WASHINGTON (AP) - Linebacker Keenan Robinson came away expecting good things after his first chance to hear new Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry speak at a team meeting.
“I took away just a defense that’s going to be fast and physical, more so than we were last year. And just have a different approach to it. We’re still going to stress everyone flying around, finishing plays, stripping, tackling, all that,” Robinson said on a conference call Monday, the start of offseason workouts in Ashburn, Virginia.
“We’re going to get everybody involved,” he said, “to where everybody’s aggressive and everyone has the opportunity to make a play each and every down.”
The overhaul of the Redskins’ defense after a 4-12 season began with the departure of coordinator Jim Haslett, the hiring of Barry to replace him, and the additions of a half-dozen players. Those include free agents Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea and Ricky Jean-Francois on the defensive line, cornerback Chris Culliver, and safety Jeron Johnson, along with a trade for safety Dashon Goldson.
Linebacker Brian Orakpo left as a free agent, defensive linemen Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen were released, safety Ryan Clark retired, while another safety, Brandon Meriweather, was let go.
“Defensively, we made some big moves and we lost some big players, too. I think we’ll benefit, and I hope so,” fullback Darrel Young said. “We’ve got a new scheme for everyone.”
While Washington is sticking with a 3-4 alignment, Robinson anticipates one difference between Barry’s defense and what the team did under Haslett: the impact of folks on the line, such as Knighton or Paea.
“The D-line last year, they were taught more so to keep the guards, keep the tackles, off us, and keep the center off of us. This year, I think Joe Barry’s defense is going to be more of an attack style for them. So that means they’re going to be allowed to wreak havoc up front, which in turn helps us,” Robinson said. “We might have more linemen on us, but we also will have gaps to shoot and other things that we can do to be able to make more plays. And you might see more ‘splash’ plays out of the linebackers this year.”
Young said that, as far he was aware, all players showed up for the first day of voluntary workouts after what he called an “embarrassing” 2013-14 season.
“That’s the first thing you take away, is that everybody’s committed to fixing this issue that we had last year and the year before of not winning enough games,” Robinson said.
As for Orakpo’s departure for the Tennessee Titans, Robinson said of his fellow University of Texas product and offseason workout partner: “Losing him was tough.”
“I think that he was open to coming back to Washington,” Robinson said, “but it just didn’t work out in our favor.”
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