ASHBURN, Va. — Bacarri Rambo was drafted in the sixth round by the Washington Redskins after solid career at Georgia that would have suggested he would be selected sooner.
A couple suspensions during his career with the Bulldogs, at least one reportedly for a failed drug test, likely caused the safety’s stock to drop.
“All that’s behind me,” Rambo said Sunday when the Redskins concluded their three-day rookie minicamp. “I’ve moved on from that. It helped me grow (into) the person I am today. I’m just a regular, cool guy. I feel like I built my trust up. I know I still got things I need to improve on, just to show them, ‘Hey he’s not that guy. He grew from that.’”
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Rambo aced a test to measure prospects’ dedication and work ethic. That and background checks and talks with the coaches at Georgia, including former Redskins linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti, convinced them that Rambo was worth a flyer in the sixth.
That’s the same round Shanahan drafted 1998 MVP Terrell Davis for Denver out of Georgia in 1995 and record-setting running back Alfred Morris for Washington a year ago.
“I know Coach Olivadotti had something to do with it, told ‘em what kind of player I was and about my true character,” Rambo said.
Shanahan was impressed with the size, quickness and speed of Rambo and fellow rookie safety Phillip Thomas, Washington’s fourth-round selection. There is a starting spot available in the secondary.
Tanard Jackson, who was supposed to start at free safety last year remains on an indefinite NFL substance abuse suspension. Madieu Williams, who filled in last year, wasn’t re-signed.
“Their ball skills were very evident over the last few days,” Shanahan said of Rambo and Thomas. “We do a lot of different things with our secondary. We put a lot of pressure on them mentally as well as physically. You’ve got be able to play both (strong and free safety). They’ve got the size and the athletic ability to play both positions.”
Rambo pleased the coaches with an interception on Sunday.
“I kind of knew the system because we run the same system at Georgia with Coach Olivadotti,” Rambo said. “I really learned a lot from him and it carried over. I just follow the scheme and do what the coaches ask me to do. Once you do that, it allows you to make plays, it allows you to play full-speed. It’s just natural once the ball’s there to go get it and make a play.
Notes: Tight end Jordan Reed, Washington’s third-round pick and running back Chris Thompson, a fifth-rounder, were held out as they recover from knee injuries. . Two names stood out among the 48 players who participated in minicamp on a tryout basis. Birmingham-Southern running back Shawn Morris is Alfred Morris’ younger brother. Western Illinois center Andrew Robiskie’s father, Terry Robiskie, was an assistant to Shanahan with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988-89 and was the Redskins’ interim coach in 2000.
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