Redskins hope Junior Galette provides matchup problems

RICHMOND, Va. -- They added to the pass rush in the offseason, but they couldn’t find what they landed Friday: a rangy pass-rusher capable of winning off the corner. That’s why the Redskins players are focusing more on Junior Galette’s talent and not his off-field issues.

Galette, who has 22 sacks the past two seasons combined, will provide the Redskins more of a presence opposite Ryan Kerrigan. They do have second-year Trent Murphy and rookie Preston Smith. Murphy is not a speed guy and Smith looks like what he is: a rookie trying to learn to play in the NFL. Murphy has bulked up this offseason, but he’s still coming off a 2.5-sack season and not everyone in the organization views him as a long-term starter.

But, putting his off-field issues aside, Galette provides the Redskins' rush more versatility, something they already had because of their depth up front. However, Galette’s skill set is different on the outside.

“The thing that sticks out to me is matchups,” Kerrigan said. “If we like Junior’s style of rushing on one particular tackle, we can have him over there. If they want me on another one, we can do that. We’re not similar rushers so that flexibility allows you to take advantage of matchups.”

The Redskins will move their linebackers around regardless, and Kerrigan would do some of that with Brian Orakpo.

“He’s a little different than [Orakpo],” Kerrigan said. “Rak is such a big, strong guy and had that great dip and lean. Junior seems like he can just bend around you. He has a really flexible, athletic body.”

Galette’s addition continues an upgrade in defensive talent since the end of last season. The Redskins have added anywhere from four to six starters, but also multiple players as key backups. Galette might not start, but he’ll be a situational pass-rusher if nothing else.

“I know he’s a pass-rusher and can get to the quarterback,” Redskins end Jason Hatcher said. “It’s rare to find that and he has that specialty in him.

“We’ve got so many weapons, man. We have to make it jump off paper and come to life. We should be a damn good defense, but I can’t sit here and say it all day. If we don’t put the work in and make it come together, we’re just wasting our time. I’ve been on teams talented like this overall and we won four games.”

Murphy’s playing time might be reduced with Galette’s arrival. But that’s not his focus.

“It makes our group that much deeper,” Murphy said. “It looks like he’s fast off the ball. When you’ve got as many guys working as you can, it’s a lot of people for offenses to stop.”