ASHBURN, Va. -- About halfway through his team’s Saturday session of rookie minicamp, general manager Scot McCloughan sauntered past a group of media members near an end zone. Receivers and defensive backs were battling in one-on-one drills in that section of the field. Before turning his focus back to the players, McCloughan answered someone who presumably asked him for a player to keep an eye on by saying:
When McCloughan speaks, all listen.
Based on those participating in the nearby drills, "25" likely referred to cornerback Lloyd Carrington, an undrafted free agent from Arizona State. Coaches also seemed to give a little extra attention and tips to Carrington — on a day where everyone could’ve used the tutelage.
“I like Lloyd. Lloyd did some good things, man," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said during his press conference.
After the session, the 5-foot-10 defender spoke to BreakingBurgundy.com about his early experiences with a team he’s trying to make an impression on in any way possible.
“I know they like my physicality, how technical I am,” Carrington said. "One of their main coaching points is me understanding the details and little things coming at my position.”
Those aspects are crucial for Carrington, a prospect who didn’t pick up football until his senior season in high school. Leading up to the draft, some people were telling him he’d be a late-round selection. Others prepped him for life as a young free agent.
Once he realized his name wasn’t going to be called, Carrington started evaluating potential landing spots, places where he thought would give him his best chance at making it into the NFL. Washington was his choice.
"My main thing was making sure I put myself in the best situation to be successful, and I feel like I’ve done that coming into the Redskins,” Carrington said. "[What matters is] understanding the dynamics about your position, knowing the situation as far as how many players they keep at your position. And I also looked my ability to develop as a player. Coming into the room where you have veterans like Josh Norman and DeAngelo Hall.”
The odds of Carrington making the roster look slim, sure. In addition to those he mentioned, there’s also Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Bashaud Breeland and Will Blackmon, among others, competing at his spot. But there are those stories of no-names putting together solid camps, catching on and succeeding as a professional.
That’s something Carrington uses as motivation — and one case in particular.
“One of the guys I really look at is Chris Harris, Jr.,” he said of the Broncos cornerback and fellow undrafted player. "Really looking at his work ethic and his understanding of details. His overall attitude, understanding you have to have a great attitude every day and be optimistic.”
Gruden sounded optimistic when asked about the Pac 12 standout.
"He’s a physical corner," Gruden said. "He can mix it up. We had him as a free agent already on our team so he just verified the spot to get an opportunity in training camp. So, we’re happy to have him.”
Factor in McCloughan’s apparent endorsement on his side — even though it was just a simple answer the GM gave in passing — and history available to use as inspiration, Carrington will look to earn a permanent spot on the NFC East’s defending champions. And right now, he’s just enjoying the opportunity.
"This whole situation, honestly, is great,” he said. "I feel like it’s a great test to your character as a man."
[UPDATE -- The Redskins tweeted this clip of Carrington from practice]
Peter Hailey on Twitter at @barelyin.
To get instant Redskins notifications, download the NEW Scout mobile app for iOS HERE!
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Breaking Burgundy Insider! Check it out HERE.