Starter: Shawn Springs
Experience: 9th NFL season, 3rd with Redskins
2005: Started 15 games
Starter: Carlos Rogers
Experience: 2nd NFL season, both with Redskins
2005: Started 5 games, played in 12 total
Springs' Resume: While the Redskins would rather have kept Champ Bailey after the 2003 season, they didn't do too badly in grabbing Springs off of the free agent market to take his place. Springs came through with a five-interception, six-sack effort in 2004. His numbers fell off considerably last year as he had just one pick and no sacks. While it's possible that the fact that he turned 30 last year was a big factor in the drop in his stats, it's more likely that it was a fluke on the low side just like he was fortunate to post the numbers he did in '04.
Rogers' Resume: There's no question that the Redskins would have liked to have gotten a little more out of Rogers in his rookie year, but he missed some of training camp with one injury and then had to sit out four late-season games with a torn bicep muscle. Still, there was plenty for the Redskins to like in what they saw. He's an excellent fit in Gregg Williams' defense, aggressive against the run and able to function on an island in coverage.
Said about Springs: "We thought he really fit in to what we're trying to do and obviously he has some intangibles in that he is from this area. We really like the type of person he is. He's also a big player and we like his size as a corner--and that he doesn't mind putting his hands on people and pressing."--Joe Gibbs when Springs was signed in 2004
Said about Rogers: "Carlos has probably been as fast as anyone I have ever coached. The fact that we've tried to keep his confidence up and put him in situations that allow him to succeed is a big plus."--Gregg Williams
John Keim's Inside Juice on Springs: He's proven that he can still play and that he's a terrific fit in GW's system because of his athleticism, versatility and toughness. He might not be an elite corner anymore, but he does many things well. And his ability to line up at safety, or in the slot, creates problems -- and helps GW be even more creative. My only concern is age, but Springs has shown no signs of being broken down or anything.
Keim's Juice on Rogers: I love his toughness and play against the run. He's a major help in that area. He also learned fast in coverage. He breaks quickly on the ball and has good makeup speed. He did get beat a few times on double moves, but that's part of the learning curve for a rookie. I'm confident he'll improve and be a good starter.
Wright, Jimoh, Morton, Patterson
Depth: Kenny Wright, who saw a lot of action with a very good Jacksonville defense last year, will be the first corner off the bench. After that it's Ade Jimoh. Although the thought of Jimoh in coverage didn't make the coaches and fans break out in a cold sweat as it has in previous seasons, the team is better off if he sticks to his outstanding special teams play. If they decide to keep a fifth corner Christian Morton and Dimitri Patterson, both of whom did some fill-in work late last season, will fight it out for that spot.