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Despite public outcry for Terrance 'Pot Roast' Knighton, recent moves make sense for McCloughan

Despite public outcry for Terrance 'Pot Roast' Knighton, recent moves make sense for McCloughan

Redskins fans - and some players - have taken to social media to advocate for the return of Terrance 'Pot Roast' Knighton. Washington brought Knighton in this week for a work out, along with a handful of other defensive linemen, but when the time came GM Scot McCloughan chose not to bring back the fan favorite.

The biggest question is why - and coach Jay Gruden possibly hinted at the answer.

"We bring people in often during the season," Gruden said. "If you have injuries creep up, then you have people in your system that you know – how much they weigh, what they look like, how they work out, what their injuries are like."

Most importantly, Gruden added, "We’re not going to sign everybody that we bring in, but it’s good to have a list of emergency-type guys."

The phrase that stands out in relation to Knighton is weight and injuries. At times in his NFL career, Knighton has been one of the best nose tackles in football. At other times, Knighton has dealt with weight issues and debilitating cluster headaches. Last season with the Redskins, Pot Roast showed both, flashing immense talent, but also not being able to stay on the field for prolonged stretches.

The Redskins run defense has certainly struggled this year, the unit has given up 650 rush yards through five games, good for nearly last place in the NFL. Bringing Knighton in could help that, but remember, Pot Roast was with the 'Skins last season and that squad ranked near the bottom of the NFL (26th) in rush yards allowed too.

Instead of bringing back Knighton - which could still happen later this year - McCloughan went in a different direction, signing younger players to the practice squad in Joey Mbu and A.J. Francis. 

Neither player has much of an NFL resume, but for McCloughan, the moves exemplify what he has preached since he arrived with the 'Skins: develop young talent rather than pay for older players. Mbu is just 23 years old and goes 6-foot-3, 310 lbs. Francis is 26, goes 6-foot-5 and 309 lbs. Knighton is 30, 6-foot-2 and has played at weights varying from 300 to 350 lbs in his career.

It's entirely possible Mbu and/or Francis do not stick with the Redskins. Practice squad players tend to come and go, but occasionally, one develops into a solid piece on the active roster. With Mbu and Francis, McCloughan is making a minimal investment in players with the size and youth he wants at a position of need for Washington. 

Knighton, on the other hand, would not be eligible for the practice squad, and frankly, might be unlikely to sign even if he could.

If the Redskins suffer more injuries along the D-line and have to shuffle the roster, then Pot Roast might be back. For now, Washington will roll with the current position group, especially considering rookie Matt Ioannidis played the most snaps of his career in the win against Baltimore. 

It's also worth noting Knighton signed with New England in the offseason and went through training camp with every chance of making the roster. Not known for benevolence, coach Bill Belichick is known to maximize talent, yet the Patriots decided to release Pot Roast. That may not tell the whole story, but it's worth consideration as the clamor to bring Knighton to Washington grows. 

A leader in the locker room last season, it seemed players and coaches liked having Pot Roast on the Redskins, and, it's still possible he returns in 2016. That does not mean, however, fans should expect a turnaround for the Redskins run defense.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below.

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Associated Press

Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 19, 38 days before the NFL draft.  

Free agency notes and nuggets

Looking at the 2018 depth chart—offense

The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the offensive side of the ball stands now. The defense is up tomorrow

Quarterback: Alex Smith
Backups: Colt McCoy

The only question here is if the Redskins will draft a late-round project quarterback to develop as the backup. McCoy is in the last year of his contract and he may not be back in 2019.

Running back: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, draft pick

This is an area to watch. Thompson could end up being the only carryover if they get a draft pick who can start and decide to keep 2017 late-season addition Kapri Bibbs or if they find another veteran. They also could go with only three running backs.

Wide receivers: Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder
Backups: Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick

They may not carry six, so Harris, Davis, and Quick might battle it out for two spots. It’s possible that they will put a draft pick into the mix as well.

MORE REDSKINS: The Redskins week that was

Tight end: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

As of right now, this appears to be one of the few position groups you can write in with a Sharpie. If the Redskins are going to be better in 2018, a lot of the improvement will have to come from improvement of 2017 draft picks like Sprinkle. If he can develop into a solid blocker and a moderate receiving threat he will be an asset.

Offensive line: LT Trent Williams, LG Arie Kouandjio, C Chase Roullier RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses
Backups: T Ty Nsekhe, G/T Tyler Catalina, G Kyle Kalis, T T.J. Clemmings

Kouandjio is a placeholder at left guard for the moment. He was solid pass blocking but struggled in run blocking in six starts in injury fill-in duty. I think that if they bring in another interior O-lineman in free agency or in the draft, Roullier will remain at center. I think Jay Gruden likes the way he is developing there and wants to continue.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Tandler on Twitter


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174

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Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins


Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins

NFL free agency doesn't care about your brackets. 

While you were watching UMBC, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee is currently on a visit with the Redskins:

Pernell, 29, was drafted in 2011 out of Mississppi State by the Baltimore Ravens. He played there for three years before spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bears. 

Pernell has 182 career tackles and 31 career sacks.