4. The Reality Is, Kendall Fuller and William Jackson III are struggling hard.
Here are the grades for the Washington Football Teams through 4 weeks:
Fuller and Jackson are good players. They aren’t old or injury prone. They’re being used wrong. And that has to stop immediately. Jackson III is a press man corner. Outside of one long ball to Slayton vs. the Giants and one long PI against Ridley, he has not been beaten on a big when playing true press man. And in both of those cases, he really failed to get his hands on the receiver at the line of scrimmage. If is allowed to play to his strengths and is able to disrupt receiver releases, I’d expect his production to skyrocket.
Fuller, on the other hand, looks lost, which makes me believe there are simply too many different coverages and techniques he’s being asked to mix and match. He’s a very smart player, but sometimes smart players need to think less and react more, which is why I think JDR should move Fuller to free safety and Bobby McCain into the slot. McCain’s instincts at safety are suspect at best, while his ball skills and tackling appear to be pretty solid, while Fuller’s instincts are better and his quicks are lacking.
I’d like to see these things, but I don’t expect them. I think Del Rio is really hesitant to make dramatic shifts like this. He’s more of a “give it time and trust the process” kind of coach, and I think that’s proving to be a problem as the defense struggles this season. Another ugly performance against a New Orleans team that isn’t really dynamic offensively might be enough to prompt even Del Rio to make a shift, though.