Redskins email report: Hope at safety? Maybe

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

One longtime general manager in this week's email report referred to the Redskins new safeties as "patchwork guys." It's tough to argue. Brandon Meriweather, Tanard Jackson and Madieu Williams all come with baggage, whether from injuries, fading play or drug suspensions.

But there's one reason to believe the safety position could be stabilized, at least compared to last season. After all, LaRon Landry and O.J. Atogwe barely practiced last summer and dealt with injuries throughout the season. That made it tough on the corners to get to know them. And for a corner such as Josh Wilson in his first season with new safeties, that can make a difference.

Conversely, having an offseason to work with them and understand how they play certain routes, can help.

“You have to understand when you get in this type of motion, how the safety is going to play this route,” Wilson said, “when he sees a cross, how he’ll play that cross. When you get an out and up, where is he going to be on an out and up? Just understanding and knowing how he’ll play it helps.

“I have a good feel just knowing the guys and playing with them before,” Wilson said. “Having that pre-knowledge allows us to just get out of control in a good way."

Wilson also said he expects to play at a level equal to or greater than how he finished 2011.

Meanwhile, the longtime GM said it really doesn't matter who the Redskins play at safety. That position has changed so much in recent years that it's become a no-win situation for most guys at that spot.

"You have to come down in the box to support and that’s part of every safety’s job description," he said. "Then you’re always in a mismatch in coverage. Every offensive coordinator looks to get that matchup. The safety has to cover more than he’s ever had in football so you have to get a guy who’s physical enough to hold up against the run and athletic enough to hold up against a mismatch. You have to have a safety athletic enough to play some man coverage.”

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner