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After Swapping Positions, Quinton Dunbar Effective Rookie Year


Quinton Dunbar made a successful transition from wide receiver to cornerback during his rookie season in Washington after going undrafted.

If someone had told rookie Quinton Dunbar at training camp he that he would be playing cornerback in the playoffs, he "definitely wouldn't have believed it."

After playing at the University of Florida for four years as a wide receiver, Dunbar came to the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent looking to make a name for himself at the next level.

But due to the shortage of corners during training camp, Dunbar was asked to make a fairly big decision.

"I mean I didn't know what to expect, but I was just up for the task," Dunbar said. "Like I said, I'm a competitor and I feel like I'm a good enough athlete to do anything, so I just went over there and I took it on.

With veteran receivers already on the team, and two more picked up during the 2015 NFL Draft, Dunbar understood that his chances at making the roster were slim.

When the coaching staff approached him and asked about transitioning to the other side of the ball, Dunbar was more than willing to make the shift. He even believed that his experience playing wide receiver would be beneficial in his new role, saying that he had already learned a lot.

"I mean me playing receiver helped me out a lot, knowing receiver tendencies and stuff," Dunbar said. "I mean, like I said, basically the technique, overall just learning the defense, knowing where your help at and things like that."

Dunbar made this most of his opportunity, working hard both on and off the field to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible.

"I [get] better every day at practice," Dunbar said. "You can ask any of them guys. I [am] on scout team, I [give the] offense a great look. Breaking my technique [has gotten better] and I just wanted to test it to see how hard I worked, was it really working. I mean, I was doing good in practice and I just wanted to try in a game and I did pretty good."

He finally saw game action in Week 4 after an injury to DeAngelo Hall left a gap on defense.

Although he wasn't utilized often at first, Dunbar kept working hard, not knowing when a bigger break would come.

Another injury in November, this time to Chris Culliver, finally gave Dunbar the chance to prove himself on the field against NFC East rivals, the New York Giants.

Dunbar was able to capitalize on the opportunity, grabbing his first career interception against two-time Super Bowl winner, Eli Manning.

"I mean it's just special to be in this moment, period," Dunbar said after the game. "I grew up wanting to play in the NFL, now I'm here. I grew up watching Eli Manning, so and I made a play on him, so that's special to me."

After that Week 12 game against the Giants, Dunbar became a mainstay in the Redskins defense, growing and learning more each week, something that he wants to continue to build on during the offseason.

"I think I improved tremendously, but I've still got a lot of work to do," Dunbar said. "So I'm going to head to the offseason full speed, learn the game, learn the defense more and learn defensive back more."




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