Depth chart changes signal new thinking

You've seen the new depth chart, but why did the Redskins make those changes? Ben Standig ponders heading into Monday's meeting with the Cowboys.

By now you've seen the news, even if unofficial: Inside linebacker Will Compton jumped Keenan Robinson on the Washington Redskins depth chart and veteran cornrback DeAngelo Hall is now a safety. Let's contemplate why with the help of Dashon Goldson, who spoke with the media via conference call Wednesday morning.

Let's start with Compton, now a starter inside with Perry Riley. That's a role he's taken on the last two weeks with Robinson dealing with a shoulder injury. More snaps overall the last four games for Compton which coincides with improved numbers with the rush defense. Don't confuse improved with fixed and numerous factors can lead to lower gross yardage totals, but here are the numbers. 

Week 6 (Jets): 221 rush yards

Week 7 (Bucs): 190

Week 8 (Patriots): 161

Week 9 (Saints): 158

Week 10 (Panthers): 142

Week 11 (Giants): 33 

Compton began receiving more playing time after the Tampa Bay game. Over the last four weeks, he's recorded 35 tackles. We're not talking about a Pro Bowl performer, but some basic sure tackling helps. That's not something the Redskins were receiving from Robinson or others in the back-7. At least not until Sunday's win over the Giants. According to ProFootballFocus, Washington only had two missed tackles in the victory. Now, the extreme drop last week was more about game flow and New York's running game woes. Regardless, the Redskins focused on fixing their tackling woes.

“It was just our preparation I felt and definitely our attitude on the tackling standpoint," Goldson said. "A lot of those games that came down to the rushing, they got a lot of rushing yards based on missed tackles. I think for the most part if you watch that game, it was more than one or two guys on a tackle, guys just swarming to the ball. We just have got to have that week in, week out. We can’t be up and down on that.”

As for Hall, the 12-year veteran's best hopes for playing a 13th season and beyond exist at safety. But this isn't a demotion in the short-term. If anything, Hall's playmaking presence gives Washington another oportunistic defender and at a position generating limited production this season. That's helpful this week against Dallas quarterback Matt Cassel, who is known to throw some pick-six interceptions. 

“I see the potential. He definitely could be a top-level safety," Goldson said of Hall. "He has the speed, he has the coverage, he understands football and he’s a tough player. I’ve seen him dive in there a few times. I didn’t know DeAngelo had it in him like that [laughter]. That was exciting to see. At that point I knew he was on to something. That’s usually the case. When guys get a little higher in age at that position, at the corner position, they usually transition themselves to safety. I think he’ll transition well."

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