Washington Redskins 2017: Making some strides on defense
When you allow the fifth-most total yards in the NFL in back-to-back seasons, there is room for improvement. The Washington Redskins obviously have some holes to fill when it comes to their wide receiving corps (Terrelle Pryor is a good start). But it’s the defense that needs the most work.
The biggest weakness for Jay Gruden’s team this past season was the defensive front, save for the exception of Chris Baker. But he’s now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was a big loss for new coordinator Greg Manusky.
But team president Bruce Allen and the front office have added a pair of free agents. The club signed Terrell McClain (Dallas Cowboys) and Stacy McGee (Oakland Raiders). Both lined up inside on their team’s 4-3 defenses this past season. Now they figure as ends in the 3-4. They will be responsible for improving this unit’s shaky play against the run over the last two seasons. The signing of hard-hitting strong safety D.J. Swearinger (Arizona Cardinals) will also aid a group that allowed 119.8 yards per game on the ground in 2016.
But there’s still work to be done. Before the start of free agency, JP Finlay of CSN-MidAtlantic talked about the team’s reported interest in free-agent nose tackle Dontari Poe, late of the Kansas City Chiefs. He would be a big addition to a club looking to get inside linebackers Mason Foster and Will Compton some much-needed help.
The Washington Redskins could possibly bring back some of their own unsigned free agents on this side of the football. The recent additions of McClain, McGee and Swearinger shows that the team has the proper focus to what it will take for this team to improve this fall.
Russell S. Baxter is the Washington Redskins lead writer for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter at @baxfootballguru. Looking for more Redskins news and features? Like our Facebook page HERE and also follow @spot_redskins on Twitter.