Redskins' Hatcher, Galette envisioned havoc

Jason Hatcher and Junior Galette each imagined the chaos-causing fun they would jointly have attacking quarterbacks.

Jason Hatcher and Junior Galette played the role of fortunetellers over the past week. Their mission: Project and explain how one would help the other in the art of quarterback harassing.

"I think it would create more space for me to work inside," Hatcher told BreakingBurgundy.com shortly after the Redskins' second preseason game Thursday night.

With power and tenacity, Washington's top pass rushing defensive lineman caused issues for the Cleveland Browns from his right end spot. Hatcher did so without Galette. The newish outside linebacker was still recovering from a torn pectoral injury and learning the team's playbook.

Expectations had Galette joining the fray soon enough. At that point, quarterbacks beware. Galette's 22 sacks the previous two seasons with New Orleans were tied for third most among linebackers, according to Stats.com.

"Junior with his speed, he's so fast off the edge, so quick off the ball," Hatcher continued from in front of his locker at FedEx Field. "He's really going to create a lot of space for me. Make the offensive tackle really kick out wide because they've got to respect his speed.

"That's one of the big things I told (Junior) tonight. When you're out there, it's really going to give me a lot of space so I can really do a lot with the guards in one-on-one situations."

His future sacking partner enthusiastically agreed when told of Hatcher's assessment following Tuesday's practice at Redskins Park.

"That's a fact," Galette said.

The mutual admiration went both ways.

"I've never had an interior pass rusher that can rush like he has," Galette noted. "He's had (a season with) double-digit sacks in his career. For an interior rusher, that's beyond elite."

Projecting the Redskins' overall pass rush as nightmarish for opponents didn't require much dreaming.

Ryan Kerrigan, Washington's top outside linebacker, led the club with 13.5 sacks last season. The Redskins improved their defensive line this season with the signings of ends Stephen Paea and Ricky-Jean Francois along with nose tackle Terrance Knighton. Those three would join Hatcher up front.

Galette, a relatively late addition, would line up opposite Kerrigan with with recent second-round picks Trent Murphy and Preston Smith waiting their turn.

For defensive coordinators, we're talking about pick your poison. On paper, this unit appeared IRS audit scary.

Asked how good this pass rush might be once everybody plays, Hatcher stated, "I really can't. Sky is the limit. It can look as good as any in the league. It's on us as players to go out there and make it happen. [Take advantage of] one on one's when they present themselves. Just get to the football. It's on me, Junior, Ryan...whoever is in there. We have a lot of guys who can come in and play."

Despite his considerable off the field baggage, Galette may have been the missing piece on it. With Kerrigan and Galette each coming around the corners, there would be only so much blocking help coaches could deploy. That would be especially true on passing downs loaded with wide receivers over fullbacks and tight ends.

"Those two guys, that's a special group," Hatcher said of the outside linebacker tandem. "Make it come off paper and do what we got to do."

All those pieces were expected on the field for Washington's third preseason game Saturday at Baltimore. Essentially, the sneak preview before the red carpet premier in Week 1 of the regular season against the Miami Dolphins.

That's not going to happen. Galette reportedly suffered a season-ending torn Achilles at the end of Wednesday's practice. Considering the Redskins only signed the troubled ex-Saint to a one-year deal, it might never happen. Factoring in the long road of recovery, who knows if Galette's speed returns.

Nobody wants to look that far in the future. Hard enough realizing the present changed before it even got started.


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