ASHBURN, Va. (AP) —Washington’s two new defensive lineman know what’s it’s like to beat up on the Redskins.
Barry Cofield and Stepen Bowen were a combined 15-5 against the Redskins during their previous five seasons in the NFC East. Now Washington hopes the two have that same type of success for it.
But after signing lucrative contracts last week that included guarantees of $25 million, nose tackle Cofield and right end Bowen now comprise two-thirds of the front of Washington’s 3-4 defense — which allowed an NFC-high 389.3 yards per game last season.
“We got two real good players,” said linebacker London Fletcher. “Barry is intense. He’s physical. He’s feisty. He plays with good leverage. Stephen’s a big, explosive, powerful guy with some pass-rush ability. And he has experience in the 3-4.”
Cofield was a five-year starter with the New York Giants, but the $36 million, six-year offer from the Redskins was too enticing to reject.
“It was easy to come here, but it wasn’t easy to leave New York,” said the 6-foot-4, 306-pound Cofield, who won a Super Bowl with the Giants four years ago. “It was hard to walk away from five years of memories and friendships. But I love this defense.
“I thought it was great coaching and a great scheme last year. It just needed the right pieces. Now I feel like we have the right pieces.”
In addition to Cofield and Bowen, the Redskins drafted Ryan Kerrigan in the first round to play left outside linebacker and signed cornerback Josh Wilson from Baltimore and safety O.J. Atogwe from St. Louis.
Notes: Kerrigan, two-time Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley and return specialist Brandon Banks remained out with knee injuries. X-rays of Malcolm Kelly’s injured foot were negative, but the oft-injured receiver was on the sidelines for a second straight day. ... The Redskins will hold Fan Appreciation Day today. Practice starts at noon.