The Washington Post

Barry Cofield leads the league in deflected passes by linemen

By deflecting a Michael Vick throw that resulted in an interception by Oshiomogho Atogwe, Washington Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield recorded his fifth pass deflection of the season, a career high.

Cofield, who leads the league’s defensive linemen in batted balls, has made a concerted effort this season to get his hands up when he draws double teams.

This time, however, he used his head. As he charged into the path of the throw from Vick, who is the shortest quarterback in the NFL, the ball bounced off Cofield’s helmet, hung in the air and dropped into Atogwe’s hands.

“Luckily, I was able to hit the ball off my head and [Atogwe] was able to make a big play,” Cofield said.

Cofield, who also got his first sack of the season, said he couldn’t really enjoy the play much.

“When you win games, those are things you can look back at and enjoy, but when you lose games, you just focus on the negative,” Cofield said.

The Redskins’ defense gave up a season-high 422 yards, and when Shanahan was counting on the unit to stop the Eagles with 2:44 left, it let Philadelphia pick up a first down that the Eagles needed to run the clock.

Shanahan called that failed stand “the most disappointing thing there was,” from the defense.

Washington’s offense gave the ball away four times, but Cofield said that he and his fellow defenders should have done better and positioned their team for the win.

“They don’t pay you to do well when things are going well, they pay you to respond in tough situations,” Cofield said. “That’s why we’re pros and that’s what good defenses do, and we’ve got to do better.”

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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