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How many new starters for the 2016 Redskins?

Jun 13, 2016, 1:10 PM EDT


Even though the Redskins went 9-7 and made the playoffs last year they are not standing still in terms of personnel. There will be a number of new starters, particularly on defense. In fact, you might be surprised at how many new starters they are likely to have.

Before we dive into this, let’s look at how we’re defining “starters”. In official terms, the 11 players who are on the field for the first snap on the game on each side of the ball are the starters. But we will loosen that definition a bit so that we are talking about front line players.

For example, cornerback Justin Rogers was a starter in the season opener against the Dolphins in 2015. But after that one game he was inactive for two weeks and then waived in Week 5. Rogers is not a player most would think of as a “starter”.

On the other side of the coin, Jordan Reed played in 14 games but he only started in nine of them. I don’t think that there is any question that Reed is a front-line starter.

With that said, let’s look at the anticipated 2016 front-line players compared to 2015.

There will be two new starters on offense. Matt Jones will start at running back in place of the departed Alfred Morris and Jamison Crowder will play slot receiver replacing Andre Roberts, who was waived last month.

Both were 2015 draft picks. Crowder started six games and played 474 snaps while Jones did not have a start and played 349 snaps.

On defense there will be several new starters. Last year, Terrance Knighton started 15 games at nose tackle and Jason Hatcher started 14 at right defensive end. They are both gone so there will be new starters at those positions. For right now the nose tackle is Kedric Golston and the right DE is Stephen Paea but that lineup is written with a dry erase marker, nothing permanent.

At linebacker, either Preston Smith or Junior Galette will start opposite Ryan Kerrigan on the outside, replacing Trent Murphy, who converted to defensive end. On the inside, it looks like Will Compton and Mason Foster have the, well, inside track to starting jobs. They started nine and five games, respectively, last year. Of the other two inside backers who started games in 2015 one, Keenan Robinson (8 starts) has gone to New York and the other, Perry Riley (9) is still around with a shot at winning back the starting job.

Cornerback Josh Norman replaces Chris Culliver (who started the season) or Will Blackmon (who had 10 starts), depending on how you want to look at it. At safety, DeAngelo Hall, who started five games at safety last year, and David Bruton, who was a reserve with the Broncos in 2015, are now the starters. If it’s not Bruton at strong it will be Duke Ihenacho, who started the opener last year but went out early in the game with a wrist injury that landed him on injured reserve. Last year Trenton Robinson, who is no longer with the team, started the most games at strong safety (7).

To count up the changes it’s easier to look at who is staying put. There are three returning solid starters and they all play on the left side—DE Chris Baker, LB Ryan Kerrigan, and CB Bashaud Breeland. At the other eight positions there will be at least six new starters (two each on the DL and S, one each at OLB and CB) and depending on how things shake out and how you want to define new starters, two more possible changes at the inside linebacker spots.

So taking the low number and adding in the offense there will be a minimum of eight new starters for the Redskins this year. That looks like a lot of disruption to a team that seemed to be on its way up but it really isn’t. The way it looks right now only two of the new starters, Norman and Bruton, are new to the team in 2016. All of the others either started some games or played a substantial role with the exception of Galette, who was on injured reserve all of last year.

  1. troylok - Jun 13, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    I am looking for Ioannidis to land that nose tackle job. I am sure Golston would be adequate but I think they need a little more muscle in the middle.

    Everything seems to point to a better defense this year which would be great. If they could generate just one more turnover a game, they will be awesome.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 13, 2016 at 6:05 PM

      I think we’re all hoping for Ioannidis to be good enough to land the starting nose tackle job. But at 6’3 299 he might not exactly be “more muscle.” Golston is a pretty big guy. We’ll see how much weight Ioannidis can’t gain; if they even want him to.

      • bangkokben - Jun 13, 2016 at 6:47 PM

        The Redskins have updated the players’ weights. Not sure when exactly or how often they do update the roster but at this moment: Golston 6’4″ 330 lbs. Ioannidis 6’3″ 308 lbs. Here’s the whole DL from biggest to smallest:

        NT 6’4″ 330 Golston, Kedric
        NT 6’2″ 330 Powe, Jerrell
        DE 6’2″ 320 Baker, Chris
        DE 6’3″ 313 Jean Francois, Ricky
        DE 6’1″ 310 Paea, Stephen
        DE 6’3″ 308 Ioannidis, Matt
        DE 6’3″ 305 Hood, Ziggy
        DE 6’4″ 300 Reyes, Kendall
        DE 6’5″ 298 Crawford, Corey
        DE 6’5″ 290 Murphy, Trent
        DE 6’6″ 282 Lanier, Anthony

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 13, 2016 at 7:54 PM

          That’s more weight than when he was drafted (at least on paper) but he’s still built more like a 3-4 DE than DT. Which is fine. He is what he is. And I guess there’s nothing saying a 308 lb guy can’t play nose. But I’m not going to get my hopes up too much.

