Each offseason, every NFL team focuses on at least one area in need of an upgrade. So what aspect of the Washington Redskins is looking better these days?
Training camp begins later this month for all 32 NFL teams. So that means another preview series from End Zone Score. Dating back to early March, we have taken time to look at each club’s best offseason addition. We even dabbled into some pertinent and historical numbers and previewed an up-and-coming player for each franchise.
Contrary to popular opinions, no team in the league is perfect. That’s why there’s a constant search for talent when it comes to this game. Each club has done its best to bolster its roster. So in this instance, we are going to take a glance at each franchise and pinpoint the department in which it made the most strides this offseason. We have already looked at the AFC East. We started the NFC East with the defending champion Dallas Cowboys and moved onto the New York Giants. Now it’s time to look at the Washington Redskins.
The defensive woes of the Washington Redskins in recent years are well-documented. The team has allowed the fifth-most total yards in the league each of the past two seasons. The club has allowed 40-plus offensive five touchdowns in five consecutive campaigns. The team was 24th in the NFL in 2016 in run defense, 26th the previous year.
You get the picture. So did team president Bruce Allen, who added a lot of pieces to the defensive unit via free agency and the draft. From first-round pick/defensive end Jonathan Allen to free-agent safety D.J. Swearinger. The latter comes over from the Arizona Cardinals. But the area that stands out in terms of improvement is the linebacking corps. There’s the signing of inside defender Zach Brown, a 2016 Pro Bowler with the Buffalo Bills, and the second-round selection in April of outside linebacker Ryan Anderson. The latter was Jonathan Allen’s teammate with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
We could even throw in a third newcomer as well. Although he joined the team a few years ago, we have yet to see pass-rusher Junior Galette play a game for the Redskins. He’s appears to be healthy and now he and Anderson bolster a group that includes Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith and Trent Murphy (the latter suspended for the first 4 games of 2017).
As for Brown, he will bump either Mason Foster or Will Compton for a starting job at inside linebacker. The “loser” will provide depth. In any case, Compton must up his game when it comes to stopping the run. Kerrigan (11) and Murphy (9) combined for 20 of the club’s 38 sacks this past season.
These days, the focal point when it comes to the Washington Redskins is about quarterback Kirk Cousins’ possible long-term future with the organization. Head coach Jay Gruden and the team can only hope the chances of a new contract improve as much as the team’s linebacker unit did this offseason.