- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A position that has been in flux for nearly a decade is there again with the Redskins opting to bring back last year’s starter, Brandon Meriweather, and Ryan Clark to serve as their stopgap safeties.

Left unimpressed by the few safeties in this year’s draft class, the Redskins will hope Meriweather and Clark can be somewhat serviceable this season as Bacarri Rambo andPhillip Thomas continue to develop.

Meriweather missed three games last season, including one after he was suspended for repeated hits to the head, and will need to stay on the straight and narrow to avoid what could be another costly suspension. With Clark’s signing, he’ll move back into the box as a strong safety — a position that suits his aggressive nature better than last year, when he was left patrolling the deep field. Clark, 34, has started and played in all but five games since the start of the 2008 season, and the Redskins hope he has at least one more year left in which he can adequately patrol the backfield.

Thomas represents the great unknown, and if he’s healthy, he could force his way onto the field. The second-year safety out of Fresno State missed nearly his entire rookie year after sustaining a Lisfranc sprain of his left foot in the first preseason game a year ago. Rambo started three games last year and will need to improve his tackling and his reads. The only other player who could have been part of the conversation this season, Tanard Jackson, was again suspended for a violation of the league’s drug policy and his career is likely over.

At cornerback, the Redskins made a commitment to DeAngelo Hall, who had one of the better seasons of his career in 2013, and will rely upon the continued development of David Amerson, a second-year player who was on the field for nearly two-thirds of all defensive snaps as a rookie. Tracy Porter, E.J. Biggers, Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield should compete for time as the nickelback, with Porter the early favorite.



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