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Need to Know: Five safeties who could start for the Redskins

Mar 20, 2014, 5:09 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 20, 18 days before the Redskins start their offseason workouts.

Nickel coverage

One starter at safety is set for the Redskins. Here are five players who could start alongside Brandon Meriweather when the season starts.

Ryan Clark—Sure, the contract talks are dragging on but they could get done eventually. He’s the leader in the clubhouse only he’s, well, not in the clubhouse yet.

Phillip Thomas—You can’t hand him the job now and hope that he’ll get it done when September rolls around. But he could compete and perhaps push Clark or another veteran by the time the season starts.

Thomas DeCoud—I’m skipping over Chris Clemons on the list of potential veteran free agents since it appears that the Redskins have no interest in him. DeCoud had more interceptions in 2012 (6) than Clemons has in his career (4).

Ed Reynolds—The Stanford product is a smart, instinctive safety who relies on anticipation to get to the ball more than sheer speed. One think I liked was that the phrases “good open field tackler” and “takes excellent angles” came up a lot in his reviews. The defense could use some of that. The Redskins also showed some interest in Jimmie Ward of Northern Illinois during the Senior Bowl.

Bacarri Rambo—He showed enough promise to be made the starter last year so that says something about his ability. If he learns to tackle and shows some enthusiasm for playing special teams, he could get a second chance.

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—It’s been 81 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 173 days until they play another one.

Days until: Offseason workouts start 18; NFL Draft 49; Training camp starts 125

In case you missed it

Adam Hayward looks to help special teams improve

  1. hogforlife - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Rich, I’d love to hear the reason why the Redskins are thinking of taking Ryan Clark over a guy like Chris Clemons other than he’s a non fit. Do you think they still think that Rambo, Thomas or my guy Gumbs can get it done?

    • kjp0810 - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      Because Clemons struggles in coverage against tight ends and slot receivers going over the middle. Also, he isn’t exactly a playmaker with only 4 picks his whole career. He is a good tackler and does a nice job in run support. I think the talent evaporators of the NFL see him more of a SS. There is a reason he hasn’t generated much interest last year or this year.

      • kjp0810 - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM


        I don’t know why auto-correct doesn’t recognize that word…

    • abanig - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      I totally agree. I’d rather have Chris Clemmons, Thomas DeCoud or Kendrick Lewis formerly of KC, over Ryan Clark. They are all younger and could be the answer for several seasons at FS, not just one year, until Rambo develops or we find another FS in the draft for our long term.

      • Rich Tandler - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:09 PM

        I think the idea is they want a short-term solution. I think they would prefer to draft their long-term solutions or develop guys they’ve drafted.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      You don’t have to get the Redskins’ evaluation of Clemons (they’re not sharing it). The Dolphins chose to let him walk after five seasons there. The instead signed Louis Delmas, who should never be more than five minutes from a hospital or at least a Patient First, to a one-year deal. They know Clemons better than anyone else and they chose to let him walk in favor of a China doll.

      If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, well, I can’t help you.

  2. internetcareer - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Rich…curious as to why in your analysis, you skipped over Terrance Brooks of Florida State. He is a free safety with blazing speed and offers up really good run support as well. He is slotted as a possible 2nd-3rd round pick. Di you skip him for a reason????

    • Bryan - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      That kid from fsu is I believe 5ft 8 in that may be why I to like his quickness but being that short has its downfalls if ur gonna have hims cover te. I like Jimmie ward myself. I would have no problem if they brought in Clark for the year to help mentor the young guys and then grab another cb instead like fuller to pair with amerson in the next year or two then grab a safety next year if Thomas n Rambo don’t show anything this year.

      • internetcareer - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:47 AM

        Terrance Brooks from Florida State is 5’11…not 5’8. Jimmie Ward may be a 5th or 6th round pick.

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:14 PM

          Jimmie Ward, 5th or 6th round??

          I hope that internet career is working out for you!

          He’ll be gone before the 2nd is over. We might take him at 34.

      • gfunkmartin - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:09 PM

        I think the short guy from FSU that you’re talking about is Joyner. Kid can move and hits like a beast, but sometimes his tackling form is a bit… undisciplined. I like the idea of hitting CB/S/ILB in rnd 2, WR rnd 3, OL rnd 4, BPA for the rest

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      It wasn’t intended to be a complete overview of the draft-eligible safeties, just a couple of names to convey the possibility that a draft pick could start there. Brooks could be a good pick.

      • Bryan - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        I know we all think we should get another linebacker but I am really intrigued by what Robinson can bring if and a big if he is health he is by far more athletic than Riley or any other inside backer we have let’s roll with him and the vets they brought in and continue to build secondary and oline. I’d be happy with that kid from fsu or ward but if safety isn’t there another corner. I know a we will be there but it just seems like we don’t have luck in recent years with rookie wrs but maybe that would change

  3. richardlee22304 - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    There are only 5 safeties that can start for the Redskins? I thought it was 25 or 30 that would be a upgrade.

  4. jdw123 - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    Do you think the skins will bring back Josh Morgan?

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 21, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      That’s in the “never say never” category but I doubt it very much. There is film of him not giving effort on the field late last year and I’m sure Gruden has severe doubts about him.

      • alextwrs - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Why on earth would we bring back Josh Morgan. Over paid, non productive and did not work out on special teams. I really dont wanna hear any mentoring specialties either. Thats the WR coaches job. Bring in some of the undrafted WRs that are 6’2 or bigger.

  5. rcjur - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Ryan, Gumbs and Rambo at SS; Merriwether and Thomas at FS. Skins should draft at #34 DE Stephon Tuitt; 3rd T Cyrus Kouandjio (Alabama) if available would be a steal; 4th CB Keith McGill (Utah); 5th LB Shayne Skov (Stanford); 6th (S) Kenny Ladler (Vanderbuilt); 7th Xavier Grimble (USC). Great additions and potential to be really good. All athletic and best need positions in my view. Team doesn’t need to add a WR.

    Ready to be a scout! Just get at me.

    2014 Draft Picks

    Tuitt (DE)
    Kouandjio (T)
    McGill (CB)
    Skov (LB)
    Ladler (S)
    Grimble (TE) Archives

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