The Washington Post

David Amerson poised to start in first NFL game

David Amerson said his main goal on Monday is to avoid getting beat by DeSean Jackson. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Rookie cornerback David Amerson said he expects to open his NFL career as a starter on Monday night when the Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles.

Amerson has worked extensively with the first-team defense since the start of training camp, and with the Eagles expected to sport three- and four-receiver sets all game, he is set to start at right cornerback. Josh Wilson will open the game at nickelback, covering the opposing slot receiver.

Amerson started three out of the four preseason games. The first two, he started at right corner while Wilson continued to work his way back into shape after spending the offseason rehabbing from shoulder surgery.

Wilson returned to action in the third preseason game and started at right cornerback, opposite DeAngelo Hall. But Amerson still saw significant playing time with the first team, because whenever the Buffalo Bills had a three-receiver set, Washington went with its nickel package, and Wilson covered the slot while Amerson played on the right.

In the preseason finale, Amerson started at left cornerback with Hall receiving the night off. Amerson in the preseason recorded 11 tackles, two pass breakups and an interception.

He now looks forward to matching up with the speedy receivers the Eagles boast, including DeSean Jackson.

“You’re starting off your first NFL game ever, it’s definitely something I’m happy about. I’m looking forward to getting out there Monday and showing what I’ve got,” said Amerson, whom Washington selected in the second round out of N.C. State. “[Jackson] is a good receiver, good hands, tracks that ball well, and he just keep to keep making plays. Everyone knows he’s a threat, and everyone tries to do things to stop him. So you’re definitely going to have your hands full against him.”

Amerson excelled in press coverage during the preseason and has shown an ability to quickly adjust and make up ground.

He said his main goal against Jackson is to avoid giving up the deep ball.

“Don’t give up the big play,” he said. “We can line up again if he catches a seven-yard out or something like that, but there’s no excuse for giving up a big play. So, that’s definitely something that comes to mind when I’m guarding him. … You’ve got to believe in your speed and play the deep ball, really.”

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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