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David Bruton Jr., Terence Garvin Provide Special Teams Experience

Posted Mar 21, 2016

Signed by the Redskins last week, both David Bruton Jr. and Terence Garvin provide Washington the special teams experience the team desires.

Signed by the Redskins last week, both David Bruton Jr. and Terence Garvin provide Washington the special teams experience the team desires.

While special teams is often the proving grounds for a lot of younger players, some of which secured a roster spot without even being drafted, for the Washington Redskins, things are seen a little bit differently.

Yes, some of those lesser-known players will play strictly special teams on gamedays, but general manager Scot McCloughan also wants the unit to be impactful. That means adding some veterans who not only have experience at their respective positions, but have been successful making careers on special teams.

After re-signing veteran defensive lineman Kedric Golston, a longtime special teamer for the Redskins, McCloughan recently added safety David Bruton Jr. and linebacker Terence Garvin, both of whom were mainstays for the Denver Broncos’ and Pittsburgh Steelers special teams units.

Bruton Jr., an eight-year veteran, was one of the Broncos’ team captains the last three seasons and was a Pro Bowl alternate during the 2012 season as a special teamer for the AFC.

The Notre Dame product has also blocked two punts during his career and even recorded a 35-yard fake punt run in 2013.

“Like I did last year, and I’m going to keep trying to do, especially in free agency, is bring guys from organizations that have won in defenses that have been very strong, very powerful – and offense, too – but it’s just bringing guys in that have seen it,” McCloughan told "Redskins Nation" host Larry Michael on Sunday at the NFL Owners Meetings. “They know what it looks like. They know how to practice, they know how to take notes, they know how to lift weights – they understand, ‘This is what we have to do to be successful.’

For Garvin, undrafted out of West Virginia, he’s made his living on special teams.

In his three seasons with the Steelers, Garvin led the team with 33 special teams tackles (26 solo).

You know what, not a real big guy, but a speed guy that’s coming from an aggressive defense that’s played a lot of good football in recent years,” McCloughan said of Garvin. “He wasn’t a big-time guy coming out of college, but he’s proven in the NFL that he’s a good football player, and he gives his teams value, as well.”

Last season, the Redskins finished ninth in kickoff return average (25 yards per return) and tied for the most kickoff return touchdowns while Dustin Hopkins and Tress Way both solidified themselves as capable, young specialists.

But as the Redskins move forward seeking improvement in the process, McCloughan wants to make sure the special teams unit has a positive impact on the 2016 season.

“Yeah, with Garvin and, no doubt about it, with Bruton, no doubt about it, that’s very important to me,” McCloughan said of their special teams experience. “I expect them to fight for a starting job and the competition will play itself out to see who gets a job, but they have to add a value to this team.”

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