3 major storylines we’ll be watching closely at Commanders OTAs
By Jerry Trotta
2. Who’s playing Buffalo nickel?
Landon Collins is gone. Cole Holcomb is expected to assume the middle linebacker position. Jamin Davis in an off-ball role. Who plays the Buffalo nickel? Is fourth-round safety Percy Butler the current frontrunner? Will Kam Curl get some looks? In that event, who would cover him at safety next to Bobby McCain?
Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio prefers deploying five secondary members, but that’s dependent on someone playing the Buffalo nickel. That’s what made Collins so important to the defense last season. On top of flying sideline-to-sideline chasing ball-carriers and rushing the passer, his ability to play as a safety/linebacker hybrid allowed Del Rio to deploy his preferred system.
Collins could return to Washington once his contract officially comes off the payroll on June 1. Until then, though, the nickel spot is vacant. Will Butler get the first look at the position? Based on live reports, the rookie has been watching from the sidelines while Troy Apke has rotated with Curl and McCain at safety.