Newly acquired defensive back Mike Rumph is expected to add needed versatility to a Redskins' secondary that has had a series of injuries, secondary-cornerbacks coach Jerry Gray said on Tuesday.
Rumph, 6-2 and 205 pounds, has played both cornerback and safety in the pros. With Shawn Springs and Ade Jimoh both sidelined due to injuries, Rumph will likely see initial action at the cornerback position.
The Redskins acquired Rumph on Monday in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers.
"Wherever Mike is best needed is what he is going to do," Gray said. "If we need him at safety one week, we know he can do it because he did it at San Francisco. If we need him at corner, we'll put him at corner."
Last season, San Francisco used Rumph as part of a 3-4 defensive alignment. He will need to adapt back to a 4-3 set that plays more zone coverage, Gray said.
Asked to describe Rumph's skills, Gray replied: "He's a big guy and he has long arms. He can run. Some of the things we have to get him comfortable with is playing the Cover 2, not always man-to-man.
"To me, the big thing is whatever he learned in San Francisco, he has to bring here and flip it over into words. Defenses are all about the same."
Rumph, a five-year veteran, has started 19 games with 36 appearances in his career and has compiled 120 tackles (99 solo) with three interceptions and 12 passes defended.
Rumph told reporters on Tuesday that the trade came as a surprise.
"Early on Monday, I was at a practice in the morning and was ready to go to the second practice when [team officials] called me upstairs to tell me [about the trade]," he said. "It all happened pretty fast."
Rumph struggled through foot and forearm injuries each of the last two years. Head coach Joe Gibbs said that Rumph passed his physical with the Redskins and was full-go for practice.
"Mike has had injuries, but the things that we liked the best were when we talked to his teammates and people that have been with him about what kind of person he is," Gibbs said. "Obviously he's talented--a first round pick--and he played at the University of Miami. A lot of guys down there knew him and really liked him. We think he's somebody that can come in here and have a chance to help us."
Added Rumph: "The best thing about [the trade] is to start over new, a new organization, a great team. I just want to win. I'm glad to be here and contribute any way I can. I want to learn the defense and get out and run around a little bit."
Rumph did not practice on Tuesday, but he is expected to be on the field for Wednesday's session.
-- GRAY ON KENNY WRIGHT
#### -- LEFOTU RETURNS
Offensive lineman Kili Lefotu returned to practice on Tuesday, but he did not see significant action as coaches ease him back into playing condition. Lefotu missed the last week of practice and last Saturday's preseason opener due to an illness.
"It really helped to have him back out there," assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel said. "We put him at right tackle and you could see a little smile on his face."
It's still uncertain what caused Lefotu's illness. The 6-5, 315-pound lineman passed out last Wednesday due to a seizure and he had to be hospitalized for several days.
Said Gibbs: "Everyone that is out there for us in this organization realizes they all have families, mothers and dads, people that love and care about them, and they are in a sport where things can happen and guys do get hurt. I think everyone takes it to heart--I know that I do. It scares you to death that something could happen, like what happened to Kili. We take it as an important issue."
-- LAST OPEN PRACTICE
#### -- DANIELS BACKS OUT
Defensive end Phillip Daniels departed Tuesday's practice early due to back spasms. The 6-5, 290-pounder had to be helped off the field.
"We don't think it's anything serious," Joe Gibbs said.
Daniels, a 10-year NFL veteran, struggled through injuries in 2004, but he returned last season to start all 16 games, plus two playoff games.