NT Barry Cofield was a major reason the Redskins held Indianapolis to 41 yards in the first half. The Colts couldn’t move him out of the middle. Perhaps regular-season opponents will gameplan for Cofield and block him with more double teams, but so far he has anchored well inside against the run. He helped keep ILB Rocky McIntosh clean to make a tackle on a 3-yard run on the Colts‘ opening drive.
Again this week, Cofield showed a pass-rushing ability that was missing last season. He’s quick off the ball and very good with his hands. He batted down one pass and helped collapse the pocket on others. So far, so good on that free-agent signing.
Rookie LOLB Ryan Kerrigan improved on his shaky debut. “I was more sure of myself this week,” he said. “I knew my assignments better, and I was able to see things before they happened.”
He took better angles rushing the quarterback and wasn’t so wide. He was more reliable in coverage, too. He ran into the flat and covered RB Donald Brown on one pass play. Later, he stayed with TE Dallas Clark near the right sideline.
Kerrigan’s sack supported his college reputation as a “high-motor guy.” He lined up on the left edge of the defense and put his hand on the ground just before the snap. He’s obviously most comfortable in a three-point stance. DL Stephen Bowen and Jarvis Jenkins collapsed the pocket inside, and Kerrigan’s outside pressure forced QB Curtis Painter to scramble. Kerrigan hardly was slowed by RB Joseph Addai’s chip, and he chased Painter down from behind.
I enjoy watching ILB Perry Riley track the ball. His closing speed is exceptional, and he’s a hard hitter when he gets there. His tackle on the Redskins‘ first kickoff was highlight-reel stuff. His run fit was great on RB Jarvarris James’ 2-yard carry in the second half. On the first play of the fourth quarter, he diagnosed the screen pass to RB Delone Carter and ran up from 10 yards away to stop him for a gain of 1.
It would be interesting to see Riley play more with the first string, as his future with the team seems more secure than Rocky McIntosh‘s. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett indicated during training camp that Riley still needs more seasoning. But how’s this for an accountability-free prediction? Riley is in the starting lineup by November.
Seventh-round rookie CB Brandyn Thompson helped his roster chances by making a couple of plays on the ball in expanded playing time. His athleticism shined on his interception. Playing press-man coverage, he turned and ran deep with WR Marshall Williams. He stayed on Williams‘ hip, even using his hand to feel out Williams once he turned to find the ball. The diving catch was excellent. And thanks to everyone who tweeted me to point out his hands are better than Carlos Rogers’.
Thompson had a quiet training camp, so Friday night could be big for him. He outplayed CB Reggie Jones, who was beaten deep on an incompletion after giving up a 9-yard completion on a third-and-4.View Entire Story
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