37ºF

Redskins looking to improve defense in 2017

RICHMOND, Va. – The Washington Redskins are busy in Richmond, revamping a defense that was near the bottom of the league in multiple categories in 2016.

At the start of a new season, there are always some question marks about the talent and depth at any position.

For the Redskins, one area they are confident about is their secondary. Coaching them this year is a familiar face to Southwest Virginia.

Between Kendall Fuller and DeAngelo Hall, the Redskins' defensive backfield already has some Hokie flavor.

Now, with the addition of former Virginia Tech assistant Torrian Gray as the new defensive backs coach, the Redskins secondary has more talent who came through Blacksburg.

"Transition has been great. The guys you're working with have been easy to work with they want to be coached, it's been fun and I'm having a blast," said Gray.

Gray has coached many college teams, most recently a one-year stint at Florida following his 10-year tenure at Tech. His hiring in Washington started with his former players putting the bug in Jay Gruden's ear.

"I think it's been great so far. I think the big thing is we want to get the best technician we can find. I talked to Kendall and he had a lot of good things to say, he played at Virginia Tech and Kyshoen Jarrett did also and they both talked to me about him and when they saw we had an opening and we called and tried to get him here and he's everything we thought," said Gruden.

"I might have just let them know about him. But other than that they probably did their studying and research on them and ultimately how good of a coach he is and what he's done is what ultimately got him here," said Fuller.

As a former Hokie and NFL player himself, Gray inherits a talented secondary that includes 2015 Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman, who is starting his second season as a Redskin.

"He brings a sound technical background to what he does. His approach is pretty cool, it vibes well with the group. He's a funny guy, I think that resonates with people when you have a funny energetic guy that comes off as 'OK, we can rock with this and learn some stuff,' and I have been taking a few that he does and been using them as we practice so it's been good," said Norman.

"You never know how some of those guys are going to react and like I said it's been a pleasant surprise, those guys really taken into trying to do things a certain way and allow me to coach them and it's been fun. A lot of talented guys back there so I'm looking forward to it," said Gray.

One thing that Gray really preaches is technique and so far, that has been well-received by the team.