Redskins rookies impress in mini-camp
Three day rookie mini-camps have come to an end over the weekend. As far as the Washington Redskins go, the focus looked to be on their newly drafted trio of defensive backs in David Amerson, Phillip Thomas, and Baccari Rambo. Head coach Mike Shannahan was quick to point out that the three could have big contributing roles during the coming season and even though no pads were worn during the weekend get together, Shannahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett seen a lot of promise and are ready for the summer camps to begin. No one knows till the pads can come out.
Shannahan was first to point out Thomas and Rambo as both safety positions were somewhat inconsistent with Tanard Jackson suspended all year from drug suspension and Brandon Merriweather only playing in a handful of games due to an injured knee. Shannahan said that Reed Doughty and Jordan Pugh did play better at the end of the year, but this year the Redskins are going to be looking at versatility and are going to want to have players in the safety position that can play both strong and free safety. With Phillip Thomas and Baccari Rambo, the ‘Skins will be getting two players who played both positions in college and that will help tremendously at the NFL level.
“I know that it is going to be hard to get some playing time this year because I will be competing with players who have been doing this for a while. I feel like I can contribute and it is going to depend on my learning curve and if the coaches have the confidence to put me back there” said Thomas. During the rookie camp, Thomas played in the box and at strong safety while Rambo manned the free safety position. Raheem Morris was quick to point out that Rambo looked better suited for free safety because he could read the QB very well and that he has a huge knack for the ball. “It is going to be how quick that they can learn the game at this level that will depend on how quick that he and Phillip can be assimilated into this defense” said Morris about Rambo.
Second round pick David Amerson was present at the rookie camp and Shannahan stated that Amerson will be important for the Redskins this season because there needed to be depth at the cornerback position. While DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are back for 2013, Amerson should see some playing time and will be key during certain defensive situations. Amerson said that the had an explanation for why his interception total dropped at N.C. State in 2012 to 5 after he had an ACC record breaking 13 in the 2011 campaign.
“After having that good year in 2011, I became too greedy. It was definitely something that I had to learn from. I was trying to make every play and was trying to make every play that came my way to turn into an interception. I was losing sight of the fundamentals of the game and it started to really hurt my play. It is something that I will have to grow from to be successful in this league.” said Amerson after the camp.
Jordan Reed, the tight end from Florida that was drafted and getting high praises from Shannahan, did not participate in the camp due to a bruised knee. There were 48 players that were invited as tryout players to the camp and one of them of note was RB Shawn Morris from Birmingham Southern University. Morris certainly has the genes and family pedigree for the NFL as his brother is none other than the 2012 rookie sensation for the Redskins in Alfred Morris. Another player in the rookie camp with Washington Redskins ties was OL Andrew Robiskie from Western Illinois. Robiskie is the son of former Redskins head coach Terry Robiskie and Shannahan said that he looked promising as well.
Quotes provided by the Washington Post.