Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said that he remains confident in safety Bacarri Rambo’s future despite his decision to bench the rookie for last week’s game against Detroit. Haslett didn’t commit to Rambo when asked if the sixth-round pick would return to the lineup this week, however.
Rambo, who started at free safety throughout training camp and the preseason and in the first two weeks of the season, didn’t take a single defensive snap last week.
Redskins coaches cited the need for three cornerbacks and a need for Rambo to improve his play – particularly on tackling – as reasons for the move.
The Redskins used cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson and David Amerson to defend the Lions’ three-receiver sets. They kept an extra man in the box to help on run defense, and strong safety Brandon Meriweather lined up in the center of the field to serve as the last line of defense.
Meriweather until Sunday hadn’t played a full game since signing with Washington in the spring of 2012, but his experience made him a better option, Haslett said his experience as a seventh-year veteran made him a better option.
“[Rambo] is going to be a good player,” Haslett said. “We just feel good about [Meriweather] right now playing, and obviously, the situation last week with three wide receivers, we wanted to get another corner on the field. So that’s kind of why we went in that direction. We feel good about [Rambo] and his practice, and he’s going to be a good football player.”
Rambo said on Wednesday that he would use the demotion as a source of motivation.
Asked if Rambo would see time on defense this week, Haslett said, “I don’t know. We’ll base everything off practice and what we’re doing.”
Meanwhile, Haslett said that Rambo’s fellow rookie, Amerson, continues to make improvements despite going through some growing pains. Amerson on Sunday had two pass breakups to go with three tackles, but did have a couple of breakdowns in coverage – most notably surrendering a 33-yard reception to Kris Durham on a fourth-quarter scoring drive that Detroit used to lock up the game.
Haslett said some youthful errors can be expected, but that Amerson needs to work to eliminate them.
“I think it’s a learning process,” Haslett said. “Remember, he’s a junior coming out – a young guy. This is really his senior year in college, so you’re going to have some of those. Obviously, we don’t want to have them. We have got to eliminate those things. To be a good defense, to get back to where this football team needs to be, we’ve got to cut all those out.”
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