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Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 10/11/2011

Barry Cofield still learning Redskins’ defense, but senses progress

Washington Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield has yet to break out his Taser sack dance while in the burgundy and gold, but the sixth-year pro believes that he is getting closer to that moment as he continues to gain comfort in Washington’s defense.

A 4-3 defensive tackle for all of his professional career, Cofield made the switch to the nose tackle position after signing with Washington and has found himself learning on the fly. He is the only starting defensive lineman yet to record a sack, but did get his first hit on the quarterback against St. Louis. He admittedly still is working to adjust to taking on double-teams on a regular basis.

But Cofield has found another way to make an impact, breaking up four passes, which after four games led all NFL defensive linemen.

“I’m just trying to help the team wherever I can, man,” said Cofield, who has recorded 11 tackles in four games. “Lot of times you’re getting double-teams, so the best thing you can do when you are in that situation is get your hands up, and hopefully get some batted balls.”

Two of Cofield’s pass deflections came last week against St. Louis, and the defensive lineman believes that was his best game in the 3-4 defense so far. Physically, he hasn’t struggled. But he has found himself slowed by the mental aspect associated with reading blocks and still being able to identify the direction of plays.

“It’s actually a position with a lot of technique,” Cofield said. “People would find it hard to believe, but it has a lot of technique, to have to see the blocks and the combinations are the most important things. The more I see and the more I practice, the more comfortable I’ll feel. The physical part, those are God’s gifts.”

By  |  09:00 AM ET, 10/11/2011

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