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The Ins and the Outs--The Redskins Make Their Moves

The Ins and the Outs--The Redskins Make Their Moves

The Ins and the Outs—The Redskins Make Their Moves

Part One: A look at those who didn’t make it.

You can reach me by email at rtandler@comcast.net

During training camp and the preseason games, I never paid much attention to Robert McCune. The Redskins’ fifth-round draft pick was a great story, as he served in the military and was coming in as a 26-year-old rookie, and my assumption was that he would make the squad and contribute on special teams. While taking my final look at the roster, though, I tried to think of anything that McCune had actually done. Had he made a good hit in practice, had he fought through a blocker to make a stop, had he been anywhere in the vicinity of a pass receiver? No, no, and no. Apparently, to make this team you have to do something, not just look good not doing it. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the field for at some point this season; he’ll be signed to the practice squad if nobody else is interested in him.

I’ll save most of the discussion of the decision on the punters for the part on who did make it, but I’ve got to say that I didn’t like Chris Mohr from the moment he hit town. He made that comment about being here because he didn’t want to have to compete for a job. He sounded like he’d just signed a guaranteed long-term deal or something. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Chris.

On the other hand, I was rooting for Kevin Dyson from get-go. He was both a good story and a good guy to talk to. Apparently, however, he was out of football last year for a reason. In camp, he started off slowly but he appeared to be shaking off the rust after a week or so. After that, he didn’t show much, however, and apparently the Redskins didn’t think that they needed a “big” receiver badly enough to keep the Music City Miracle man around.

Again, more on this when talking about those who made it, but Garnell Wilds and Rufus Brown were a pair of cornerbacks who didn’t really improve all that much from their rookie years to their second seasons. Granted, both had very little playing time last year but they had the entire offseason to get better at playing cornerback and/or special teams and neither of them did either.

He’s not talked about as a veteran who has been cut, but Brandon Barnes played in 12 games for the Redskins last season, mostly on special teams. The return to health of LaVar Arrington and others pushed him out the door.

On the other defensive players cut: Ron Warner was pushed out by the return to health of Phillip Daniels. Siddeeq Shabazz (nothing personal, but I’m glad I don’t have to try to type out that name on a regular basis) and Eric Joyce never had a chance. Aki Jones should be a practice squad addition, a great destination for a rookie free agent out of Fordham.

On the other side of the ball, tight end Robert Johnson has great size and speed, but at this point he can’t put the two together to become a productive player. Jimmy Farris’ two TD receptions against Baltimore were too little, too late for his chances. Jon Alston and Tyler Lenda were up against very stiff veteran competition. Mark Wilson, a 2004 draft pick, impressed to coaches just enough to appear in two games last year and didn’t impress them enough for him to make it this year. Rich Parson may have a shot as a returner somewhere down the road, but Jamin Elliott may be at the end of the road.

Tomorrow—The “Ins”, the ones who made it

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Need to Know: If Kirk Cousins leaves, with the Redskins rebuild or retool?

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Need to Know: If Kirk Cousins leaves, with the Redskins rebuild or retool?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 16, 57 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 49
—NFL Draft (4/26) 100
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 236

Nickel coverage—Five Redskins questions

Taking a look at some of the key questions surrounding the Redskins, sometimes coming up with more questions in the process. Yes, it's going to be that kind of offseason. 

What will the Redskins do at left guard? It would be better for the Redskins to find their left guard in the draft, but assuming that the successor is picked after the second round, they will want someone to start until the rookie is ready. That could be Arie Kouandjio or maybe a veteran free agent.

Can the Redskins make do with what they have at running back? The short answer is no. The running back situation needs attention. It’s hard to picture Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley forming a formidable tandem, or even a very good one. I’m wary of spending a high draft pick on an RB, but the success of the likes of Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette have to be factored into the thinking.

Are the Redskins OK with Zach Brown and Mason Foster at inside linebacker? For the time being they are, assuming that they are able to sign both of the unrestricted free agents, however the Redskins need to continue to build that position. That means continuing to develop Josh Harvey-Clemons to use in nickel situations and spending draft resources there. Even if Brown and Foster are back, the Redskins might be smart to grab Roquan Smith out of Georgia if he’s there in the first round.

If they are without Kirk Cousins, will the Redskins rebuild or retool? This is a key question for the organization. If Cousins leaves, do they just try to plug in the best available/affordable quarterback they can find and roll on with the same basic personnel with which they have hovered around .500 the last three years? Or will the make other changes, perhaps moving on from Josh Norman and Jordan Reed to save cap money for future seasons and give their younger players a chance to establish themselves? The latter might be the better way to go but this organization rarely considers short-term pain for long-term gain.

If Junior Galette leaves, who replaces him? While Galette did not light it up in the sack department, he put plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He is likely to leave since he would remain behind Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan on the depth chart if he re-signed in Washington. Can they rely on 2017 second-round pick Ryan Anderson to take a giant leap in his sophomore season? Will they try to lock up free agent Trent Murphy and hope that he can bounce back from an ACL injury he suffered last August and regain his nine-sack form of 2016? I don’t see how they can rely on Anderson to suddenly provide pressure after recording zero sacks this past year. Whether it’s Murphy or another free agent, someone with a better track record has to be in the picture. If Anderson improves enough to move ahead of that player on the depth chart, so much the better.

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

In case you missed it

 

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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

There is nothing quite like January playoff football and Sunday night's Vikings vs. Saints game further proved this point.

In case you have been off the grid the past 12 hours, the Minnesota Vikings literally got a last second win against the New Orleans Saints.

With 10 seconds left in the fourth and facing a 3rd and 10, quarterback Case Keenum heaved the football near the sideline to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who dodged two defenders while managing to stay inbounds for a 61-yard touchdown as the clock expired. 

It was one of the most remarkable playoff walk-off wins, if not the most remarkable one, in football.

So, where does it stand among the others?

RELATED: FORMER TERP PLAYS HERO IN VIKINGS' MIRACLE PLAYOFF WIN

Broncos vs. Steelers 2011 AFC Wild Card game: Remember Tim Tebow's 80-yard overtime touchdown to Demaryius Thomas during the 2011 Broncos vs. Steelers AFC Wild Card game? It was the first and last snap of overtime and it was wild.

Mile High Miracle: On third and three with 43 seconds left in the game, Ravens' Joe Flacco launched one towards wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who got in front of the Broncos receiver and ran the ball in for a 70-yard game-tying touchdown. The Ravens would eventually go on to win the game in double overtime. Some could argue it was the defining moment in the Ravens' Super Bowl run. 

Cardinals vs. Steelers Super Bowl XLIII: Under the brightest lights of all, Ben Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds in the fourth in the back of the end zone for a toe-dragging, Super Bowl-winning catch. 

RELATED: WHAT REDSKINS CAN LEARN FROM THIS WEEKEND'S PLAYOFF GAMES

Saints vs. 49ers 2012 NFC Divisional game: Sunday's loss wasn't the first time the Saints have experienced a fourth quarter letdown. Back in 2012, Alex Smith threw one to the endzone on 3rd-and-three with 14 seconds left that sealed a win.

While these are only a few, we can't wait to add more to the list in years to come.