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2015 Redskins In Richmond: Safeties

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With training camp set to begin later this month, Redskins.com previews the current state of the Redskins' roster, continuing today with the team's safeties.

After struggling to contain opposing aerial attacks last season, the Redskins made improving their safety position a priority during the offseason. When the 90-man roster opens up training camp practices at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., the team will have two new safeties roaming the backfield in the starting lineup. 

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Before the Redskins head to Richmond for training camp, check out who all is on the roster position-by-position. Today, it is the safeties.

ROSTER SUBTRACTION(S): **--Ryan Clark (Retired)
--Brandon Meriweather (Free agent)

KEY ADDITIONS:--Dashon Goldson (acquired via trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
--Jeron Johnson (free agent from the Seattle Seahawks)

CURRENT STATE OF THE UNIT:
With Ryan Clark now roaming the hallways of ESPN's headquarters and Brandon Meriweather still a free agent after three seasons in Washington, the Redskins set out to find not only a veteran capable of starting on Sundays, but someone a leader who could instantly set the tone on the field and in the locker room.

They got that in two-time Pro Bowler Dashon Goldson, a player that general manager Scot McCloughan helped draft in 2007 to the San Francisco 49ers.

The 30-year-old comes to the Redskins with 499 tackles, 43 passes defenses, 15 interceptions and six fumbles forced to his credit.

The University of Washington product spent the past two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he started 27 games.

Also part of the Redskins' safety revamp during the offseason was Jeron Johnson, a free agent signing from the Seattle Seahawks.

A 5-foot-10, 212 pounder, Johnson spent four seasons with the Seahawks, contributing to one Super Bowl victory along with an additional appearance in the championship game in 2014.

While he started just one game during his years in Seattle, Johnson served as a backup to Pro Bowlers Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas while also excelling on special teams.

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The Redskins finalized their initial 53-man roster last season by acquiring Duke Ihenacho off waivers.

The San Jose State product spent his first two seasons with the Denver Broncos, becoming a full-time starter in 2013.

He responded by recording 73 tackles and three fumbles forced.

While Ihenacho was expected to provide Clark and Meriweather a breather, the 6-foot-1, 207 pounder had little time to acclimate to his new surroundings before suffering a season-ending foot injury Week 3.

A fourth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Phillip Thomas appeared on track to start as a rookie, as the Fresno State product was part of the starting lineup for the team's preseason opener that year.

However, in the first quarter of that game, Thomas went down with a Lisfranc injury that would sideline him for his entire rookie season.

He started the 2014 season on the practice squad before making his regular-season debut Week 9 vs. the Minnesota Vikings.

Thomas finished the season with 27 tackles and a forced fumble.

Akeem Davis and Trenton Robinson, meanwhile, were among the most active special teamers last season.

Davis – who went from roster hopeful to appearing in 13 games – laid some vicious hits on special teams, finishing his rookie season with 13 special teams tackles, third most on the team.  

Leading that category was Robinson, as the Michigan State product recorded 21 special teams tackles.

The Michigan State product also recorded his first-career interception in a Week 2 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kyshoen Jarrett was one of three players selected in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Redskins.

In four seasons at Virginia Tech, the 5-foot-10, 200 pounder appeared in 53 games with 38 starts, recording 249 tackles and five interceptions.

Rounding out the team's group of safeties on the 90-man roster is DaMon Cromartie-Smith.

Cromartie-Smith was signed by the Redskins during training camp last year before being waived three weeks later.

WHAT TO WATCH:
While Goldson appears locked into the starting lineup at free safety, the battle for starting strong safety will be close between Johnson and Ihenacho.

The two split reps with the ones during offseason activities and are expected to do the same throughout camp and even the preseason.

Beyond those three, jockeying for both depth and special teams reps will be Davis, Robinson, Jarrett and Cromartie-Smith.

And after two tough seasons riddled by injuries, will Thomas finally show flashes of the player who in 2012 led college football in interceptions?

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