Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 14, 47 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.
Redskins free agent acquisitions are playmakers
The 2014 Redskins had some difficulty making big plays on defense. They had just 19 takeaways, tied for 28th in the NFL. They forced just 14 fumbles and only two teams had fewer than their seven interceptions. They ranked 22nd in sacks with 36.
We all know the story here. The Washington offense rarely got favorable field position because the defense couldn’t get takeaways and they struggled to score points.
It appears that Scot McCloughan is attempting to address that problem with his free agent acquisitions. All of the players acquired should add playmaking ability to the Redskins defense.
DL Stephen Paea—6 sacks, 3 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles; Paea would have been second on the team and would have led the defensive line in sacks. Jason Hatcher had the most on the D-line with 5.5.
DL Ricky Jean Francois—3 sacks, 6 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery; A pass batted down at the line isn’t a huge play but it does make a statement and can shake a quarterback up. IN 2014 Hatcher and Stephen Bowen each defensed one pass so Jean Francois can help out in that department.
DL Terrance Knighton—2 sacks, 3 passes defensed; A nose tackle isn’t expected to make a lot of big plays since he occupies two blockers much of the time. This is a decent contribution for a man in the middle.
CB Chris Culliver—4 interceptions, 15 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery returned 35 yards for a touchdown; The Redskins had only seven interceptions all year and no player had more than two. And they did not have a single return touchdown.
There is no guarantee that these players will duplicate their 2014 numbers but they are bringing the ability to make plays and that’s all the team can ask for right now.
—It’s been 76 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 183 days until they play another one.
—Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 37; 2015 NFL Draft 47; Redskins training camp starts 138
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.