One of the biggest issues for the Washington Redskins on defense has been their inconsistent play from David Bruton and DeAngelo Hall.
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DeAngelo Hall has struggled, but hasn't played nearly as bad as David Bruton
While Bashaud Breeland
seems to be the most negatively discussed defensive back the past two weeks, there are bigger issues among that position group -- the safeties. Outside of maybe two or three good plays between the duo, both DeAngelo Hall
and David Bruton
have struggled big time.
Hall, who for the first time in his 13 year career is starting at safety, has been victimized in coverage. While he's shown a knack for going uphill and making tackles, his savvy play at the corner position has not translated to safety. Hall has been out of position on numerous occasions, specifically in single high, which has resulted in coverage breakdowns. But even Hall's level of inconsistency cannot reach the depths in which David Bruton has discovered this season.
If you were to ask me who the worst Redskins player has been through two weeks of football, I'd say David Bruton with zero hesitation. Not only has he done a miserable job in coverage, but he's also been terrible at making tackles. He has looked lost. It's no wonder Washington's defense has had communication issues early this season.
When asked what has been his biggest concern so far this season, head coach Jay Gruden pointed to communication and consistency. "I think we’ve just got to do a better job communicating on defense," Gruden said. "Making sure we’re in the right spot, getting the calls out to the defensive backs, linebackers, defensive line."
That's a pretty tall order when you have a 32 year old playing safety for the first time in his life. Especially when he's playing across a vet safety who can't even put his-own-self in the right position to make plays. The last line of defense has been invisible and that's never a good thing.
It's ironic because Bruton was handed the job because of his perceived intelligence at the position. "Bruton understands the defense," Gruden said Monday. Maybe he does. But that knowledge hasn't translated to the football field thus far. There's been countless times in just two games that defenders have run around like chickens with their heads cutoff pre-snap. Much of that can be attributed to mental breakdowns at the safety position.
The Redskins need their safeties to play better. Otherwise, changes will have to be made.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.
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