Stiff competition for final Redskins' roster spots
RICHMOND—When the Redskins released their first depth chart of the 2013 season, the player listed as the first-team free safety was Bacarri Rambo. Absolutely nobody was surprised.
The team’s sixth-round draft pick has been lining up with the first team since the first walkthrough on the first day of training camp. The team is returning 21 of 22 starters and the one vacant spot is free safety.
Mike Shanahan warned against reading too much into who is lining up with whom at this stage of things. It’s all about evaluation.
“Don’t get too blown away on who’s playing first team, second team or third team, because that’s what this camp is about,” he said.
Still, they don’t draw the names for the depth chart or of who will be lining up with the first team out of a hat. When Rambo lines up and Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen are on the line and Brian Orakpo and London Fletcher are among the linebackers, he’s a starter.
To be sure, he is not locked in. If he struggles in preseason games, the team will find another solution at free safety. Rambo still has plenty to learn including how to deal with the speed of the NFL game.
“It is kind of fast paced,” he said earlier this week. “I'm adjusting to it and I'll be ready for it.”
He’s learning that the speed of the game is only partly how fast the players can run. A lot of it is how fast they can think.
“It's more mental,” he said. “You have to be mentally ready along with being physically ready.”
Rambo is getting help with the mental side. He said that the coaches were encouraging him a lot and that teammates Reed Doughty and Brandon Meriweather are helping him.
“They're teaching me how to slow down the game, a lot of knowledge about football and about life,” he said.
If he can slow down things enough, he’ll be in the starting lineup on Sept. 9 when the Redskins take on the Eagles.