Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson’s acclimation to his new team has been a gradual process, but on Monday he turned in his best performance of the young season and one of the strongest outings of his career.
Playing in his third regular-season game for the Redskins, Wilson recorded four pass breakups, four tackles and a fumble recovery.
“I thought Josh was excellent,” Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said of Wilson on Thursday. “He had four pass breakups, played real well, covered well. I thought he played really well this game.”
One of Wilson’s pass breakups came in the end zone when Tony Romo went for Martellus Bennett on second-and-goal from the 5-yard line. Wilson deflected the pass to deny the Cowboys, who didn’t score a touchdown all game.
Wilson surrendered only one reception – a six-yard catch – on the night. Prior to Monday, he had never registered more than four pass breakups in one game.
“It was just, the more comfortable I get in the system, the more I can start making more plays,” said Wilson, who this offseason signed with his hometown Redskins after spending one year with Baltimore and three in Seattle. “I got the crash course of the defense real quick, and now it’s week 8 in my mind – Week 8 of being here – and I’m not having to rely on the safeties and can make calls myself. It’s just allowing me to be more free and concentrate on what the other team’s doing rather than thinking about what I’m doing.”
Wilson said gaining comfort to Washington’s defensive scheme required mild adjustments because while with the Ravens, he found himself in press coverage the majority of the time. But Haslett likes to mix up coverages, so Wilson and his fellow defensive backs will play man-to-man sometimes, zone other times and work to confuse a quarterback with their unpredictability.
Wilson said that he feels that in this system, he has a greater opportunity to make plays, but wishes that he could have only come up with a take-away against the Cowboys.
“It’s a lot of things I could’ve done even more to help the team. If I could’ve caught one of those [pass break ups], it would’ve changed the game,” Wilson said. “I definitely feel like I’m developing to where I want to be.”