Redskins' Roster Review: Breaking Down Washington's Defensive Backs

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Redskins' Roster Review: Breaking Down Washington's Defensive Backs
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Josh Wilson might be the best corner on Washington's roster.

The Washington Redskins had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL last season, but that moniker doesn’t look to stand much longer. 

They didn’t make a huge splash in free agency or in the draft, but they added some quality pieces to ensure improvement. David Amerson, Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo were all great picks in the draft, and E.J. Biggers was a nice free-agent signing. 

The trio of rookie defensive backs have been turning heads in OTAs, and could very well find themselves on the field sooner than later. Add those four guys to a stable that already includes Josh Wilson, and you got yourself a pretty keen group of defenders. 

What was once the Redskins’ greatest weakness might have actually become a strength.

 

The Good

While it is good to temper your expectations when talking about rookies, there is much reason to be hopeful with these guys. 

Rambo especially has been putting people on notice that he is ready to play some football, and Thomas is making a case for himself as a starting safety. 

Wilson is another bright spot in Washington’s secondary. Not many realize this, but last year was one of Wilson’s best seasons statistically. He recorded the second-most tackles in a season (74) in his career, along with two interceptions and a sack. 

Richard Crawford is another guy who was starting to make an impact toward the end of last season. Although he will probably find the field most as a returner, he definitely showed some promise down the stretch in 2012. 

Chase Minnifield is another guy whom many are looking forward to seeing. We haven’t really seen his NFL career get started yet as he got hurt before the start of last season, but hopes are high. 

 

The Bad

There is not a whole lot of bad at this position, but DeAngelo Hall fits the bill sometimes. 

Rob Carr/Getty Images

The main reason for slotting Hall into this category is his inconsistency. Sometimes he has games where he looks like a Pro Bowler, and others where he looks like Pee-Wee Herman in football pads; just clueless and lost. 

We saw Hall get burned a good amount of times last season, but he shouldn’t carry all the blame. He was playing without any competent safety help over the top, but that should be remedied now that Rambo, Thomas and Brandon Meriweather are in the mix. 

Reed Doughty is another guy who should be let go of soon. It is understandable to keep him around as a veteran influence for the younger guys, but Doughty has not made a big enough impact to warrant him staying around much longer. If he steps up his level of play then he will surely silence myself and his other critics, but as of right now he is on some pretty thin ice. 

Especially now that Washington has brought in guys to compete for the safety spots and don’t have to default to Doughty, he may be out of a job before the season even starts. It’s unlikely, given the uncertainty of how Rambo and co. will play, but it’s definitely a possibility.

 

The Ugly 

There is not a ton of ugly in Washington’s secondary, but I’ll put Brandon Meriweather here for the sake of argument. 

Meriweather is not in any way a bad player, in fact he’s a pretty good player, but injuries have plagued him recently, and that is a genuine cause for concern. 

If Meriweather can stay healthy, he will certainly make a sizable impact for the Redskins. But if he can’t, then he might not be on the roster past the 2013 season. 

Overall, the Redskins have a pretty good secondary, which is something no one was saying six months ago. 

It’s obvious that there have been major improvements made, but now that the pieces are in place, it’s time for them to deliver. 

Washington’s defense is something to be excited about.

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