With DeAngelo Hall out for the year the Redskins secondary must adjust at one safety position, but on the other side, David Bruton feels just fine.
"I feel good," Bruton said on Wednesday. He explained that he has a few bumps and bruises, but that's normal for Week 4 in the NFL. Bruton added that after the game in New York he iced his knee, but his hamstring felt just fine.
The former Broncos special teams star has started three games for the Skins at safety this season. He almost grabbed two interceptions last week against the Giants, but has had other plays where he seemed out of alignment. That problem is not unique to Bruton, however, as in various spots the 'Skins defense has seem confused in different formations depending on down and distance.
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As for the Redskins secondary expect to continue to see Bruton lined up at safety, now most often next to Will Blackmon. While Deshazor Everett and Duke Ihenacho should get more snaps than they had been, at this point, it seems unlikely Bruton's play will be reduced. Before Hall went down in New York on some third downs Blackmon replaced Bruton. Obviously, for the remainder of the season that plan won't work.
"We have a lot of good options out there," 'Skins coach Jay Gruden said. "Not overly concerned about the defensive backfield."
Against the Giants on one near interception Bruton and rookie Su'a Cravens went for the same Eli Manning pass, and after the game in the locker room, the players joked about who was to blame for not getting the pick. On the other, it appeared Bruton pulled off a remarkable interception, stealing the ball from Giants running back Bobby Rainey in the end zone. Replay ruled the pass incomplete, prompting confusion from Gruden.
"I’ve heard that everybody says it was an interception except for the replay guy," Gruden said. "I thought his elbow was down, I thought his butt was down, I thought he had control of the ball. I thought it was a clear challengeable play, it just didn’t work out for us. I don’t know what a catch is anymore. I don’t know if anybody does."
Mountains worth of words were used to predict and then describe Josh Norman's matchup with Odell Beckham last Sunday. On game day, the Redskins star corner ended up primarily covering the Giants star receiver. While Beckham succeeded in going for more than 100 yards, Norman's team got the win, while Beckham set the Internet meme machine ablaze by trying to fight a kicking net.
This week when the Redskins face off against the Browns there will be much less hype, yet another skilled wideout for the Washington defense to contend with in Terrelle Pryor.
"He’s a great athlete," Washington coach Jay Gruden said of Pryor. "He’s big, he’s got great ball skills."
Last week in a loss to Miami, Pryor accounted for 200 total yards - 144 receiving, 21 rushing and 35 passing - to go with one touchdown. He's been a force for the Browns this season, using his athletic skill and versatility to line up all over the field. A dual-threat quarterback in college at Ohio State, the Browns like to try Pryor in different spots. Perhaps because of his ability to play all over the field, it seems the Redskins do not intend to have Norman travel in coverage on Pryor.
"We’re still working on our game plan now and [Pryor's] all over the place. He’s been a dynamic player in the NFL," Gruden said. "Team defense is gonna have to take him away, somebody different every time possibly."
Gruden called Pryor's early season success one of the "biggest surprises" in the NFL and it's clear the Browns top wideout is on the Redskins radar. Considering Norman didn't shadow Antonio Brown or Dez Bryant during Washington's contests against those two top wideouts, the decision to cover Pryor collectively seems unsurprising.
That could change, however, if Pryor begins to pile up catches and yards like he did last week in Miami.
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