De­fen­sive End Se­lec­tion Sacked, Gibbs Gives Line Vote of Con­fi­dence

The Washington Post Sunday - - Sports - By Howard Bryant

Dur­ing the NFL’s an­nual scout­ing com­bine in Fe­bru­ary, the con­ven­tional wis­dom re­gard­ing the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins’ off­sea­son needs be­gan with de­fen­sive end. At the time, Coach Joe Gibbs said that po­si­tion was a fo­cal point and even dur­ing the sea­son both as­sis­tant head coachde­fense Gregg Wil­liams and nu­mer­ous play­ers be­lieved the team would bol­ster the line, which amassed just 13 sacks last year, and im­prove the pass rush.

But as LaRon Landry’s draft sta­tus soared, the Red­skins’ needs changed dra­mat­i­cally. Safety Adam Archuleta was traded to Chicago, leav­ing the Red­skins with­out a true starter to team with Sean Tay­lor. The Red­skins signed Omar Stout­mire from New Or­leans and added corner­backs David Mack­lin and Fred Smoot.

Then the Red­skins drafted a de­fen­sive back and Gibbs of­fered an en­dorse­ment of the de­fen­sive line.

“I can’t say I dis­agree with it,” said de­fen­sive end Re­naldo Wynn. Af­ter start­ing 63 of his first 64 games with Wash­ing­ton, Wynn played spar­ingly last year. “We al­ways thought we were bet­ter than what we showed. Now, this year, there won’t be any ex- cuses. We’ll be ex­pected to put pres­sure on the quar­ter­back. It’ll be on us to do it.”

Springs’s Sta­tus

As the Red­skins chose Landry, an un­cer­tain off­sea­son con­tin­ued for cor­ner­back Shawn Springs. Ac­cord­ing to league sources, the At­lanta Fal­cons of­fered the Red­skins a draft-day trade that in­cluded Springs and a swap of draft picks, a deal the Red­skins re­jected.

It was un­clear what the Fal­cons of­fered in ad­di­tion to the eighth pick, which At­lanta used to draft Arkansas de­fen­sive end Ja­maal An­der­son. The Red­skins have shopped Springs on at least two oc­ca­sions this off­sea­son. The Detroit Li­ons have ex­pressed in­ter­est, as did the Fal­cons yes­ter­day. . . .

Gibbs said he was pleased with his de­fense, but said if the Red­skins were to at­tempt to make a trade dur­ing the sec­ond day of the draft to­day, it would likely be to im­prove depth at line­backer. ...

Wynn, who had been a can­di­date to be re­leased, re­struc­tured his con­tract, ac­cept­ing a base salary of $850,000 with a $500,000 sign­ing bonus and an op­por­tu­nity to earn $1.5 mil­lion in per­for­mance in­cen­tives. He had been sched­uled to earn $2.8 mil­lion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.