Jason Hatcher says Redskins have to ‘expect to be a great defense’


Jason Hatcher, left, has jumped from the Cowboys to the Redskins and says his new team has the players to thrive on defense (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins signed defensive end Jason Hatcher in free agency to bolster their pass rush and fortify a defense that has had its issues in recent seasons against opponents’ passing games.

Hatcher says that as he looks around at a group that also includes outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, he sees no reason why the defense should struggle.

“I think it’s all on us to be what we want to be, at the end of the day,” Hatcher said after a practice last week at Redskins Park. “We’ve got all the missing pieces in place. ‘Rak, he’s one of the best pass rushers in the league as far as outside linebackers, as well as Kerrigan. We’ve just got to go out there and have a chip on our shoulder and expect to be a great defense, and work that way every day. If we do that, everything will take care of itself.”

Hatcher had 11 sacks last season for the Dallas Cowboys and said he expects the Redskins to use defensive alignments that will enable him to succeed as a pass rusher.

“Kind of like what they did with my other team,” Hatcher said. “They kind of get me isolated one on one with the guard and I’m able to win them. So they’re looking for some opportunities to do that in this defense and find a way to get me one on one. I’m excited about that and hopefully I can go out there and win like I’ve been doing.”

Hatcher said he likes what he sees so far.

“I’m one of the premier pass rushers in the league, so that’s one of my strong points,” he said. “Playing the run, they’re doing different schemes. They put me in different situations to help this defense grow, just using my strengths. I’m excited the way they’re using me. I’m just looking forward to the future.”

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

More from The Post:

Mailbag: Tight end depth, pass rush and cornerback battles

D.C. Sports Bog: Gruden, Griffin fitted for Garcon ‘white party’

The Early Lead: Marino withdraws from concussion suit

Redskins’ Kotwica on war terminology in football

More NFL coverage: Home Page | D.C. Sports Bog |The Early Lead | Fancy Stats

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Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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