WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – It’s understood now that the Redskins will be holding a position battle at Training Camp to decide their two starting corners in 2013, something that meshes well with Mike Shanahan’s core philosophy on competition.
The team has done everything in its power to ensure the secondary won’t suffer as badly as it did last season, including drafting David Amerson in the 2nd round, signing free agent E.J. Biggers, re-negotiating Josh Wilson, and signing DeAngelo Hall, after cutting him – all of which was maneuvered around a league-restricted salary cap.
While it’ll be a crowded defensive backfield at Training Camp at the end of the month, one guy you may not want to forget about is 2012 7th round pick, Richard Crawford, who you may better remember as the guy who stole Brandon Banks’ job by putting up actual, tangible results on the field.
“I feel like I’ve got a chance to play or even start,” Crawford told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny Tuesday. “The best player’s always going to play, no matter what round you’re drafted in, first or seventh.”
Now with a season under his belt, Crawford joyfully lamented his first days in the league when he distinctly recalled his “Welcome to the NFL” moment, which he says came in the very first preseason game against Buffalo.
“My first play in my preseason was a blitz going into the starting Bills tackle,” Crawford said. “He knocked me in my head and I was like ‘Alright, um. It’s time to play now.’”
Crawford saw limited playing time outside of returns in 2012, but still managed 3 interceptions if you include the 2 preseason passes he came down with.
His one regular season pick was a big one though.
Crawford hauled in the first of three Tony Romo interceptions in the Redskins’ Week 17 matchup with the Cowboys, the game which locked up Washington’s first NFC East title in 13 years.
“I just remember in the moment, really I wasn’t even thinking about an interception,” Crawford admitted. “I was thinking about tackling. Zero blitz: you don’t think about making interceptions on zero blitzes because if you do, it’s a touchdown. Nobody’s there. As Rahim says, nobody’s back there besides Jesus. So I was thinking about making the tackle, and [Romo] kind of threw the ball bad, and I just adjusted to the ball and caught it.”
However, there was one little detail about that moment Crawford would go back and change if he could:
“I kind of ran the wrong way,” Crawford laughed, embarrassed. “I’ve been working on that too, running the right way on my interceptions because, every interception I got I ran the wrong way.”
In the clip below, you can hear him talk about things like RGII & Alfred Morris rubbing off on the rest of the team.