RICHMOND—Barry Cofield missed a big chunk of the Redskins' offseason while recovering from hernia surgery. But the veteran nose tackle has been full-go since the start of training camp on Thursday and says he’s glad he opted to have the procedure.
“I’m fine. I’m 100-percent,” Cofield said after Saturday’s practice. “Realistically, I probably could have done some ‘team’ stuff during OTAs, but it just wasn’t pressing. So I took the whole month off training as if I was 100-percent, and now I am.”
Cofield also said he’s glad he decided to have the surgery when he did instead of attempting to play through the pain.
“Oh yeah, I’m glad we did it right when we did it,” the 30-year-old said. “You know, you try to be a tough guy and play through everything. I probably could have played through it. But now I’m extremely happy and I’m extremely excited.”
Cofield, who had an outstanding 2012 season and an uneven 2013, will be the Redskins’ starting nose tackle for the fourth consecutive season. He has not missed a game during his tenure in Washington.
This year, Cofield said he knows there will be more scrutiny on the line’s ability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, particularly after the addition of Jason Hatcher. But Cofield was also quick to point out that getting after the QB can’t come at the expense of run defense.
“If you don’t play well up front you can’t be good on defense,” Cofield said. “That’s tried and true. It’s been like that since the first day. We definitely take that responsibility [to heart]. Pass rush is what’s been talked about. But, realistically, if you don’t stop the run, you’ll never rush the passer because teams will run the ball down your throat. So we have focus on that first—being physical and stopping the run. And then we’ll have fun on third-and-long.”