Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who was acquired by the Washington Redskins on Tuesday from the Green Bay Packers, said on Wednesday that he will be ready to start on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons alongside safety D.J. Swearinger.
Several media reports analyzing the deal claimed it will give the Redskins the best safety tandem in the NFL.
“Check this out, all right? I’ve got practice in about an hour. I came here to play, I came here to work,” Clinton-Dix said at an introductory news conference at Redskins Park.
“If that’s on special teams or just helping contribute to this team any way I can, then No. 20 is going to be suited up this weekend. And you can bet that.”
Clinton-Dix is ready to step right in and replace second-year safety Montae Nicholson, who is out because of an injury.
That’s exactly what Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is expecting.
“I imagine that he’ll be up to speed quickly,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said, who added that Nicholson underwent “a small procedure on his hip.”
The Redskins (5-2 and leading the NFC East) already have one of the better defenses in the league, ranking No. 4 in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game and No. 5 in points allowed per game.
Clinton-Dix, No. 1 draft choice (21st overall) of the Packers out of Alabama in 2014, figures he has a few qualities he can add: “My leadership. My hustle to the ball. My effort; you can’t control effort. Being a veteran player now. Being able to go get the ball, create turnovers. Take this team to another level, man, and keep things going.”
With three interceptions this season, Clinton-Dix is tied for second in the league.
One of those picks came again Redskins quarterback Alex Smith in the third game of the season.
“Good player, a safety that I think has a lot of tools,” Smith said Wednesday. “And I think that’s important, kind of right now in football. The way football is going, safeties get put in a lot of different situations with what offenses are doing now.
” … They can get put in the box and need to be able to tackle. They need to be able to play the post when they have to. You kind of need a player like that, that’s kind of a jack of all trades, can do a little bit of everything, because of all the situations they can end up in.”
Swearinger, who leads the NFL with four interceptions, knows Clinton-Dix well from their offseason workouts in Florida so they figure to mesh quickly.