If you didn’t read parts I and II, read those first:
After the review of these games, I’ll do a quick summary at the end.
- (0:00) This game was in 2011. At no point in any of the previous 5 games reviewed here (all 2012) did Amerson look to make a physical tackle like this.
- (0:52) Again, nice tackle here. Amerson wraps up, brings the running back to the ground. Where was this in 2012?
- (1:29) Underthrown ball picked off by Amerson. Easy play, but credit Amerson for being in good position.
- (0:00) Strange. Amerson recognized run here and attacked the runner aggressively. This game was in 2011. In 2012, he would have been content to be blocked by the WR. What happened in 2012?
- (0:23) Quick screen Amerson’s way.
- (0:47) Again, strange. Amerson comes in full speed to make a hit. Didn’t see any of this in 2012.
- (1:19) Big play. Ball thrown behind the receiver and Amerson makes them pay. INT. Nice catch, and the return is a thing of beauty.
- (2:33) Not fooled by gadget play.
- (2:43) Amerson gives up a first down, but again, a nice hit.
- (3:22) Quick screen Amerson’s way. In 2012, as noted above, he was content to be blocked by the WR. In 2011, he tried to make the tackle.
- (3:30) Quick screen Amerson’s way. Makes tackle.
- (3:47) INT on desperation throw on 4th and 23.
During the pre-draft interview process, Amerson undoubtedly answered questions to teams about his effort in 2012, which was atrocious. I suspect that whatever he told the Redskins, they bought on some level.
Here are some questions he answered to the media at the Combine, which touched on his penchant for biting on double moves:
On the difference between good 2011 and bad 2012:
“Definitely the amount of touchdowns I gave up this season was disappointing. Just the way I approached this season, not having the right mentality about it.”
Was he looking for INTs in 2012?
“Yes, a lot of sitting on routes and guessing resulted in giving up touchdowns.”
On if he was “reading his clippings” after big ’11 season?
I guess you can say that, but not really. I was just playing to get interceptions, trying to match the 13 (INTs).
On whether he was trying to break NCAA record of 14 INTs?
Yes. I started getting out of character, not letting the game come to me and just not being myself.
On getting torched by Cordarrelle Patterson?
A lot of it was me just beating myself, just sitting on routes. I know I’m way better than that and I know I could play extremely better.
What did the coaches say?
They were just telling me get back to the fundamentals. Stop looking at the quarterback, play your man and just the basic things that I wasn’t doing.
The double moves, for me, are the smaller issue. That can be fixed. It was the lack of effort and the total unwillingness to tackle that is more alarming, and a much harder fix. The talent is clearly there, but Amerson is going to have to decide if he wants to play football at a high level. If he does, he should be a good pro. If not, he’ll be out of the league very quickly. At least he acknowledges that he was bad in 2012.
This pick at 51 was a gamble, unquestionably. NFL people will usually say that the hardest part of scouting is figuring out the mental makeup of players. The Redskins clearly believe that they can get a player more like what Amerson was in 2011 than the player he was in 2012. To be determined if they’re right.