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Schweigert brings starting experience

Jun 3, 2008, 12:01 AM EST

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On Friday, the Washington Redskins signaled that they were not happy with their situation at safety and signed a potential backup in Justin Hamilton.

Today, they made it loud and clear that they wanted to upgrade the position substantially when they signed a potential starter at safety in Stu Schweigert.

In four seasons with the Raiders since the drafted him out of Purdue with the fourth pick of the third round, Schweigert, who will turn 27 later this month, started 42 games. Thirty seven of those starts came consecutively before an injury forced him out of the lineup for a game late last season. The Oakland coaching staff reportedly was unhappy with his tackling and when he was healthy, he was relegated to the bench.

When Oakland signed free agent safety Gibril Wilson away from the Giants, the handwriting was on the wall and the Raiders released Schweigert on May 21.

The acquisition of Schweigert gives the Redskins the option of moving LaRon Landry back to strong safety. That’s where he played his rookie season until Sean Taylor went out of the lineup with a knee injury. Taylor, of course, never returned and Landry stayed at free safety while Reed Doughty assumed the SS position.

Schweigert has four career interceptions, but this tribute video from his days at Purdue shows that he has considerable ball hawking skills:

Note that a couple of the picks in the video are at the expense of his new teammate Antwaan Randle El, a QB at Indiana.

He can lay some lumber as well. Here’s a shot he took at Tony Gonzalez of the Chiefs:

A good stick, but I have to say that I’ve seen taunting call for much less than what he did after the hit.

In not-unrelated news, safety Vernon Fox underwent his second knee operation of the offseason recently. He had one procedure done in January and then after he tweaked it again in minicamp he had a second surgery performed.

With sixth-round pick Kareem Moore also hobbled with recent knee surgery, the Redskins were getting rather thin at safety going into the final round of OTA’s.

Not any more.

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