One of the Redskins’ biggest needs entering the offseason was safety. It remains a question mark because there’s no veteran who is a proven starter and no rookie was drafted high enough to be considered a sure bet immediate starter. But both safeties drafted, Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo, have something to offer. So to find out more about Rambo, I talked with Scott Lakatos, Georgia’s secondary coach since 2010. He talked about his growth as a player, why he’s a good ballhawk, how Rambo responded to his troubles, what he must work on and he even had an opinion on Florida tight end Jordan Reed, the Redskins’ third-round pick.
Here is an excerpt from that conversation. To read more, sign up for the email report.
Q: What are the Redskins getting in Bacarri Rambo?
A: I think they’re getting a guy that loves and respects football. He’s going to be somebody that will work very hard at becoming a really good player. He has a lot of skills he can use, but he’s not a guy who thinks he’s done developing. He knows he has to continue to work at getting better at the game for as long as he plays it. He has the right attitude. He’s always a guy who wants to learn and he’s a guy that will probably know what’s going on around him. He’ll probably help the other people on defense with the ability to communicate, make calls pre-snap and make calls during the play. He’ll help the secondary from that standpoint.
Q: Why is he such a good ballhawk?
A: Sometimes you don’t know why people do it. One of the reasons maybe is because he was a high school quarterback. He was a very good high school quarterback and they ran an option offense. From what I understand he was a dual-threat guy. He throws the ball well. He has a good feel for the passing game so he looks at it the way a quarterback would look at it. That’s why he’s a guy who in his career has always been around the ball. He really should be the all-time leading interception maker in the history of Georgia, but he had one that didn’t count in our bowl game. They didn’t review it for some reason but it [would have been] an interception. So it’s an unofficial stat.
Q: We know about the suspensions. What was your take on what happened and how did he respond to his troubles?
A: I just think it made him grow up a little bit. It made him realize what was really important in life and the way he handled it was awesome. He was a great teammate. He showed up to training camp and worked his tail off all summer. He practiced hard every day. Even though he knew he wasn’t going to play you wouldn’t have known that by watching him practice. In the meeting rooms he did not sit in a corner and mope. He sat up front and spoke. He helped prepare other guys who were going to play. It was hard for him on Friday nights to sit at home when the team left but he handled it right. He hung around with better people. He surrounded himself with people who supported what he wanted to do and that helped get him over that hump. I’m not concerned with it at this point. I think he’s ready to do what he’s supposed to do and he’s prepared to make himself a great pro.