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The Ins and the Outs--Who Made it and Why

The Ins and the Outs--Who Made it and Why

The Ins and the Outs: Who Made it and Why

There was perhaps more than the usual number of surprises as the Redskins reduced their roster to 53 players. Yesterday, we looked at the final cuts; today, here are those who made it:

Offense:

QB’s (3) – Patrick Ramsey, Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell
This makeup of this trio was preordained when on draft day when the Redskins took Campbell in the first round. Ramsey starts, Brunell will back up and Campbell will be the emergency quarterback.

RB’s (4) – Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts, Nehemiah Broughton, Rock Cartwright
There was a lot of speculation that Broughton and Cartwright were fighting for one roster spot, but it became apparent a few weeks ago that both would make it. Cartwright is on because of his special teams prowess and Broughton because the team needs a power back to pick up those pesky third and one situations that have plagued the team last year.

WR’s (5) – Santana Moss, David Patten, Taylor Jacobs, James Thrash, Antonio Brown
As he so aptly demonstrated during the Ravens game, Brown is still a project at wide receiver. In releasing Kevin Dyson, the team is taking a gamble here that Jacobs can stay healthy and productive. He should be back at practice on Monday.

TE’s/H-backs (4) – Robert Royal, Chris Cooley, Mike Sellers, Brian Kozlowski
It appeared all along as if the Redskins would keep five players here, but Manuel White Jr.’s broken leg changed the plans. White probably would have been a game-day inactive for most of the season anyway as he was having a tough time with the transition from college running back to NFL H-back. Kozlowski beat out Robert Johnson, who has more physical talent but less experience, for the last spot here.

OL (9) – Chris Samuels, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Randy Thomas, Jon Jansen, Ray Brown, Jim Molinaro, Cory Raymer, Lennie Freidman
Before camp started, few would have bet much on the chances of both Raymer and Freidman making the final cut; the team didn’t need two backup centers, especially two somewhat pricey veterans. Freidman, however, saved both of their jobs by making himself valuable as a backup at both guard spots and as a tight end in “heavy jumbo” package situations. Molinaro is happy that players are judged on what they have done throughout OTA’s and camp, not just on their latest performances. On Thursday, he was hapless in pass protection.

Defense

DL (9) – Renaldo Wynn, Brandon Noble, Cornelius Griffin, Phillip Daniels, Joe Savale’a, Demetric Evans, Ryan Boschetti, Nic Clemons, Cedric Killings
Oddly, Killings was probably the main beneficiary of Manuel White’s injury. It appears that the slot freed up by the team carrying only four TE/H-backs went to the defensive line. He’s made the tour of the NFL with stops in San Francisco, Cleveland, Carolina, Minnesota, the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe and a coule of stints with the Redskins. Nic Clemons played better and better as camp progressed and he makes it after two years on the practice squad.

LB’s (7) – Lavar Arrington, Marcus Washington, Warrick Holdman, Lemar Marshall, Zach Keasey, Chris Clemons, