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Redskins Defensive Improvements: DeJon Gomes

DeJon Gomes is going into his third year with the Redskins. In his tenure with the team, he has struggled with consistency as a defensive back. With the heavy investment made by the team in defensive backs during the 2013 draft, Gomes is going to have to step up and play better if he wants to stay on the team.

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After the 2011 season, DeJon Gomes looked like a draft steal to me. He played in 15 games in 2011, and started 5. He played extremely well during the 2011 season while playing strong and free safety due to the injuries of LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe. Gomes was playing extremely well in run support during the 2011 campaign. He was hard hitting and running to ball on every play while tackling anyone he could. I was impressed and I believed we had a starting safety going into the 2012 season. As you can see from his stats from 2012, that plan did not go so well.

2012 Stats

Games Played: 15

Games Started: 3

Interceptions: 1

Passes Defended: 4

Forced Fumbles: 0

Fumble Recoveries: 1

Tackles: 20

Assists on tackles: 12

DeJon Gomes was the starting strong safety after Brandon Meriweather was hurt early in the 2012 season. However, he lost the starting job to Reed Doughty after the defensive backs as a unit struggled early in the 2012 season. His inability to stay on the field is extremely concerning. Maybe Gomes struggled due to the dreaded "sophomore slump" or simply because the Redskins defense was terrible early in the 2012 season. (I know "terrible" is a strong word, but Victor Cruz getting behind all of our defensive backs and catching that touchdown pass in the 4th quarter still haunts my dreams. Salsa dancing jerk). While Gomes struggled this past season, I believe he can improve on a two main things to be the 5th round steal I think he can be.

Key Improvements in 2013:

1. Stay on the field: I know that suggestion seems a bit obvious and possibly condescending, but it is step 1 to being a productive player in the NFL. Gomes lost the starting Strong Safety job because of his inconsistency in pass coverage. Giving up big plays is the easiest way to get knocked off the field, unless you are Madieu Williams of course (yup, still bitter). If Gomes can reduce the number of big plays he gives up, he will get to stay on the field. Even if he struggles at safety again this year, impressing on special teams is a good way to contribute to and stay on the team as a depth player.

2. Improve pass defense: While Gomes is a good run defender, that is not likely going to guarantee him playing time or a roster spot anymore. He has to improve on his pass defense. Maybe some time with a video projector and some tape on the talented wide receivers he has to play against in the division would benefit him greatly. He needs to recognize passing routes better when dropping back into coverage. It would also help to know the opposing wide receiver’s tendencies. The devil is in the details. The details are in the film. Take notes, and lots of them.