Filling out a football team is unlike any other sport. With large rosters and inevitable injuries, long shot players emerge every summer. Jackson Jeffcoat did not come to Redskins training camp as a long shot, but he was not a lock for a roster spot either. After four impressive preseason games, that may have changed.
"As far as the tape in the preseason, I think it's good enough to get a roster spot," Jeffcoat said after the 'Skins 17-16 loss to Jacksonville.
"We'll see if the numbers work out," Jeffcoat said. "I want to play here."
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With a sack in every preseason game, not to mention an interception against Baltimore, the second year linebacker looks to be on the right side of the roster bubble.
"He's been a playmaker all preseason," Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said of Jeffcoat.
"Obviously it's not my choice but he's done everything he can to make this team," Kerrigan continued. "He's put some good stuff on film."
Jeffcoat played three regular season games last season with Washington, and showed his playmaking skill then too. In limited playing time, the second year man out of Texas logged a sack and an interception. Jeffcoat also made clear his willingness to be a contributor on special teams, something key to his roster spot.
"When they see a guy that's willing to go down there make plays on special teams," he said, "it helps."
Next man up is the mantra in the NFL, and when Junior Galette was lost for the season to an Achilles injury, the door inched wider for Jeffcoat to make the roster. Redskins coach Jay Gruden noticed.
"He's made his mark," the coach said. "At the absence of Junior Galette, it's opened a spot for another pass rusher, outside linebacker type. He's got an excellent chance."
The signs are all positive for Jeffcoat, and he's trying to reflect that attitude with roster cuts looming.
"It's up to them. I want to stay here, I want to be on the team, I want to make the 53," he said. "If it doesn't I'm not going to be bitter, but I really want to be here."