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Hatcher adds disruption to Redskins DL but for how long?

Mar 14, 2014, 12:27 PM EDT


The Redskins have made one of the best types of free agent moves you can make. They signed a quality player away from a division rival.

Jason Hatcher was a one-man wrecking crew on the Cowboys’ defensive line last year. He had 11 sacks, 40 QB pressures, and he forced two fumbles.

To say that the Redskins’ line has been missing that disruptive element would be quite an understatement. The Redskins’ defensive line has combined for at total of nine sacks in the last two seasons.

It may be premature to start drawing up the X’s and O’s and figuring out where Hatcher might be used since there may be another addition to the front seven. The Redskins were involved in contract negotiations with end/outside linebacker Anthony Spencer, Hatcher’s Dallas teammate, and he could end up joining Hatcher in Ashburn.

But one thing that we know now is that the Redskins’ defense is planning on using more one-gap techniques up front. Without wandering into the weeds on technicalities, just know that this allows the line to be more aggressive at the snap. This plays to Hatcher’s strengths as well as those of Chris Baker.

The acquisition of Hatcher was a good one but there are some pitfalls. He broke out last year when the Cowboys switched to a 4-3 scheme and he moved from 3-4 end to tackle. Hatcher will be an end in the Redskins’ 3-4 so they need to make sure that he can remain effective there and they get the bang for their bucks. The one-gap technique will help there.

And then there is the fact that Hatcher will turn 32 before training camp starts. To be sure, he is “low mileage” for an eight-year veteran, never having played more than 500 snaps in a season until 2012. But Father Time is undefeated and at some point, Hatcher will begin to decline. The Redskins hope that doesn’t happen until they are through at least half of his four-year, $27.5 million contract.

We are awaiting details on that contract. If is a deal that they can get out of after two seasons without a crippling cap hit then it should be good for both the team and for the player.

  1. colmac69 - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Think its gd signing…yes he 32 but its not like he bn in trenches for ten yrs so should have gd mileage left in tank..kind of player on d-line we havent had in ages…..with pick ups so far in free agency could we b looking safety in draft?or sign clark and re-sign merrieweather as starting safeties and develope thomas and poss draft choice for couple yrs dwn line? Would sign carlos rogers as well…thought he was gd player with us who got unfairly criticised over some of his play and I know he wanted to leave a few yrs ago but think he b another gd acquisition at reasonable price

  2. savagegun - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    The only problem with Hatcher is that he’s a 4-3 guy. Yes he played in the 3-4 but wasn’t as effective as he was in the 4-3. He had a GREAT season last year, but that was in part to Demarcus Ware. Granted, I know the argument well, Dallas’ defense was absolutely horrible, ranking 28th in the league. Hatcher stood out in a bad defense, but again, the 4-3.

    I’m just not as excited as a lot of people are with this signing. The other argument being that he brings intel about Dallas… This makes me laugh, what intel do we need? What, they’re broke and they’ll be the bottom team in the NFC East? Yeah, we know that.

    Right now my thoughts are on Philadelphia. They look dynamic on paper with their newly acquired RB/ Slot WR Sproles. They added some pieces like Malcolm Jenkins at Safety that will pay dividends for them. Yes I know that paper means nothing, that’s why we play the game. You do have to admit they look like the team to beat. The only weak link on the team is the QB position, Nick Foles. Perhaps the ‘Skins see that and that’s why they beefed up on the D-Line and our DB’s. Hence we come full circle back to Hatcher. Does he have enough in the tank to be the force we need? I just don’t know.

    • savagegun - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      And on a funny note: I think RGIII and Hatcher will have to bury the “Hatchet” after what Jason did to him last year. :)

  3. kenlinkins - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    The Redskins did use a 4 man front on some passing downs in 2013 trying to generate a pass rush and hide the blitzes. The big change should be that Hatcher is an attacking style DE vs. the “read and react” front used in the pass few years. Anything that will improve the pressure on QB’s we face will be a positive. I do not care if we use a 3-4, 4-3, 4-2 nickel or 4-1 dime package, without good pressure up front any good QB will pick us apart. I will grade the signing a B+.

    • alextwrs - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      I’ve said it before and I am saying it again, we are better suited for a 4-3 defense. Especially when there is a viable NT by the name of BJ Raji and we want nothing to do with him. No matter what kind of season he had, hes an upgrade from cofield, who should be cut (salary sponge). Hatcher, Orakpo, and Kerrigan could rush from the edges even working Rak/Kerr into some hybrid 3-4 (w/ olb duties) defensive schemes. THEY SUCK AT COVERAGE…… point blank…….. so rush them every down….. oh thats right cant do that in a 3-4, but how bout the 4-3 (yes). We are utiliuzing our best players at the skills they are the worst at. Draft a MLB and get some role player OLB’s (oh yea we have some already Brandon Jenkins) and we might have a pass rush. Haslett has already said we will switch between formations so that tells me, even he knows they have the wrong personel. Yea I know a lot of teams run different packages but they dont do it becaues they have aquired the wrong guys.

      • savagegun - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:12 PM

        BJ Signed a 1 yr deal with the Packers today. I don’t think BJ was ever really entertaining anyone else.

  4. internetcareer - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    for all you experts out there…schemes are over rated. Once the ball is snapped the paper is torn up and you just have to beat the man in front of you. It is a one on one game once the ball is snapped. If our ones are better than their ones….we win.

    • darrynhyman - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:32 PM

      not quite that simple…as a former player at the D-1 college level…scheme definitely matters. Don’t agree that we just need to go to a 4-3…we really don’t have the personnel for that. The 3-4 is a great defense…we just need better players…that’s been the problem. Hatcher is a solid signing if they get creative with their packages

  5. shermanp79 - Mar 15, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    I am surprised how much money he got. He had a big year last year. He doubled what our DL produced for sacks. My concern is that was his only big year. Can he do it again? On First Take their was talk about his age but also concern if he could reproduce last year. If we get that guy who we saw against us then he is worth the money. We were able to take him away from Dallas but I’m not sure they wanted him back. I don’t think it helps long term and think we could still draft a DL guy. They have so much more flexibility and I believe they are better than last year. They can move him around and create some good situations with RAK and Kerrigan behind him. I know Jenkins hasn’t done much but I think this hurts him getting any significant playing time without an injury. I like the idea of switching back and forth with the 3-4 and 4-3. That could help our ILB situation but it leaves RAK as a traditional OLB on 1st and 2nd downs. I don’t know if I see them using him as a DE on those downs. Both he and Kerrigan are too small and who plays OLB. Rak has improved in his coverage and hopefully with new LB coach that can continue. It will be interesting to see how they put it all together. I wonder if Goldston stays beyond TC? If they sign another DL or draft one he probably will be gone even if they play the 4-3 at times. He is better suited for it. Archives

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