Redskins look to improve production at safety

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 31, 2012
On an improved defense last season, the Washington Redskins' safety play was still a weak link. Strong side starter LaRon Landry never truly recovered from the Achilles injury that ended his 2010 season prematurely, and newcomer Oshiomogho Atogwe was often ailing and wasn't the playmaker he had been during his best years with the St. Louis Rams. Exit Landry and Atgowe. Enter free agents Brandon Meriweather, Madieu Williams and Tanard Jackson. The 28-year-old Meriweather was a Pro Bowl player in New England in 2009 and 2010. He was let go by the Patriots last summer and not re-signed by Chicago this winter because of his often undisciplined style. The 30-year-old Williams, a seven-year regular with Cincinnati and Minnesota, was a backup last year in San Francisco and might no longer be considered starter material by many teams. The 27-year-old Jackson was suspended twice for a total of 20 games for multiple failed drug tests while with Tampa Bay, which cut him in April. ''We always joke with each other that we got a secondary full of misfits,'' said cornerback DeAngelo Hall. ''We got guys that I feel like nobody else wanted in this league. We might look bad on paper and guys might rank us bad. But at the end of the day, you got to go out and play, and we definitely feel like we're ready to go.'' Last year's safeties - Landry, Atogwe, longtime backup Reed Doughty and rookie DeJon Gomes - combined for just three interceptions (all by Atogwe). ''We held our own, but there could have been a higher level of play, for sure,'' said Doughty, who started a career-high 11 games in 2011 and is the only one of the current safeties who was in Washington before last year. ''We need to make more plays on the back end.'' That's what the Redskins expect from Meriweather, Jackson and Williams, who combined for 10 interceptions in 2009, the last season in which all three were full-time starters. ''We've got a bunch of playmakers back there,'' Hall said. ''T-Jack is a physical guy. I'm looking at him like, `You're smaller than me,' but somehow he sticks his head in there. He's always there to make a play. Brandon is probably the most complete of all of `em. He's a guy that'll fill a hole (against the run).'' Hall said he had talked to former Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers, now with the 49ers, about Williams. ''`Los loved him to death,'' Hall said, ''and I feel the same way about the guy.'' Williams has been working with the starters because Jackson missed time in the spring recovering from knee and shoulder injuries and started training camp on the physically unable to perform list. He'll return to action Thursday. ''It's a setback, but we've got a lot of opportunities to get out there and still compete,'' Jackson said. ''We've all got chips on our shoulders, so the Redskins are going to get the best out of all of us.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The first time John Randle talked trash in the NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Nationals' Stephen Strasburg expected to return next week

WATCH: Footage surfaces from Tim Tebow’s baseball workout

Teddy Bridgewater suffers serious knee injury at practice?

EON Sports strikes VR partnerships with Miami, PSU

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike Tyson accused of stealing ice cream treat at U.S. Open

Calvin Johnson to join DWTS, sister says he ‘can’t dance’

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Teddy Bridgewater injury puts Vikings' plans up in the air

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

Vontaze Burfict on Steelers: ‘I don’t give no f—s about them’

Alistair Overeem: Brock Lesnar will never return to UFC

Top five Heisman Trophy candidates for 2016

Five young NFL players set to explode in 2016

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker