Redskins crowd noise hindered communication with newcomer Clinton-Dix

Photo credit Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
By 106.7 The Fan

A sign that the home crowd is rebounding this season also caused confusion for the Redskins defense in Sunday's 38-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

It was safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix's first game in a Redskins uniform since being traded by Green Bay last Tuesday.

The 25-year-old safety was a welcomed addition to the secondary and will surely be an impact on the field, but with only four days to prepare, communication was lacking in his Redskins debut.

"It was kind of difficult early, especially with the crowd noise," D.J. Swearinger told 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier. "Us not being able to hear each other, us not having quite the chemistry yet."

"It takes time with that," he said. "We play on the road against Tampa, so it won't be as loud and we can communicate a little better on the road."

Swearinger believes Washington's game plan was solid, the players just didn't execute adequately. He pointed to their inability to stop Atlanta on third downs.

"The game plan was good. They were doing some of the things that we'd seen all week," he said. "We just didn't execute when that time was available. Third downs really hurt us. We didn't execute third downs. That's all on the players. The game plan was good, we've just go to execute as players and put ourselves in better situations to make those plays."

The Falcons offense converted on 76 percent of its third-down plays.

The Redskins were again tortured by pick plays, something the Colts also used to exploit Washington's man coverage.

"We just got to find a plan as DBs," Swearinger said. "That's something that's been hurting us all year. Moving forward, we need to find a plan. Whatever we're doing right now is not working. It hasn't worked for eight weeks, with the pick game."

"We need to switch up our pick-game defense if it hasn't worked for eight weeks," he said. "If it's not broke, don't fix it. But if it's broke, then we need to fix it."

Pick plays essentially boil down to legal offensive pass interference. A judgment call for the officials, a pick play involves two receivers crossing paths, with one legally knocking a defender off balance while the other leaks free for an open pass.

Asked how to defend against it in man coverage, Swearinger said, "Since I've been in the league, I always played on man-to-man teams and the coaches say you gotta be able to defend bunches and stacks. And the stacks and the bunches are when the picks are coming, and if you want to be a good man-to-man team, we have to learn how to defend bunches and stacks. Because week in and week out, teams are going to do it.

"We're going to continue to see that if we play man, and as pros, we've got to adjust."

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