Washington Redskins: 5 Players Whose Stock Is on the Rise After OTAs
The start of organized team activities for the Washington Redskins is technically May 26.
However, per the team's official website, workouts have been under way at Redskins Park for some time now. Players were permitted to undergo strength and conditioning activities as far back as April 20.
With that said, Tuesday's workouts will merely kick off Phase 3 of Washington's offseason workouts. Helmets are now permitted, but like the first two phases, there will be no contact.
Still, with the team's coaching staff present, this is an opportunity for players to make an impression.
With that in mind, here are five players who have stood out in OTAs.
S Dashon Goldson
Signed for $41.2 million to be the Bucs' enforcer on the back end, Goldson proved to be a colossal disappointment in Tampa.
Just peep the disparity in his play during his time with the Bucs and San Francisco 49ers. His final two years in San Francisco, he tallied nine interceptions and forced two fumbles. In 27 games with Tampa, he turned in a grand total of one forced fumble and one interception.
It's no wonder Washington was able to acquire his services for only a sixth-round pick.
Be that as it may, speaking to ESPN 980 (h/t ESPN's John Keim), new defensive coordinator Joe Barry expressed excitement over Goldson's arrival.
"Getting Dashon late in the game like we did is really going to help," he said. "With Dashon, just being around him the last five weeks, he’s exactly what you want in that position back there. He’s the quarterback of the secondary."
Brought in to bolster one of the league's worst pass defenses a season ago, Goldson's stock really has nowhere to go but up.
WR Jamison Crowder
Even as a fourth-round pick, it'll be an uphill battle for rookie Jamison Crowder just to see minimal playing time at receiver for Washington.
Fact is, the team's hierarchy at wideout is already set. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are firmly entrenched atop the depth chart. And despite his struggles in his first year in D.C., Andre Roberts is the third banana here.
Speaking to CBS DC's Brian McNally, Crowder all but acknowledged this reality.
“Obviously, this receiver core here is deep,” he said. “Any guy wants to start. Right now I’m just trying to come in, just learn, pick up what I can and see how I translate when the season comes.”
To accomplish this feat, Crowder has taken it upon himself to soak up all the knowledge he can from his veteran cohorts. Namely, how to act like a professional, via Stephen Czarda of Redskins.com:
I’m a guy that’s going to be in the film room and study room learning the offense as quick as possible and come out here and make sure that I’m paying attention to my details. Like I said, on the right cut and the right break and everything when I need to. I just want to show that I’m a competitor and a guy that can pick it up and learn the system quick.
Acknowledging Crowder's work in the classroom to ESPN's John Keim, head coach Jay Gruden has liked what he's seen from the rookie thus far.
"He has great football IQ," Gruden said. "He’s got all the traits we want in slot receiver, and obviously, he’s a heck of a punt returner."
CB Bashaud Breeland
Almost by default, Bashaud Breeland was the Redskins' top dog in the secondary last season.
With David Amerson's struggles and the injuries to DeAngelo Hall and Tracy Porter, the responsibility of shadowing opposing teams' top receivers fell on Breeland. While this isn't a burden you'd typically want on a rookie corner, in retrospect, it has him poised to break out in 2015.
After all, he led the team with two interceptions and 14 passes defensed his rookie year. But those aren't the only stats he led the team in.
Breeland relayed to Stephen Czarda of Redskins.com his intent to improve his technique and football knowledge in order to avoid such pitfalls, though. Should he follow through with those improvements, Washington can feel confident with Breeland and newcomer Chris Culliver in the starting lineup.
CB David Amerson
Like Goldson, Amerson is in a position where his stock can only rise.
He was rated as the worst defender in the secondary by Pro Football Focus last year. Oh, and it gets worse. As CSN Washington's Tarik El-Bashir notes, h/t PFF, he surrendered a league-worst 10 passing touchdowns.
As disastrous as his 2014 campaign was, though, there's still a silver lining. Amerson's struggles have left him with a renewed commitment to his craft. According to Barry (h/t ESPN's John Keim), Amerson, who was benched last season for missing a team meeting, is now constant presence in the classroom.
“He’s been great. He’s been locked in. He’s been a true professional in the classroom,” Barry said.
“From a skill set, he’s got everything you want. He’s just got to continue to develop the next four weeks when we get out on the field for OTAs.”
His role may be reduced with Culliver now in D.C., but even as a nickel corner, Amerson fills a substantial role in the secondary.
LB Trent Murphy
Even prior to the Redskins selecting Preston Smith in the second round of the NFL draft, Trent Murphy was preparing himself for a competition.
Speaking to Redskins.com, Murphy gave insight into his offseason regimen.
“I know [for] deadlifting, by the time I left I was [at] 550 [pounds] for six reps or eight reps,” he told Redskins.com TV's Larry Michael. “I was doing get-offs twice a week and working with some Olympic sprint coaches. So, I had a lot of positive work.”
Already stout against the run, Murphy's designs of getting stronger and more explosive were aimed at making him a better pass-rusher. He posted just 2.5 sacks as a rookie.
With Ryan Kerrigan sidelined after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, he'll have the platform in OTAs to showcase the improvements he's made.