Earlier this offseason, Redskins.com staff reviewed the 2011 play of the nose tackles and defensive ends. With training camp set to begin next week, it's time to preview the current state of the Redskins' defensive line.
One of the few bright spots on the team throughout last season was the consistent play of the Redskins' front-seven. That success started at the line of scrimmage, with a dominant defensive line.
On the season the unit was credited with 218 tackles, 25 for a loss, and 17.5 sacks.
Satisfied with the line's production, the Redskins retained several key members of the rotation and added depth in free agency. If everyone remains healthy, this group should look very familier in 2012..
KEY ADDITION(S):Defensive end
CURRENT STATE OF THE UNIT:
With an average age of 27 years, 3 months, the Redskins' four-man rotation featuring Barry Cofield,
Last season was Cofield's first as a 3-4 nose tackle. Despite learning on the job, he led all NFL nose tackles with nine passes batted at the line of scrimmage.
Bowen played through a torn ligament in his knee for the final stretch of the season, and should be fully healthy after participating in offseason workouts.
Carriker experienced his best season as a pro in 2011, and earned a new contract with the team. Even with Jenkins's return, Carriker will have his spot in the defensive rotation.
Without taking a regular season snap, Jenkins was hailed by some experts as the best player in the Redskins' 2011 draft class. Fully recovered from his ACL injury, Jenkins should be fun to watch develop as a pro.
Even as a late-round draft pick,
Undrafted free agent
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Cohesion should be the key in training camp, as all three starters and their backups return.
Year two in the system should help players like Cofield, Bowen and Jenkins, while Carriker sets out to prove that his strong 2011 season was no fluke.
Look for depth competition to play itself out over the duration of camp and preseason games. With each player physically gifted and indoctrinated in the playbook, look for technique and results to be the deciding factors on the roster.