Like a lot of Redskins Nation I’ve always thought Barry Cofield was just an okay nose tackle, but always felt he could be upgraded. After doing some research though, my opinion of Cofield as our nose tackle has changed.
1. Cofield’s has great awareness on the field. He is also good at play recognition and helps set the tone for the defenders behind him. He is our best defensive lineman at recognizing play action fakes and changing down the QB after he disengages from his blockers.
2. He is able to occupy two blockers at the point of attack. This allows others in the front 7 to go one on one with a defender in the run game or even others will go without being blocked, freeing up playmakers. Being able to do this is one of the keys to being a good nose tackle.
3. He does this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRIjyqFrPL0
4. When being double teamed in the run and pass game he even has the moves to disengage from his two blockers to make plays and get pressure on the QB, bat passes down or run down running backs in the run game. He is well versed in the swim move and the club to get away from blockers.
5. As a pass rusher, nose tackles rarely get a lot of sacks, but they usually occupy two blockers to free up other pass rushers to get to the QB. This is something that Cofield does very well. He only managed 3 sacks on the season but as I’ve stated, his presence is felt by offensive lines and QBs even if he doesn’t get a sack. He and Bowen work well together on stunts but as a tandem they work well to get pressure on qbs.
At this point, Cofield is better as a pass rushing nose tackle than a run stuffing nose tackle, but he is good against the run as well. If Jarvis Jenkins can continue to develop well at LDE and Orakpo has a successful return, this front 7 can be very good in 2013-14 with Barry Cofield still manning the nose.