In-Depth Chart: Middle Linebacker

Our position by position look at the 2006 Redskins continues with the middle linebacker spot. Lemar Marshall surprised many last year with a successful move from the outside to the Mike position, the quarterback of Gregg Williams' defense.

Starter: Lemar Marshall
Experience: Fourth NFL season, all with Washington
2005: Started 16 games

Resume: Many weren't sure that Marshall was big and physical enough to make the change from outside linebacker into the middle after Antonio Pierce left via free agency, but by the end of the year the doubters were all believers. He compensated for his lack of bulk with smarts and quickness. A middle linebacker had never led the Redskins in interceptions until Marshall picked off four to top the team this year. Marshall's fourth-quarter interception of Mike McMahon—an athletic play where he got into the passing lane and tipped the ball to himself—set up the go-ahead touchdown in the team's playoff-clinching win over the Eagles.


John Keim's Inside Juice: He performed much better in the middle than I expected. He has the instincts for the position, helping him take better angles. He also gives the Redskins a weapon in that he can cover deep in the middle, which they like to do with their linebackers. He's a linebacker who runs like a safety. He's not quite where Antonio Pierce was in terms of being in sync with Gregg Williams, but he's getting there. And he can take Williams' heat.

Campbell, McCune

Depth: It was a darn good thing that Marshall worked out so well last year because the team really didn't have anywhere else to turn. Khary Campbell is a special teams coverage demon, but he has very limited experience at linebacker. Robert McCune was a 26-year-old rookie last year, but he didn't make the final roster coming out of camp. He was signed to the practice squad and later returned to the active roster. Should Marshall not be able to perform they might move Warrick Holdman over into the middle.

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