This post was originally posted at FRS Real Life Journal on WordPress
What I loved about the Redskins defense of the 1980s, was that they could get to the QB with their front four. They didn’t have to blitz to pressure the QB, because they had three guys that you basically had to double team. With two defensive ends who were both quick enough to be linebackers and the strength of defensive ends in Dexter Manley who should be in the Hall of Fame. But that is a different blog and Charles Mann who you might be able to make a good case for him as well.
But with Dexter on the other side commanding so much attention, Charlie didn’t have to take on a lot of double teams at least with Dexter there. And then you had DT Dave Butz in the middle, 6’7 three hundred something pounds of muscle, bigger than most offensive tackles back then in the 1970s and 80s playing defensive tackle. With Darryl Grant who was built like a nose tackle playing the other defensive tackle with very good quickness who could get up the field.
So with these four DL, it meant the Redskins didn’t have to pass or run blitz much because there defensive line could do most of the work. Leaving the linebackers to finish off play rather than having to make most of the plays. The Redskins defense back in the 1980s wasn't great because they had so much talent or more talent than anyone else. Because they certainly didn't, but they had a lot of very good players and depth, who all played very well with each other. And a great defensive coach like Richie Pettibon leading them.