The Redskins put up 41 sacks in 2011 and sacked the quarterback on 7.5 percent of pass attempts. Those arent bad numbers; they were tied for 10th in the league in total sacks and they were eighth in sack percentage. Pro Football Focus rated them eighth in overall pass pressure, a number that includes QB hits and hurries as well as sacks.But anyone who watched the team week in and week out knows that the Redskins pass rush was lacking. They rarely were able to get to the quarterback in key situations and they forced very few fumbles with pass pressure.In response to this, the Redskins didnothing. The only draft pick who plays in the front seven was linebacker Keenan Robinson, who is a year or two away from contributing on a regular basis. No defensive linemen or linebackers were signed as free agents; the only transactions there were to bring back London Fletcher, Kedric Golston, and Darrion Scott.Thats all well and good, but how will they generate more pass rush? The key could be someone they already had on their roster, Jarvis Jenkins.As Jenkins comes back from a knee injury that wiped out his rookie season, it is as though the Redskins recouped the second-round pick they gave up in the deal to move up in the draft to get Robert Griffin III. And he could be the key to turning the Redskins pass rush from good to great.Jenkins is not a classic edge rusher but that is not the role he is expected to play. At 6-4, 310 he will be more of a disrupter, using his size, strength, and quickness to do what 3-4 linemen are supposed to do, which is create opportunities for others to make plays.But that doesnt mean that Jenkins wont get a few sacks of his own. Look for him to get some pressure up the middle when lined up in the nose position in passing situations. It wouldnt be surprising to see him rack up a half a dozen sacks or so, especially if Griffin and the offense can give them a good lead to work with every once in a while.Unless and until Robert Griffin III comes into his own as a quarterback, the defensive front seven will be the strength of the 2012 Redskins. The addition of Jenkins to that group could make the unit strong enough to carry the team to some additional wins.
In August, Redskins fans would freak out if they heard Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor would both miss a November game.
In November, that news doesn’t carry much worry.
Washington coach Jay Gruden announced that Reed and Pryor, along with center Spencer Long, won’t play Sunday against the Saints.
RELATED: KEYS TO VICTORY AGAINST THE SAINTS
Reed hasn’t played in a few weeks as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. It seemed he might have returned last week before a setback slowed down his progress.
In his place, Vernon Davis has proved to be a sturdy backup capable of some big games.
Long injured his knee and while he played last week, he did not practice this week.
Not having Pryor is a bit of a surprise. His ankle injury popped up this week and he will see a specialist next week to examine the joint. In the middle of a disappointing season, the Redskins offense won’t lose much with his absence.
Elsewhere on the injury list, a number of players will be questionable for Sunday’s contest against the 7-2 Saints.
Perhaps most important, Trent Williams is questionable but will probably play.
MORE ON THE REDSKINS: FIVE PLAYERS UNDER PRESSURE
Receivers Ryan Grant and Brian Quick are expected to play after undergoing concussion protocol, but that will leave the Redskins with only three fully healthy wideouts: Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Maurice Harris.
Redskins' Josh Norman is using his platform as a professional football player to help those in need, and this week it earned him NFLPA's community MVP.
The cornerback has been raising funds for youth enrichment programs in the D.C. area, as well as starting a campaign to help those affected in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.
Norman's foundation, Starz24, provides backpacks and school supplies for children in need and creates initiatives for students at Jefferson Middle School Academy in D.C.. He recently raised almost $100,000 for Starz24's Imagination Team Rooms, a STEM-based "makerspaces" that will be placed in several inner city middle and high schools.
Then, when Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria back in September, Norman started a social media campaign to help those affected. The campaign brought in $150,000. Norman also donated $100,000 of his own with part of the money going to the Boys & Girls clubs in Puerto Rico.
I look at it as I’m on this earth to help people and help them be the best that they can be,” Norman said. “I have the means to do so. I’m going to do that.
Every week during the regular season, the NFLPA selects a NFL player who is making a difference in their community. They are going to be making a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or a charity of his choice in addition to an in-kind donation on behalf of their supporting partner, Delta Private Jets.
I am so honored to be recognized by the NFLPA for my work in the community,” Norman said. “All of this work is bigger than football. I want to make an impact in the lives of children who need it most and to help develop those children to help change the future.