The often-vocal Raheem Morris stepped to the podium before Wednesday’s minicamp and realized he didn’t have to give an opening statement. Before joining the Redskins this offseason as the team’s defensive backs coach, Morris spent three seasons delivering opening remarks as the head coach in Tampa Bay.
“I’m 35 years young and it’s been a nice ride, it’s been fun,” he said. “It’s helped me a lot to go through the whole transition of seeing everything. Seeing the big picture; not just being selfish about the secondary.”
The 35-year-old Morris said the team is pleased with the leadership of veteran safety Brandon Meriweather. The Redskins signed the two-time Pro Bowler during the offseason to a two-year contract. Meriweather recorded 32 tackles in 11 games last season in Chicago. His numbers have tailed off significantly after he racked up 84 tackles in 2009 with New England.
“He’s done a nice job of stepping into that role of strong safety,” said Morris. “And he’s really getting help from those other guys who have been here.”
Morris and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett plan to use DeAngelo Hall in new ways on nickel packages this season. Morris said the team has “interesting dynamics” for Hall on both the inside and outside parts of the field.
“He’s completely bought into the things that we want to do,” said Morris. “And if he keeps going in the right direction, he’ll be taking my family to Hawaii.”
Earlier, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan joked that Morris can get under his skin with his constant trash talk during practice. Morris said he was glad to hear it and intended to “pump up the juice a little bit during training camp.”
“To create that competitive environment, it’s like playing pickup basketball sometimes and you talk a little trash,” said Morris. “Go out there and have fun, while still getting the job done.”
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