- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2014

From training camp to the preseason, Redskins safety Bacarri Rambo insisted that he had improved as a tackler. He said he picked up tips from veteran Ryan Clark and learned to take better angles to the ball. At one point, he called the difference between last season and this season “night and day.”

On Sunday afternoon in Houston, however, Rambo showed that he still has room for improvement. In the second quarter of Washington’s 17-6 loss to the Texans, the second-year safety was the victim of a blown coverage and then missed an open-field tackle on wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who went on to score what was a 76-yard touchdown pass.

Rambo took responsibility for the missed tackle Monday morning.

“I was just trying to make a play,” he said. “I was just playing my side of the field, doing my responsibility. I didn’t see the guy. I’ll take the blame for that. I should’ve been better on that play.”

First-year coach Jay Gruden indicated that Rambo’s missed tackle was the final mistake of several on the play. He said the defense “fouled up” the coverage.

“We had a couple guys break it,” Gruden said. “But ultimately when they make a big play we’ve got to get them on the ground for a 25-yard gain, and missed tackles twice was unfortunate. But we were supposed to have somebody trail him underneath and blew the coverage.”

Defensive captain DeAngelo Hall was the only cornerback on Rambo’s side of the field on that particular play, but he shaded toward the middle of the field. It’s unclear whether he, or someone else, was supposed to provide support in front of Rambo.

“It’s a blown coverage,” Hall said Sunday night. “We should have had a man underneath. Bacarri was trying to read the quarterback and, you know, [Texans quarterback Ryan] Fitzpatrick did a good job of going one way and then taking his eyes right back. You know, we’ve got to get the guy on the ground. Get the guy on the ground and, you know, we’ll get a chance to play another down. 

Rambo said he did not see Hopkins until the ball left Fitzpatrick’s hand. And when he did see the Hopkins, Rambo was caught off balance and lost his footing.

“I should’ve saw him coming across the field instead of reading the quarterback for as long as I did,” said Rambo, who finished with two tackles in the game. “I’ll take the blame for that. But the only thing I can do is correct myself on it and now allow it to happen again.”

The Redskins signed strong safety Duke Ihenacho, who started 17 games for the Denver Broncos last season, on a waiver claim a little more than a week ago. Ihenacho only played a handful of snaps on special teams but could start in Rambo’s place Sunday against the Jaguars, according to Gruden.

“I think Duke, with another week of practice, will be able to give us some production on defense and on special teams more so than he did, obviously, this week,” Gruden said.

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