For any NFL cornerback, confidence is always a key.
Get beat? Get back up.
Early last season, Wilson had to adjust to the Redskins’ defensive scheme after a shortened training camp due to the lockout.
Even though he was productive, posting a career-best four passes defended in the Week 3 game at Dallas, it was still a learning process.
As the season progressed, Wilson grew more comfortable.
He ended up starting all 16 games and posting 60 tackles, two interceptions and a career-high 18 passes defended.
“When I’m doing my job, I can stop anybody out there,” Wilson said.
Both of his interceptions came in consecutive weeks against the Super Bowl XLVI participants. In Week 14, he picked off Tom Brady in the end zone to thwart a Patriots drive. The following week, he intercepted Eli Manning in the end zone to thwart a Giants comeback.
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett praised Wilson’s improvement in the latter half of last season.
The Redskins’ pass defense finished 12th in the NFL last season, yielding 222.1 yards per game. That ranking improved from 31st in the NFL in 2010.
“Josh has been outstanding,” Haslett said. “He got better and better with the scheme. He was flying around and he feels comfortable. He knows what we’re doing and it really paid off.”
Added Wilson: “I think I’m a totally different player than I was earlier [in the season], just in terms of my growth as a player and in the system. I’m just trying to grow in my responsibility and how I need to [compete] to be the best corner out there.”
The Redskins’ secondary could have a new look in 2012, but Wilson appears to have solidified his standing with the club for the foreseeable future.
“I think we have a lot of things we have to shore up and we have to make sure that as players we become accountable this offseason to right this ship,” he said.
Wilson, of course, is no stranger to the Washington, D.C., area. He starred at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md., and he went on to play at the University of Maryland. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft and was traded to Baltimore in 2010.
Wilson signed with the Redskins last July, shortly after free agency opened on the eve of training camp.
He has 11 career interceptions, including four returned for touchdowns.