Red­skins show­ing off depth at line­backer

The Washington Post Sunday - - REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP -

It is ev­i­dent al­ready that the Red­skins’ over­all depth has im­proved, par­tic­u­larly on de­fense, which is cru­cial. Per­haps no po­si­tion bet­ter re­flects this than the line­backer unit. Ryan Ker­ri­gan will start on the left side. But Pre­ston Smith has Ju­nior Galette breath­ing down his neck, and rookie Ryan An­der­son is nip­ping at their heels, and al­though he will miss the first four games be­cause of a sus­pen­sion, don’t for­get Trent Mur­phy is com­ing off an nine-sack sea­son.

The in­side line­backer spot is even more crowded. Will Comp­ton, Ma­son Foster and Zach Brown are the most pop­u­lar names and can­di­dates for start­ing po­si­tions, but Martrell Spaight and Chris Carter are mak­ing plays as well. That’s not to say they will over­take Foster, Brown or Comp­ton, but the drop-off from starters to back­ups isn’t very sig­nif­i­cant, es­pe­cially com­pared to pre­vi­ous years. In the past, fringe play­ers had lit­tle chance of see­ing the field. This year, the Red­skins’ fringe play­ers very well could wind up catch­ing on as key con­trib­u­tors for other squads. This is what you want. This is how it should be. Cur­rent Red­skins play­ers have no­ticed the spike in com­pe­ti­tion and depth. But Carter, who has played for Pitts­burgh, Bal­ti­more, Cincin­nati and In­di­anapo­lis said, “I’ve al­ways been a part of great de­fenses, so this level of com­pe­ti­tion is pretty much all I know.”

Clar­ity still won’t re­ally come un­til the pre­sea­son games, but things do in­deed seem to be trend­ing up­ward for this de­fense.

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