Texans bracing for aggressive, physical Redskins defense


Outside linebackers Brian Orakpo, center, and Ryan Kerrigan, right, celebrate a sack of Giants quarterback Eli Manning in 2013. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Asked for their impressions of the Washington Redskins defense, members of the Houston Texans offense name physicality and aggression as the top two features that stand out about the unit.

“Obviously they’ve got some proven guys: [Brian] Orakpo and [Ryan] Kerrigan,” running back Arian Foster told Houston reporters this week. “They’ve got guys up there who have been doing it in this league at a very high level so you have to respect that. They look fast and physical on tape.”

The Redskins this offseason worked to improve their pass rush, adapting a more aggressive philosophy and also making additions in the form of free agent defensive end Jason Hatcher and rookie outside linebacker Trent Murphy.

Paring those two with Orakpo and Kerrigan, plus nose tackle Barry Cofield and starting left defensive end Chris Baker, should help make Washington’s defensive front significantly more and more versatile than it was last season.

In the preseason, the Redskins did get into the backfield with greater frequency, and the starting defense gave up only one touchdown.

“They’ve got a lot of different things that they do that really make you, as a quarterback and really as an offense, kind of pay attention to what is going on back there,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said of the Redskins. “They’re not going to sit and play one coverage all game. Obviously, a fast, physical team. They’ve got some experience on the back end with Ryan Clark and DeAngelo Hall and some young guys they’re going to sprinkle in to. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us.”

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:

Haslett excited to see Rambo start | Orakpo eager for homecoming

Reid: Redskins should use Morris to take pressure off Griffin

Ryan Clark paying dividends already |  Open locker room notes

The Test: Griffin against the Texans pass rush | Redskins preview section

More NFL: Home page | D.C. Sports Bog | The Early Lead | Fancy Stats | Fantasy

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

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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