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Bauman’s raring to go for Redskins


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Bauman’s raring to go for Redskins

Ex-Duck fights for cornerback spot and a run at Joey Harrington



When the Washington Redskins play the Detroit Lions on Nov. 7, the trash-talking cornerback will meet Joe College quarterback again —and in a real game for the first time.

For five years, on five bowl teams, Rashad Bauman and Joey Harrington dueled in practice at the University of Oregon. How sweet would it be for Bauman if he picked off Harrington — and ran the ball back for an NFL touchdown?

“That would be a dream,” Bauman says, chuckling. “We’ve had a lot of battles. We went back and forth, but I won the majority of the battles. But Joey’s a competitor like I was.”

This will be Bauman’s third year with the Redskins, a team now under the direction of famed coach Joe Gibbs. Washington traded a cornerback, Champ Bailey, to Denver, but signed another one, Shawn Springs. So, as Bauman sees it — and from what the coaches tell him — he, Springs and Fred Smoot will battle for the two starting cornerback positions.

The 5-8, 184-pound Bauman has played mostly in nickel coverage and on special teams. He appeared in 16 games in 2002, tutored by ageless veteran Darrell Green on covering NFL receivers. He played in 12 games last year, starting two, and picked off two passes.

The second minicamp under the second coming of Gibbs starts April 30. The coach already has converted many players, including Bauman.

“Excitement,” says Bauman, describing the scene in the Washington camp. “We’re looking forward to going to work. He wants us to learn football. We go all the way back to Pop Warner stuff. It belittles you, but they say to learn football, you have to learn the basics.”

For example, the first thing new defensive coordinator Greg Williams told defensive backs: “We’re going to teach cornerbacks how to run an interception back.” Bauman and others looked bewildered but got the message.

“You get an interception and run to the end zone. It’s not that easy,” Bauman says. “It’s instant offense. You can get field position or scores. Getting it isn’t good enough. You want to get it and score.”

Gibbs won three Super Bowls with the Redskins in the 1980s and early ’90s before leaving as coach to concentrate on his NASCAR team.

“He’s not a yeller. Not a cusser. He talks,” Bauman says. “He never raises his voice. He makes you understand him.”

Gibbs “gives you a sense of confidence,” Bauman adds, which should surprise Duck fans who never thought the loquacious and upbeat cornerback needed any more.

Bauman has come a long way since being burned “on the best corner route I’d ever seen” by St. Louis’ Ricky Proehl in 2002.

“That opportunity,” Bauman says, “showed me that this game is more than physical. You have to be smart. So many guys make it on their brain.

“I understand the game. I’m ready to play.”

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Originally posted by Yomar

I'm a big Bauman fan, I wouldn't be surprised if he is starting by the end of the season

That would only happen due to injuries. I just can't see him beating out the guys over him. I wasn't overly impressed with the guy last year.

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The kids a competitor, I like having him back there. I'll find it hard to believe he can't beat out Walt Harris and Ralph brown for the third CB spot. And... depending how well he plays... he could be a big part of whether to resign Smoot or not. Let's face it, Smoot's going to want his 1st round money plus some and this offseason's CB free for all money wise doesn't help either.

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Originally posted by bulldog

Bauman IMO is fighting for the #4 corner spot with Ralph Brown and Ade Jimoh.

Walt Harris wasn't signed at 29 for 3 seasons to be a special teams player, he is insurance in case Springs gets hurt.

That same logic says that Brunnell is the starter over Ramsey because of his contract.

In any event, Bauman played well last year as a nickel. He played as well as Bailey. And I don't mean that as a back-handed compliment to Bauman either. He's got promise, if not height.

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bobzmuda, Walt Harris has been an NFL starter for 6 years and is still under 30. I don't see Bauman competing with him and earning a spot as the #3 unless Harris is himself injured.

as far as the Brunell/Ramsey situation goes, I couldn't agree more with your inference from my first post - Gibbs is committed to playing the 'best' player but in his mind again, unless there are injuries, that player will indeed be Mark Brunell in 2004 :)

Personally, I don't think Ramsey has learned enough in 2 years under the failed Spurrier regime to qualify him as the starting qb on a team hoping to reach the postseason.

He needs more seasoning under a staff that knows how to bring along NFL quarterbacks.

Patrick became the starter here this early in his career largely because of the dearth of talent at the QB position in Washington the past 2-3 seasons.

He would never have started games as early coming to a team with a capable veteran.

I think in 2004 he will learn, even if he refuses to admit it publicly, that there is a LOT more to winning and leading in the NFL than he assumed by watching the Spurrier staff in action :D

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