A week after lining up against Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland is going to match up against another top wide receiver.
The second-year player is now the team’s top cornerback after the loss of Chris Culliver to a season-ending knee injury and the move of DeAngelo Hall to safety. That means he draws the tough assignments like Beckham and, on Monday night, Dez Bryant of the Cowboys this week.
He was largely responsible for defending Bryant when the teams met in Dallas on a Monday night last year. Bryant had only three receptions for 10 yards and a touchdown.
Breeland feels better about the matchup with Bryant this time after gaining some experience playing against him.
“It will help you a lot,” said Breeland of having something of a book on Bryant. “You can work on those things they beat you on previously and you've also got to work on the things you have success on.”
With over a year under his belt, Breeland thinks he has improved from last year.
“I feel like I'm a far better player mentally and physically,” he said. “I just try to work on my game every day and get better in every aspect.”
Breeland is anticipating the matchup with Bryan just like he look forward to competing every week.
“I just like the one on one competition, just out there competing against, man, team, whatever scheme we're in,” he said. “I just love the competition.”
Bryant is having an off year, having missed five games with a broken bone in his foot. He has just 23 receptions for 280 yards. After leading the league with 16 touchdown receptions last year he has just two this year.
That won’t matter to Breeland, however. He just loves being out there.
“I look forward to all the matchups, every receiver I go against,” said Breeland. “I don't take them lightly. I respect them all but fear none.”
Respect all, fear none—hmm. Sounds like an athletic shoe commercial tagline. If Breeland continues improving he could get his own commercials one day.