2011 Washington Redskins: How Can the Redskins Fix Their 3-4 Defense?

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2011 Washington Redskins: How Can the Redskins Fix Their 3-4 Defense?
Larry French/Getty Images

There was a time when the only good thing Redskins fans could talk about was their defense. While the offense sputtered, the coaches tried to maintain order and the front office interfered. The one thing the Redskins could always say was they had a solid defense.

Then the 'Skins turned from a 4-3 defense (which they've been running pretty much their hole existence) to the more creative and turnover causing 3-4 defense. Fans didn't think much of it at first; some fans grumbled over it, but no big deal.

And then there was the Texans game. The Redskins had managed to rack up a 24-3 lead, but the Texans stormed back to win in overtime.

That was only the beginning.

The Redskins finished the season 31st in the league in total defense, 31st in passing yards allowed and 26th in run defense. They caused more turnovers, but the offense was usually unable to turn those turnovers into points, and they only got 29 sacks, down from the 40 they had in 2009.

Changing your base defense is always hard. A lack of true 3-4 personnel and the lack of any real free agency period made things even worse. Injuries to some of the better members on the Redskins didn't make things any better.

More than a few people have been screaming for the Redskins to simply switch back to their old 4-3 front, while media analyst try to figure out how Mike Shanahan screwed up a good thing. I don't think the move was bad, as much as it was misguided; Coach Shanahan thought he had the right personnel. He didn't. Now it's time to improve, not dwell on how bad things went during the change.

So, let's take a look at what the Redskins have and how they can improve through free agency and the draft.

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