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David Macklin getting some love

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From David Elfin at the Washington Times, with a few interesting tidbits and quotes:

"We've got a couple of guys not here, and David steps in and we don't miss a beat," cornerbacks coach Jerry Gray raved about Macklin, who played for the Arizona Cardinals the last three seasons. "He doesn't make mental mistakes. The way David plays tells me that he's a professional who studies. He knows his role, and he knows what he has to do to get better. ... Other guys can be as talented and experienced as David, but they make a lot of mental mistakes in a new system."...

"When your third, fourth and fifth corners can't compete against No. 1 receivers, you're going to be in trouble," Gray said without naming names. "You have to start making calls to protect guys. That's really not us. Now we have guys who can come in, and we can still play at a high level. That's how we're going to get better."

Macklin, whose lack of size has led him to commit more than his share of penalties, was benched by Arizona coach Dennis Green after being beaten for a touchdown by San Francisco rookie tight end Vernon Davis in the 2006 opener. But Macklin was starting again by midseason. The Cardinals were 4-4 with Macklin in the lineup, 1-7 when he wasn't.

Talk is cheap. I really hope David Macklin lives up to the words of Coach Gray, though he's a prime candidate for the Kenny Wright/Mike Rumph role -- one year contract floated to a veteran to improve depth... and they didn't.

The difference is that Macklin is, on paper at least, a better CB. He's more experienced than Rumph overall and (it appears) has more experience starting than Kenny Wright. He's also done more with the time he's spent on the field, with more four more interceptions than Wright and Rumph combined, and more tackles and passes defensed than either as well.

Also good news is that Macklin is ostensibly deeper on the depth chart than Kenny Wright (who was above Mike Rumph) given the addition of Fred Smoot. If When Shawn Springs goes down to injury we'll have Carlos Rogers and Fred Smoot with Macklin on passing downs, whereas last year that would have meant Kenny Wright lining up against a #2 receiver with Mike in as the nickel. That's not a good lineup, and it showed in our horrid pass defense.

It's a bit early to proclaim Macklin as better than either Wright or Rumph, though I think there's evidence to that conclusion. We're also generally better off in the secondary than we were last year, which speaks well of the Redskins learning from at least one mistake.

David Macklin effectively took a pay cut to join us in Washington, since he was being offered a better (2-year contract) in Kansas City.