Besides hearing that Robert Griffin III is doing well with his rehab, there was nothing better than hearing London Fletcher, defensive captain, say he was returning for another year. With Fletcher coming off another good year with a career-high 5 interceptions, he should have a healthy defense to guide throughout this upcoming season. Brian Orakpo has high hopes coming off a season ending torn pectoral, and has a lot to prove for those doubting his abilities.
This year could also finally be the year with a completely healthy linebacker core. 4-year linebacker from LSU, Perry Riley, had a productive year totaling 73 tackles playing alongside Fletcher. Along with Orakpo as an outside linebacker, playing the opposite side is 3-year man out of Purdue, Ryan Kerrigan. Kerrigan is one of the leagues most underrated outside linebackers. These 4 guys are all participating in OTA’s and are ready for the upcoming season. Having the entire linebacker core healthy is going to be huge for this defense.
Adam Carriker, one of the team’s best pass-rushers, will also be returning this year after also suffering a season-ending injury.
In this year’s draft, the Redskins had seven total picks, and 4 of them were defensive players. The first pick and standout was cornerback David Amerson from NC State. He led the NCAA in 2011 with 13 INT’s. Along with Amerson, the team drafted ball-hawking safety Phillip Thomas from Fresno State and hard-hitting Baccari Rambo out of Georgia. There is opportunity for these rookie to come in right away and make an impact.
With all of these defensive returns and defensive upgrades, the Washington Redskins are looking to have a very productive year from their defense to go along with the fast-paced offense led by RGIII. Health and new additions should have the defense continuing to build on what was started during the second half of the 2012 season.