The Redskins may have found the man to anchor their defensive line in Barry Cofield.
Cofield, 27, played six seasons in the New York Giants 4-3 defense, but he is excited to convert to the Redskins' 3-4 scheme He signed with the Redskins as an unrestricted free agent in July.
"I love the 3-4," the 6-4, 306-pound Cofield said. "I think it's the most effective defense in the league."
Cofield's impact could be immediate. The Redskins host his former team on Sept. 11 in the regular season opener at FedExField.
"It's going to be a pleasure," Cofield said about competing against Eli Manning and the Giants' offense. "It's going to be exciting. It's the reason you play the game. To go out and play well in that scenario against my old team and the significance of it being on Sept. 11, it would give me a great feeling."
He admitted that he will be extra pumped up for the game.
"It's great that the Giants are Week 1," he said. "It's my first time in a real game in front of the fans in Washington. I'm going to be going off of adrenaline, and hopefully after the first play or so I can settle down."
Cofield is an upgrade at the nose tackle position for a defense that finished 31st in overall defense.
Cofield could also see time from the defensive end position, according to defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.
"Barry has great hand usage, he stays square, he's a powerful guy," Haslett said. "He's exactly what you're looking for in a nose. He's not 350, but he's not too light, either – he's somewhere in the middle, but he still brings a lot of power. Talk to the linebackers and they will tell you how free they are attacking the line of scrimmage."
Asked about transition to the nose tackle position, Cofield replied: "A lot of it is just mindset. If you don't want to go in and play nose tackle and do all the grunt work, then it's going to be hard for you no matter how big you are. I have a great mentality and a great outlook and I'm excited about the opportunity."
For the Giants, Cofield played in 79 games and posted 210 tackles and 10.5 sacks, four coming last season.
Head coach Mike Shanahan was impressed with Cofield's play for the division-rival Giants.
"He was a guy on the defensive line that was in the game the majority of the time and you could tell he was a team leader," Shanahan said of Cofield. "You could tell that he took so much pride in everything he did."
Cofield is excited to start a new chapter of his career.
"Washington gave me a great opportunity and showed me they really wanted me," Cofield said. "If you work hard and do all the right things, you want to be rewarded. That's what the Redskins did for me."