ASHBURN - Washington Redskins safety David Bruton played every snap in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys last week, part of a new role that's been 8 years in the making.
After spending seven seasons with the Denver Broncos, almost exclusively as a backup and specialist, he joined the Redskins this offseason, and edged out Duke Ihenacho for the starting job.
Assuming Bruton starts Sunday's game against the New York Giants, he'll tie his career record for most starts in a season, with three.
He said he's adapting to his new role, but knows he needs to improve to hold on to it.
"I know I didn’t play great against Pittsburgh, there’s a few plays I wish I had back," he said. "Against Dallas, I felt like I eliminated some of those mistakes. I’ve still got some things to clean up, but I feel like I’m progressively getting better.
"I know what I have to work on, and I’m continuously doing that, whether it’s extra time on the field or in the meeting room. Whatever I’ve got to do to help our team win, I’m going to make that sacrifice."
Bruton said a big focus of the week will be cleaning up the Redskins issues on third downs. He cited two main things - cleaning up coverages and communication on third downs, but also working to get better on first and second down, to create tougher third-down situations for opponents.
That will be easier said than done against a Giants wide receiving corps that includes Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard.
"We have to face the challenge head on," Bruton said. "They have a three-headed monster in the receiving corps, and they’re all great players who can make great plays. We have our work cut out for us. It’s a great challenge for us as a secondary and a defense, especially with Eli (Manning) back there."
The Redskins other starting safety, DeAngelo Hall, said he's urging his teammates to settle in and not try too hard to make plays, especially if Manning moves out of the pocket, as Dak Prescott did last week.
"You’ve got to understand your job and not try to do too much," Hall said. "We’ve all fallen victim to trying to do too much, myself included. Trying to make a play instead of doing what you’re supposed to do.
"It’s not from a bad place, it’s from a good place, trying to go out there and make a play, get the ball back, help your team win. But we just have to focus in on doing our jobs."