Jay Gruden: “Defensively, we can go out There & Play With Anybody”
The Washington Redskins find themselves first in overall defense in the NFL after two weeks.
Some may say that the Redskins haven’t played a top-notch defense yet. Which would be a true statement, as the Texans are a defensively driven team and the Jaguars are a complete mess.
But Redskins head coach Jay Gruden does not agree with that thought process.
“I feel like defensively, we can go out there and play with anybody.”
It’s easy to see why Gruden thinks that way, the Redskins had ten sacks on Sunday against Jacksonville while displaying the ability to own the line of scrimmage on defense. Those who are wondering how the defense will do against top competition will get there chance to see next week when the Redskins travel to Philadelphia. The Eagles possess one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL, Washington will get tested early and often.
One thing that can be said without hesitation is that Jason Hatcher disrupts things on the defensive line in a way that the Redskins have needed for years. When the Redskins signed Hatcher during free-agency the hope was that he could give added pressure from the defensive end position and allow Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo better lanes to get to the quarterback. So far that has been a success.
While several players have played well through two games, there are two who stand out the most. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and inside linebacker Keenan Robinson. Kerrigan, who registered four sacks against the Jags on Sunday, is on the brink of being a massive superstar in the NFL. Keenan Robinson is finally healthy after two straight seasons of injury issues. Robinson has been one of the surprises of the 2014 season thus far. Many knew he had the skills to take over at middle linebacker, but few thought he would do so with ease.
The only weakness the Redskins defense has shown thus far this season has been at the strong safety position. That issue is directly related to the Redskins being without Brandon Meriweather, who was suspended the first two games of the year. In Meriweather’s absence, Bacarri Rambo has been called upon to fill in…the results have been poor. Rambo has given up the only long yardage play in both games. The coaching staff noticed that Sunday and replaced Rambo with Trenton Robinson, who recorded an interception. With Meriweather returning, Trenton Robinson playing good in reserve and Duke Ihenacho learning the system at a rapid pace Rambo’s days in burgundy and gold could, in fact, be numbered.
While the jury is still out on just how good the Redskins defense is this season, it’s a massive understatement to say they are better than the unit that took the field in 2013.