Everyone’s familiar with the Redskins’ stars, players such as Robert Griffin III, London Fletcher and Alfred Morris. But who are some of the important players no one is talking about, the team’s unsung heroes? Over the next week, reporter Tarik El-Bashir will take a look at five of them.
Name: Barry Cofield
Position: Nose tackle
Contract: Signed through 2016
Why he’s notable: In a 3-4 defense, nose tackles don’t get much glory. But that doesn’t mean Barry Cofield’s teammates don’t recognize the job the seven-year pro does each week.
In a mid-season vote, Cofield was elected a captain by his peers, joining London Fletcher as the other defender with a ‘C’ stitched on his jersey. It marked the first time since Cofield’s days at Northwestern that the-lead-by-example veteran had served as a captain.
In the Redskins’ scheme, Cofield isn’t going to rack up huge stats. His primary responsibility is to tie up interior offensive linemen and prevent them from blocking inside linebackers – and he did that quite well in 2012. Indeed, Fletcher and Perry Riley both enjoyed strong seasons, with Fletcher amassing a team-high 139 tackles and Riley making career-best 129.
Cofield did well for himself, too. The 28-year-old accumulated 36 tackles (his best total as a Redskin), 2.5 sacks, six defended passes and started all 16 games for the fourth consecutive season. According to ProFootballFocus, he also recorded 15 quarterback hits and 17 hurries.