Starter: Adam Archuleta
Experience: 6th NFL Season, first with Redskins
2005: Started 14 games for Rams
Starter: Sean Taylor
Experience: 3rd NFL season, all with Redskins
2005: Started 15 games
Archuleta's Resume: Archuleta is a hard-hitting safety who is an excellent run defender. Against the pass, well, he's an excellent run defender. His aggressive style of play is a perfect fit for Gregg Williams' defensive scheme. They just hope that the win his gambles more often than they lose them.
Taylor's Resume: When he first lined up in camp two years ago, looking like a linebacker back too deep, he was a bundle of raw potential. A lot of that potential remains unfinished as he has endured a career that has been rocky off the field. Whenever there has been a big play, Taylor is often involved; the problem is that this includes big plays for the opposition offense as well as for the Washington defense. The trick to making him one of the best in the game will be to keep his aggressive instincts intact while still keeping him in place as the last line of defense when needed. If Williams and company can accomplish this they will have a guided missile at their disposal instead of a weapon that occasionally backfires on them.
John Keim's Inside Juice on Archuleta: He's a workout maniac and is well-prepared. But is he any good? We'll find out. The book on him is that he doesn't cover well and is pretty good in the box. So look for him to be used often in the box, flying around to cause havoc. He's bigger than Ryan Clark and, therefore, should be more durable. Like Clark, he should be able to help Taylor with alignment, etc. Archuleta is a good blitzer and that matters in this defense. And he's a good hitter. So there will be good and bad. Not sure he's a big upgrade over Clark.
Keim's Juice on Taylor: Maybe this is the year his potential is fully realized, now that the threat of a trial is over. Taylor started making more plays in the second half of last season and was always around the ball. His ability to line up in the middle as a linebacker against spread formations helps prevent inside runs. It's a luxury as few safeties can do it this well. He also covers lots of ground. Let's hope he doesn't do something stupid this year like spit on someone; the secondary changes dramatically when he's out of the game.
Depth: The Redskins added Archuleta this offseason and subtracted two safeties in Ryan Clark and Matt Bowen. That leaves a void that Pierson Prioleau, whose contribution last year mostly came on special teams, must fill. He should be competent in the role. Sixth-round draft pick Reed Doughty should have no problem making the roster as the fourth option.