The primary reason why the Redskins are sitting at 3-1 and in first place in the NFC East has been the play of their defense.
New acquisitions Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen have solidified the defensive line. Ryan Kerrigan is well on his way to earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, and OJ Atogwe seems to be a pretty clear upgrade over Kareem Moore at free safety.
If there is a weakness, though, you’d have to say it’s at cornerback. DeAngelo Hall is DeAngelo Hall. He forces turnovers, and when he gets his hands on the ball, he’s always capable of taking it to the house. But he gambles a lot. He gives up a lot of yards. Despite his Probowl berth (and Probowl MVP) last season, he’s not going to be a lockdown cornerback if that’s what you’re looking for.
On the other side, Josh Wilson has played okay, but he’s battled a few injuries and his small size makes him a target.
Nickel guys Kevin Barnes and Byron Westbrook are serviceable, but they’re not as consistent as you’d like.
Well, help is on the way.
After serving his four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Phillip Buchanan is back on the active roster.
Is he a starting-quality corner? No. Will he make a huge difference? Probably not. But he brings a lot of experience, and he’s a very solid third corner.
At the very least, he gives Jim Haslet some depth if Josh Wilson goes down again with injury or DeAngelo Hall pulls a hamstring.
While his return isn’t nearly as big as Laron Landry’s or Ryan Torain’s, I think the true impact of having him back there will be noticeable right away.
And with the high-powered Michael Vick-lead Eagles coming to town in week 6, Buchanon’s return may be just in time.