- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The acquisition of Jason Hatcher from the rival Dallas Cowboys will be slightly muted as training camp begins with Hatcher still recovering following arthroscopic surgery last month on his left knee. Hatcher, entering his ninth year, was handed a somewhat onerous four-year, $27.5 million contract by the Redskins in March as they sought to increase their pass rush.

Hatcher, 32, had a career-high 11 sacks last season, but he did so while working as a defensive end in a 4-3 front for the first time. With the Redskins, he’ll mostly be back to manning right end in a 3-4 alignment, but the team signed him knowing that his greatest success will come when he’s able to pressure the interior of the offensive line. For that reason, they will incorporate Hatcher into their nickel pass rush, which should help the unit’s overall productivity.

With Hatcher out, and last year’s starter, Stephen Bowen, still recovering from microfracture surgery on his right knee, the Redskins turned to part-time starter Jarvis Jenkins to fill the gap on the right side during offseason workouts. Assuming Jenkins’ old spot is Chris Baker, the nose tackle-turned-defensive end who signed a three-year contract in February and is a favorite of defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.

Barry Cofield will continue to start at nose tackle, but his future appears a bit dimmer after trailing off a bit late last season and underdoing sports hernia surgery in the summer. A host of other defensive linemen, including Doug Worthington and new acquisitions Clifton Geathers and Frank Kearse, will try to stick as backups.