When the Redskins signed Barry Cofield after the lockout to provide stability to their defensive line, they knew he would provide a boost against the run and bring a cerebral approach to the game.
But making an impact in batted passes?
In 79 games with the Giants, Cofield posted 12 pass break-ups.
In 12 games with the Redskins, he already has eight, which leads all NFL defensive tackles (see chart below).
“He’s conscientious to know he’s not going to get a lot of sacks [but] he can disrupt the passing game in different ways – staying in front of the quarterback and knocking balls down,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said.
Cofield has shown an ability to read the quarterbacks eyes and motion. If engaged in a double team, he might not get the push up the field, but when the quarterback gets ready to throw, he jumps, he gets one arm up, he gets both arms up, etc.
Playing regularly as a three-down lineman and getting the occasional relief from rookie Chris Neild, Cofield enters Sunday’s game against New England with 50 tackles, two sacks and 15 quarterback pressures (per the coach’s tape review).
As the Redskins’ defense continues to grow, Haslett thinks Cofield could get more sacks.
“I think he has the ability to get five, six sacks every year just being in that position,” Haslett said. “But he’s going to be doubled more than most people but he’s doing a good job in other ways to affect the passing game.”
On nickel downs, Cofield often plays a off the nose in a two-linemen formation with Stephen Bowen.
Haslett said Cofield is a student of the game.
“You can tell Barry kind of analyzes things,” Haslett said. “Some people just kind of go and let it flow. He analyzes and studies things. Once he gets, he gets it. He’s such a smart guy. … To me, it’s ‘Go beat the crap out of the guy in front of you.’ He’s a good player at that position for the first time every playing it.”
PASSES DEFENSED – DT
1. Barry Cofield, Redskins 8
2. Sedrick Ellis, Saints 4
3. Three tied 3
6. Six tied 2
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