Guest John Keim, Editor Warpath Insiders Magazine - WarpathInsiders.com
The Redskins have signed and dispatched a number of former Patriots players including: Christian Fauria, David Patten and current roster member Reche Caldwell. Do you think they were signed due to the success they had in New England, or because they were better than the other choices available?
John Keim: Both. Fauria was at a position of need. Caldwell was a best-available guy, so I think their connection to the Pats was helpful, but was not of grand importance. It was more of a factor for Patten because they talked about how he had won. That's a Patriots thing. Patten was the No. 1 guy they chased a couple years ago.
How have injuries impacting the team this season?
Keim: It's had a big impact and will continue to have a big one. The right side of the offensive line is out and replaced by Jason Fabini at guard and Todd Wade at right tackle. They're just not as good as Randy Thomas and Jon Jansen, respectively. Wade and Fabini need more help in pass protection; they often work in tandem to stop the inside rush with a tight end blocking the end. They're also not as good at opening cutback lanes and that's hurt the run game.
Is the NFC East the toughest division in the NFC? In the NFL?
Keim: It's the best in the NFC, but that's not saying much. It's more by default than anything. But not in the NFL; the AFC South looks like it's stronger. The NFC East is competitive, however; but it lacks the sizzle at the top. Dallas is good, but its defense has issues. The Giants have built a nice win streak and their D has improved. Those are the two best teams. And because they're in the NFC, they might go far.
Who has been the biggest off-season addition and how has it impacted the team?
Keim: Linebacker London Fletcher. He filled a gaping hole in the middle of the defense, providing leadership and steady play. He's a big-time leader and does an excellent job taking the proper angles. He's really helped solidify the run D. Of course, he wouldn't be able to do that if the line wasn't keeping blockers off him.
The Patriots were seriously interested in S LaRon Landry (LSU) to bolster their secondary, instead they picked up DB Brandon Meriweather (Miami) after Landry was picked early by the Redskins. What type of impact has Landry had on the Redskins much-acclaimed defensive backfield?
Keim: A big one. Landry was very impressive this summer. Though he hasn't made big plays yet he has made crucial al ones. He had a key tackle at the end of the Philly win and he's arguably a bigger hitter than Sean Taylor. Landry's speed allows him to sometimes cover in the slot. He can help in the box against the run and he can play deep in the cover 2.
Be sure not to miss Part 2 of this interview where John talks about Jason Campbell's rise to the starting role, The Redskins most valuable players and what he expects to happen on Sunday.
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