Redskins' Gruden impressed with 'swag' of 2nd-year player

Redskins' Gruden impressed with 'swag' of 2nd-year player
August 17, 2014, 11:00 am
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We won’t know if any of the Redskins’ myriad of defensive issues that were on display in 2013 have been solved until they get at least a few regular season games under their belts. But one concern that some had earlier in the year seems to be eased.

Many were wondering if David Amerson, last year’s second-round draft pick, could step up into the starting cornerback job. But as of now the coaches are optimistic that the NC State product will be able to handle the job.

Jim Haslett worked with Amerson last year and dealt with some growing pains.

“He’s grown up a lot, that’s a big thing,” he said. “He loves football, I think he’s going to get better and better. You don’t find guys who are 6-2 and can run like he can. Kind of nice having guys like that.”

Head coach Jay Gruden was not around for Amerson’s rookie year but game film tells him a lot.

“Well, I obviously wasn’t here, but watching him on tape I see a different player,” said Gruden. “There’s no question, and that happens a lot of times. You hope that happens with the rookies who are forced to play that struggle, that the second year they come into their own a little bit and play with a little bit of confidence. When you have more knowledge with the system, more knowledge of the situations and who you’re going against, the more confident you are at corner. I feel that’s what David’s coming to now.”

So far, so good. But Gruden said that the big test is yet to come.

“He’s just got to translate it on the field,” he said. “We’ll see how he does, but he’s definitely got all of the tools of being a great corner. Now it’s a matter of going out and doing it, but you do see a different swag about him, like I said before. He looks good to me right now.”

The Redskins are looking for players who can get takeaways and Amerson fills the bill there. He led the nation in interceptions his sophomore year in college and he had two picks last year, including one that he returned for a key touchdown against the Raiders. If he can get some picks and not allow too many big completions he’ll be a solid upgrade over Josh Wilson, last year’s starter opposite DeAngelo Hall.

Again, it’s all “ifs” right now but things do look promising for Amerson heading into December.