The busy portion of free agency is completed. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview. The 90-man offseason roster is full, as well. Now comes the difficult part for second-year head coach Jay Gruden: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin next Tuesday, Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to examine the top items on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the Redskins for training camp in Richmond later this summer.
Cornerback to-do list:
Tandler: Rookie Tevin Mitchell played almost exclusively as the slot corner during the rookie minicamp sessions that were open to the media so look for him to challenge for a spot there. He could have an opportunity to get in a lot of work as veterans DeAngelo Hall (Achilles) and Tracy Porter (shoulder) could be limited by injuries or might not participate at all. David Amerson started 15 games last year but blown assignments and a one-game suspension for missing a meeting could force him to fight for playing time. Perhaps he can push Bashaud Breeland, who was heralded by fans as a rookie last year but has a lot to learn as far as proper technique and avoiding penalties.
El-Bashir: The health of Hall and Porter will be important to monitor in the coming weeks, as Tandler points out. But I’ll be focused on Amerson, who has a lot to prove after a difficult second season. Not only did he surrender a league-worst 10 passing touchdowns in 2014 (per ProFootballFocus.com) and fail to make a single interception, he also let his teammates down in San Francisco by missing a meeting and getting benched. The Redskins desperately need Amerson, a 2013 second rounder, to pan out. And because of that, he’ll get ample opportunity to prove he’s overcome his struggles on the field and maturity issues off it. But it needs to begin happening over the next few weeks as the corners behind Chris Culliver jockey for position on the depth chart. From the sounds of it, Amerson is off to a strong start. “He’s been great. He’s been locked in. He’s been a true professional in the classroom,” new defensive coordinator Joe Barry said on ESPN980 last week. “From a skill set, he’s got everything you want. He’s just got to continue to develop the next four weeks when we get out on the field for OTAs.”