Perry Riley to start for Rocky McIntosh

Rex Grossman isn’t the only player taking over as starter for the Washington Redskins today as the team faces the Miami Dolphins. Second-year inside linebacker Perry Riley will start over veteran Rocky McIntosh, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

McIntosh started the year off on a strong note, but has struggled the last couple weeks both in the tackling and pass-coverage. Teams know they can run up the middle, particularly at McIntosh, who starts at that inside linebacker spot next to London Fletcher.

Two games ago, against Buffalo, the Redskins tried Keyaron Fox at McIntosh’s spot, but Fox had some difficulties. McIntosh went back into the game, struggled some more, and Fox came back in. McIntosh started again last week, but now makes way for Riley, whom Washington drafted in the fourth round last season.

The plan entering training camp was for Riley to take over that spot next to Fletcher, but he wasn’t as ready has coaches had hoped. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said that the lack of organized team activities because of the lockout hurt Riley’s progress.

Washington re-signed McIntosh and added Fox (but primarily to back up Fletcher), and since then, Riley has been the forgotten man. But that changes today.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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