Each team is hoping to start the new season quickly, and Washington football is not the only one disappointed at 2-2. Look across the league and you’ll find teams with just one loss in the first quarter of 2021 who think they haven’t played their best football yet.
The good news is that every week is another chance to improve. And a defense like that of the WFT could wake up at any time. Something hasn’t been lost for New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.
“If you look at their defense you’d say it’s a very good front,” Payton told media Wednesday when asked about this weekend’s game. “A group that can jostle the passer. They are extremely athletic. Obviously a lot has been invested in this group with first-round picks. So you have to be on point with your protection plan.”
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The message of staying ready to fight people like Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Chase Young, and Daron Payne is a smart one.
Granted, Young and Payne have yet to count sacks this NFL season. But let a team come in without a game plan to prevent them from getting one, and it could be a bad day for that team’s quarterback.
In a week where countering the other coach could be even more important than most games, Rivera knows teams are doing things to combat Young’s abilities.
“When I look at some of the things that (Young) has done and how people react to him and how people basically slowed him down, there’s always an impact there,” Rivera said. “I think that’s the one thing we just need to be smart about.”
Saints quarterback Jameis Winston has done a lot in his NFL career, including a record season as the first passer in league history to throw 30 or more touchdowns and interceptions.
Earning a reputation as a subject to turnover was easy. Break it, won’t. But Payton’s training appeared to have made an impact as Winston started the 2021 season with eight touchdown passes for just two interceptions.
If the quarterback echoes his coach’s respect for the struggling but talented defense of the Washington football team, then the onus of finding ways to reach the quarterback will lie with Rivera’s squad.
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As much criticism as the WFT defense has received, judging by the comments here their next opponent is not cutting corners in their strategy to prevent their revival.