Jay Gruden happy with young CBs Bashaud Breeland, David Amerson

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden had a hard time judging how well the secondary has played, mainly because of injuries to key players. But the lack of development by others certainly was a disappointing aspect to the first half (and then some) of the Redskins' season.

With DeAngelo Hall out for the season and with Tracy Porter largely unavailable, the Redskins have relied heavily on young corners Bashaud Breeland and David Amerson.

Communication issues or breakdowns in coverages have ensued. Breeland has made some terrific plays and starred in the Redskins' victory over Dallas. But both he and Amerson have misplayed some responsibilities in a Cover 3 look that resulted in open targets. It happened to Breeland in the victory over the Cowboys, but also in the loss to the Giants. And it happened to Amerson last week against the Vikings. Sometimes it was just about focusing too hard on one receiver; other times it was fear that the safeties might not play it a certain way. However, the coaches remain positive and upbeat about both of their performances and how they will play in the future.

At safety, the Redskins have veterans Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather. But they also hoped a young player would improve enough to warrant more time. That hasn't happened, at least not the players they hoped would rise.

"We were hoping Phillip Thomas and [Bacarri] Rambo and some other guys were going to step up and we choose to go with Clark and Meriweather," Gruden said. "From a secondary standpoint, with the injuries, obviously not as good as we thought maybe, but I’m happy to see Breeland emerge and Amerson continue to get better. Those are two corners that can play here for a long time.

"From a safety standpoint, Meriweather has done some good things, missed the first two games obviously from some play in the preseason – which I don’t want to talk about. And Clark has been what we thought he would be. He is a veteran guy who knows the game and is a great leader but obviously there are some things that he lacks right now at that age, but he is still playing at a pretty good level for us."