Expected to play this weekend against the Rams just five days after signing, nine-year veteran cornerback Will Blackmon says he's picked up on the defensive scheme quickly and is ready to contribute.
Will Blackmon is using his recent tenures with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks to help prepare him for a quick turnaround from free agent one week to playing the next.
The Washington Redskins on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, announced the signing of cornerback Will Blackmon. Take a look at his NFL career in photos.
The nine-year veteran – signed by the Redskins on Tuesday – is expected to make his debut with his new team at cornerback this Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
With Chris Culliver suspended for the week and Justin Rogers dealing with plantar fasciitis, Blackmon may not only make an appearance, but he could be asked to play a substantial amount of snaps as well.
"As long as I spend the time and communicating and getting on the same page - the only [different] thing is the language," Blackmon said of quickly adjusting to the Redskins. "I was in the same defense for the past three years being in Jacksonville and Seattle, so it's just a matter of learning the language."
Blackmon was with the Jaguars the last two seasons, where he played in 23 games with 12 starts. He tallied 70 tackles with 11 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and an interception.
In 2011, he was a late-season roster addition for the New York Giants, appearing in the last six regular season games and all four games on their road to Super Bowl XLVI, a game in which they would beat the New England Patriots.
Blackmon, a Boston College product, started his career with the Green Bay Packers.
He said at the end of the day, regardless of where he's playing, the game is the same.
"It's football," he said. "So I'm able to find some of the concepts talking to the coaches and the players, so I feel pretty good right now."
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Blackmon can lean on his past experiences to help him this Sunday even if he doesn't fully understand all of Joe Barry's defensive tactics quite yet.
"He knows the system and he shouldn't have any problem," Gruden said Thursday afternoon. "He's pleasantly a very bright man. He knows football. He's played a lot of football in his day. He's picked up this system very fast. He's going to play some, no question about it. How much, I don't know yet. It just depends on what type of packages they're in and we're in at the time."
The Redskins face a Rams aerial attack that now centers on quarterback Nick Foles, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Foles went 18-for-27 for 297 yards and a touchdown for a quarterback rating of 115.8 last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
With Foles' ability to scan the field from the pocket, and the Rams' speed at wide receiver (Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kenny Britt) communication will be key the Redskins' secondary, newcomer included.
"It's really important because sometimes things may not turn out how they should," Blackmon said. "So as long as everyone is on the same page, then we should be all right."