When Josh Wilson signed with the Redskins late last July, the cornerback had roughly two weeks to familiarize himself with teams defensive scheme before the preseason opener.Wilson eventually got up to speed, but it took weeks, if not months, before he was completely comfortable starting on the right side opposite DeAngelo Hall.Familiarity, though, wont be an issue in 2012 and thats the primary reason the DeMatha and University of Maryland product expects to have a breakout season.Its going to be night and day, Wilson said Thursday. Being able have an offseason, a year under my belt in this scheme, Im going to be able to have an understanding, make calls for myself. I had to learn on the fly last season, so it was definitely tough.In 16 games, Wilson recorded 62 tackles (48 solo), two interceptions and defended 15 passes. Both of the 27-year-olds interceptions came in December as he spent less time focused on his responsibilities within defensive coordinator Jim Hasletts scheme and more time reading the opposing offense.I wont be reacting and figuring out what I have to do first and then figuring out how the offense is trying to attack me, Wilson said. Now, I come out of the huddle knowing where the weaknesses are, where my strength is, where my help is, and what I need to protect myself. By the time the offense gets to the line, Im already trying to figure out what theyre trying to do.Coach Mike Shanahan said hes noticed Wilsons growing confidence.It doesnt matter what type of formation, Shanahan said. You dont have to think. You can just react, and he has been able to do that.Wilson expects big things from himself. But he also knows that his success is inextricably linked to the play outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan and, more specifically, their ability to harass opposing quarterbacks.Its everything, Wilson said. When you have a good pass rush thats coming every down, with Rak and and Ryan coming off that edge, I know that quarterback has to get the ball out of his hand. He cant double-pump it or give me a triple move. If he does that, its a sack.Thats very comforting for a defensive back, he added. Because if I can hold my guy for five or six seconds, its over, that play is dead.Away from the field, Wilsons comfort level has also increased. Not only is he near his old stomping grounds, hes playing in the same city in consecutive years for the first time since suiting up for the Seahawks from 2007 - 2009. He played one season for the Ravens before joining the Redskins, the team he grew up cheering in the suburbs of Washington.Its definitely a little more comfortable, Wilson said before making a good-natured crack about the expense of purchasing tickets for games at FedEx Field. But it costs a lot on game day.Seriously, though, Wilson called it a blessing to be surrounded by friends and family on a daily basis. But, he quickly added, its almost as comforting to look at a familiar playbook each day.It says the same thing it said last year, he said with a grin.
NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith made a visit to Redskins Park today, and the team elected their union representatives.
Kedric Golston will serve another year as the team's liason to the union. Three alternates were elected as well: Kirk Cousins (an alternate last season), Will Compton and, surprisingly, Josh Norman.
Norman was critical of Smith and the union in an ESPN piece in August. "[The NFL] is a dictatorship, and [NFLPA director] DeMaurice [Smith] is in cahoots with those guys," he claimed.
The cornerback's election today marks what would appear to be a turn of events.
"We always love to have veteran leadership as player representatives, and this team is no different with Kirk and Kedric returning," Smith told CSN Mid-Atlantic. "As for Josh, we love players who are both smart and passionate, and he, as well as the other players, fit that bill."
MORE REDSKINS: Cravens declared NFL Clutch Performer of the Week
Nearly a week after the Redskins win over the Giants, news broke that Washington CB Josh Norman has been fined for roughness in the New York victory.
UPDATE: Per ProFootballTalk, the fine was for a fourth quarter hit on Sterling Shepard and being a repeat offender.
For much of the Redskins-Giants game, Norman covered Odell Beckham almost exclusively. Not many moments stand out for being particularly physical save for a play early in the game when Beckham jumped in the end zone. The motion took him above Norman, but rather than letting Beckham come down to the ground, the corner grabbed and carried the receiver for a few yards.
Norman was flagged for roughness on a hit against Giants receiver Sterling Shepard. It's likely that hit triggered the fine. It's also worth pointing out that referees gave Norman a specific warning before the game about rough play, so it's possible being flagged for roughness despite the warning made an impact in the league offices as well.
There is one other physical moment that stands out from the Giants/Redskins matchup - when Beckham violently swung his helmet at the Giants' kicking net. Beckham got the worst of the altercation though as the net flew back at him and socked him in the face.
Expect many questions about the fine to come.