I don’t think I’ve ever seen a secondary that finished games as anatomically and emotionally drained as the Washington Redskins‘ unit was last season.
The defense allowed an unsettling 23 touchdowns on the ground and 29 through the air. The Redskins’ secondary picked off opponents 19 times, and posted a mediocre 36 sacks with a ground game prevention unit that finished 13th in the NFL. You almost have to wonder if the unit was engaged in an unpublicized strike.
I mean, look at the administration they were working for. Or better yet, don’t. There’s really nothing to see over there, anyhow.
As easy as it would be to indict the Redskins’ secondary, let’s hold off for the time being. To thoroughly evaluate the state of the team’s scoring prevention unit, you would have to account for the defensive line in front as well. You have to have a ferocious pass rush to reinforce the secondary’s performance in the NFL. Failure in this area will result in a the exploitation of an otherwise formidable center field.
An outdated light bulb flickered to life between the ears of Redskins GM Bruce Allen: Fortify Washington’s pass rush to increase sacks. What a bright idea. Allen spared little expense signing former Dallas Cowboys DE Jason Hatcher to reinforce the club’s passive-aggressive defensive line.
From the looks of things, Allen cast his line in the free agency pool and definitely made a splash. But he really misfired, essentially pulling an Albert Haynesworth. The Redskins dished out a four-year deal to Hatcher worth $27.5 million — assuming he lasts that long.
Hatcher’s scouting report is frightening. The ferocious DE was in the backfield often last season and routinely lowered the wood on signal callers, racking up a career-high 11 sacks and a Pro Bowl berth. His game also boasts profound internal strategic intelligence that even the likes of Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III found taxing to counter.
Hatcher, though, is 32. That’s a major factor that Allen must have missed when inking the 6-foot-6, 299-pound behemoth to his four-year deal. It must have been in the fine print of Hatcher’s scouting report. The Redskins’ continued propensity to sign aging has-beens will only throttle their ongoing efforts to build an imposing scoring prevention unit.