The Washington Redskins are expecting big contributions from their rookie defensive backs Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett recently stated that Thomas is slotted to play strong safety, with Rambo lining up at free safety.
Washington plans to use the pair as interchangeable parts, as they learn the intricacies of both positions. They will have the opportunity to be coached by one of the finest defensive backs coaches in the NFL, Raheem Morris, who shared his thoughts on the two players with the Washington Post.
“The one thing I can say is Phillip is a natural box player,” he said. “When he gets in the box, he knows where to fit, he knows how to read his keys, he knows how to do those things. And Bacarri is a natural field – whole-field and half-field player – but can play in the box as well.”
He later added, “Bacarri’s skill set is his ability to touch the ball, his ability to have range, do some of those things and mix it up a little bit. Phillip was a little bit more of the blitzer. He was more in the box, the inside fire zones with some of their fire zones they had in college.”
“The next stage will determine how they’re able to do at either one of those [positions],” Morris said. “This stage right here is your ‘get lined up, figure out what the call is,’ ‘Am I doing the right thing, coach? Am I technically sound?’ Your next phase will be the physical aspect and the test, and getting them into the game and putting it all together.”
While Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty are listed as the current starters at safety, Thomas and Rambo symbolize the future. How soon they contribute will be determined how fast they catch on to the Redskins Cover 2 scheme. Something worth watching during training camp.