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The Redskins defense was arguably one of the worst in football, besides ball hawk DeAngelo Hall who seemed to have a resurgence as one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks. Everything else, on the other hand, may have gotten worse.
The idea of the 3-4 defense is to stop the run and pressure the quarterback. Last year, the Redskins ranked near the bottom in stopping the run and pass and ended the year with a measly 29 sacks (25th overall).
Now, the general rule of thumb for drafting a defense in fantasy football, if you don’t get to draft one of the obvious contenders, is to take a team that blitzes often. A big part of the 3-4 defense’s success is reliant on the nose tackle. Albert Haynesworth didn’t want that job last year and it severely hurt the Redskins defense.
This year, the Redskins will employ another first-time defensive-lineman-turned-nose-tackle in Barry Cofield, but Cofield is excited to play the position.
One big pickup that is being overlooked this offseason is the addition of O.J. Atogwe at safety. Atogwe excelled under Haslett’s system when the two were together in St. Louis and it will surely help one of the worst-ranked pass defenses.
As much as an improvement as there was made in Washington, the Redskins defense is still not worthy of a fantasy football pickup. They could end up improving as the year progresses however, thanks to the heavy influx of rookies on the roster. Still, the unit likely will only be worth a look based on their matchup.
The Redskins had Graham Gano employed as their kicker last season, and to very marginal success. Gano was very shaky and missed some easy kicks in 2010. This year, the Redskins will turn to newly acquired Shayne Graham as their kicker. Gano is still on the roster, but his value as a powerful kickoff man is now watered down with the new NFL special teams rules.
Look for Graham to take over full control of the kicking duties before the end of the preseason.