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The 5 O'Clock Club: Almost Training Camp - a look at the Defensive Line

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere...

The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

Redskins fans across the land spent most Sundays during the 2016 regular season face-palming themselves as opponents bulldozed the ‘Skins defense — especially the D-line.

Most HH commenters spent the early off-season screaming for the front office to do something.

Bruce Allen was paying attention. During free agency, the Redskins signed the McTwins, and the first Redskins selection of the 2017 draft was Alabama DT, Jonathan Allen.

In addition, the Redskins made an early move by firing Joe Barry and promoting Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator. Manusky wasted no time, dumping Robb Akey, and bringing in Jim Tomsula as the D-Line coach. Tomsula has a well-earned reputation as one of the best in the business; a no-nonsense coach with an emphasis on teaching fundamentals.

So, the Redskins have done a lot. But is it enough?

Here’s the Redskins DL depth chart, according to Our Lads

Phil Taylor is a former 1st round pick who has lost a couple of years to injury. Gruden has said that he’s looked good so far, and that the team has hopes that he can return to form.

Gruden has also spoken highly of Joey Mbu, who is a project — a developmental player with good size and -- according to Gruden -- a player who works hard. Here’s a really good article on Joey Mbu from the Washington Post.

Longtime HH member, eblake, has been using the comments section to tell everyone not to overlook Ondre Pipkins, who is a UDFA getting good reports.

Matt Ioannidis is a 5th round pick from a year ago that many had hoped might be able to develop quickly.

Ziggy Hood has played well at DE, but struggled last year when he was asked to play NT. Returning to his ‘natural’ position may help him.

Jay Gruden has probably set the highest expectations in terms of year-to-year improvement on Anthony Lanier, whom Gruden seems to be nominating for “Making the Jump”.

Free agents, injured players, one former Alabama star, some late round draft picks & developmental players, and one of the best DL coaches in the NFL. Is it enough to reverse last year’s fortunes and turn this into a defensive group that we can all be proud of?


Who will be the backup nose tackle on opening day against the Eagles?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Phil Taylor
    (97 votes)
  • 29%
    Joey Mbu
    (59 votes)
  • 9%
    Ziggy Hood
    (19 votes)
  • 6%
    Ondre Pipkins
    (14 votes)
  • 5%
    Someone else
    (12 votes)
201 votes total Vote Now