I was putting the film together for my Redskins 2-4-5 defense review and these plays grabbed my attention. The secondary had a rough day and along with Jim Haslett caught the brunt of the fans anger. The more film I comb through the more the Linebackers are standing out to me as having coverage issues of their own. Lets go to the film and check out London Fletcher and Perry Riley.

Perry Riley- Cover 2




Post snap & the green dots are dropping into their cover 2 assignments correctly,what is the Red dot doing? Perry Riley is the Red dot and for the remainder of this breakdown he will remain the lone red dot. Everyone in Green is in the process of dropping into their coverage zones. Wilson was carrying his WR up the field until Jackson released into his side of the field on a pass route. *Green dot in pic #2 is where Riley began and what his correct path should of been getting into his zone.

Riley has his eyes locked on Sam Bradford which is the norm in zone coverage. The key is to still be focused on completing your assignment while doing so. It appears Riley is thinking that Bowen getting a free rush on Bradford will force the ball to come out to Jackson on the out route. The flat pass would be Josh Wilsons play to make if Bradford wnet to the outlet valve which he does not.


At this point Perry Riley is all in and has committed to defending Stephen Jackson in the flat.. Josh Wilson still has outside leverage and would be in perfect position to make a play.

By this point Riley is on his high horse to Jackson while Kerrigan and Bowen are in position to get home on the QB

Kerrigan gets to Bradford but a step late. Remember the green dot and arrow for where Riley was suppose to be ?

Now had Riley been in position this play is changed dramatically IMO. Riley in his zone at depth takes the WR away from Bradford and gives Kerrigan the extra second he needed to get a sack on Sam Bradford. Bowen is also is Bradfords line of sight so who is to say Riley would not have been in position for a hurried pass for a interception ?

That is a hell of a throwing lane created by one out of place LB huh?

Here is Josh Wilson giving his “C’mon man ” speech.
Perry Riley helped the Rams turn a negative situation into a 19 yard gain.

2. London Fletcher- Cover 3

Redskins come out in their 2-4-5 cover 3 zone with Richard Crawford as the inside slot corner. St. Louis will motion Amendola down inside the numbers which gives the CB & SS more routes to think about. M.Williams is on the far hash moving toward his zone coverage area post snap.

Post snap Gomes begins his rotation to the deep middle while Wilson and Griffin begin to fall into coverage. Bradford turns his back to the defense and this movement usually freezes the Linebackers as they wait to verify either A. Run or B. Play action. In this case play action pass is the call. London Fletcher appears to have already taken the run bait. Can London make up for this one false step so early?

Richard Crawford gets a nice delayed jam on the wide reciever which will slow his progress to allow the coverage more time to drop in their zones. Perry Riley identifies pass and as indicated by his weight transfer is begining to drop into his zone responsibility. London identifies pass and looks to be dropping into his area like Riley.

On the far hash M.Williams gets in position to defend his zone & get a good delayed reroute on Amendola. Richard Crawford after his jam begins to flare out towards the flat.After the play fake the RB will release from the backfield and this action draws the attention of London Fletcher. Keep in mind Crawford has flat responsibility on this play so the RB running a out route would be his play to make. London at this point has already tipped Bradford to where he is going with the football.

London is locked on to the RB and releasing into the flat along side Crawford. Amendola is about to break into his in route behind the drop of Perry Riley. Coverage is sound on this play except from London Fletcher.

Amendola begins to clear into a open zone which should be occupied by london Fletcher at this point

Amendola flashes right into a wide open zone for Bradford to throw into. The completion is made and Amendola hits the ground running turning this reception into 56 yards.

Secondary has its issues but coverages require the whole defense to be on the same page. When Linebackers don’t get into their zones big plays will happen in the middle of the field.

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