The Redskins’ defensive line has a number of new faces. The unit also has a new nickname: Capital Punishment.
“We came together as a group,” Terrance Knighton said Thursday on NFL Network, explaining the name’s origins. “The D-line is a special group. I think we’re probably the tightest-knit group on the team and I think that’s probably for any team.”
The revamped line features Jason Hatcher, the lone returning starter, as well as newcomers Knighton, Stephen Paea and Ricky Jean-Francois. Gone are Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield, who were released by new GM Scot McCloughan, and Jarvis Jenkins, who was not re-signed.
With so many changes, the new group, spurred on by Hatcher, figured the time was right for a new identity.
“We just wanted to come up with something that makes us stand out and give us a name and something to have fun with,” Knighton continued, speaking to host Dan Hellie. “Hatcher came up with the name and said that’s what we’re going to start calling ourselves. We just wanted to create an identity for ourselves and just have something fun to play with. We’re excited about the guys that we have in the room and we’re just looking forward to changing this thing around.”
Knighton also said he’s optimistic that fourth-year quarterback Robert Griffin III will rebound from a couple of difficult seasons.
“He has all the tools to be a great quarterback,” Knighton said. “I think his main thing is just confidence, just going out there every day and just proving that he’s the leader. Just doing things right all of the time. He probably gets a lot of criticism from everyone…He had a great rookie year so he put a lot of pressure on himself. But I think he’s ready to prove everyone wrong. We have a lot of good leaders on the team. They bring somebody like me in who I’m going to share my knowledge of what I learned from Peyton Manning and DeMarcus Ware and guys like that in Denver, and just share with him. Right now it’s just about building confidence for the quarterback.”
Knighton and Griffin, however, weren’t always on the best of terms. In Week 8 of the 2013 season, in fact, Knighton knocked RG3 out of the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. As it turned out, though, the injury was not serious.
“Yeah I definitely do,” Knighton said, asked if he remembered the hit. “A lot of my buddies are from the DMV area and they were like, ‘You just ruined our season and you just knocked out our franchise quarterback.’ My brothers loved it. My family loved it. It’s definitely one of those hits I’ll probably remember for the rest of my life.”