Redskins: Three key storylines to watch as training camp nears
By Ian Cummings
No. 3 – How will the Redskins defense fare without Reuben Foster?
Heading out of the NFL Draft, the expectations were high surrounding the Redskins defense. The Redskins had just added Landon Collins in free agency. They’d just received word that both Reuben Foster and Montae Nicholson had been cleared of their respective charges. And they’d just added athletic defensive end Montez Sweat in the NFL Draft.
At the start of the month of May, the Redskins starting lineup was projected to look like this:
Defensive Line: Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis
Linebackers: Ryan Kerrigan, Reuben Foster, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Montez Sweat
Secondary: Quinton Dunbar, Landon Collins, Montae Nicholson, Fabian Moreau, Josh Norman
That’s a unit with top ten potential. They had a devastating front seven in the works and a secondary with budding young talent. And while the Reuben Foster injury doesn’t negate the later portion of that statement, the loss of a top-tier talent does change the complexion of the unit. Now, Mason Foster, who was a defensive liability at times last season, is almost guaranteed a starting spot, and there’s more uncertainty on the second level.
The Redskins still have the menacing defensive line, and they still have the immense potential in the secondary. But how will the pieces come together under Greg Manusky, with a chunk taken out of their talent base? The defense gives the Redskins their best chance at winning in 2019. So if that unit isn’t playing to its potential consistently, it could very well be another disappointing season. In training camp, the defense’s chemistry, or lack thereof, will be on full display.