News has been slow around Redskins park for the past week since the start of free agency. With an $18million cap penalty imposed on the Redskins, they have found it tough to go out and sign new players, resorting to taking care of their own.
But the positive side of the cap penalty, if they’re is one, is that it gives the younger players the Redskins have drafted over recent years an opportunity to win significant roles on the team. One of those players is last year’s seventh round pick, safety Jordan Bernstine. Bernstine suffered a torn ACL, MCL and PCL in his first NFL game while covering a kick return. He was placed on IR and has been rehabbing since. Bernstine was kind enough to answer some of our questions.
UK: First off, how is the knee and how is the rehab process coming along? When can we expect to see you back out there?
Bernstine: The rehab process is coming along great. The timetable still isn’t set in stone but the plan is to be full go for training camp.
UK: How difficult was it to cope with such a horrific injury after the high of making the final 53-man roster and playing in your first NFL game?
Bernstine: Well that definitely is not the way dreams of starting their career. But unforeseen things happen and I view it as another bump in the road to success. I just can’t wait to get back out there.
UK: What are your thoughts on the NFL’s attempts to eliminate or limit the return game going forward? You were injured while covering a kick return, but special teams is a big reason a lot of late round guys make NFL rosters.
Bernstine: Well it’s definitely not in my hands, but I am all for special teams and believe that it is a big part of the game. Injures come along with the territory I guess.
UK: Staying with special teams, the Redskins lost captain Lorenzo Alexander in free agency this week. How will his absence effect the special teams unit and who will step up to fill his leadership role?
Bernstine: Lorenzo is a great player and was a leader on our special teams and will be missed. We’ll just have to step up as a unit and everyone will have to raise their level of play.
UK: The big topic of conversation for Redskins fans these past few weeks has been the salary cap penalty imposed on the team by the NFL. Obviously we feel hard done by, but do you see it as an opportunity for the recent draft picks like yourself and Richard Crawford to step up and earn more play time or even a starting role?
Bernstine: I mean it hurts, but as players there is nothing that we can do. So to me it means that younger players will definitely have to step up and make some plays.
UK: Finally, I went back and re-watched your performances in the preseason. You looked to have a real good nose for the football when you played up in the box, but also had terrific range to play single-high. How do you envision your style of play coming off this injury?
Bernstine: I envision my play the same as before the injury. I like to be in the box and hit, but I also can cover and like to have the freedom to roam and read the quarterback. I can’t wait to get back on the field with my skins.
We can’t wait for you either Jordan! He showed good promise in limited preseason action last August and managed to make the final 53 despite being a seventh round pick. Hopefully Jordan can come back from his injury without any trouble and be one of many young players that can step up to help the Redskins overcome the cap penalty.
A massive thanks to Jordan for taking the time to answer the questions. You can follow Bernstine on Twitter here.