Reporting Grant Paulsen
ASHBURN, Va. (CBSDC) — Here are quick hitters from Saturday morning’s walk through at Washington Redskins training camp.
Kevin Barnes says Raheem Morris isn’t just helping the Redskins’ defensive backs
The head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, new defensive backs coach Raheem Morris was added to the Redskins’ staff this offseason to help improve the team’s secondary play. But according to fourth-year cornerback Kevin Barnes, Morris is doing more than just assisting Washington’s defensive backs.
“He’s going through and reviewing the whole defense, not just what the secondary is doing,” Barnes said after Saturday morning’s walk-through. “He’s working on making sure on every inconsistency or problem we had with coverage or run fits last year — with the whole defense. He’s coming in and putting his two cents in.”
Morris, 35, was fired after posting a 17-31 record during a three-season stint as the head coach of the Bucs. Having never been a defensive coordinator, Morris was hired after two seasons coaching Tampa Bay’s defensive backs. He’s now considered one of defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s top positional assistants on the Redskins’ coaching staff.
Keenan Robinson expects to be a force on special teams
A 23-year-old inside linebacker from the University of Texas, the Redskins drafted Robinson in the fourth round (with the 119th pick) this past April. The 6-foot-3, 242-pound defender played both outside and inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme in college, but he’ll play inside the tackle box in Washington’s 3-4 alignment.
Robinson hopes to see playing time on defense this season, but he is realistic about the role he’ll be asked to play in his inaugural season.
“Rookies are always expected to play special teams,” he said. “Obviously I’m going to play that and be a major role in that. For me, the competition at linebacker is really deep but that just gives me a better chance to showcase my ability. If I can beat those guys out, that means I belong.”
The former high school All-American is hoping that his experience in the 3-4 in college will make his transition to the NFL easier.
Dezmon Briscoe added to the wide receiving corps
Briscoe was waived by the Bucaneers a day into training camp despite leading the team with six touchdown catches in 2011. The 22 year-old reportedly failed his conditioning test after missing several voluntary workouts during the offseason.
“I had a bunch of personal stuff going on at the house so I missed some voluntary workouts,” Briscoe said about the end of his time with the Bucs. “The conditioning test, everyone didn’t pass. It stuck out with me not passing because I wasn’t there for offseason training.”
Briscoe has good size, standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 210 pounds. He thinks his frame will provide Washington with a presence they’ve been lacking.
“There’s not really many big guys,” Briscoe said about the Redskins’ wide receivers. “Usually its speedy, craftier, more route-running guys here traditionally.
The third-year veteran has seen game action the past two seasons, including starting a pair of games in Tampa Bay in 2011. Briscoe finished last season with an eight-catch game and two scores in week 17.
Barry Cofield is looking forward to his second season as a nose tackle
Added just before the start of training camp a year ago, Cofield believes his game-experience at nose tackle and the full offseason he spent mastering his role should garner improved results in 2012. He says he can play better than he did in his first season in Washington, a campaign that he admittedly referred to as a growing process with no offseason to learn a position he had never played before.
“I go back and watch a lot of Casey Hampton Steelers tape throughout the years. He’s kind of the godfather of the nose tackle position as we play it today and he did it well,” Cofield said. “There’s some things that I can do with my athleticism that I bring to the position that not a lot of other guys do.
Cofield is looking forward to not having to think while he is on the field, something he said he was able to do during his six seasons with the New York Giants.
“I wasn’t happy with the way I played last year,” Cofield added. “I expect a lot of growth this year.”
The 28-year-old, run-stuffer batted a team-high eight passes at the line of scrimmage and tallied three sacks last season.