Washington Redskins 2014 Training Camp Profile: Perry Riley

By Jason Bailey
Perry Riley
Howard Smith-USA Today Sports

It would be safe to say that the Washington Redskins‘ defense has something to prove this season. As a matter of fact, that might be something of an understatement, a magnified courtesy gesture and giving them far too much credit. The defense personified the NFL‘s biggest pushover, ranking 31st in points allowed last season. That factor by itself encroaches the line for totally unacceptable and sanctions priority addressing.

Washington’s wasted defense ranked 14th against the run and 20th against the pass. Time to hit the panic button? If there was ever such a thing as a stupid question…that was it. A legally blind spectator would prescribe a priority personnel overhaul on the coaching side of the football, followed very closely by sacking the unit’s depth chart, one position at a time.

While the Redskins didn’t clean house during the offseason, the team has re-signed ILB Perry Riley. Inking Riley is an intriguing move and one that will likely be closely monitored throughout the duration of the 0ffseason. While the linebacker flashed promise in 2012, his scouting report figures haven’t exactly left arch offensive coordinators particularly impressed.

The LSU product had 72 tackles last season (43 assisted), three sacks (6.5 in the last two seasons), with one interception and a forced fumble. Which means he can by no means call out the likes of A.J. HawkBobby Wagner or Ray Lewis.

What it does mean is hopefully the Redskins will be considerably more sound against the run and lights out vs. the pass this year. The fifth-year ILB has provided Washington with clutch open-field tackling in past performances. And that might be the only reason why they re-signed him. The man can actually level somebody. It’s one of the elementaries of the game, but a feature that would seem to be a foreign concept with far too many other players on the first-team unit.

Riley also brings sound leadership to a defense that could use it. He is well-versed in defensive coordinator Jim Haslett‘s arsenal of coverages and speaks the signals fluently. He could be an invaluable force entrenched in the Redskins run prevention brigade this season.

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