For years London Fletcher served as the anchor of the Redskins defense. With Fletcher retired, the Redskins now must likely rely on Perry Riley and Keenan Robinson in the middle. The Washington front office must be confident in Riley and Robinson as the center part of their linebacking group as the team did not add a single player at that position with its eight picks in the recent NFL Draft.
So are Robinson and Riley ready?
Riley has shown some ability in four seasons with the Redskins, enough that the team re-signed Riley to a three-year, $13 million contract this offseason. Last season in 16 starts, Riley had 72 tackles, three sacks and one interception. Solid numbers, but nothing to celebrate.
Robinson has even less of a track record to predict upon. In two seasons with the Redskins, Robinson has played 11 games, and he missed all of 2013 with a pectoral injury.
Many expected the Redskins to add some depth at the interior linebacker position in the draft, but no help arrived. Bruce Allen tabbed Stanford linebacker Trent Murphy with the team's first pick in the draft, but Murphy is an outside linebacker/pass rushing threat, not an interior tackling-machine the Redskins need. It's possible Washington adds another LB before training camp, but odds are long that player makes a significant impact.
Are Riley and Robinson enough for the Redskins to open the season in the middle of the defense? Should the team have added linebacker help in the draft? Do you think Riley and Robinson will step up in 2014?
Let us know what you think in the comments.