Rookie cornerback Prince Amukamara was benched for the second half of the Redskins game on Sunday. Before that happened, veteran safety Deon Grant spoke with him during halftime.
Here is what Grant said today at a Meals on Wheels event in Brooklyn:
"Going into halftime, right before they pulled him, I had a long talk and I pulled him the hallway while the coaches were talking and I had a long conversation with him. I told him ‘You know, don’t let your confidence drop from this situation.’ You have to understand he's a rookie. Didn’t have minicamp, didn’t have OTAs. Our defense is not an easy defense to learn. It’s an effective defense but it’s a difficult defense at the same time if you don’t have OTAs and minicamps and are able to take stuff home with you from the playbook.
"I told him ‘This right here is bigger than you.’ He battled a major injury, came back, so his whole time he's been focused on getting himself right physically which he’s not 100 percent yet, and then the mental part of the game, just learning our playbook is its own problem. And then you have to understand the game as far as studying other players.
"That was the long conversation, like the whole halftime I talked to him. I pulled him in the hallway and I talked to him and I told him ‘You have every physical attribute to play this game and go against any receiver.’ I said ‘But right now, you’re just not ready for that.’ Not saying that he won't be ready, not taking anything from him, but me, being in the game for a minute, physically, he made plays through the stretch since he's been back, but I've been seeing him struggle. I've been having conversations with him on a weekly basis. He's just a tough kid so even though he might know in his mind that he might not be ready, he's not going to tell anybody that."