- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Washington Redskins provided him a taste of it in the spring, having him follow receiver DeSean Jackson around at times. It's not a role David Amerson had as a rookie. It is one he’d like to have -- at some point.
Amerson will become a first-time starter this season; what he would also like to become is a cornerback who covers the opposition’s best receiver.
"I like challenges," Amerson said. "I like going against the best guys. DHall (DeAngelo Hall) has been a big guy for us previously doing that. If I have to step into that role or they just want us to just play your side ... I want them to have confidence in me to do that. I don’t want them to feel like, 'Oh we have to put him on the second guy.' I want to go out there and whoever shows up in front of me, play them or if they want me to follow somebody, go at him."
Amerson, a second-round pick in 2013, improved throughout his rookie season, and it’s not as if he only faced lesser receivers. Against Denver, for example, he often was matched against Eric Decker and did a solid job. But whether the Redskins would trust him to follow the best receiver all game is another matter. It also could be dictated, as it often is, by the matchup.
While it’s nice to have a cornerback who can do that, it’s also good to have two cornerbacks capable of covering top receivers. It allows for greater flexibility in coverage.
Amerson knows he still has to prove he can handle such a role. He has worked at press coverage, something he didn't play at N.C. State. Thursday, for example, he did a nice job against Pierre Garcon with his jam and subsequent coverage, with his hands -- and eyes -- in the right place. It's a start, but Amerson knows there is more.
"I have to get better grooming my fundamentals to do it," he said. "But if they want me to do that, I’m down with it."
Hall said they have already talked to him about eventually tracking one receiver all game.
"That’s what he wants to do," Hall said. "He understands. He’s seen all these [cornerbacks] get paid. That’s how you get paid. He’s been working his butt off."