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Josh Wilson has been the high point of the Redskins' secondary in 2012.
I’ve been talking up Josh Wilson since the offseason but I’m going to continue to do so. Despite the Tampa Bay quarterback troubles last week, someone still needs to cover Vincent Jackson.
Wilson is really the only guy on the roster capable of doing so over the course of a game. He’s the best cover corner the Redskins have, so giving anyone else the task of covering Jackson would be a mistake.
DeAngelo Hall has got better in coverage, sure, but do you really want to run zone-coverage with Hall on Jackson? Didn’t think so.
In reviewing the defense after the Rams game, Rich Campbell recalled a comment made by Josh Wilson:
When Wilson is in a position where he can’t see the quarterback or the ball, he reads the receiver’s eyes. A receiver’s eyes always indicate when the ball is about to arrive, he said. (Via The Washington Times).
This is why you want Wilson on the No.1 receiver. He plays the man and the ball simultaneously, which is an excellent trait to have in a defensive back, as it means he isn’t fooled easily and will continue with his assignments.
His instincts are good—see the fumble recovery returned for a touchdown against the Rams—and he is a team-first guy that doesn’t simply seek the big plays. He gave up a touchdown on a Cover-0 blitz last week, but he certainly isn’t the first to do that.
At best, the Cover-0 blitz is a high-risk, high-reward package, and last year’s Redskins-Cowboy’s matchup showed its potential for heartache. Those weren’t quite the words Hall used, but I like to think the sentiment was the same.
Of course, in giving Wilson the task of covering Jackson, there is a risk of giving up plays elsewhere on the field. It’s ultimately a trade-off, but both teams have the same amount of players on the field so everyone else just has to play smart.
Keith McMillan summed it up perfectly for The Washington Post:
If they’re giving up big plays in man and zone, there isn’t a whole lot else that can be done. A defensive coordinator can dial up blitzes, roll coverages and have the defense better disguise what it’s doing. But at some point, whatever’s called, players have to play better. There aren’t any magic solutions, just that.