- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
Redskins’ new-look secondary starts with 3 safeties
Reed Doughty knows a coaching moment when he sees it. It’s a bit hard to believe, but this will be the seventh NFL season for the sixth-round pick out of Northern Colorado. That makes him the third-longest-tenured member of the Washington Redskins and, by far, the dean of the Redskins‘ secondary.
So after newly acquired safety Tanard Jackson covered a receiver underneath during team drills Thursday, leaving open a receiver deep down the left sideline, Doughty sought Jackson out for a conversation.
Such breakdowns could be common as the Redskins prepare for the 2012 season. Washington will have two new first-string safeties, an overhaul that represents the biggest uncertainty on an otherwise formidable defense.
“It’s a matter of finding guys that are athletic and can be cohesive on the back end,” Doughty said. “If we can communicate, then we can make some plays.”
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett concluded the 2011 season by emphasizing the importance of stabilizing the safety position. That quest began this spring with competition among several veterans looking to re-establish themselves.
Strong safety Brandon Meriweather, a Pro Bowler as recently as 2010, is on his third team since last summer. Free safeties Jackson and Madieu Williams also were available in free agency because their previous employers allowed them to leave.
The Redskins, then, are banking on those players’ hunger to reprove themselves.
“I ain’t ate in about three years,” Meriweather cracked.
The overhaul was necessary after a rocky 2011.
LaRon Landry, the sixth overall draft choice in 2007, was allowed to leave in free agency after Achilles tendon and leg muscle injuries sidelined him for 15 games over the past two seasons. Free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe was released after the team concluded injuries and age (he was 30 last season) slowed him.
Now Meriweather will enter training camp next month as the favorite to start at strong safety. The 24th overall pick in 2007 was released by the New England Patriots during final cuts last summer despite having made the Pro Bowl the two previous seasons. His individualistic style did not sit well with Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Meriweather, 28, signed with the Chicago Bears the day after New England waived him. However, he played sparingly. Meriweather excels near the line of scrimmage, but the Bears play with two deep safeties.
He got off to a negative start in Washington, though, when he was arrested in late April for driving under the influence.
“We feel like, if they behave themselves the right way, they stay,” Shanahan said. “But if not, we go in a different direction.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- REDSKINS 2013: Breaking down the schedule, game by game
- NFL 2013: Ranking all 32 teams in terms of staying power
- REDSKINS 2013: Washington seeks staying power among NFL's elite
- With no blueprint, Redskin Hankerson seeks success as dad
- Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson learning to manage family life with football career
Latest Blog Entries
- Angry NTSB ousts railroad union from N.Y. train crash site
- Xbox One, Playstation 4 games penalize users for cursing in their own homes
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Wingate University on lockdown after 2 shot dead
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The only thing broken about our immigration policy has been our collective cowardice as a nation to enforce our current immigration laws
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.