As his knowledge base of the cornerback position expands, Quinton Dunbar is starting to look more comfortable on the defensive side of the ball after a position change during last year's training camp.
Quinton Dunbar is starting to look like a natural at cornerback.
What began as a training camp move due to injuries at the cornerback position, Dunbar's transition from wide receiver to cornerback – followed by a full regular season of action against some of the top talent in the NFL in 2015 – was one of the highlights of an NFC East-winning season for the Redskins.
While Dunbar's technique wasn't neccessarily sharp, his natural football abilities paired with a lengthy 6-foot-2 frame allowed for some successful moments as a rookie.
But with a full offseason to grow, Redskins defensive backs coach Perry Fewell says that Dunbar "looks like a defensive back now."
"He's bending his knees, he's making plays on the ball and his knowledge base has expanded quite a bit," Fewell said.
Dunbar, 23, appeared in 11 games during the 2015 season, totaling 13 tackles with five passes defensed and an interception, when he picked off New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning in the Redskins' end zone during a late November victory.
Even with Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman around, Fewell expects Dunbar to still get an ample amount of playing time.
"We only played him in a sub-package last year, now we are playing him in a base package and a sub-package," Fewell said. "So his knowledge has really expanded, he knows what to expect. He's really doing a better job this year of competing. I think he has an expectation level and he's competing on a daily basis."
Norman – who made a similar position switch in college – believes Dunbar has the skill set to succeed on the defensive side of the ball.
"Obviously a little protégé," Norman said. "We're working with him, he's a big guy. Transition from wide receiver to cornerback. I was a wide receiver in college and high school and transitioned to (cornerback), so I know how that feels. He just gets better and better each and every day and you can see that transpire."
Dunbar's progression during offseason workouts was noticeable, as he nabbed a pair of interceptions during the first week of OTAs.
While Dunbar hopes the game-changing plays become more frequent when the games count, interceptions don't necessarily change his mindset on the field.
"Interceptions don't give me confidence; I've got confidence in myself and my abilities," Dunbar said. "I know what I can do. I know I come out here and compete every day. The picks are just a bonus from all the hard work and what I do."