Redskins Notebook: Can Brown return to form at ILB?

Washington Redskins inside linebacker Zach Brown (53) had 84 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 13 games last season.Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Brown recovers from a sore Achilles tendon

RICHMOND, Va. — In their quest to build a credible defense, the Redskins decided to commit to inside linebacker Zach Brown, a 2016 Pro Bowler in Buffalo who was leading the NFL in tackles last season with Washington before missing the final three games with a sore Achilles tendon.

Brown had signed a one-year deal in 2017, but while he struggled at times in coverage, his sideline-to-sideline speed was enough to convince the Redskins they needed to keep him. The deal was for three years. The hope is a full season of Brown and Mason Foster, who missed 11 games with a shoulder injury, will solidify the middle and allow younger players like Martrell Spaight and Shaun Dion Hamilton to develop.

“(Brown is) as gifted a linebacker as there is, really,” Gruden said. “He can run, he can hit, and all that stuff. I think learning a new defense, there were some times where we were out of place.”

The Redskins aren’t too concerned about injuries entering camp save for defensive lineman Stacy McGee, who had groin surgery last month. Offensive linemen Trent Williams (right knee) and Morgan Moses (right ankle) and running back Chris Thompson (broken right leg) are all expected to participate in training camp. The coaching staff might limit all three players early in camp, but all three should be ready for Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.