Redskins rookie cornerback Fabian Moreau made his preseason debut Saturday night and flashed on special teams while showing some defensive traits that impressed both teammates and coaches.
For the first time since suffering a torn pectoral at UCLA's pro day in March, Washington Redskins rookie cornerback Fabian Moreau was on the field for game action on Saturday night against the Green Bay Packers.
Moreau has been working with the second- and third-team defensive units as he's been eased back into action, but it was his special teams play that stood out in his preseason debut.
After the offense went three-and-out on their opening possession, punter Tress Way lined up to boot a 57-yard punt before Moreau perfectly timed a hit on Packers returner Trevor Davis to jar the ball free from him just seconds after bobbling an attempt to field the ball.
Moreau got around Packers cornerback Kevin King in a hurry before racing down the middle of the field to slide into Davis.
The ball would hit the grass at FedExField before tight end Niles Paul gobbled up the ball at Green Bay's 16-yard line. But Moreau wasn't done just yet.
On Way's next punt, Moreau once again was the first Redskins player down the field, this time halting Davis for a one-yard return.
"That's what I'd like to do," Moreau said. "I like to make plays just anyway I could do it, anyway possible so just go out there, be the first one down there and make a play."
Beyond his pair of impressive special teams plays, Moreau also logged 27 defensive snaps and recorded two tackles.
Moreau showed some signs of needed adjustment, particularly on a 38-yard reception that he allowed between Packers quarterback Brent Hundley and wide receiver Jeff Janis.
Check out images of cornerback, Fabian Moreau during his first few months with the Washington Redskins.
The 23-year-old stayed with Janis down the left sideline all the way through to the catch, but he didn't turn his head around quick enough to potentially break up the play.
"I mean, my technique was bad," Moreau admitted. "I got beat. It can't happen. I have to get better."
Still, Moreau showcased some of the skills – particularly his long-range coverage abilities and 4.35 speed – that have the coaching staff intrigued with his potential.
"Fabian, he's a great athlete. I mean, no substitute for speed and he's got it," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. "He's a big, physical guy, and I think he's got the talent and skill level to be a great player for us. But we have to get him taught up and let him play."
Moreau will have two more preseason opportunities to get into a better rhythm and hone his skills starting with Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
If he continues to make plays like he did against the Packers, the Redskins will have just another playmaking cornerback to turn to on game days.
"It's no joke what he's putting out there on the field," said cornerback Josh Norman. "Obviously he's going to be a great talent in this league to come. But he's still going to work on some things. We'll get him better each and every day. He's going to work with us. We're going to get him to the level he needs to be."