Take a quick look back at the top Redskins 2015 season storylines from the defensive line, courtesy of Redskins Public Relations.
Washington’s defensive line played an intricate part in the defense’s success during the Redskins’ 4-0 run in the final quarter of the 2015 regular season.
Behind Defensive Line Coach Robb Akey, the self-named “Capital Punishment” group contributed to a defense that registered 26 takeaways, third-most in the NFL, across Weeks 4-17 this season.
Defensive end Chris Baker spearheaded the group with single-season career highs in sacks (six), forced fumbles (three) and fumble recoveries (two).
A unique unit needs the right mixture of ingredients to include talent and a pinch of veteran leadership.
According to coaches’ film statistics, NFL veteran defensive end Jason Hatcher led the unit with a combined 32 quarterback hurries and knockdowns while gathering a pair of sacks. Baker and Hatcher’s play complemented the production of nose tackle Terrance Knighton.
Ricky Jean Francois and Kedric Golston added veteran depth on the defensive line, fueling Gruden’s enthusiasm about the unit.
“That’s what I like about our D-Line. I feel like we can keep them fresh and rotate them in there to make sure they all get a crack at it,” said Gruden.
Jean Francois chipped in a pair of sacks and Golston was key on a number of goal-line and short-yardage stands. Frank Kearse recorded a sack appearing in four games in 2015. Stephen Paea, the seventh member of the group, suffered a season-ending injury after collecting 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and 24 tackles.