Bashaud Breeland talks with DeAngelo Hall during the preseason opener against the Patriots. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

NFL players often can sense improvements in their own games because of a subtle feeling while in the heat of battle.

Their senses and instincts are on point, their reactions more rapid and fluid. They describe it as the game slowing down for them.

Redskins rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland got that feeling during Monday’s preseason game with the Cleveland Browns, and believes it will come a lot more often.

The fourth-round pick out of Clemson finds himself in a battle with veterans E.J. Biggers and Tracy Porter for key rotational spots behind starters DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson.

Breeland saw action late in the second quarter, and then played extensively in the second half.

His first tackle was a bone-crushing open-field stop that ended the first half. He finished the game with five tackles (tied for the team lead), two pass deflections and one fumble recovery.

“The game is becoming more slow to me,” Breeland said. “I’m picking up on things from watching film and listening to the other guys. I’m just carrying it to the game. When I see stuff, I just react.”

Breeland said he received good feedback from his coaches following the game. But that they did point out plenty of areas where he could improve.

Mainly, Breeland said his technique during press coverage at the line of scrimmage drew a ‘needs improvement’ mark.

After spending this week focusing on that area of his game, he hopes the improvements show through Saturday against the Ravens.

“It’s just me putting myself in a good position to make a play like that, learning from previous games where I could’ve done better on certain plays,” he said. “I learned from the previous game and corrected it. … That’s my goal coming in, progress each week as I grow in this league.”

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