Russell: Galette's impact on Redskins LB unit

Breaking Burgundy analyst and Redskins radio Insider Chris Russell tackles the topic of Junior Galette helping cover up defensive holes.

The Redskins took another bold step on Friday agreeing to a one-year deal with former Saints pass rusher Junior Galette, as first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.

This move further bolsters a pass rush and also helps protect the inside linebackers even more than the Redskins had originally planned.

Galette, a talented but troubled pass rusher will be used off the edge in Washington's 3-4, but he appeared to play more with his hand down in New Orleans and more in a defensive end type position for Rob Ryan's hybrid scheme.

I believe the Redskins will be using even more of a hybrid front at times this year under Joe Barry and I would imagine Galette is going to be used as a primary edge rusher flanked outside of Jason Hatcher in base, while Barry could kick Ryan Kerrigan or Preston Smith inside in nickel to allow Washington to get all three pass rushers on the field at the same time.

Don't forget about Trent Murphy, who had a very good off-season from a pass rush perspective.

How else does this help the Redskins? It protects what many feel is the weakness of the defense. The inside linebackers.

Keenan Robinson is not a weakness from a talent perspective, but because of his injury history, the Redskins can not absolutely count on him to play a full 16 game season. When he's on the field, he's very smooth and effective.

Perry Riley Jr., as many Redskins fans know, is quite deficient in pass coverage and it would not be surprising to see the versatile Will Compton replace him in the starting lineup at some point. The problem is if Robinson gets hurt, Compton has to switch over to the "Mike" position, so Washington might have to live with Riley's deficiency in space.

The Redskins realized this weakness and knew it from the very start this year. It's another huge reason why Scot McCloughan bolstered his defensive line. Think about it this way. The weakness on their entire defense is up the middle (outside of Terrance Knighton and Chris Baker) including at safety because of the relative unknown. How do you fix that? You expose them less. You keep them cleaner.

I think they will be a lot better at safety than they have been because of the talent additions they made there. The improved talent, depth and athleticism at safety along with the revamped defensive line, and the addition of Galette almost completely masks the weakness in Riley's game and the overall question marks about the inside linebacker position.

That's what the NFL is all about. Minimizing weakness so they can't be exposed as often. Especially against tight end rich teams that play inside the NFC East.

Galette may be troubled off-the-field and in the locker room, at least according to many in New Orleans, but when you can add a guy who has had double digit sacks over the last two years to an already bolstered attack, it allows you to cover weaknesses, get more creative in scheme and attack packages and oh yeah....

It allows you to win a lot more games.


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