Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Conflatulations Chris Horton

Not bad for a seventh round pick yo

After his stirring two interception, two solo tackle and one fumble recovery performance in game two against the Saints, Redskins rookie strong safety Chris Horton has won NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Chris found out not long before the game that he would in fact be starting for Reed Doughty who had a stomach virus. His performance would tend to back up his account that after hearing about his responsibilities from starting free safety LaRon Landry and safeties coach Stephen Jackson, he was all good to go.

For the particularly frothy this will raise a question: should Reed Doughty get his starting position back? After all that whole quaint meme of players not losing their position to injury has been over for a decade or more, a team will and should always put its best players on the field and if we happen to find out who is better because of injury *kaff kaffTom Bradykaff* then that is the way the ball bounces.

The answer is, yes Reed Doughty will get his job back for next week. No smart coach will demote a starter with Reed's experience, he is in his third year with seven starts, appearing in 27 games overall, no matter how good a seventh round pick looks.

What is does mean is that the decision matrix on who should play strong safety just got a lot different. In the NFL there are only two factors that matter for a player: potential and delivery. The Redskins may have just mined a big seam of potential and if Reed cannot deliver, if he underperforms, the team now has an option to try and turn potential into consistent delivery.

Chris Horton leaving the field after an excellent first career start: Preston Keres / Washington Post from here.