Position Breakdown CornerbacksPosted on August 16, 2014 by Christian Bowersox
The Redskins defensive backfield was not what you would call “good” last year, in fact, they weren’t even average. The much maligned position group had a hard time covering receivers and creating turnovers, and were part of the reason the Redskins gave up on average 30 points a game last season. The Redskins haven’t made a whole lot of moves at the corner position this offseason, although they are hopeful the moves they made will help the team moving forward.
Last season was a down year for the defense in general, and the cornerbacks did not avoid that all around slump. Josh Wilson was probably the most picked on of the corners last year, as his coverage skills were not what they had been in previous seasons. DeAngelo Hall continued his up and down play that he has exhibited since his signing with the Redskins. He had highlight interceptions, such as his interception of Peyton Manning where he stripped the ball out of the hands of Demariyus Thomas, but he’s also susceptible to being burned by speedy receivers, like DeSean Jackson, who, on a side note, I’m so glad I won’t have to watch burn DHall again this year. Rookie David Amerson showed signs of promise, making highlight plays like he did in college. He too was susceptible to the big play though, and has a while to go before he is the player the Redskins want him to be moving forward. EJ Biggers was playing both corner and safety last year, but wasn’t playing either particularly well. Richard Crawford, who had shown promise in 2012, was sidelined in the preseason with a torn ACL last year, and looks to bounce back this year. Chase Minnifield, perennial camp favorite, spent most of the season on the practice squad, but was called up to the active roster late last season, but didn’t get any playing time.
During the offseaon, most people, myself included, expected the Redskins to make a splash in free agency and pick up a cornerback. Going into the offseason, they didn’t re-sign DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson or EJ Biggers, only having Amerson, Minnifield and an injured Crawford on the roster. The Redskins signed corner Tracy Porter to the team early in free agency. Porter is best remembered for his interception of Peyton Manning in Superbowl XLIV, and while the pickup will help the team, he’s not what the Redskins need to fix the problems in their backfield. After the first wave of free agents signed, the Redskins brought back Hall and Biggers, who seem to have their spots set on the team. The Redskins would draft Baushad Breeland in the 4th round. The Redskins also picked up undrafted free agent Bryan Shepard.
The Redskins Cornerbacks are not a top unit in the NFL, but I think they’ll be better than last year. Hall has been serviceable for the last few years, and looks to be the top corner again this year. Hall still has the big play ability in him, and hopefully can keep from getting burnt by every speedy receiver this season. Amerson will probably be corner 2 this season, moving up the depth chart from the nickel spot last year. I’m looking for a big upgrade from Amerson this season, reports coming out of training camp have been positive. Tracy Porter will most likely take the majority of the time at nickel corner, so expect to see a lot of him this year. Baushad Breeland has been performing well in training camp and played well in the first preseason game, but he was caught in Richmond with marijuana, and whether or not the Redskins want to deal with that is still up in the air. Biggers will probably see time at corner and safety again this season, and hopefully another year in the system will do him well. Minnifield is still eligible for the practice squad, and despite a good showing in the preseason game against the Patriots, may be destined to end up there once again. Crawford is still working his way back from the injury, and has an outside chance at making the team, but most likely won’t. Bryan Shepard most likely won’t be on the team this year. Look for improvement from the unit, they had a rough time last year, but then the whole defense did. I’m not saying they’ll be good, I just think they’ll be better.