Washington Redskins: Shaun Ellis and 11 Stop-Gap 3-4 Veterans to Consider

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Washington Redskins: Shaun Ellis and 11 Stop-Gap 3-4 Veterans to Consider
Al Bello/Getty Images

Members of the Washington Redskins hierarchy are making a concerted effort to field a considerably younger team in 2011.

But youth can only take a franchise so far and if the Redskins hope to return to contention sooner rather than later, then sprinkling in some established veterans will be key.

Positive steps have been taken on defense with top draft picks Ryan Kerrigan and Jarvis Jenkins, along with free agent O.J. Atogwe to join players such as LaRon Landry and Brian Orakpo and form the makings of an exciting young nucleus.

Yet one of the Redskins biggest problems last season was attempting to force a 3-4 blueprint onto players comfortable with 4-3 schemes.  With Kerrigan, Jenkins and Otogwe all used to performing out of a 4-3, the Redskins must be wary of repeating the same mistake.

With young players like Anthony Bryant and Kevin Barnes possibly in line for bigger roles, sprinkling in a few evergreen 3-4 practitioners could be greatly beneficial.

Adding some extensive experience and knowledge of the 3-4 system could aid a quicker defensive turnaround and ease the pressure on the younger defenders to sink or swim right from the start.

This is not a call for a return to the days of the "over the hill gang," nor is it a suggestion that the Redskins undermine their burgeoning youth policy.

But bolstering young talent with veteran know how could help eradicate any lingering growing pains the defense still encounters in fully transitioning to the 3-4.

With that in mind here are 11 veteran 3-4 defenders the Redskins should consider adding to the roster.

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