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Whether It's At Safety, Corner Or Nickel, Bobby McCain Wants To Compete And Win

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(Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

Bobby McCain is already a perfect fit for what the Washington Football Team is trying to build on defense.

For one, the six-year pro is here to win. He wants to compete, and for a team that makes it such a pivotal piece of its culture, Washington was an ideal destination for McCain.

It should also please the coaching staff that it does not matter to McCain where they decide to include him on a secondary that allowed the second-fewest yards per game. He has played all over the field and been successful at every position. The position flexibility should mean he will have no trouble carving out a role for himself.

"I would just say I'm a defensive back," McCain said after Tuesday's OTAs. "I can play all five spots on the backend. There's not somewhere you can't put me. I'll do exceptionally well. Whether it's safety, corner, or nickel -- no matter the spot -- I'll do my best to perform and win."

It's good that McCain does not see himself fitting into a specific role, because that echoes what defensive backs coach Chris Harris said prior to training camp last offseason. McCain is listed as a cornerback, but Harris will likely expect him to learn the responsibilities for the entire secondary. 

"Players will learn how to play multiple positions, whether that be a corner being able to play nickel or whether that be a safety maybe having to go slide in at nickel some or play outside," Harris said. "You're not a corner; you're not a safety; you're a DB, a defensive back. We'll learn and we'll put guys in the best position we see fit going forward."

That should not be a problem for McCain, considering that he started at three different positions in his final three seasons with the Miami Dolphins. His best statistical season came in 2018 when he had 61 tackles, two sacks, five pass breakups and an interceptions as a cornerback. He was almost as successful as a free safety and a strong safety, though, as he had eight pass breakups and three interceptions during his final two seasons with Miami.

McCain truly shined last season while lined up at strong safety. He allowed only one pass that resulted in a gain of more than 11 yards, according to Pro Football Focus, and he allowed the lowest pass-rating (2.8) among all safeties to start the season.

And Washington already has one front office member who has seen what McCain can do. Senior director of player personnel Eric Stokes was Miami's assistant general manager when the team drafted him with a fifth-round pick in 2015, and he praised McCain's potential.

"Unbelievable charisma and personality," Stokes said at the time. "I definitely felt the passion, the toughness and the love for the game. …"He can come in to do a little bit of Nickel and play a little bit on the outside, obviously give us something on special teams. So, [we're] really excited to have an opportunity to work with him and add him into the mix with our corner group."

McCain is not the only new addition to the secondary; Washington has bolstered the group by signing William Jackson III in free agency and drafting Benjamin St-Juste in the third round as well as Darrick Forrest in the fifth. Landon Collins and Deshazor Everett, who were both placed on Injured Reserve last season, are also slated to make a return.

There will be plenty of competition on the back end of the defense, but with all the versatility that McCain and the rest of Washington's defensive backs offer, there should be plenty of work to go around.

"It's a new chapter, a new beginning," McCain said. "I'm just trying to be the best player here for the Washington Football Team and just go ball out."

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