They watched rookie safety Kareem Moore hit Cincinnati receiver Chad Johnson so hard, it popped off the wideout's helmet. A week later LaRon Landry crunched DeSean Jackson on one play and saved a touchdown later in the game.
Call it a preview. Though the Redskins like Chris Horton alongside Landry, they certainly envision an increased role for Moore. They liked how he progressed; it helped that they simplified his role by not using him near the line of scrimmage.
"Just one of those a week and it cuts everything down," said safeties coach Steve Jackson. "There's not as much passion in the route-running whenever guys know they're gonna get hit. If you know you could lose your whole career for this one catch, they might not try to catch it."
If Moore ends up playing more next season – he was in on about 10-15 plays a game in the final three games – it would enable Landry to play more in the box. Landry said he doesn't have a preference. Jackson disagrees.
"He prefers to be down there during the game," he said. "He gets so into the game that once he gets a big hit he can taste blood and=2 0now he wants more. There 's not enough action back there so he wants to get closer. The more he can get to the line of scrimmage the more he can be physical with people."
By the way, this is why Moore is a big hitter: "I get there with a bad attitude."
As for his hit on Johnson, he said he heard a lot about it from friends and family.
"I got a little static about it though [from teammates] because they said he got in my face," Moore said. "Marcus [Washington] said I should have head-butted him. He punked me a little bit, but it felt good to hit a guy like that, of his caliber, and then how he got up. It fired me up a little bit."
All of this excites Landry for next season -- and beyond.
"That's the attitude me and Sean [Taylor] had," he said. "We're trying to build on that. I'm not Sean and the other guys aren't Sean, but having that a mentality like him, that's what we're trying to build. All three of us can go down in the box. We're all versatile and that's the thing we need. It enables us to put different packages on the field to match up with fast guys or big guys or receivers or a running back in the slot. We can guard it all."
John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and is a contributing editor for Warpathinsiders.com. He has covered the team since 1994. Some of his other stories can be found at dcexaminer.com
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