Sixth round pick Bacarri Rambo has been thrust into a starting position at free safety. While it might surprise some, many people did believe he was one of the more 'true' free safeties in this draft class and had third round potential. With the Redskins secondary in disarray last season, Rambo's talent has seen him rise quickly from sixth round pick to starter.
He made some mistakes in the first two preseason games, taking some bad angles and missing tackles while in run support. But after some extra work with Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett, Rambo saw improvements last week against the Bills. The coaching staff kept him on the field against the Buccaneers in the fourth preseason game, when most starters at usually rested. The decision to play him paid off as Rambo put in his best performance of preseason.
He started off with a good tackle in run support.
The running back manages to work his way to the second level of the defense and looks to have some good blocks ahead of him.
But Rambo comes charging in without hesitation. One of the things he struggled with early on in preseason was hesitating. In the NFL, if you hesitate, you're going to get beaten. Rambo takes an inside angle, forcing the runner to curve his path towards the sideline.
Rambo does an excellent job wrapping up the runner instead of trying to land a big hit.
After wrapping up, Rambo can use his momentum to bring down the runner without giving up any more yards. That's a perfectly executed play from Rambo; using a good angle to force the runner to the sideline and then wrapping him up. If Rambo can continue in that fashion, he shouldn't have too many problems.
Later on in the game, Rambo made a nice play to stop running back Peyton Hillis from getting a chunk of yards.
Rambo sneaks down towards the line of scrimmage and almost acts as an extra linebacker. The Bucs are running a stretch play to the right.
Hillis is looking for a running lane inside to cut back into, but Rambo fills the only opening, forcing Hillis to bounce the run outside.
Rambo does an excellent job pursuing Hillis and makes a diving tackle towards the sideline to bring Hillis down for a minimal gain.
It's encouraging to see Rambo put in the work in practice and improve drastically from his first two preseason performances. Having a two-way safety that can not only cover deep, but support against the run is incredibly beneficial to the defense going forward.
Having said that, we've yet to see him tested deep. Not many teams have taken deep shots on the Redskins defense in preseason, partially because the Redskins pass rush hasn't allowed them to. But we did get to see a glimpse of Rambo in coverage against a tight end last night.
Rambo again sneaks up to the line of scrimmage and lines up across from the tight end.
Rambo opens himself towards the flat, ready to break on the throw to the tight end, but he keeps his eyes on the quarterback and waits for the throw.
By the time the ball is in the air, Rambo is already breaking on it, with his eyes set on the tight end.
Rambo keeps his head up as he throws himself just below the waist of the tight end as he attempts to wrap him up. The tight end has no chance of breaking that tackle, and Rambo keeps the completion to an absolute minimal.
This was easily Rambo's best game of the preseason, showing plenty of encouraging signs as we move into the first week of the regular season. I'm eager to finally get some All-22 footage of him playing as a single high safety, which wasn't available to us in preaseason.