilities last year,” Fewell said. “I think he’s still a dangerous threat. I really see no difference. I think defenses have learned how to defend him a little bit better, not that you can totally shut him down.”

Starting the defensive line, Fewell said the absence of JPP opens up a spot for Damontre Moore at defensive end. Cullen Jenkins will also shift to the outside, with Markus Kuhn available for some snaps on the inside.

But since the Redskins’ offense relies heavily on unconventional looks, the experienced Jenkins may see the bulk of the time on the outside, Fewell said.

“This is a difficult offense for any defensive end because it is a read option offense; it is a play action offense,” Fewell said. “They do a number of things to make the defensive ends think, so it is quite difficult.”

As for the secondary, Jayron Hosley practiced all week with the first unit, and rookie Charles James also may contribute. Fewell said he’s confident these guys can do the job, especially Hosley.

Jayron has good cover skills,” Fewell said. “I think he’s a good matchup for some of the quick guys that they (Redskins) have in there in their lineup, so I don’t think we’ll miss a beat from that standpoint as far as the quickness and the matchups are concerned.”

On that final drive against the Cowboys last week, Fewell said that the defense was in its dime formation with six defensive backs (Antrel Rolle, Prince Amukamara, Terrell Thomas, Will Hill, Ryan Mundy and Hosley) on the field. Rolle was moved down to slot cornerback, and Dez Bryant had his way with him.

Rolle still may be called upon before James in a nickel-type situation. The injury to McBride – who very quietly was a consistent pass defender the past few weeks – has made this secondary thinner than it already is.

Containing Griffin III will be the main focus Sunday night, but that task becomes even more difficult given the lack of healthy starters on this unit.

Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.

17 comments
illmatix
illmatix

I expect heavy minutes from Melo tonight. ..scoring from the bench is going to be hard to come by

Seth Plaut
Seth Plaut

Hope the Knicks win, but cannot wait for the firing of Woodson!

Brian Gilliard
Brian Gilliard

Leave the cynicism at the door and support your team people!!! Go Knicks!

buddhabing
buddhabing

Amare is the 3rd leading scorer; not Hardaway. That being said Hardaway is big loss if he can't go.

bockers
bockers

to biggie (little girl)


Some people don't hesitate to speak their minds because they have nothing to lose.

zebeto
zebeto

Big game ......even ESPN here in Brasil is gonna pass it !!!............got my popcorn ready to go !!!

bockers
bockers

to biggie (little girl)


Judging by the old saying, "What you don't know can't hurt you," you are practically invulnerable.

buddhabing
buddhabing

Shannon Brown is going to be an xfactor in this game if Hardaway can't go. 

illmatix
illmatix

X is a Knick fan & a vet on here, that I know for sure

zebeto
zebeto

@buddhabing rest him up possiblly for wash/friday ...or def. vs Mia/Sunday !!!

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@Biggie  Knicks win. 110-95 Big shooting night for Melo & JR!

C'mon folks. You gotta believe!

zebeto
zebeto

@Sandro Guedes @zebeto gonna be an intense game ...........Nets wanna overtake CHI for the 4th spot/home court advantage .....and knicks fighting for overall survival !

buddhabing
buddhabing

@Sandro Guedes @buddhabing  Weirder things have happened. If he can get it going early you might be able to get a nice game from him. Guy is a veteran who has played in big games. Maybe he'll get a flashback from his Laker days....lol