- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Washington Times’ Ryan O’Halloran will examine one Redskins position group each day until Sunday, when the team reports to training camp. Today: Defensive line.

Who’s back: Starting ends Renaldo Wynn and Phillip Daniels and starting tackles Cornelius Griffin and Joe Salave’a; reserves Ryan Boschetti, Nic Clemons, Demetric Evans, Cedric Killings.

Who’s new: End Andre Carter, a former first-round pick with San Francisco, was signed in free agency. Tackles Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery were selected in the draft.

Overview: A big reason why the Redskins’ defense has been stout the last two years is solid work from the line. Griffin and Salave’a command double coverage when both are on the field and allow the linebackers to knife through the line. They combined for 66 tackles last season. Wynn and Daniels are team leaders, but they had only 8 sacks last year, with Wynn having only half a sack. Enter Carter (32 sacks in five seasons with San Francisco), whom the Redskins think can help the pass rush with his size (6-4, 265) and quickness. Depth isn’t a problem at any of the four spots.

Key issues: 1. What will Carter’s impact be? It will be interesting to see where he lines up during the preseason. Technically, he has taken over a starting position from Wynn, but he also can play linebacker if the Redskins show a 3-4 alignment. Look for the coaches to move Carter around the line to give him the best chance to rush the passer.

2. Can Griffin and Salave’a avoid injuries? If so, the Redskins will have one of the top defensive lines in the league. Last year Griffin missed four games and Salave’a two. If they can’t stay healthy, opposing teams will double team the defensive ends as they did in 2005, making it tough to get a solid pass rush.

Tomorrow: Linebackers

Got a question about the Redskins? Starting in training camp, The Washington Times will run a weekly Redskins Mailbag. Send questions to Ryan O’Halloran at skinsmailbag@washingtontimes.com.

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