Because of injuries, the Redskins have been able to use the defensive backfield tandem of LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe in only four of 10 games this season. Both have been able to practice fully this week and should be able to pair up again Sunday at Seattle, the first time since Oct. 30 against Buffalo.
If not, the Redskins feel as if they have some options at safety.
“We’ve got four safeties. Whoever’s healthy we kind of roll out there,” said defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.
While the Redskins were able to give rookie DeJon Gomes a start last Sunday against Dallas, Landry’s return to the lineup doesn’t preclude Gomes from still seeing some snaps at Seattle. The Washington defense ran some dime packages last week, featuring three safeties at times.
“We just kind of give them some different looks, try to confuse them up a little bit,” Haslett said. “I think we got one sack and one pressure. We only ran it three or four times.”
Haslett is familiar with dime packages and used it more often coaching in Pittsburgh — usually with one defensive lineman and five linebackers. “You got to have the guys to do it,” he said.
As for Gomes’ first start against the Cowboys, Haslett gave the rookie mostly passing grades. Gomes has come a long way since August. Both Haslett and head coach Mike Shanahan said this week that Gomes reported to training camp in poor shape and took a long time to get up to speed.
“I thought he did a lot of good things,” said Haslett. “I thought he tuckered out at the end. The deep ball at the end of the game, he should’ve been high over the top. The other young guy, Perry [Riley] — that’s Perry’s guy. He should’ve run with him. So the two young guys gave up the 60-yarder. It’s a shame. I thought both of them, Perry and D.J. played pretty well for the most part.”