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David Amerson has a lot riding on his shoulders this year.
The additions of cornerback Tracy Porter and safety Ryan Clark demonstrate that the defense still lacks some leadership, especially with the retirement of London Fletcher.
While Clark immediately assumes the role of starter, the onus will be on second-year pro David Amerson to cement his place as the second corner behind DeAngelo Hall.
Amerson showed flashes of real potential last year and, unlike the majority of Washington's players, actually got better as the year went on. His game-turning interception for a touchdown against the Raiders will remain the highlight, but his skills in coverage noticeably improved, and he demonstrated a real awareness for how the play was going to develop.
Clark has been vocal in minicamp so far, coaching up his corners as to what to expect and leading adjustments prior to the snap. This was pointed out by John Keim for ESPN and mentioned as being crucial to young guys like Amerson and Bashaud Breeland.
Keim noticed an improvement from Brandon Meriweather, too, who also raised his standard of play as 2013 drew to a close. The addition of Clark will allow Meriweather the freedom to play his natural game, as long as he can stay on the field, anyway.
Verdict: Fact (just). The secondary remains the area of concern for the defense, but yet again, Gruden has taken positive steps to impact its development. It's too early to tell, obviously, but the hope isn't quite so blind this year.