Cofield is the new starting nose tackle after playing as a 4-3 tackle for his first five seasons with the New York Giants. Although he occasionally lined up over the nose in some of the Giants’ packages and played the position in college, he’ll work primarily in that spot for Washington.
He’s listed at 306 pounds. That’s on the light side for his job.
Cofield doesn’t reveal his actual weight, but we’ve been told he’s closer to 326 than 306, which should help him hold up. Also, backup nose Anthony Bryant showed encouraging signs during his late-season audition.
With only 11 career starts, Bowen was considered an up-and-comer while he played for Dallas. The Redskins hope he has arrived.
Washington needs its defensive linemen to be playmakers. Not necessarily guys who produce record numbers of sacks and tackles for losses — though that would be nice — but they must consistently beat blocking, especially in one-on-one matchups, and disrupt the timing of opposing offenses.
That rarely happened last season, because the Redskins lacked the right combination of linemen. Pittsburgh and Green Bay have difference-makers there. The Redskins are trying to join their exclusive club.
They’ll rely on Kerrigan to develop into a top performer. They expect him to complement the talented Brian Orakpo, their other outside linebacker.
They’re supposed to be bookend standouts for some time. And if the Redskins are right about Kerrigan, don’t be surprised if they give up many fewer big plays.
Washington’s secondary is counting on pressure from both sides of the line, “because with the way we play this defense, as a corner, that’s what you need from those guys,” Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall said recently. “You get it from both sides, that’s when you’ll see what this defense can really do.”
Redskins fans weren’t so fortunate last season. The product didn’t match the plan. But the preseason is all about new beginnings. Or simply getting started.