Alright, so I've been MIA for a while lately on this blog-- sorry. Good to be back! Hope everyone's doing well.
Interesting set of roster choices, I think. Losing Wynn isn't a huge surprise, but we lost Salev'ea, Wynn and Lemar Marshall in the last 2 weeks really shows Gregg Williams's dissatisfaction with the personnel last year. If you think about it, we are a very, very different team defensively.
(Don't worry, this brings me to my #3 reason...)
DL - Carter, Daniels, Griffin, Saleve'a (Wynn, Golston, Montgomery)
LB - Marshall, Holdman, Washington (McIntosh, Campbell, etc)
CB - Springs, Rogers, Wright (Jimoh? Others)
S- Taylor, Prioleau/Archuleta (Random safeties that played SS -- T. Vincent, V. Fox, etc)
This year, we kept our standouts, got younger in many positions, and took out the trash.
DL- Carter, Daniels, Griffin, Golston (Montgomery, Boschetti, etc)
LB- McIntosh, Fletcher, Washington (Blades, Godfrey)
CB- Springs, Rogers, Smoot (Macklin, Torrence)
S- Taylor, Landry (PP, Fox, Doughty)
Gone are mediocre players, in are well above-average players like Fletcher and Smoot, and young players are being elevated to starting roles. Landry, Golston, McIntosh, Rogers, and of course Sean Taylor are all before their primes -- well before them. There are no stop-gaps this year -- only studs. Even our backups are tested, except deep on DL.
The defense will be back again.
The biggest reason, personnel-wise, will be one guy. London Fletcher.
Yes, he's 32, and yes, he toiled in complete anonymity in the wasteland of small-market Buffalo for 5 years. But he's played in 128 games straight (that's 8 seasons in a row). Last year, he had 101 tackles and (get this) 4 interceptions! The man is a defensive BEAST. He is a force and a ball magnet -- not to mention experienced in Gregg Williams's defense (played with him when GW was HC in Buffalo). Against GB last year, he had 11 tackles, 3 assists, and an INT for a TD. Fletcher is a small notch, a very small notch, under Urlacher, Lewis, and scarce few others.
He does everything. He covers, he blitzes, he can catch, he is fast, he is an iron man, and is the definition of consistency -- exactly what our defense needs. Coupled with Rocky Mac and Marcus Washington, there is no doubt the Redskins should have one of the most feared LB corps in the league.
London Fletcher has the wheels and the power to slow down guys like Westbrook and Barber/Jones... and whatever garbage the Giants line up at RB (Droughns/Jacobs? yikes!). He is the leader of a resurgent defense. He has started in a Super Bowl (and won) and will be a huge reason why the Redskins will be a dominant defense once again in the 2007 season.
Peace love and pigskin-