Manny Benton often tweets random thoughts regarding the Washington Redskins at random times of the day that typically bring interesting dialog. Now from Monday through Thursday at around 9 a.m., you can find those Twitter-sized thoughts in "Morning Manny." Complete with explanations!
Two of the Redskins' youngest defenders are, on-the-surface, having a slow start to the season. Outside Linebacker Preston Smith, 23, only has 1.5 sacks through seven games. I definitely thought he would have more to this point. He probably leads the team in almost-sacks. But he he has been the best among Washington's group of outside linebackers against the run. Preston entered the league as a raw rusher and won with his unpolished skill-set year one. This year, however, the team focused on improving his technique and as a rusher he's still developing. He's had impact plays and most won't show on the stat total. But he has to work on getting that impact to become more consistent.
Scot McCloughan is a big Preston Smith fan. You can tell just by how McCloughan interacts with him in the locker room. I've seen McCloughan intentionally have numerous one-on-ones at Preston's locker post-game. Anytime McCloughan discusses his 2015 second round pick, his face lights-up. The sky is the limit for this young pass rusher and it's going to take patience as well as hard work for him to reach that.
As for Breeland, I don't think there's a player on the team having a more unfortunate season. In my opinion, he's not playing horrible, but he's been involved in some horrible plays. Bashaud Breeland, 24, is also very young and has a ton of potential. The Redskins have struggled to develop players in the past and would be crazy to give up on this young cornerback. One thing I do wonder is if Breeland is having a little trouble getting used to now playing on the right side of the field. He's been mostly a left cornerback since entering the league. With Josh Norman in the fold, it forced Breeland to make that RCB move. Corners and receivers that are used to playing on one side of the field can sometimes get thrown off when moved to the opposite side. Either way, both Breeland and Smith are two young players who should be viewed as building pieces on this team. Give it time, these guys have big game potential.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.
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