Bacarri Rambo Eager To Take Advantage Of Start
A solid preseason has put the free safety in line to be the first rookie to start the season at the position for the Redskins in more than 30 years.
BY ZAC BOYER
ASHBURN – Ole Miss adopted a hurry-up offense for the first time last year, but Bacarri Rambo doesn’t think playing in one college game will give him the slightest bit of help.
“That no-huddle, that fast tempo they have kind of relates to how we play in the SEC, but it’s the NFL, period,” Rambo said. “There’s a whole lot of guys who can run fast.”
The free safety, drafted out of Georgia in April, has already washed away any memories of what he faced in college. Beginning Monday, when his Redskins open the season against the uptempo Eagles, Rambo knows everything will go faster.
He’ll become the first rookie safety to start for the Redskins since LaRon Landry did so in 2007 – and the team’s first rookie to start at free safety in more than 30 years.
“Hard work pays off,” Rambo said. “I mean, I busted my tail through [offseason workouts], rookie minicamp, training camp, and the coaches realized that. They gave me the opportunity, so I’ve got to take advantage of it.”
The 6-foot, 215-pounder worked nearly exclusively with the first-team defense throughout training camp and the preseason, in which he played 52 percent of all defensive snaps.
And while his first major gaffe was in the preseason opener against the Titans, in which he failed to make an open-field tackle on running back Chris Johnson, he improved in that aspect in subsequent games.
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has seen Rambo use a better understanding of where he is on the field in his technique, whether he’s wrapping up a ball-carrier in close quarters or trying to knock him out of bounds.
“If you’re a defensive lineman, you just tackle the guy in front of you. It’s not that hard,” Haslett said. “I think this is probably the biggest improvement he’s made. He’s a ball hawk. He’s got great ball skills and all that. We’ll see because he’ll have to tackle this week.”
Discipline will be key for Rambo, who will creep into the box at times in run-support duties but be primarily responsible for covering the deep middle of the field. So, too, will be communication, and he said he’s learned from fellow safety Reed Doughty, as well as cornerback DeAngelo Hall, to help him learn his responsibilities.
“My coaches have got a very good game plan, and I feel like I’m very prepared,” Rambo said. “It’s just going out there and going to play. I’ve studied film and I’ve asked questions, and that’s made me understand the game better and made it a whole lot easier.”