        • terps125 - Jun 15, 2016 at 8:09 AM

          Great info!! I would love to see side by side of last year to this year, but I’m way too lazy. 😉

        • bangkokben - Jun 15, 2016 at 8:53 AM

          Yeah and I didn’t keep the information but below I added what the four letter has as their weights which is very close to how I remember seeing it last week. Old weight is after the name.

          NT 6’4″ 330 Golston, Kedric 318
          NT 6’2″ 330 Powe, Jerrell 331
          DE 6’2″ 320 Baker, Chris 325
          DE 6’3″ 313 Jean Francois, Ricky 297
          DE 6’1″ 310 Paea, Stephen 300
          DE 6’3″ 308 Ioannidis, Matt 303
          DE 6’3″ 305 Hood, Ziggy 300
          DE 6’4″ 300 Reyes, Kendall 300
          DE 6’5″ 298 Crawford, Corey 299
          DE 6’5″ 290 Murphy, Trent 258
          DE 6’6″ 282 Lanier, Anthony 260

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 15, 2016 at 12:27 PM

          You guys can look at Ioannidis’ draft profile. He was 299 at the combine. Seems like they fudge these Guy’s weight a little.

        • bangkokben - Jun 15, 2016 at 1:06 PM

          You saying a near 300 lb man can’t fluctuate within ten pounds from February to May to June? Of course not. We’re talking 3%. However, listed weights should simply taken with a grain of salt and in no way gospel. Here is pro football reference’s link on Pot Roast. Even with his recent dieting, there’s no way he at that listed weight.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 15, 2016 at 1:23 PM

          Of course I agree with that. He could probably add that in 5 weeks. But it’s also close to the difference between someone being weighed in their underwear compared to jeans and boots. So I don’t know what to think.

          Speaking of Pot Roast: remember how Rich, and any number of writers, said he looked a good 30 lbs heavier than what he was listed? My point was that I think teams list guys at what looks better for them. They are businesses with PR departments after all. So I don’t know what to think. Just a little healthy skepticism.

          Ioannidis is the single most interesting player on this roster to me. I have high hopes for what he could become for us. I just don’t want to get too carried away until I see him play.

      • John - Jun 13, 2016 at 11:02 PM

        The guy who ends up playing nose does not necessarily have to weigh 320+ lbs. It helps but its more important for him to be able to hold his ground, be difficult to root out. Back in the day, Henry Thomas (Minnesota) was not the biggest guy but he got the job done. Pot Roast on the other hand is a heavy weight but ha not accomplished much.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 14, 2016 at 1:07 AM

          I know. I was the guy raising hell because I wanted Andrew Billings (6’0 311) as our nose. But he’s built for it and extremely powerful. More powerful than I think people are giving him credit for. But we’ll see about that.

          Now, I simply don’t know Ioannidis like I do some of these other guys. I’ve never seen him play and have only read what they’ve said since he was drafted. But from what I have heard, he’s more of a 3 or 5 technique. That was one of the reasons we drafted him right? Because they thought he could play nose in base and 3 in sub packages? Which is great, I wanted that versatility out of whoever we drafted at DT. But there’s still the question about if he actually CAN do it. That’s all I’m saying.

  2. Mr.moneylover - Jun 13, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    I want jarrell powe to get that starting NT postion if you want power the guy weight 330 but is very powerful I probably won’t get my wish I can see them bring him in on 3rd and 4th down…Kendrick Gholston wont play at a high level if he’s the starter he’s only good in spot duty…I think our secondary will be the strength of this team this year unless they find out the right combo and what works well together

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 13, 2016 at 7:55 PM

      330 is plenty big for a nose.

  3. bangkokben - Jun 13, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    Good analysis, Rich.

  4. John - Jun 13, 2016 at 10:50 PM

    Golston and Lioanidis wiil do fine at the nose position. The Skins because teams spread each other out so much, they’ll be in nickel 80% of the time, hence no need for a true nose. When they do need a nose, they can platoon at the position.

  5. Marc Hill - Jun 14, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    In all honesty, why not put baker in at NT? 320 lbs is plenty to clog the middle and command a double team. And with his athleticism, he’ll still get some sacks. Just a thought. . .

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 14, 2016 at 10:43 AM

      He’d rather not play it an he has much more impact at DE.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 14, 2016 at 12:38 PM

      And don’t forget that he did play NT in the past and wasn’t that great. But then he broke out at LDE last year. He’s probably the best DE on the team. So we can have that or a mediocre NT. Not much of a decision. Archives

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