Bama Boys Bring the Boom in Washington Defense
Ahead of their week one matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles this upcoming Sunday, the Washington Football Team released it's starting depth chart.
Of the 22 starters listed, four of them spent their college days playing defense at the University of Alabama; DE Jonathan Allen, DT Daron Payne, S Landon Collins, and MLB Shaun Dion Hamilton.
Jonathan Allen: Allen was recently extended by Washington, after having 139 tackles, 15 sacks, and 31 quarterback hits in his first 36 games in the league. It was reported that Allen suffered a leg injury in practice last week, but the team ruled out the injury as being anything serious. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time he’s had an injury in his NFL career. In 2017, he had a Lisfranc injury that cut his rookie season short after only five games and in 2019 he had a sprained left knee during the week 1 game against Philadelphia, which caused him to miss a game. If he can stay healthy for a full season, the sky's the limit for superman.
Daron Payne: Payne was drafted in 2018 and has a combined seven sacks in his first two seasons in Washington. One part of the game that Payne has been working on extensively this off-season, is becoming more explosive and building on the success that he’s had so far.
In a post practice interview Zoom session with the media, Payne discussed this more in depth.
“Instead of being more head up on a man and playing more like two-gap, I’m taking vertical steps up the field and being able to be more explosive and in the backfield and get to my pass rush more.”
Landon Collins: Collins was a member of the New York Giants from 2015- 2018, before becoming disgruntled with Giants general manager, Dave Gettleman. This led to his release and Washington inked him to a massive six-year deal worth $84 million, in March of 2019. In his first season in Washington, Collins had 71 solo tackles, and one sack, leading him to receive an overall grade of 69.2 from Pro Football Focus.
Following the surprise cut of running back Adrian Peterson, Collins decided to change his number from 20 to 26, which was his number all throughout his days at The Capstone. Being a member of the Washington Football Team has meant a great deal to Collins, and he hopes to emulate the same swagger and intensity that Sean Taylor had in Washington.
Shaun Dion Hamilton: Hamilton was selected by the Redskins in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, after he tore his right ACL in 2016 and broke a kneecap in 2017. He’s been rehabbing extremely hard since suffering two gruesome knee injuries, but it’s remarkable that he’s battled his way back to becoming a starter in such a short time span.
Allen and Collins were also two of the five Washington players that were named captains for the 2020 season.
This group experienced several national championship victories as members of the Crimson Tide, but can they bring a Super Bowl to Washington, who hasn't held the Lombardi Trophy since 1992?