The Washington Redskins haven’t had a frightening presence in the secondary since the passing of Sean Taylor in 2007. To address the personnel setback, the Redskins drafted Georgia standout Bacarri Rambo in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft to provide reinforcement to a glaringly incompetent secondary. Problem solved, right?
Not so much. The kid’s stock in the NFL tanked almost immediately, and it didn’t take subpar QBs too terribly long to expose flaws in his game. Not only was he a really bad tackler, but the man had an attitude, and it wasn’t a good one. Rambo’s blatant lack of enthusiasm for executing on special teams kept him on the inactive list for the duration of the season. That more than likely stunted his development at safety.
So how to you inject a little bit of motivation into the sophomore’s situation? You get inside his head. That’s what first-year head coach Jay Gruden did. The former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator threatened Rambo’s job security by pulling senior safeties Ryan Clark and Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith from the Redskins’ reserves.
Two’s a party. Three’s a crowd. Rambo saw the incoming cast of safeties and decided to up his game.
As one might guess, he doesn’t much like the idea of sharing his place in the secondary with aging never-has-beens, and the sophomore safety’s game has been lights-out ever since. Rambo has posted eye-opening numbers in training camp and preseason games, registering four open-field tackles preseason opener, followed by four more tackles and a forced fumble against the Cleveland Browns.
There’s no question that Rambo’s game has turned the coaches’ heads. He has even received rave reviews from the his fellow teammates regarding his play. Veteran DB DeAngelo Hall called Rambo the Redskins’ best player in the preseason. The sophomore safety has not missed any tackles this preseason, and has registered three tackles for loss.
It’s a night-and-day difference, one that has all but anchored Rambo a roster spot heading into 2014.