RICHMOND – Like any new free agent pickup, Tracy Porter wanted to make a good impression on his new bosses, the Washington Redskins. But, as a seventh-year pro, who has battled injury multiple times in his career, Porter also knew that he needed to have patience as he rehabbed from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
So, rather than being able to take part in Washington’s offseason practices, Porter continued to rehab with the team’s athletic trainers with the goal of reporting for training camp without limitations.
“Having injuries in the past, I was with the team for a couple years,” said the 5-foot-11, 188-pound Porter, who during stops in New Orleans, Denver and Oakland recorded 282 tackles, 10 interceptions (three returned for touchdowns) and 50 pass breakups. “Coming to a team with an injury, yeah they signed you, but you don’t know what they’re thinking and what goes on in the meeting rooms. I just tried to do what I could do and rehab, stay positive and get back.
“Not being able to practice, it forced me to focus on a different aspect of the game, and that’s getting mental reps,” Porter added. “I try to look at everything in a positive light, so having an injury forced me to sharpen my mind while I stood on the sideline and watched the guys take those reps. Now I feel great.”
Porter did indeed open camp on the active roster, and now he looks to make up for lost time as he competes with sixth-year veteran E.J. Biggers for a key role in the secondary as nickel back.
DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson are expected to start at left and right cornerback, respectively. But the rest of the spots on the depth chart remain up for grabs with rookie Bashaud Breeland, second-year pro Chase Minnifield and third-year veteran Richard Crawford also vying with Porter and Biggers for jobs.
Porter hopes that his experience and versatility help him earn a job with Washington, however.
During his career, he has played both on the outside, and in the slot, so he feels comfortable “helping them in whatever way they want to use me.” Thus far, Porter has seen time out the outside behind Amerson with Biggers serving as the first man up in nickel packages. Some days, Porter has seen time in the nickel back role here and there.
“It’s always competition when you’re out there on the field, but we’re not trying to sabotage anybody,” Porter said. “We know it’s a production business. We’re all trying to help each other. We’re not going to tell a young guy a wrong coverage to mess him up. We know there’s 32 teams watching out there. We’re trying to help everybody in our secondary so everybody in our secondary will be successful. We’ll do what we can, leave it in God’s hand, and trust that the coaches will make the best decision at the end of the day.”
Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.
Washington is off Tuesday; the next practice is 8:35 a.m. Wednesday. Here’s our camp guide, if you’re planning to attend.
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