A look at some of the safeties on the Washington Redskins' roster heading into training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., 2014.
With training camp set to begin later this week, Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda previews the current state of the Redskins' roster. Today's focus is on safeties.
The Redskins enter training camp at the Bon Secours Training Center with a mix of seasoned NFL veterans with Pro Bowl experience and talented young ball-hawks at the safety position.
Last season, the Redskins arrived in Richmond with uncertainty at how the safety depth chart would stack up. Brandon Meriweather was coming off a season in which he appeared in just one game, while highly-touted rookies Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo had a history of making big plays, but no NFL experience.
Entering training camp this season, the depth chart at safety is once again fluid, with multiple talented players having the ability to crack the starting lineup on any given day.
ROSTER SUBTRACTION(S):-- Reed Doughty (unrestricted free agent)
-- Jordan Pugh (unrestricted free agent)
-- Jose Gumbs (unrestricted free agent)
KEY ADDITION(S):-- Ryan Clark (free agent)
-- Akeem Davis (free agent)
-- Ross Madison (college free agent)
CURRENT STATE OF THE UNIT:Ryan Clark is returning to the Redskins after spending the last eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Before playing for the Steelers, Clark appeared in 28 games for the Redskins during the 2005-06 seasons.
Many have penciled in Clark as the replacement for London Fletcher in terms of veteran leadership, but the two-time Pro Bowler still has a lot left in the tank in terms of on-field impact. He is coming off a season where he registered a career-high 104 tackles.
Second to Clark in terms of experience is Brandon Meriweather who is entering his eighth NFL season.
Originally signed by the Redskins before the 2012 season, Meriweather last season finally had the opportunity to showcase his physical style of play.
Appearing in 13 games, Meriweather recorded 69 tackles and snagged two interceptions.
Joining Clark and Meriweather are 2012 Draft classmates Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo.
The duo started the Redskins' preseason opener vs. Tennessee, but Thomas' on-field growth would end there, as he suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury.
Rambo, however, would start the first two regular season games vs. Philadelphia and Green Bay — recording 18 tackles in the process — before playing more of a special teams role to close out the season.
Also returning to the Redskins in 2014 is Trenton Robinson.
Robinson, a former college teammate of quarterback Kirk Cousins, appeared in 11 games for Washington last season. He recorded a career-high three tackles vs. Chicago in Week 7.
Akeem Davis — signed in April — joins the group after playing at the University of Memphis. In four seasons, Davis recorded 162 tackles with three interceptions and five forced fumbles.
Ross Madison grew up a stone's throw from the team's headquarters in Ashburn, Va. After attending Heritage High School, Madison played in 48 games for Toledo.
WHAT TO WATCH:This will be a friendly, but intense, competition to earn the two starting spots at safety for the Redskins this season.
The team could look to Clark and Meriweather — two proven commodities — to seal the defensive backfield, or they could call on the younger talents on the roster. A combination of a veteran and younger player is certainly a possibility as well.
Thomas recorded an NCAA-high in interceptions his senior year at Fresno State, while Rambo has had a full offseason to work on certain facets of his game that faced as a rookie last season.