Jul 30, 2015; Richmond, VA, USA; Washington Redskins nose tackle Chris Baker (92) gestures at Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) while walking with Redskins defensive tackle Stephen Paea (90) onto the field prior to the morning walkthrough on day one of training camp at the Washington Redskins Bon Secours Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Redskins will take on the Miami Dolphins on Sunday and run defense and pass rushing will be two of the major factors in getting a win. This is a comparison of which team has the advantage when comparing the front sevens of their defenses.
The teams play two different base defenses. The Redskins run a 3-4 base defense and the Dolphins run a 4-3. Which is why you can’t compare them on just defensive line and linebackers alone. The Dolphins have the star power in DT Ndamukong Suh and DE Cameron Wake.
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Both are multiple time pro bowlers and feared pass rushers. But while the Dolphins may have the headliners, the Washington Redskins appear to possibly be the deeper of the two front sevens.
Along with Suh and Wake, the Dolphins have emerging stars at DE and DT in Olivier Vernon and Earl Mitchell. Morgan Moses, Trent Williams and the Redskins O-line will have their hands full with the Dolphins edge rushers and Moses in particular will need to be on his game.
But the while the Dolphins brought in Suh as a free agent, the Redskins also revamped their defensive line. First off they signed the massive Terrance Knighton and he’ll be the first true nose tackle the Redskin have had in their 3-4 defense.
They also signed powerful yet quick off the ball Stephen Paea. He had a career season last year with the Chicago Bears and looks to continue that with the Redskins. And then there’s Jason Hatcher, who still has the ability to be disruptive at DE.
The Dolphins have a solid group of linebackers but there are no real stars in the making there. The most talented may be OLB Jelani Jenkins while Koa Misi is the most experienced. However, the Redskins have an emerging super star at OLB in Ryan Kerrigan.
Had Junior Galette not been lost for the season with a torn Achilles, the Redskins would have a decided advantage at linebacker. But even without Galette I think the Redskins are better. Trent Murphy is one of the top run stopping linebackers in the league.
At inside linebacker the Dolphins have the veteran Kelvin Sheppard but I think the Redskins’ ILB Keenan Robinson is the more talented of the two. Perry Riley looks improve on what he did last season and I believe he will.
I think the Redskins have the edge in depth between the two front sevens. They have two backups on the D-line who could start for a lot of teams in Ricky Jean-Francois and Chris Baker. At linebacker Preston Smith gives the Redskins that third edge rusher and at ILB Will Compton is like another starter.
Even though the Redskins have the advantage depth wise, they don’t quite have a player like Ndamukong Suh in their front seven. Ryan Kerrigan is emerging but he’s not quite on that level yet. I think Suh’s presence gives the Dolphins that front seven advantage.
Advantage – Dolphins