Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

FedEx Tracking: Secondary Changes

With a new defensive backs coach along with the addition of three veterans to the roster, this week's FedEx Tracking has a look at the secondary changes the Redskins have made this offseason to date. 

After two seasons in which the secondary struggled at times against opposing aerial attacks, the Washington Redskins made a concerted effort this offseason to bolster their secondary with both quality players and veteran leadership.


That started with the acquisition of longtime NFL coach Perry Fewell to be the team's defensive backs coach.

Fewell – who first coached in the NFL in 1998 with the Jacksonville Jaguars – most recently was the New York Giants' defensive coordinator.

Fewell told Larry Michael, Voice of the Redskins, in February that he doesn't instruct players the same way, rather, by situation and learning preference.

From there, Fewell wants to make sure they are causing serious problems for opponents.

 "A DB has to have a short memory," he said. "Sometimes you're going to win, sometimes you're not going to be successful. But I think if you challenge every ball in the air, that you can play with some confidence and maybe we can get our share of interceptions and get our share of turnovers."  

Early in free agency, the Redskins signed two sought after free agent defensive backs, as they first landed cornerback Chris Culliver and then safety Jeron Johnson.

Head coach Jay Gruden told the media during the NFL Annual Meetings in Phoenix last month that Culliver "has the ability to travel with the better receivers," a needed quality in a division that features Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr.  

"We see a corner that's going to stick his head in there and make tackles and really fly to the football and challenge the ball when it's in the air and challenge people in bump and run," he said. "You can just see him competing on every down and in every phase, getting his hands on people at the line of scrimmage, running to the football, and doing a great job in run support."

Johnson, meanwhile, comes to Washington with little starting experience, but the potential to be a serious contributor on the defense in 2015.

Check out photos of the entire 2015 Washington Redskins offseason active roster in action.

"I think he's an interesting prospect, really," Gruden said. "He's young, he played great on special teams, and he's another one that really is excited about the opportunity to get a chance to play. He's had limited opportunities because of Kam [Chancellor] and the safeties they have there (in Seattle) — Earl [Thomas] — but I think he's got the ability to play in the box, and, I think, can cover some ground."

Then last Friday, the Redskins announced a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that landed them two-time Pro Bowler Dashon Goldson.

Goldson said that while he may be the newest player in the group, he wants to be the one that sets the tempo from the get-go.

"I love being physical, and I think that's definitely something you have to definitely put together a defense," he said earlier this week. "A physical defense is always good. Some people don't like to get hit – point blank. That's just the way it is. People don't like to get hit. That's what I'll bring to this defense, and I'll try to get the guys around me to feed off my energy. I can say vice-versa. I'll feed off theirs."




This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.