Redskins coach Jay Gruden concerned about safety depth

The Redskins like Duke Ihenacho's ability, but he has missed most of the past two seasons because of injuries. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The Washington Redskins need more safety help. That’s evident just looking at the situation on their roster -- and in hearing Jay Gruden talk at the owners meetings.

This shouldn’t be a surprise considering the questions that remain at this position. It doesn’t mean they can’t be answered, but that until the games begin no one will know for certain. My video Tuesday explained the safety position and it echoed what Gruden said Wednesday, pointing out that players such as Deshazor Everett and Will Blackmon will factor in at safety.

But Gruden said he’s "very concerned" about the depth at safety for a variety of reasons. The two players competing for a starting job at strong safety, Duke Ihenacho and David Bruton (signed from Denver), are coming off injuries. Ihenacho has missed most of the past two seasons with injuries.

"In the games he did play he was a sound tackler and a physical player," Gruden said of Ihenacho. "And he could run very well. I’m anxious to see what he can do with actually playing some time. Same with David. All those guys; it will be a great challenge back there."

Gruden said he’s concerned about the recovery for safety Kyshoen Jarrett, who suffered nerve damage in the regular-season finale and is still having strength issues. They are not sure when he might be ready to take part in activities, and fear it might not happen until training camp.

Gruden also said something that other sources had said previously: Dashon Goldson remains an option. Gruden said they haven’t "shut the door on Dashon." But that has been true since he was cut, though Bruton's signing might have lessened a chance for a return, unless Goldson would be comfortable in a different role. He hasn’t received a lot of action in free agency.

Goldson played free safety last season (though, it always must be pointed out, the Redskins require their safeties to handle both free and strong).

DeAngelo Hall will be in his first full season at safety -- he transitioned mid-season, a tough task for any player.

"I think Hall will be as good a safety as there is," Gruden said. "Duke plays with passion and energy, and with Bruton we have three safeties we really like."

The trick, though, is adding more. Gruden said they would likely draft one, and that would be a wise idea. The Redskins absolutely need some younger safeties to develop.

If Goldson doesn’t return, one thing they would miss is his leadership. But, Gruden said, "That’s why we targeted David. You try to replace great character guys with great character guys."