Defensive line talks the talk

Per the Times. From Cornelius Griffin:

"Williams said he had faith in us, and he lived up to that," Griffin said...

"When I first came here, I had a chip on my shoulder," said Griffin, who felt cast off by the New York Giants. "Maybe after being the No. 3 defense and then No. 9 [in 2005], we didn't have the same chip on our shoulders. This year we have a different mentality. We have a chip on our shoulders because we've been to the bottom.
    "Last year is in the past," Griffin said. "I don't forget about it. I learn from it, but I've only got two arms. I can't hold on to the past if I'm going to grab on to the future and go forward. I'm a lot stronger and maybe a lot faster. You can see the difference. I'm a lot bigger up here and more explosive. My hips are healed up."

From Andre Carter:
Carter, 28, said the players have to justify that faith.
    "The coaches have all the faith in the world that we'll get the job done," Carter said. "But this is a production business. If you don't produce, the next thing you know, you'll be out of here. I have all the confidence in the world that we will produce."...

Williams said an improved secondary should allow his linemen to be more aggressive this season, but Carter understands that doesn't mean he just can go after the quarterback.
    "Turning it loose means we should have more opportunities, and when you hear that, all you can do is smile," said Carter, who had four sacks in the final five games of 2006 to finish with a team-high six. "But you have to stop the run in order to get those opportunities. Last year, we weren't up to par on first and second down. We always ended up third-and-3, third-and-2. That really limits those opportunities."...

[On Daniels calling 2006 a fluky year:] "I can't answer that," Carter said. "It's like in the business world. If you know the guy can do the job and he's accountable, then that's the guy you rely on. I believe these guys have a lot more football left."

And on Phillip Daniels:
Starter Phillip Daniels, the 34-year-old left end, had surgery on both ankles and a wrist in January...

...Daniels slimmed down from 285 pounds to 277...

 The line has more support in the back seven and is in better shape physically. Maybe Daniels can justify calling 2006 "a fluky year where nothing went right."

Talk is cheap, and these guys know that all too well given the drastic decline in defensive production last year. As the coaches have placed their faith on these three guys (and presumably Golston, who should emerge as the starter at DT) in their failure to draft a D-linemen or acquire one in free agency, it is on the players to prove that faith well-founded.

The article identifies the chief concerns with the defensive trenches mentioned here and elsewhere repeatedly this offseason. The line is old -- Daniels and Griffin are both over 30 and likely have their best football behind them. Let's hope that 2006 also represents their worst year, also behind them. Even our depth is old, as Big Joe Salave'a (32) and Renaldo Wynn (33) both have had better days. This line is also injured or recovering -- the aforementioned Daniels' surgeries combined with Griffin's annual injuries (he's missed games in 6 of his 7 years in the league) is cause for concern. In nine years in the NFL, Joe Salave'a has never played a 16 game season. It isn't unthinkable that we enter a game starting Golston and Montgomery (or Ryan Boschetti?) at tackle due to injuries to Big Joe and Griff. Am I confident in that lineup? Not as of now, though I would love to be wrong about them.

We will see this coming season.

AOL Fanhouse, Redskins Believe D-Line Is Fine

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