If you're looking for a reason to buy into the 2019 Redskins — and plenty of fans are — then direct your eyes straight to their defensive line. In fact, one player is already doing just that.
"I'm excited because of how well our defense is playing," Nick Sundberg told the Redskins Talk podcast on Tuesday. "Watching that D-line fly around is a lot of fun. They're young and they're a force."
Sundberg's a smart man. That unit, led by Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis, figures to be a game-wrecking, running back tossing, quarterback harassing group all season long.
The long snapper isn't the only one to be extremely complimentary of the defensive line, either. All offseason long, it's a spot that's drawn praise from other players, coaches, and analysts.
Of course, and this is something Allen loves to point out, words don't add up to anything. Those guys still need to produce, or else all this talk is a waste.
However, it's still fun to bask in all the hype that's building behind Washington's defensive front. So, in case you're one of those fans who need something to believe in, these nine glowing quotes about that position should help get you there:
Jim Tomsula (from minicamp): "I feel really good about the people that are in the room. It's the quality of guys. We all talk all about how long their arms are, how many times they bench press this or that, they talk about what the 40 is. The one thing that gets overlooked a lot is the type of individual it is, the makeup of the guy... They're just really, really good guys that can turn it on on the football field."
Jay Gruden (from minicamp): "It's the effort, the tenacity they play with, the accountability they demand of each other. It's everything you want in a player both physically and, obviously, mentally and leadership-wise."
Allen (from minicamp): "When you have a group of guys who hold you accountable, it really pushes you to be your best every day. The thing we always say is, ‘You should never feel comfortable.’ We try to make everything and everybody uncomfortable in this building. That is just our goal every day, to make it as uncomfortable as possible for everybody to help promote growth."
Rob Ryan (from minicamp) on how the DL makes his job as LBs coach easier: "I like this setup. [Tomsula's] got some great players upfront. He's such a great teacher, it's been a lot of fun just to watch here. [The linebackers] are clean on a lot of stuff that usually you have to work through."
Josh Norman (from training camp): "I don’t even want to talk about D-line because I get [excited] just talking about those guys because they are just so freakin' phenomenal – they really are. Those bulls up front really make everything go for us. If they can thread through the offensive line like they’ve been doing... oh man, we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with."
Brandon Scherff (from training camp): "We’ve got an amazing D-front upfront, and even the guys behind them are doing a really good job. That's what we like going against in practice, you know, we're practicing against some of the best guys in the NFL."
NFL Network's Charley Casserly (from two weeks ago): "Matt Ioannidis is one of the most under-the-radar good pass rushers in the NFL."
National NFL writer Doug Farrar (from last week): "Been reviewing Daron Payne's rookie tape this morning. Frightening combination of short-area speed and aggressive strength. Double-digit sack potential in a well-rounded overall package."
NFL Network's Brian Baldinger (after Bengals preseason matchup): "Redskins defensive line had a dominant performance... Will be a problem."
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