Gregg Williams' defenses have always been linebacker-friendly. In 2005, his scheme was particularly friendly to Lemar Marshall, especially in recent weeks as the Redskins won five games in a row to finish with a 10-6 record and a playoff berth.
Marshall recorded four interceptions, becoming the first linebacker to lead the defense in interceptions since Andre Collins accomplished the feat in 1994.
Marshall's interception in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 31-20, playoff-clinching win over the Philadelphia Eagles was a key play in the game. On the next play after the interception, Clinton Portis raced around left end for a 22-yard touchdown run, giving the Redskins a 24-20 lead.
"I was in zone coverage and I was reading the quarterback's eyes," Marshall said. "I thought he was going to check it down to the back, but then I just read his eyes, caught it and the rest is history."
In his first season at middle linebacker and second as a full-time starter, Marshall also led the Redskins' defense with 132 tackles.
"Every single week, Lemar has gotten better," Williams said. "He has a very good confidence about what we want on defense and what I'm thinking. He has taken over that thought process out on the field during the middle of the ballgame. He's able to make adjustment now on his own before coaches have to step in and do that."
Added Marshall: "It's been a big transition for me, and for everyone else on this team. I know I can play this game, so to me it doesn't really matter what position I play."