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Snide Debate: Is Barry Cofield The Answer for 25th Ranked Defense?

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Rick Snider is the Washington Examiner's sports columnist who has covered the Redskins since 1983 and is also a licensed Washington tour guide. Check out his blog at

It's more likely than not that one of these Free Agents the Redskins sign won't work out like we thought. What is your best and worst signing so far?

Rick: The best free agent move was defensive tackle Barry Cofield. While he's not a perfect fit at nose tackle and better in the 4-3 (which the Redskins also play), this guy is a baller that's needed on the inside. The move I like least is Donte Stallworth. The team seemed to overload on receivers and playing an old veteran over a young prospect seems a waste.

Kevin: I'm going to disagree with you on Cofield. He's going to end being a rotating role player, and I don't see him being a big difference at the NT position for two reasons. First, even in the 4-3 defense in New York, Canty was the one taking on all the double teams. This defense is going to be a rude awakening for him at the Nose. Like most Linemen, he played through injuries last year (as he should being in a contract year). Cofield had the 2nd most QB hits for a defensive tackle and excelled at run stopping, but how much is that credited to only having to face a Guard vs the Center and Guard like Kemo did? Tack this signing on the pinboard with all the other guys the Redskins have moved from their natural position to less success (assuming the Redskins stay in the predominant 3-4 here).

Josh Wilson to me is the far superior signing. Via Pro Football Focus: He was one of only eight corners with 400 or more snaps to have allowed less than 50% of passes his direction to be completed. Only one player bettered his 10 defended passes and also allowed fewer receptions: Darrelle Revis. The other upside? He's only 25.

Rick: I covered Josh WIlson at Maryland for the two seasons I was away from the Redskins. Very good player. Plays a smart game. I thought Wilson was also a solid signing by the Redskins. But, no pass rush, no pass defense. Cofield won't rush, but he'll help create one.

You think a 300 NT can get a pass rush versus two 300 lb offensive linemen? He might be able to disrupt some things, but I don't see an upgrade in our rushing defense up the middle yet.

RickCofield opens the pass rush for the ends by handling two players. Up to the ends to generate the pass rush. Meanwhile, he can help clog the middle against the run. I guess a scrawny little runt like you can't appreciate what real men do.

Hahaha. Burn. Well, Kemo took on 2 blockers and the Redskins finished 25th in sacks. So now a guy that weighs 60 pounds less is going to accomplish more? Is this where you throw out Ratliff is around 300 lbs too? I've never seen you actually defending a Redskins signing. The nurses must have changed your sheets today or something...I'll let you enjoy your good moment day!

RickKemo said he started the year at 70 percent, which means he was 50 percent by week 3. No matter what size you are, that's not going to work. Now go take your red pills and get to work.

Most of the NFL media likes the Cofield signing. Perhaps my natural feeling is to find things wrong with it first since let's be real, free agency has been a disaster the last decade. Even in the Shanahan era, NFL players this summer told me first hand the Redskins are still considered a team you go to just to get paid.

No doubt Cofield is an upgrade from what we have, which is enough to be happy about. The other signings and draft picks prove that this defense is not all hinged on one player. So, what does everyone think?