By Connor J. Byrne on September 1, 2006 12:33 AM
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Key additions: S Adam Archuleta (free agency); DE Andre Carter (free agency); LB Rocky McIntosh (draft, second round).
Key losses: LB LaVar Arrington (signed with Giants); S Matt Bowen (signed with Bills); S Ryan Clark (signed with Steelers).
Biggest strength: Gregg Williams. When looking at the Washington Redskins ' defense, it's easy to see the players making it up are above average, but aren't exactly the most talented bunch in the National Football League. However, because defensive chief Gregg Williams knows exactly how to utilize his players, the unit has the potential to be dominant. He's among the few defensive heads in football that possesses the ability to turn castoffs like Pierson Prioleau into relatively legitimate performers.
Now that Washington added the likes of Archuleta, Carter and McIntosh, it opens up even more possibilities for Williams during the regular season. The blitz-happy assistant will need to be on top of his play-calling game this year in order for his defense to stifle opposing NFC East offenses, led by quarterbacks Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb and Drew Bledsoe. It won't be easy, but don't bet against the highly respected Williams.
Final outlook: The Redskins' defense was superb at times last season, but was often inconsistent. Though it spent much of the preseason getting beaten up by opposing offenses, don't look for the group to be in the same shambles come regular-season time. In fact, look for the same old swarming ferocity from the Washington defense in its Sept. 11 opener against the Minnesota Vikings .