Washington Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland (Clemson product) is coming off an up-and-down season, and finds himself in a training camp where there's rare depth at his position — and it's become clear Breeland is on the hot seat.
It's hard for me to see a guy like that getting suddenly cut, but everyone in Richmond is raving about second-year corner Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech) and there's a slew of guys like Quinton Dunbar, Josh Holsey and others who have shown potential to fill in.
Oh, and let's not forget about Josh Norman anchoring the whole thing. Norman had a very solid (if quiet) season in Washington last year and is poised for another monster campaign.
Character can't be a question lol so what is it talent? ???? been starting 3 years now tho what is tho?
— Bashaud Breeland (@Bree2Land6) August 7, 2017
Breeland has always been open and accessible with local media — so it was clear something was way off on Monday, when he turned down media availability.
"I've never had Bashaud turn me down in the three and a half years he's been here," Chris Russell of 106.7 said on Grant and Danny. "It was clear he was frustrated."
This whole thing started from a Jay Gruden press conference where the Skins' front man criticized Breeland. Gruden is known for being a 'player's coach' so if he has anything negative to say even if it doesn't sound all that bad — it's typically a clear message to the player in question.
Here's what Gruden said in the press conference after practice over the weekend: "He [Breeland] gets so overly competitive, but for the most part, I like what he's doing. He's working with a new DB's coach, new techniques, new coverages. All the defensive backs are going through change now."
The thing is — Gruden wouldn't say that about Norman, and he's been raving about Fuller, so it's not difficult to read the writing on the wall.
Obviously Breeland heard the message and came to Monday's morning practice (a walkthrough) ready to make a point.
"The young cornerback drew attention to himself Monday when he was kicked off the field during the morning walk-through following an altercation with a teammate and a slight clash with his coach," Mike Jones, Redskins' beat writer for The Washington Post said. "The mini-blowup was carryover from frustrations Breeland was letting fester after reading a media report that criticized his play, some people in the organization believe."
Jones went on to say how Breeland went and cooled off and returned to practice focused and hungry.
"This is Breeland in a nutshell," Jones said. "He's a passionate kid who loves football, wants to be great and wants to be appreciated. But at times, he probably cares too much and lets his emotions get the best of him because he doesn't yet know how to consistently channel those frustrations into motivation."
— Lake Lewis Jr (@LakeLewis) August 7, 2017
That's a pretty great assessment of what we've seen from Breeland during his short time in D.C. He hates to be put on the back-burner and truly believes he's good enough to be mentioned in sentences with Richard Sherman, Norman and the other great corners in the NFL. Maybe this is a much-needed reality check.
Maybe this time, Breeland does channel this into motivation and Washington will have a great problem on its hands. It certainly looks like the coaching staff is testing the young corner — and we will continue to watch how he responds.