A year ago, the Redskins had a defensive lineman who was very particular about where he played. Albert Haynesworth was asked to play nose tackle and he didn’t want to do that. He was moved to defensive end but he only wanted to play there in passing situations. During the offseason, this prompted defensive coordinator Jim Haslett to say, “He doesn’t want to do anything!”
Albert, of course, is gone now and the Redskins have a new attitude in place. Barry Cofield, a defensive tackle with the Giants signed to play nose tackle in Washington, may have to learn another role. With rookie defensive end Jarvis Jenkins out for the season with a knee injury, Cofield is likely to be asked to play defensive end in passing situations.
“That’s probably going to be the case,” he said. “I might be an end. It’s going to be a rotation, a fluid situation.”
Cofield doesn’t mind if learning the additional position takes some extra time.
“We’re pros, that’s just what we have to do,” he said. “If it takes some extra work then that’s what it takes. If you have to go home and take your playbook with you, like I’ve done on the past, or if you have to take a DVD home and watch some tape, that’s what our coaches expect and that’s what we expect of ourselves.”
Cofield certainly expects his teammates to have the same attitude. “We’re all interchangeable parts,” he said. “No one is bottled into any particular role. We all try to learn everything.”
As far as learning his primary position at nose tackle, Cofield says “I’m further along than I thought I might have been.”
He believes that his readiness level is at a seven on a scale of one to ten. That’s good but there is more work to do.
“I’m going to watch a lot more tape,” he said. “It’s going to take some extra study. I feel like I’m moving at a good clip. Each day is a little bit better and I feel like by the time the Giants roll into town I’ll be pretty much where I want to be.”
Ah, the Giants. Cofield is looking forward to going against the team he played for during his first five years in the NFL.
“It’s great that the Giants are Week 1 for many reasons,” he said. “I’m definitely excited about that game.
“I’m going to be going off of adrenaline and hopefully after the first play or so I’ll be able to settle down.”