Breaking down the Redskins inside linebacker depth chart for 2019
Backup run stopper: Mason Foster
Last year, Foster’s returns as an every down player weren’t great. He got beaten in coverage too often, and he was a part of the reason that the ‘Skins has trouble defending against tight ends.
However, it can’t be ignored that Foster is a solid rotational backup in his primary role. A run-stopping linebacker.
I recently identified Foster as one of the Redskins’ more underappreciated players because he two-down ability is often overlooked. Here’s what I said about him at the time.
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"Foster is one of the Redskins’ better tacklers. He had 131 stops last season and he played in almost all of the defensive snaps for the team (98.2 percent). He’s an excellent two-down run stopper and can certainly be relied on in that role. Foster is also a leader for the team, and he served as their defensive captain in 2018. He is respected in the locker room, so that’s another element that he brings to the game."
I’m not here to argue that Foster should be the starter at this point. It’s clear that he shouldn’t be on the field in obvious passing situations. But, as a run-stopping backup and veteran leader, he still carries value. So, at this point in time, projecting him into that role makes quite a lot of sense.
Of course, the Redskins do have some young players that have three-down upside, and they could find themselves playing an important role this year in conjunction with Foster.