The Redskins signed E.J. Biggers in March and drafted David Amerson on Friday to do the same thing—play cornerback on the outside. That they will compete for playing time didn’t seem to dampen Biggers’ excitement about how the Redskins used the 51st-overall pick.
“That was a great, great pick,” Biggers said Sunday during a promotional appearance at the Bowie Baysox game in Bowie. “He’s a ball hawk, a great talent at the corner position. He’s going to be a steal in the draft. He could have easily been the first corner taken.”
Biggers is a self-described college football fan, as most NFL players are. He and a friend spent Saturday in Georgetown watching all the TV coverage of Rounds 4 through 7. He is familiar with Amerson’s 13 interceptions in 2011, the second-most all-time in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
“It was unreal,” Biggers said of Amerson’s sophomore campaign. “He’s a great corner. The team sees a lot in him. If he needs anything from me, I’m willing to help in any way I can. I’m just trying to help this team become as good as it can be. Whoever is playing, I’m going to be rooting and trying to help in any way I can.”
Biggers seems to have a sound understanding of his role after signing a one-year deal and reuniting with Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris, who was Tampa Bay’s head coach when the Buccaneers drafted him in the seventh round in 2009. DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson, Washington’s starting cornerbacks last season, are back, and now Amerson also will compete for playing time.
“Two starters are here,” Biggers said. “I’m just here to help in any way I can. Wherever that is on the field that the coaches need me, I’m willing to do it. That’s the kind of guy I am. Going in there and competing and trying to help the team become as good as it can be. When guys are competing, that just brings out the best in everybody and makes a team that much better.”
Biggers raved about how his new teammates have welcomed him. He was pleasantly surprised one day when safety Brandon Meriweather made sure Biggers was coming along with a group of defensive backs to eat lunch in the Redskins Park cafeteria. Apparently, that doesn’t happen everywhere.
He also is glad to be working with Morris again.
“A guy that drafted you, that knows you, that knows what you well and don’t do well and knows how to push you and knows where to help you out,” Biggers said. “He knows what your weak points are—that’s what he’s focusing on—that’s the kind of guy Rah is.
“He’s a guy that’s going to let you play. What’s comfortable for you, he’s going to let you play, as long as you’re doing it within the scheme. Coach Haslett, same way. Everybody has been so welcoming. It has been great this couple weeks. I’m ready to see what this team is going to do.”
One element of the Redskins defense, in particular, stands out to Biggers two weeks into the offseason program: how much coaches like to mix coverages.
“Man-to-man is always good,” he said. “Rah and Coach Haslett, they use a lot of everything. You don’t want to be anywhere where you’re just doing one thing because it gets old for offenses too and they start to pick you apart.
“So just doing a variety of things and getting your footwork down pat. That’s a big thing with Raheem. He’s a big footwork guy. And being visual on the quarterback; that’s how you make plays. You have to see when the ball is coming out. You have to know who has the ball, things like that. a variety of defenses, that’s amazing. We do a lot of different things—corner/safety interchangeable—everything like that makes a team that much better.”
If you missed my video of Biggers throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Baysox game, click here.