Over the next few days here on Real Redskins we will be looking at the 2011 Washington Redskins position by position and player by player. Earlier, we looked at the offense (quarterbacks, offensive line, wide receivers, running backs and tight ends). Here, we start with the defense and take a look at the line.
At least through the preseason, Cofield has made a believer of many of the skeptics who didn’t think that someone his weight, which he said is north of his listed 306 pounds but is well south of 350 pounds, could play nose tackle. We will have to see if he can stand up to the pounding of being double teamed play after play, game after game. A bonus Cofield could provide is a pass rush up the middle, something the Redskins could use.
He played in a quite different 3-4 defense in Dallas so he has to adjust to playing defensive end in this scheme. As with Cofield it’s so far, so good for Bowen, who could be a key to clearing a path to help Brian Orakpo reach his potential.
After struggling with both injuries and being miscast in a 4-3 defense in St. Louis, Carriker has been healthy and has found a home in the Redskins’ 3-4. Although he is not as consistently stout as you’d like he is certainly serviceable. Carriker started to generate some pass pressure towards the end of last year and we will see if he pick up where he left off this year.
After converting from 4-3 defensive tackle to 3-4 end, Golston struggled as the starter at right end. With the acquisition of Bowen, he will move back to a rotational role, one that may suit him better. He will be fresher playing 20 or so snaps a game rather than the 35 he averaged per game last year.
Scott started 28 games for the Vikings from 2005-2006 and then he did not play a down in 2008-2009. The Redskins added him late last year and he got into two games. He might be able to contribute occasionally in a rotation but you have to think that if he is forced into a major role, the Redskins’ defense is in trouble.
The Redskins might have been a little better off in 2011 if they had kept the 29-year-old Anthony Bryant on the roster and let Neild develop on the practice squad. But they are committed to getting younger so the 23-year-old Neild got the nod. He almost certainly will be active on game days as he is the only reserve nose tackle on the roster. He is a high effort guy and is very coachable. He might struggle if he is called upon early but the chances are he will get better as the year goes on.