The Washington Redskins will be without starting right cornerback Josh Wilson and starting safeties LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe Friday when they take on the Indianapolis Colts, according to defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.
And while the coach would like to have his entire starting secondary for the first time, he’s looking forward to evaluating some of the younger defensive backs who are battling for spots on the 53-man roster.
“It’s a good chance to get a good look at some of the other guys. A classic example is DeJon Gomes. You watch him in practice, and here’s a guy that’s really kind of hesitant his first week, he wasn’t really sure, he was learning a new spot. We kind of overloaded him, playing dime and nickel and things. [In the game], we kinda scaled back and just let him play safety, and he goes out, has a sack, three tackles for losses and does a great job. So that’s what you get. It’s a good evaluation.”
Indeed, just last week – three days before the Redskins’ preseason opener – Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan was asked about the progress of Gomes, whom Washington drafted in the fifth round out of Nebraska.
Shanahan said Gomes was “a ways off,” in his development and was still trying to pick things up. After getting in the game during the second half last Friday, Gomes played with more aggressiveness than he had in practice and as Haslett said, recorded several big plays.
The Redskins are hoping to see more progress out of Gomes against the Colts, and Haslett said other defensive backs will have a chance to prove themselves as well.
“We get to see [Byron] Westbrook and [Kevin] Barnes, and Reggie Jones, Brandyn Thompson – all [cornerbacks] who will get the chance to play against a good passing team this week,” Haslett said.