RICHMOND—On the list of concerns for the Redskins coming into training camp, one was David Amerson. He was slated to take a step up from the nickel cornerback spot he occupied last year to being a starter this season. The 2013 second-round pick had some ups and downs as a rookie and nobody was certain that he would be able to make the move and take on more responsibility.
The Redskins have yet to play so much as a preseason game as of yet so we won’t know for a while if he can get the job done over a 16-game season. But so far, so good.
Amerson looks stronger in his upper body and in his arms, giving him a better shot at bumping receivers off of their routes. He has looked technically sound and he’s getting comfortable enough to display the good ball instincts he displayed in college.
In addition to impressing the media and fans, he has shown a lot to the man whose opinion matters the most.
“He’s night and day [from last year],” said defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.
Haslett noted that Amerson was very young last year—he was just 21 when he was drafted. And he had a lot of the issues that young players have. “Staying awake in meetings, focusing every day,” said Haslett. “It’s not easy.”
“I think he’s done a great job, I’m really proud of the way he’s stepped up, starting in the offseason.”
Asked about him last week, Jay Gruden said that Amerson had developed self-assurance, a vital commodity for a cornerback. “I've definitely [seen a difference] with Amerson,” he said. “Amerson is playing with a lot of confidence, a lot of swag about him and that's very important.”
Again, putting on pounds and drawing praise from your coordinator and your head coach don’t mean much in early August. But if he lives up to the hype that his coaches are giving him, he could be a key playmaker in the secondary.