Coach Jay Gruden has acknowledged that the Redskins have been in talks with Zach Brown’s agent recently, in the hopes the two sides can come to an agreement to return the sixth-year pro to return to Washington next season and beyond. The negotiations are a positive step in keeping one of only a few dynamic players on that side of the ball for the Redskins’ defense. Brown played only 13 games in his lone season in Washington, tallying up 127 total tackles and 2.5 sacks. Although he finished the year on injured reserve due to a nagging Achilles injury, he proved to be a difference maker, primarily due to his speed. At his size, his ability to fly sideline to sideline was a significant factor in the Redskins run defense and negated a lot of mobile quarterbacks’ opportunities to scramble outside of the pocket.
That is the good in Zach, but the bad is what prevents Brown from being one of the higher-paid linebackers in the NFL. He is a liability in the passing game, and although his speed can make up for the majority of the mistakes made in coverage, which is sometimes okay, the issue is not consistently making mistakes in the first place. There have been multiple breakdowns in coverage, not all of Brown’s doing of course, but the biggest sticks out early in the season against the Los Angeles Rams. Tight end Gerald Everett got behind Mason Foster on a crossing pattern for a 69-yard reception. Zach Brown, who was presumably assigned to Everett, was lost at the line of scrimmage, leaving Foster to be in between two receivers near the sidelines.
The 28-, soon to be 29-year-old linebacker still has some developing to do at the position, but is getting up there in age. Although Brown’s speed is valuable, extremely valuable, there is more to playing the position than just being able to defend the run. Brown has to be efficient and effective on all three downs, not just two. If he’s unable, he becomes a hindrance to the team. Zach Brown is a good player that is valuable, but given the holes in his game, perhaps he is a player the one a team can survive without.
Knowing what you know about Zach Brown, what are your thoughts on the linebacker? Vote, comment and let us know.
Are you okay with letting Zach Brown walk?
This poll is closed
Yes - If Redskins seriously attempted to retain him
Yes - Value is overrated, good but can do without
No - Speed made him a difference maker, we need him