Through the first two preseason games, the Redskins defense -- under first-year defensive coordinator Joe Barry -- has set the tone when they've been on the field. On Thursday, they recorded four sacks.
New Washington Redskins defensive coordinator wants his players active and aggressive, setting the tone and not playing "like robots."
Through the first two preseason games, the unit has shown flashed of its forceful mentality. On Thursday, the added to their sack total with four against the Lions and the total number now stands at nine.
The first sack recorded was from cornerback Justin Rogers who came with the blitz from the nickel position on a 3rd-and-9 play from the Redskins' 24-yard line.
"Every corner wants to blitz," Rogers said after the game. "You only get so many, and you don't get too many opportunities so when you do get them you try to make the most out of it. I was happy to get that sack."
Rogers said the offense picked up on his blitz, but they simply couldn't stop him.
"I was touched [by] the guy, gave him a little move and just kept working," he said. "Didn't give up on the play, the quarterback held the ball a little bit and I ended up catching him from behind."
During the second quarter, defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois picked up his first sack of the preseason, taking down Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky for a seven-yard loss.
"I saw the guard. He wasn't going to give me his inside so I went to his outside, lifted his arm up, came through, and when I saw the quarterback just ball up, I knew that had to be a sack," Jean Francois said. "Anytime a quarterback balls up and flinch its over."
Just as he did last week, Jackson Jeffcoat picked up a sack just before the halftime whistle.
The college defensive end turned NFL linebacker said he "got a good jump on the ball" and was able to get around the line for a hit on the quarterback.
"The guy didn't shoot his hands so I beat him off the edge, leaned, got around him, tried to strip the ball out and pull the quarterback down," he said. "Get it out and make a play."
Houston Bates, meanwhile, built off of a two-sack performance in the preseason opener by recording a now team-leading third sack.
"We actually studied some film and when they had X-Nasty with the wide receiver cut down split, the left handed quarterback likes to boot to his left," Bates said. "So I read it and saw the formation and knew what they were doing, got up the field, chipped the chipper and got the sack. Film study is always good."
A college free agent eager to grasp any opportunity that will lead him up the depth chart, Bates says his confidence is "definitely at its highest" right now.
"I hadn't even had this many sacks starting out in college like the first three games," he said. "So my confidence is definitely at an all-time high right now."