While Redskins cornerback Bashuad Breeland has been asked to cover some of the best wide receivers in the NFL so far this season, the third-year Clemson product will continue to play confidently. Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry doesn't believe Bashaud Breeland's confidence has been shaken at all after, at times, struggling against two of the best wide receivers in the NFL today.
"He exudes confidence," Barry said on Wednesday. "And I think to play corner in the National Football League, you have to exude confidence. You're not going to win every single down, you're not going to win every single play, you're not going to walk out of a game and have a guy that hasn't completed at least a hitch on you. So, I think he's obviously frustrated as we all are. We're 0-2. This isn't what we envisioned, but to say that anybody on our entire team has lost confidence, I would challenge that 100 percent."
In the Redskins' first two games of the season, the 24-year-old has faced off with Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro wideout Antonio Brown and two-time Pro Bowler Dez Bryant.
While both wide receivers were able to eclipse the 100-yard mark against the entire Redskins defense, Breeland – who has led Washington in interceptions in each of his first two seasons – had his moments, too, particularly against Bryant.
Twice, Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott tried to find Bryant on end zone fades, only for Breeland (three inches shorter) to get his hand in late and deflect the ball away.
Late in the game against Dallas, though, the Redskins made some on the fly adjustments, asking All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman to follow Bryant while Breeland stuck with No. 2 Dallas receiver Terence Williams.
"Well, I mean, again, it's planned out," Barry said of the decision to move Norman and Breeland around. "It's detailed during the week. And our guys, every single one of our players are professionals. They really are. And we make sure that they feel absolutely 100 percent good with the plan. And we move forward and we don't look back and we go. So, no matter what the plan is, no matter how we align, no matter what coverage we're going to play, what blitz we're going to do, it's something that's discussed. That's why we spend countless hours in here during the week. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, they're long grind days for the players. But it's to get the plan, feel great about the plan and go execute the plan."
Breeland said he's doesn't lose any sleep over the fact some have been critical of his performance to date.
Check out these photos of the Redskins' defense and special teams preparing for their Week 3 game against the New York Giants Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2016, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.
"I've been in this position all my life," Breeland said. "People talk about me all life, but that doesn't bother me."
Breeland added that he comes to the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va., every single day "to play ball."
"All these stories, all this talk that y'all got going on, it doesn't faze me," Breeland told reporters on Thursday. "It shouldn't faze this team. We're going to go out here and do what we got to do to get this win."
As for this week, the Redskins have a plan for New York Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., which potentially could mean that Norman follows the 2014 first-round pick, regardless of whether he's outside on the left or right.
Breeland has worked the slot some in practices this week during individual defensive back drills. If he's asked to defend the slot receiver, Breeland will be ready.
"You get a lot of intermediate throws in the slot," Breeland said. "It's not that hard, I feel like I can play every position in the secondary, so I'm confident in myself, I feel like my team's confident in me, so we're going to go out here and do what we got to do."
Regardless, the Redskins just want to get their first victory of the year, no matter where Breeland or Norman is lined up.
"I don't look at matchups, I look at winning the game," Breeland said. "I look at schemes, that's what I'm studying, that's what I'm playing with. I'm not worried about this receiver or that receiver, I don't see names, I see no one. I'm just going out there to play the game."