WASHINGTON—While the linebacking corps was the strongest part of the 2008 Redskins defense, they did not avoid the financial overhaul the Washington front office conducted in the offseason.
Marcus Washington was released after five years with the team as a causality of the salary cap. An energetic presence on and off the field, Washington leaves a hole not only in defensive schemes, but also as a locker room leader.
Looking to step up into that hole is Rocky McIntosh.
Heading into his fourth year, McIntosh is looking to step into the vacancy left by Washington and assert himself as a key cog in a defense already loaded with All-Pro talent. Despite questions about his health, McIntosh will look to use 2009 to prove he can be a crucial part of an elite defense.
A relative unknown outside of the Beltway, the following questions would give fans an inside look to a player that could become a household name by the time the 2009 season comes to a close.
Do you feel you have what it takes to be a leader on the Redskins' defense?
In the past two years, you have finished second in tackles to London Fletcher. Seeing the way he plays on the field, how has he helped you develop into a better player?
How do you feel the additions to the defensive line will help benefit you on the playing field?
How do you feel Greg Blache has helped you improve and progress? Do you like his schemes more or less than Gregg Williams' schemes?
You scored a 27 on the Wonderlic and you're working on gaining your second and third college degrees. How much of this game, do you find, is a testament to having a strong ability to study and analyze the game rather than only relying on raw physical ability?
You have been nominated in years past for the Walter Payton Award, participating in a slew of Redskins charities. What drives you to be so engaged with the fans?
You've recently signed Drew Rosenhaus as your agent as you head into a contract year. Are you hoping to ink a deal before camp starts or plan to use the season as an example of your ultimate value?
The NFC East has a strong case to be the best division in the NFL. Who in this division impresses you the most of the offensive side of the ball? The Defensive side?
Finally, do you feel this defense has the ability to be a championship defense?