The Redskins defense never lived up to expectations this season and coaches and players believe that it’s largely a product of Greg Manusky’s scheme, multiple sources told NBC Sports Washington.
“It’s just too complex,” one source said.
One veteran defensive player suggested that the Redskins still have the talent for a Top 10 defense but the pieces simply “aren’t used right.”
Manusky has served as the Redskins defensive coordinator since 2017 and the team hasn’t finished in the top half of the league in yards allowed during his tenure. Last season, Washington’s defense showed real improvement from the year before, but things have reverted this year.
With one game remaining the Redskins defense ranks 25th in the league in yards allowed. The team has talent but rarely do all 11 defensive players seem to be on the same page.
Perhaps the low point of the year came Sunday when the Redskins surrendered more than 550 yards of total offense to the 4-11 New York Giants. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns. Giants running back Saquon Barkley put up 289 total yards by himself and scored two touchdowns.
Even for a bad defense, that was a terrible performance.
Ask around Redskins Park and the word is that the scheme doesn’t make much sense. Some players believe linebackers coach Rob Ryan or defensive backs coach Ray Horton could provide better defensive blueprints.
A report from The Athletic suggested players are uncomfortable with the defensive play-calling, and it was just about a year ago that former Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger went on an infamous rant that specifically called out Manusky’s gameplans. Swearinger was cut shortly after the rant and has subsequently been cut by two more teams this season.
Regardless, Manusky’s future with the Redskins seems anything but stable. He is closely aligned with defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who is loved by his players, but that probably won’t be enough to save Manusky’s job.
There are significant questions brewing in Redskins Park, and the biggest ones are at head coach and with the front office.
Don’t forget, however, that it seems like the team will also need a new defensive coordinator in 2020.
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