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Seven Things We've Learned About David Bruton Jr.

Posted Jul 5, 2016

As players take their final breaks before training camp, The Redskins Blog will take a look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them.

As players take their final breaks before training camp, The Redskins Blog will take a look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them, football and otherwise, since their arrival.

Today, we'll focus on safety David Bruton Jr.

1. He adds more depth to the safety position and increases the competition level:

This season, three cornerbacks – DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon and Deshazor Everett -- are making the full switch to safety for the Redskins. Who will they learn from? Who will provide them real competition?

Bruton Jr. enters as a veteran of the position, and while he plans to offer any and all of his expertise, that doesn’t mean he isn’t fighting for his own spot.

“Competition breeds greatness. I am not going to short-change a young guy if he has a lot of questions, me helping him helps me as well. I just want to do whatever it takes to help the team. Competition has always been part of it.”

2. He will do whatever it takes to win:

Bruton Jr. has been known around the league for being a hardnosed player, someone who will dig deep and do anything he can -- including putting his body and health in danger — to win games.

“They need to know that I am a guy who is going to lay it out on the line,” Bruton Jr. said. “Out in Denver I played with a broken leg throughout a whole game so there’s nothing that is going to deter me from playing.”

3. He is well-involved in the community:

Bruton Jr.  was selected as the Broncos' 2015 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. He was recognized for his community and charity efforts, including work with his own foundation, "Bruton's Books," in which he promotes literacy to elementary students.

“I had one [foundation] in Denver, I have one in my hometown of Ohio and I plan on having one here [in Washington, D.C.] soon,” he said. “I just want to impact kids in a different way, not just athletically. I feel young kids not only need to learn to read, but also need to read to learn.

“It is so important to me personally to do my part in helping children have access to books and develop a love of reading, especially at the elementary school level.”

4. He excels on special teams:

Bruton Jr. has made a name for himself all over the field. Not only can he play strong defense, but he is also dynamic on special teams. In 2012, he was a Pro Bowl alternate as a special teamer for the AFC, and among his many accomplishments include two blocked punts and a 35-yard fake punt run in 2013.

“Those guys [Bruton Jr. and Terence Garvin] have been excellent not only on the field, but off the field,” special team coordinator Ben Kotwica said. “They’ve got excellent leadership and they’ve got some pedigree in play in the special team’s part of the game. It’s important to them and it transcends down across the unit.”

5. But he also came here to play every down on defense:

Though Bruton Jr. is a dynamic piece to have on special teams, his main focus will be trying to start as a safety and participate in as many snaps as possible.

“I didn’t leave a place [Denver] where I have been comfortable just to be a special teams guy,” Bruton Jr. said. “My goal is to play every down and to make plays every chance I get.”

6. Bruton Jr. brings a winning vibe into the locker room:

One of the main factors that Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan considers when he decides to sign a free agent is a player’s experience in the postseason. Has he played for a team that know how to make a run to a Super Bowl?

Usually there are a few shared traits that are universal on good teams, and the hope is that this signee will make his new team adopt some of the practices that made his former one successful.

During Bruton Jr.’s time in Denver, he’s seen varying degrees of success. He was there during the Tebow-mania era right before the Peyton Manning era, consistently getting a taste of the playoffs, winning two AFC Championships and one Super Bowl (50).

“They [players with experience in great defenses] know what it looks like,” McCloughan said. “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.’”

7. He sets a strong example for the younger players:

Rookie cornerback Lloyd Carrington spoke about the veteran’s influence on the team so far, saying he’s been a role model to him and the other younger guys.

“No doubt, he’s a great athletic guy, but honestly the best thing about him, observing him and understanding him, is his knowledge for the game and how he comes to practice, comes to work ready to work,” Carrington said “That mentality, just trying to get better, and he does a great job of encouraging others and always keeping guys involved.”

Jake Kring-Schreifels contributed to this post.

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