During Friday night’s 26-17 loss to the Denver Broncos, Redskins defensive lineman Anthony Lanier II recorded his first sack of the preseason. Though the takedown of quarterback Case Keenum will only show up in Lanier’s stats, he made sure to credit his fellow linemen for making it possible.
“Tim Settle did a great job putting pressure in the middle so it was open on both sides,” said Lanier. “So I was able to make more movement on this inside.”
Settle, a rookie from Virginia Tech, understood the importance of his role in the play, and was happy to see it pay off for Lanier and the defense.
“It feels good, you know, we help each other on the line. Somebody takes the pressure off of somebody for leaving them 1-on-1,” Settle said. “He took advantage of the situation and to see that flash, that was big time.”
This play — teammates working together to open up a clear path to the quarterback — is an example of something the Redskins defensive line is continuing to work toward: a fluid and cohesive group up front.
This defensive unit is a young one. Besides Ziggy Hood, who has been in the league for 10 years, a majority of the depth chart consists of players who only have three years or less of NFL experience.
Two of those are rookie Daron Payne and second-year veteran Jonathan Allen, who were former teammates at Alabama and referred to by many as the “Bama Bros”. Though still early in their careers, both have shown the potential to become dominant forces up front for years to come.
Cornerback Josh Norman has opted for a different nicknames for his two teammates, calling them the two “bulls” or “tanks,” but he also sees their promise, even comparing them to two of his former teammates in Carolina.
“Literally, those two bulls up front [Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne], remind me of KK and Star. Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short,” Norman said earlier this week. “When they played, there was a difference. Literally, a difference. They move men, and they got to the quarterback, and even get it out of their hands when they wanted to. That’s when a DB’s main play on the ball. Those two guys remind me of them, they’re just shorter impact tanks, though. Rocked up guys. I look at that and I loved it.”