The 2013 NFL season is about to begin. Teams are finalizing their rosters and finding out who will get first chance at the starting positions for the year.
This year, the Washington Redskins will give LB Perry Riley the start, as he is expected to be the next “Big Thing” once long-time superstar LB London Fletcher retires.
Coming from an impressive collegiate football career at Louisiana State University, where he was named Defensive MVP of the 2008 Chick-Fil-A Bowl and a top contender for the 2008 Butkus Award, Riley was one of the top prospects at the linebacker position for the 2010 NFL Draft. Riley was chosen in the fourth round as the 103rd overall pick by the Redskins and signed to a four-year $2.32 million contract with $530,000 guaranteed on June 18, 2010.
Riley was overall unimpressive in 2010, playing well but also committing costly penalties and rookie mistakes. Specifically, one block-in-the-back against the Minnesota Vikings nullified a punt return for touchdown by Brandon Banks that would have won the game.
In 2011, Riley stepped it up, playing in all 16 games and starting in eight of them. In 2012, Riley was designated the starting spot and proved his worth in Week 2 against the St. Louis Rams by getting his first forced fumble against WR Danny Amendola, which was returned for a touchdown by CB Josh Wilson.
Riley finished 2012 with 129 total tackles, ranked 14th overall in the NFL, but second on the Redskins. According to Redskins.com, Fletcher recently commented, “I think he’s really on the verge of making that next step into being our (best) inside linebacker.”
2013 will be a contract year for Riley. If he wants to stay with the Redskins, he will have to prove his worth. It is already proven that Riley can play to the caliber of an NFL linebacker. If he can stay healthy, which he seems to be doing fine so far, he will be a force to be reckoned with in 2013.
Can Fans have faith in Riley for 2013?
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan (according to Redskins.com) thinks so, stating,”I expect Perry to have an excellent year this year.” Question answered.