When the Redskins face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, their wide receivers will find themselves matched up with the biggest defensive backs unit they have faced all year.
Seattle cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner and strong safety Kam Chancellor all boast rare height for players at their position, and they use it to their advantage.
“They’re very good at jamming guys,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “They’re very physical. They try to beat you up all the way down the field. They compete in the run and the pass game. They have a lot of confidence in them. They play a lot of single safety, and they get after it.
Sherman stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 195. Browner is even bigger at 6-4, 221 pounds. Chancellor is 6-3, 232 pounds. Of the starters, only free safety Earl Thomas (5-10, 202) is of average size.
The Redskins receivers don’t rival those defensive backs in size. Leonard Hankerson is the tallest at 6-2, Josh Morgan is 6-1, Pierre Garcon 6-foot, and Santana Moss and Aldrick Robinson are both 5-10.
The wideouts say they don’t believe the size disadvantage to hinder them, however.
“It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but it’s not going to be bigger than any other week,” Morgan said. “Yeah, bigger guys, but you can’t look at it as a harder challenge.”
Said Garcon, “I just go out and play hard regardless. You have to have very precise routes, and great angles coming back to the ball, and attack the ball. This is one of those games where all the little things matter.”
Moss added, “You never worry about the other opponent. You watch them, but you try to do what you do, because at the end of the day, they have to watch you also.”
Moss had four catches for 29 yards against Seattle last season. And as a member of the 49ers, Morgan had two catches for 28 yards against Browner and Sherman. But none of the other Redskins have gone against the Seahawks’ defensive backs.
Shanahan said he believes his receivers can be effective regardless of size deficiencies.
“I think our receivers can compete with everybody – every game, any team,” he said. “It will be a challenge with these guys because they’re very good players. I have a lot of confidence in our guys, too. I think it will be a good fight on Sunday.”