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Su'a Cravens Will Begin To 'Branch Off In Different Areas'


While Su'a Cravens has spent all of his time with the Redskins to date at linebacker, the versatile rookie could soon get a few snaps at other position.

The Redskins are ready to test out Su'a Cravens ability to play multiple positions.

After spending the entire offseason and preseason at inside linebacker, working with the second-team defensive unit alongside Martrell Spaight, Cravens is trying to grasp safety at the NFL, the position he's actually listed at on the roster.

That means he's ready to "branch off in different areas," starting with some work on the scout team as safety.

"Even though they are doing a card, we can put people in different situations and see how they move around in space and do some things," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said of the scout team. "We can still translate our calls to what the scout team is doing."

During the preseason, Cravens played a total of 85 snaps at linebacker, recording 13 tackles.

His play, though, went well beyond the stat sheet. He showed the ability to cover sideline to sideline and provided intensity on each snap he was on the field.

"Really, I like his energy, man," Gruden said. "I think you can feel him out there, see him making plays and he's around the ball a lot which is good to see. We've just got to keep coaching him up and he's going to be a heck of a player for us, especially in those nickel situations. He's a good blitzer, he can cover and obviously he can tackle."

Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry recently joked that if he could, he'd have Cravens position listed as "hybrid."  But before that branching off can really take place – whether it be as a third-down linebacker or at the safety position in other situations – the USC product needs to nail down the verbiage of the defense.

As a rookie, that takes some time.

"No matter how much football that he's played in college – and you know he was a full-time starter all three years in college – it's different," Barry said. "It's at a different tempo, and again he was a little bit better in OTAs than he was in rookie minicamp, he's getting better every single day."

With his regular season debut fast approaching against a Pittsburgh Steelers offense that can put points up in bunches, Cravens will have a large task facing him Monday night.

But whether it's three plays or 30 and whether it's just special teams action, he's ready to get his rookie season underway.

"I just want to be on the field," Cravens said. "The football player that I am, if I get the chance to run down on a kickoff or run down on a punt and make a tackle, I'm [going to] do it."

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