Haslett excited to see Rambo in starting capacity


Bacarri Rambo tackles Andre Brown last December. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he has confidence that second-year safety Bacarri Rambo can get the job done at strong safety for the Redskins at Houston on Sunday.

Rambo has taken all of the first-team snaps at strong safety with Brandon Meriweather suspended for the first two games of the season. After struggling mightily tackling as a rookie, Rambo (naturally a free safety) this offseason has made significant improvements, according to coaches and teammates.

Rambo played extensively at both positions in the preseason, and in Washington’s system, the free safety and strong safety positions are interchangeable depending on motions from the offense. So Haslett believes Rambo will do fine while starting alongside veteran Ryan Clark.

“I’m excited for him. He’s done a great job in the offseason and preparing for this point,” Haslett said. “You kind of know that something’s going to happen during the season because you’ve got to be all hands on deck all the time. He’s done a great job of cutting angles down, tackling, understanding the scheme. Looking forward to seeing him play this week.”

The Redskins on Sunday claimed former Denver starting strong safety Duke Ihenacho off of waivers. But the third-year pro still is learning the defensive schemes, and Haslett said he is in no way ready to step into the starting lineup.

“It’s not that easy,” Haslett said. “It’s a hard position because there are so many things to do, but it seems – the short time I’ve been with him – that he’s a great kid and there’s a lot of carryover from Denver. But I can’t tell you exactly. It seems like he’s a quick learner.”

Haslett’s defense remained without backup cornerback Tracy Porter on Thursday. He has missed all of this week with a strained hamstring. But Haslett said the absence doesn’t throw a kink into his plans. E.J. Biggers has served as the top nickelback since the Redskins began offseason practices, and rookie Bashaud Breeland also could see time in that role here and there, Haslett said.

Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was limited by a sprained ankle Thursday, but Haslett said he anticipates Orakpo playing without limitations on Sunday.

“I expect him to play, and expect him to play well,” Haslett said. “He usually plays well when he plays.”

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

More from The Post:

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Ryan Clark paying dividends already |  Open locker room notes

The Test: Griffin against the Texans pass rush | Redskins preview section

How Rodgers will fare tonight | Seahawks’ D in spotlight | Week 1 NFL picks

More NFL: Home page | D.C. Sports Bog | The Early Lead | Fancy Stats | Fantasy

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Mike Jones · September 4

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