- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2019

In lead up to Monday’s game against the Chicago Bears, Redskins coach Jay Gruden stressed the need for his defense to produce a better pass rush. Through two games, the Redskins have just two sacks and haven’t generated consistent enough pressure. 

Meanwhile in Green Bay, a former Redskins pass rusher is thriving. 

Linebacker Preston Smith has been a revelation for the Packers since signing a four-year, $52 million deal in free agency, recording 4½ sacks in his first three games. The 26-year-old, who spent four seasons with the Redskins, also has an interception and a forced fumble.

The Redskins opted not to re-sign Smith in the offseason, viewing his price tag as too high. Washington instead drafted pass rusher Montez Sweat, trading back into the first round to grab him.

Sweat has had a quiet first two games, though that can partially be attributed to the fact he went against Philadelphia’s Jason Peters and Dallas’ Tyron Smith — two of the best left tackles in football. 



On Sunday, Smith had three sacks against the Denver Broncos. In Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings, he picked off former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

With the Redskins, Smith was an inconsistent pass rusher. The 2015 second-round pick never had more than eight sacks in a season and would go stretches in which he was held in check. For instance, Smith went the first eight weeks in 2018 without a sack and then recorded 3½ in the next three weeks. He then finished the year with four. 

But Smith could produce pressure — something desperately needed for Washington right now. 

 

 

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