Allen wanted improved chemistry

He used it as a general term. Then he also made it clear it was something the Redskins needed more of this season. It’s one word: chemistry.

Though the Redskins maintained all season that it existed in the locker room, general manager Bruce Allen wasn’t sold. So when the Redskins entered free agency, it was a priority.

"We wanted to address the team chemistry as much as the talent,” Allen said on Friday. “As I said at the end of the year I think we failed in that last year and it’s not what we’re going to be.”

In the craziness of the last month of the season, the locker room did not have a great divide as some Redskins teams of the past. And most of the issues surrounded the coaching staff’s future and the relationship between quarterback Robert Griffin III and the coaches.

But Allen wanted a different culture in the building. That’s one point he said he emphasized in free agency.

“The key was not only to find the right talent, but it was also trying to find the right chemistry and culture makeup to help all aspects of [the team],” Allen said. “Obviously you check into the type of person he is and how he fits in the locker room and his leadership qualities.”

Defensive lineman Jason Hatcher, signed from Dallas, considered himself a leader with the Cowboys. Receiver Andre Roberts comes across more as a lead-by-example guy. Which is necessary as well. They also signed three linebackers who have been known as much for their special teams work as anything. That, too, is necessary.

“You see it everywhere in sports, not just the NFL,” Allen said. “Teams with the right blend of veteran leadership and young players willing to learn from coaches and veteran leadership are the ones that perform well. We’ll have a good blend on the team.”