STARTER: London Fletcher, Perry Riley
BACKUP: Nick Barnett, Bryan Kehl
ON THE BUBBLE: Marvin Burdette, William Compton, Jeremy Kimbrough, Roddrick Muckelroy
ANALYSIS: Fletcher and Riley have the starting jobs locked up, barring injury. Fletcher had the worst season of his career last year, probably, at least partially, due to nagging injuries. Nevertheless, the Redskins need Fletcher to play better this year and starting off healthy — as he is now — and staying that way would be a big help. Of course, at Fletcher’s age , staying healthy is critical and increasingly difficult. Fletcher missed 24 tackles last year, one of the worst numbers in the league, against only 39 stops — not a good ratio. Fletcher had a lot of trouble in pass coverage, particularly against the Falcons and Giants, but he also, surprisingly, struggled stopping the run.
Riley started off 2012 playing very well and was the team’s best defender through the first half of the season. However, Riley tailed off badly in November and December, apart from a terrific performance in week 16 in Philadelphia. He was solid in pass coverage most of the year, but struggled some against the run in the latter games. However, he did miss only 9 tackles compared to 45 stops, much more like the ratio you need to get from a starting inside linebacker. If he can stay healthy, expect Riley to be the team’s top inside linebacker all year. He’s not a superstar, but he’s a very solid starter who will probably be the leader of the defense in a year or two.
Read more at DC Pro Sports Report