How would Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth fit in a 3-4?
The Redskins’ expected switch to a 3-4 defense poses a few questions about exactly how defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth will fit into that scheme. The NFL coach who knows Haynesworth’s abilities better than anyone believes that it’ll be an adjustment-but one Haynesworth can handle.
Jim Schwartz, former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator and current Detroit Lions head coach, this morning analyzed Haynesworth’s prospects in a 3-4 scheme. Keep in mind that Haynesworth has mostly lined up in the ‘3-technique’-over the outside of the guard-during his career. A 3-4 defense conventionally requires the tackle to line up over the center.
"There’s a lot of different kinds of 3-4 [defenses]," Schwartz said. "It’s not just going to a different scheme. He has played over the nose before. He’s played head-up on an offensive tackle before with different schemes in Tennessee and, I’m sure, with the Redskins last year. But it depends. There’s a difference between a 2-gap 3-4 and a penetrating, slanting, attack 3-4. I think Albert is a really good attacking player, and I think he proved that in the past. I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to [ensure he's effective], but it will be an adjustment."
You’ll recall that Haynesworth last December publicized his displeasure about how the Redskins’ coaching staff was using him. He wanted to attack more, penetrate up the field and be disruptive.
The notion of him occupying offensive linemen so linebackers can make tackles isn’t exactly his idea of fun, but that’s traditionally what a 3-4 nose tackle does. Of course, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett could move Haynesworth to end.
For now, the Redskins’ new staff isn’t publicizing details about how it plans to use players. But after last year’s outburst, it’s safe to say that a happy Haynesworth is a good thing for the team.