WASHINGTON — The Redskins have played one game this season, but the criticism has already come in droves.
On Tuesday morning, just a few hours after the Redskins suffered their season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, listeners called into 106.7 The Fan to criticize quarterback Kirk Cousins, head coach Jay Gruden and GM Scot McCloughan. On Wednesday morning, former New York Giants receiver Amani Toomer joined Grant and Danny, ripping Cousins.
On Thursday morning, former New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Bart Scott called into The Sports Junkies and absolutely crushed Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry for not making adjustments to the Steelers’ gameplan. Specifically, he had words for how the Redskins handled receiver Antonio Brown, who caught eight passes on 11 targets for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
“Man, that defense,” was all Scott could say at first. “Come on.”
“If I can dictate coverage by putting a receiver to a certain side and predicting my side, getting one-on-one with no [help]. The safety, I mean, come on. Show your boy some love. Step into the box and act like you’re leaning toward him, then post-snap move somewhere else. I mean, you’re the safety, you’re secondary. You’re leaving this guy on an island. I feel like it was almost comical.”
“Bart, if that was happening on a team that you played on, would you have words with the defensive coordinator, either on the sideline or behind closed doors?” asked host John Auville.
“Well, fortunately for me, my coordinators were smarter than that,” Scott replied. “I mean, talk about being stubborn. How many times you gotta see it? You’re talking about the best receiver in the game and a quarterback that knows what he’s doing, knows how to get to it. Usually you have to be creative, put a guy in the slot, motion him over — all he had to do was say ‘go left.’ I can imagine inside Antonio Brown was laughing, like this can’t be real. The coordinator must have him on his fantasy team or something.”
“What percentage of defenses, Bart, go that way, where they just strictly play A side, B side, whatever, we’re not gonna match up like that,” host Eric Bickel asked. “What percentage?”
“Surely the ones that have two corners that are equal,” Scott answered, citing his old Ravens teams with Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle, compared to when he played with shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis, who the Jets simply stuck on the opposing team’s top receiver each game.
Scott also noted the Seattle Seahawks, who have top-tier cornerback Richard Sherman and All-Pro safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, playing very little straight man-to-man defense. When they do play man-to-man, he says, the Seahawks always have Chancellor helping out and ready to make a play. That’s what the Redskins failed to do.
“[The Redskins] were in straight up Cover Zero, man-to-man,” Scott said. “You’re by yourself, I hope you do well, sorry you didn’t do well, we’re gonna give you another chance, we don’t want to break your confidence. Oh, he got you again. Nah, nah, he can’t get you three — yeah he did it again. That’s the definition of insanity, to do the same thing and expect a different result.”
Though the former linebacker didn’t specifically call out cornerback Bashaud Breeland, who was matched up with Brown for most of the game, he thinks receivers should be fighting each other for the chance to go one-on-one with him instead of Josh Norman.
“I would have been playing rock-paper-scissors to try to line up over there,” he said. “Like, Antonio, let me get some.”
“They were trying to say, and they said this before the game even, that when you don’t know where a guy’s going to line up, that it affects everybody else on the back end of it,” Bickel said. “I don’t know, I guess it just makes it that much more complicated. You’re saying that’s not true?”
“Who’s the defensive coordinator?” Scott asked.
“Joe Barry,” answered the hosts.
“I’m available,” Scott answered.
The 11-year veteran then rattled off his resume. (For the record, Scott recorded 527 tackles, 25.0 sacks, 27 pass defenses, 4 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles and 7 fumble recoveries in 172 games, 118 of which he started.)
Host Jason Bishop asked Scott if he thought the Redskins would change their gameplan for Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys, when top receiver Dez Bryant is in town.
“They better,” Scott responded. “Because if I’m Dallas, I’m putting him on the left side and I pray to God I get one-on-one. I’ll take my chances. They better leave the safety over there. Whether he’s free or not, he better show over there. You have to show over there to discourage the pre-snap awareness. Where you move post-snap is something different. You can get to your assignment later. But show some help.”
As Scott was leaving the call, his final note on the defensive coordinator situation: “Put my application in for me.”
“I will,” Bickel responded. “I’ll lobby for you, actually.”
On an unrelated note, Scott considers Cousins a mid-level quarterback, saying he’s the 15th or 16th best in the league.
The full call is available below.