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Cofield: 'We Want To Be A Top-5 Defense'


Entering training camp as the reigning NFC East champions, there are high expectations for the Washington Redskins, both externally and inside the walls of the new training facility.

As far as nose tackle and defensive captain Barry Cofield is concerned, the greatest of those expectations may lie with the defense.

"We want to be a top-five, top-10 defense," Cofield stated after Wednesday's team conditioning test.

Although the defense was riddled with injuries in 2012, Cofield says nothing is holding the team back heading into 2013.

"We're not in the business of making excuses," he said. "It's like we've got some new toys with the guys that we've brought back from injury.

"A guy like [Brian] Orakpo, a [Brandon] Meriweather, guys like that, that we expected to really help us last year who are just hungry and starving to get out on the field and help us this year.

"It's extremely exciting and we expect to improve in every aspect."

Last season, the Redskins' defense finished in the top-10 in only one major defensive category, but the unit is yearning to match the team's offensive firepower in 2013.

The veteran nose tackle said the team has the talent to reach the upper-echelons of the league, looking to experience, good health and fresh young talent in the secondary.

"I think we can be a lot better. Personally, I expect improvements in every aspect, statistically and just the product on the field," he articulated. "Coach [Jim] Haslett is a great coach, he's a great defensive mind and with all the new parts that we've added, that we've brought back.

"He's extremely excited and we feed off of him so we expect to be top-five, top-10 defense. Anything less than that, we'll be disappointed."

As far as the team goals as a whole, Cofield said the team's seven-game streak to the playoffs allowed the team to maintain its underdog mentality despite winning the division.

"We're not going to carry ourselves like we've got anything figured out," he said. "We feel like we have a lot to prove, our back is against the wall and if we keep that approach we can be successful."




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