After a disappointing 2016 campaign, Washington Redskins focused on improving their defense during the offseason. With a revamped defense, the Redskins are hoping they can compete with their remaining NFC East rivals and make it back to the playoffs. The Redskins betting odds for the 2017 season have them finishing 4th in the NFC East, but the team is hoping for a better result this season.
While the other defensive signings have gotten most of the attention, Phil Taylor appears to be the most underrated of all their defensive signings.
Taylor, who signed a future/reserve contract with the team at the end of last season, seems to have found his groove with the Redskins and is looking like their opening day starter at nose tackle.
Taylor, who was drafted in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, seems to have finally found a home in Washington after bouncing around the league for most of his career.
The 2011 draft pick started all 16 games for the Browns in 2011, recording 59 tackles and four sacks. In his second season, . The following season, Taylor was able to play in 15 games, but he missed the final game of the season because of a concussion.
Taylor’s final season is Cleveland was cut short because of a knee injury that limited him to five games. In 2016, Taylor signed with the Denver Broncos, but he didn’t last long with Denver because his knee was still bothering him.
Taylor signed with the Redskins at the end of the season, and it appears the Redskins got a great deal because he is finally healthy and looks to be back to his old form. With Taylor in the starting lineup, the Redskins have someone that can pressure the quarterback and also play the run very well, which instantly improves their defensive line.
The best thing about having a nose tackle like Taylor on the defensive line is he makes things easier on the other defensive players. A player of his size and athleticism will command double teams on most downs, which frees up room for the other defensive linemen to get to the backfield and the linebackers as well.
With the other defensive players having more room to operate, they should be able to apply more pressure on the quarterback and also get backfield tackles.
Washington already has Mason Foster and Zach Brown, who combined for 273 tackles last season, the Redskins have arguably the best linebacker corps they have had since the days of London Fletcher.
One of the biggest reasons the Redskins defensive line will look vastly different is defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who was hired during the offseason.
Tomsula, who was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, got a bad rap because the 49ers lost a lot of games under his watch. However, he alone wasn’t responsible for the failure of the 49ers, as the team lost a lot of good players when he was given the job.
Now that he is back to doing what he does best, Tomsula and the Redskins are hoping to make Washington’s defensive line is one of the best in the NFL this season.