Haslett on Denver: 'I think our guys are up to the challenge'
With Brandon Meriweather suspended for today and Reed Doughty watching on TV from back in Washington due to a concussion, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will have to piece together a safety corps capable of slowing down Peyton Manning out of nothing.
Well, not really nothing. He has Bacarri Rambo, the rookie who was the starter at free safety from minicamp through training camp through the first two games of the season. He didn’t miss a snap in those first two games and he hasn’t played a snap on defense since then. The coaches determined that Rambo wasn’t ready. He will have to be today.
They also have Jordan Pugh. The Redskins thought so little of Pugh’s ability two weeks ago that they cut him. Pugh was part of the rotation at safety last year when Meriweather missed almost all of the season with a variety of knee injuries. But this year he played just six defensive snaps before being released. It is likely that he will play more than that today.
First-year player Jose Gumbs hustles and hits but what ever role he plays today will be with all of nine snaps of experience on defense behind him. Trent Richardson has played well on special teams but it likely would be desperation time if he takes any snaps on defense.
Haslett does have other options like E. J. Biggers, who played safety in the season opener against the Eagles. Starting cornerbacks Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall could fill in at safety but they are likely to be needed at corner.
Look for Haslett to rotate some combination of Rambo, Pugh, Gumbs, and Biggers to try to get the best matchups for a given situation. Of course, when all situations involve Manning taking the snaps, any matchups are going to be difficult.