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Posted at 2:31 PM ET, 11/26/2010

Depleted at safety, Redskins give looks to Kevin Barnes, Macho Harris

By Rick Maese

The Redskins will take the field this Sunday with just three healthy safeties on the roster. They've lost Chris Horton and Anderson Russell to the injured reserved list, and LaRon Landry has been ruled out of Sunday's game. Making matters a bit worse, Macho Harris, signed Tuesday, has had just three practices to learn the Redskins' system and could see most of his playing time on special teams.

The Redskins have been giving second-year cornerback Kevin Barnes practice reps at safety this week, in case they need to call him into duty.

"Unbeliveably smart," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "He probably had the least mental mistakes of anybody we had in the offseason."

Still, Reed Doughty and Kareem Moore will see almost all of the defensive snaps at safety. It might take an injury for coaches to turn to Barnes or Harris this soon.

"I'm not going to call anything they don't know or we can't handle," Haslett said.


Haslett especially likes Barnes' quickness and cover skills and says it's time to find out how much Barnes can help a team. Barnes was active for just three games last season as a rookie, and though he has been active for four of the team's 10 games this season, he didn't set foot on the field in one of those and contributed primarily on special teams in two others.

He played cornerback in place of an injured Carlos Rogers in nickel situations last Sunday. Haslett said linebackers H.B. Blades and Andre Carter might have been the Redskins' defensive MVPs at Tennessee, but he also raved about Barnes' play.

"Here's a guy who hasn't played, hasn't been active in two years. Third-round draft pick -- got to find out if he can play," Haslett said. "He goes in there; he does a great job. No one even knew that Carlos was missing and from that standpoint, in nickel, I thought Kevin did a great job."

"Any time you have seven defensive backs, you've got a lot of guys playing a lot of different positions," Coach Mike Shanahan said. "You've got to play nickel, you've got to play nickel, you've got to play safety. Kevin is a guy we've asked to do a lot of things. Very smart guy. Even though he doesn't have a lot of playing experience, we've asked him to do a lot mentally and he can handle it well."

As for Harris, the Redskins like his progress this week. He was a cornerback at Virginia Tech, and it could take some time to learn the safety position in the Redskins' defense.

"Obviously, the terminology is different from where he was, so that's the catching-up part," Haslett said. "I think he moves well; he's got good hands; he's smart. ... So far, I think he's done a good job."

By Rick Maese  | November 26, 2010; 2:31 PM ET
 
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Comments

Bama is exposing Auburn!!!!!

Posted by: Flounder21 | November 26, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bangkokben | November 26, 2010 2:27 PM |

Makes sense if that's what he does. Just don't want to be thin at OL like we were at RB the last few weeks.


Seems kinda late in the season to "find out" if Barnes can play.

Posted by: kerzon417 | November 26, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"Unbeliveably smart," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "He probably had the least mental mistakes of anybody we had in the offseason."

Of course, he went to Maryland. I've been begging for him to get a look at the FS position since last year. Moore has been a HUGE disappointment.

Posted by: Diesel44 | November 26, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

No kidding Flounder. Auburn looks flat while Alabama is on fire. McElroy 10/10 156. Not the game I was expecting so far.

Posted by: kerzon417 | November 26, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

yeah, piling on here:

My wife burned the stuffing, and grandma burned the pumpkin pie.
Still, nothing was burned quite as bad as Terrence Newman this Thanksgiving!

Did anyone else notice that there were clearly WAY more Saints fans than Dallas fans in Jerry's World? (Further proof that
Cowgirl fans are front runners)

I believe the quote heard most frequently in homes this Thanksgiving was: "Roy Williams, Roy Williams oh my god, Roy Williams!"

The only thing sweeter than watching Dallas lose on Thanksgiving and essentially become eliminated from the playoffs before December in their supposed SuperBowl year, was the joy of hearing the anguish in the voices of Cowboy Troy and Dallas Joe Buck while they called the game. I thought Buck was going to cry when Williams lost that fumble. Seriously, he was about to pee his pants with joy as Williams ran inside the 20, then 2 seconds later (after the fumble) he sounded like a kid whose parents just drove past Walt Disney World! So satisfying.

Posted by: jgarrisn | November 26, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

weary?

Posted by: Barno1 | November 26, 2010 2:27 PM |

whoops...wary...p1funk was weary.

Posted by: kerzon417 | November 26, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I thought he was distraught…

Posted by: RomoLongballs | November 26, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

No kidding Flounder. Auburn looks flat while Alabama is on fire. McElroy 10/10 156. Not the game I was expecting so far.

Posted by: kerzon417 | November 26, 2010 3:19 PM

Lots of talent on the field (DTs Dareus & Fairley, WR Jones, RBs Ingram & Richardson) and in the stands (nothing better than SEC women).

Posted by: Diesel44 | November 26, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

If and this is a BIG "IF"...Macho Harris can stick on this team as a safety/corner and Kevin Barnes can be a 2nd or 3rd corner, we're in decent shape...not all-time great shape but good shape!

Posted by: rickyroge | November 26, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 26, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

weary?

Posted by: Barno1 | November 26, 2010 2:27 PM |

whoops...wary...p1funk was weary...

Laxadaisical too. More than likely a case of Tardive Dyskenesia. Should probably consult a lawyer.

Posted by: SMACK1 | November 26, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

McNabb, who turned 34 Thursday, is having one of the most productive seasons of his career with Washington (5-5), which is besieged by injuries that have shredded its roster, particularly at running back.

WTF?

Posted by: wireman65 | November 26, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I'm blunt and negative to often, but Kevin Barnes doesn't compete is why he can't get on the field. His opponent can see it in his eyes. That's why little competitor Tyrone Justin was the wrong one to trade away--he expected of himself to compete against any receiver name or no-name.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | November 26, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

McNabb, who turned 34 Thursday, is having one of the most productive seasons of his career with Washington (5-5), which is besieged by injuries that have shredded its roster, particularly at running back.

WTF?

Posted by: wireman65 | November 26, 2010 4:24 PM

I think he means in yards. McNabb has had 3 games throwing for over 300 yards this season--although 2 were in losses.

He's 5th in the league in yardage right now, and on pace for his first career 4000 yard season.

Unfortunately, he thought he was going to a running team.

Posted by: Alan4 | November 26, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

k.barnes will thrive at safety...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCO0sRPJEZ8

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | November 26, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

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