Redskins need more help for defense

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
2:00
PM ET
Now that the offense has been taken care of, the Washington Redskins need to continue fixing their defense.

The highlight of the offseason, from a defensive standpoint was the signing of defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, who moves to end in the 3-4 scheme.

Hatcher wasn't as productive in a 3-4 scheme as he was in the Cowboys' 4-3 scheme last season. Adding veteran safety Ryan Clark is also a plus.

Is it enough?

The team can't finish in the middle of the pack in several defensive areas like it did in 2013. The Redskins were 18th overall, 20th against the pass and 17th against the run.

In two games against the Philadelphia Eagles, they allowed 847 total yards. During the season-ending eight-game losing streak, the Redskins allowed five opponents to rush for at least 90 yards. They gave up 30 or more points seven times, six in losses.

All of this must change.

It starts with an improved pass rush up front with Barry Cofield, Jarvis Jenkins, Chris Baker and Hatcher. If Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan add pressure off the edges at linebacker then it eases things for the secondary to make plays.

DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson are the projected starters at corner but finding the nickel man will be important. Can Tracy Porter win the gig?

The Redskins had four games without an interception and lost every one. In 2012, the year they won the NFC East, the Redskins went 5-1 when they had two or more picks in a game.

If the pass rush improves, and on paper it has, then the corners should get more opportunities to get turnovers.

They've gotten younger at key positions, added veteran leadership with Clark and Hatcher and will no doubt try to upgrade even more in the draft. If all these changes pan out, you could be witnessing a defense to be reckoned with.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.