This inaugurates a new article here at DC Pro Sports Report, 4 Downs. I’ll be doing it before each game to examine the four issues that are most important to the Redskins. You’ll get only unvarnished truth and opinion here, no punting allowed.
1st Down: ROOKIE DEFENSIVE BACKS
The Redskins are going to start three rookie defensive backs in this game — safeties Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas and cornerback David Amerson. Rambo and Thomas are 4th and 6th round draft picks, respectively, while Amerson was drafted in the second round, Washington’s first pick overall. Due to injuries to starters Josh Wilson, DeAngelo Hall and Brandon Meriweather, all three rookies have gotten plenty of reps in training camp, including with the first team. Thomas and Amerson are not expected to be starters when the season begins, but injuries happen. Rambo is the favorite to start at free safety and tonight is his first chance to show the coaching staff that their confidence in him is not misplaced. In Rambo’s case the competition is weak enough that a decent showing in the preseason is probably enough to get him the starting job. He needs to prevent big passing plays, but also show he can bang near the line of scrimmage, since Washington’s defensive schemes frequently require the safeties to share roles and be interchangeable.