Breeland hears trash talk from fans, gives it back

Draw­ing heat after in­con­sis­tent 2016

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY MATTHEW PARAS

RICH­MOND | Fans in the crowd erupted when Ter­relle Pryor, in yet an­other high­light-reel train­ing camp move, broke in on a route and caused cor­ner­back Bashaud Breeland to slip to the ground. On the very next rep, Breeland was beaten again, this time with Josh Doct­son haul­ing in a deep ball from Kirk Cousins.

The two-play stretch of frus­tra­tion for Breeland did not go un­no­ticed by the rowdy thou­sands on hand for Satur­day’s Fan Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day.

In pre­vi­ous Red­skins’ camps, Breeland was a crowd fa­vorite, but these days, the Bur­gundy-and-Gold faith­ful are quick to un­load on the fourth-year veteran for his mis­cues — and the cor­ner­back isn’t shy about giv­ing it right back.

“I love talk­ing to them, man,” Breeland said. “It’s fun for me ... giv­ing them some­thing I never had grow­ing up. I never had a chance to talk to an NFL player grow­ing up. So I try to give them as much of an ex­pe­ri­ence I didn’t get.”

If he hears some­one in the crowd yap­ping, he’s go­ing to talk back — he says he’s just “al­ways been that type of guy.”

Breeland has drawn his share of heat after an in­con­sis­tent 2016. Last sea­son, he fired back against crit­ics in a se­ries of tweets in Oc­to­ber.

It’s been a tough ad­just­ment for a player who, in his first two years, emerged as a re­li­able cor­ner and was rated by Pro Foot­ball Fo­cus in 2015 as the

Red­skins’ best de­fen­sive player.

When Josh Nor­man was signed last sum­mer, many thought the Red­skins would have one of the top cor­ner­back tandems in the league.

Breeland, en­ter­ing a con­tract year, has a lot to gain — or lose — this sea­son.

“I’ve seen it all,” he said. “Topsy turvy, it be like that.”

Fans can be harsh with their side­line jibes. Dur­ing Satur­day’s prac­tice, run­ning back Rob Kel­ley was warned not to fum­ble the ball and “end up like Matt Jones.” (Jones lost his start­ing job after fum­bling is­sues last sea­son.)

Still, Breeland is try­ing to let fans know who he is. He said if they show him “their col­ors, I can show them my col­ors.”

“It’s fun,” Breeland said. “I don’t need fans for me to go out there and for me to feel good. You know what I’m say­ing? I can go out here and be ca­pa­ble and do my job. I don’t need that. I love the em­brace­ment, feed the fans and feel the en­ergy off the fans as well. But at the same time, I don’t need it.

“But I like it.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Wash­ing­ton Red­skins cor­ner­back Bashaud Breeland says fans’ trash talk is “fun. I love the em­brace­ment, feed the fans and feel the en­ergy off the fans as well. But at the same time, I don’t need it. But I like it.”

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