Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (97) prepares to rush the passer during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 38-33. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Redskins D-line produce more sacks in 2014?

Last season the Washington Redskins defensive line produced 5.5 sacks total the entire season combined.  In some ways that doesn’t even seem possible, from entire unit whose job description includes getting to the quarterback.  But that stat is real, and now going into the 2014 season, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett needs to find a way make that stat go higher.

In 2013 only three defensive lineman for the Redskins even had a sack, and that was Barry Cofield (2.5), Jarvis Jenkins (2.0), and Chris Baker (1.0).  Granted defensive linemen in a 3-4 defense typically aren’t known as prolific pass rushers, as their responsibilities mainly focus on tying up offensive linemen to free up the linebackers to make plays.

However, a team should still expect to get more than 5.5 sacks combined from their defensive line, 3-4 defense or not.  So without really looking at it  too deeply, yes the Redskins should be able to produce more sacks in 2014.  But they’ll want a lot more than 5.5.  They signed free agent Jason Hatcher for precisely this reason, as he had 11 sacks last season with the Cowboys.

Hatcher will play defensive end for the Redskins, and offenses will need to pay close attention to his pass rush abilities.  With the focus on Hatcher and outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, the rest of the defensive line should get more opportunities to get after the quarterback, and hopefully shatter the 5.5 sack statistic from last season.

Jason Hatcher will have a precautionary MRI on his knee

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Tags: Barry Cofield Brian Orakpo Jason Hatcher Washington Redskins

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