Washington Redskins: Seven Replacements for Rocky McIntosh

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Washington Redskins: Seven Replacements for Rocky McIntosh
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Rocky McIntosh is a pending free agent for the Washington Redskins.  Like many Redskins defenders in 2010, McIntosh struggled to adjust to the new 3-4 system. 

A solid and dependable performer during his five seasons in Washington, McIntosh is expected to audition for some 4-3 teams if and when free agency is allowed to begin.

Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen have taken positive steps to better equip defensive coordinator Jim Haslett with the right personnel for Year 2 of his 3-4 scheme.

In the draft, the pair selected Ryan Kerrigan to offer a rush threat opposite top pressure specialist Brian Orakpo.  Next they snared hulking Clemson defensive Jarvis Jenkins to convert to a five-technique defensive end.

As important as a consistent pass rush and a stout defensive line are, the Redskins should not overlook the importance of adding more dynamism at inside linebacker. 

In a 3-4 front, the inside linebackers play a vital role.  The Outside linebackers are this defense's main pass rushers, so the interior 'backers assume greater pass coverage responsibility.

Inside linebackers in a 3-4 must also be strong and willing enough to take on and defeat guards in the running game.  This is crucial in sealing the middle and forcing runners to the outside. 

Rocky McIntosh may not have been particularly comfortable in the 3-4, but his departure would mean the Redskins losing one of their best athletes on defense.

Here are seven alternatives to McIntosh.  Some candidates are already on the Redskins roster and some should merit plenty of consideration as free agent captures. 

In the absence of a new labor agreement, players are considered from the current crop of potential free agents, put together under 2010 rules.  System familiarity has been one of the biggest factors in choosing candidates. 

Due to the lockout, the Redskins likely won't have enough time to fully acclimate a 4-3 player in the nuances of their 3-4.

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