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Breaking Burgundy Mailbag: Time To Shift The Front-7 Scheme?

Manny Benton answers your pressing Redskins questions in this week's Breaking Burgundy mailbag.

Each week send us your Washington Redskins related questions via twitter using the hashtag #BBMailbag or email (

This question touches on several topics, really. Firstly, I do think this current coaching staff likes the 3-4 defense because of the different looks it allows you to have. It's their base defense and it's a look they really aren't in a lot. However, even when they give the "illusion" of a 4-3 or play with some similar responsibilities, they are at the end of the day a 3-4 defense. They've been in the 3-4 since 2010 with coach Mike Shanahan. They have not had much consistent success in the scheme. I do think, as mentioned in the question, a guy like Su'a Cravens would be a complete animal in a 4-3. He already reminds me a bit of Panthers' LB Thomas Davis who has experienced success at both the weak and strong side linebacking positions. 

On another note, OLB's Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan were caught in coverage more times last week against the Dallas Cowboys than you'd want. Ideally, you would like to have those guys pinning their ears back and attacking the backfield. I think moving back to a 4-3 is something they could consider down the road. However, as mentioned, the current staff likes the multiplicity of the current scheme.

I think there is a possibility the Redskins will increase rookie WR Josh Doctson playtime this week. He hit the field 19 times against the Dallas Cowboys week two and was used often in the red zone -- especially in the second half. With DeSean Jackson nursing some injuries this week (knee/ankle), I'd imagine Doctson's snap count will increase. The Redskins have been taking it slow with their 2016 first round pick. But you can tell they're itching to use him more. Although the Washington used Doctson on the fade route several times in week two, I'd like to see them work the former TCU receiver on slants this week. It'll be a nice change-up since they put those fades on film against Dallas.

Washington's rookie corner Kendall Fuller has been inactive the first two weeks of the season. I think his time is coming soon. Current starting nickel DB Dashaun Phillips has struggled. It's only a matter of time. In my opinion, Fuller flashed on many levels in the preseason. Sure, he had his faults. He's young and will learn. But the guy competes in both the pass and run game.

As far as running the football more -- I agree. Washington has had the least amount of run attempts (29) in the entire league. It's not even due to the lack of success (4.7 yards per carry), it's just that they go away from it too soon. That's really been Jay Gruden's ammo since his days in Cincinnati. He has never had a consistent approach to running the football. The Redskins do need to find a way to reduce the amount of throws Cousins attempts each week. That has to start with running the ball more.

You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.

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