Last offseason, Redskins team officials talked openly about acquiring a defensive tackle who could help collapse the pocket and apply pressure up the middle.
The prototype that team officials pointed to was New York Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck, who emerged last season with 10 sacks.
The Redskins looked to free agency and the draft. Finally, they settled on one of their own.
Kedric Golston had many of the traits that the team was looking for in a pass-rushing defensive tackle. The 6-4, 298-pounder dropped his weight last offseason and beat out Anthony Montgomery for the Redskins' starting job opposite Cornelius Griffin.
Golston has started every game this season, recording 22 tackles, two sacks and six quarterback pressures.
"Kedric has had a good season," defensive coordinator Greg Blache said. "His numbers haven't always been great, but I'm not worried about numbers. He has been a solid force for us."
Golston has a high motor on the football field, something that Blache wants from his defensive linemen. It's appropriate that Golston has become a NASCAR fan.
"Kedric? He's never going to let you get comfortable," Blache said. "He's going to push you."
Said Golston: "Our defensive coaches are looking for a guy who is going to be hard-nosed and who is going to listen to what they have to say. That works in my favor, because I'm not the most athletic guy."
As a sixth-round draft pick in 2006, Golston was not expected to see much playing time in his rookie season. He made quick strides, though, starting 13 games and producing 59 tackles.
Last year, Montgomery got most of the playing time as coaches sought a bug run-stuffer in the middle. Golston saw limited time, recording 18 tackles and playing on special teams.
In 2008, Golston re-claimed the starting job with a strong preseason.
"I'm just trying to get better and help this team win football games," Golston said. "With experience, I'm a lot more confident in what I'm doing, and I know more about what the coaches expect."
Golston's two sacks this year came in Week 3 against Arizona, when he dragged down Kurt Warner, and Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh, when he tackled Ben Roethisberger for a 1-yard loss.
It was one of five sacks for the Redskins' defense, a season high.
"It's exciting because we put forth a lot of work and to go out and make some plays to help our team win is exciting," Golston said. "We work so hard at it and for it to pay off is always a good thing."
Overall, the Redskins have not generated enough sacks to the liking of Blache. The defense has just 15 sacks in nine games.
Pass coverage has been strong, though, giving time for defensive linemen to get some pressure.
No matter how they're getting it done, the result is a 6-3 record.
"Of course we want a lot of sacks, but I don't think that anyone would substitute sacks for wins," Golston said. "If we were leading the NFL in sacks and we were 2-5, then who cares about it? We are trying to get more sacks, but we'll take wins any day."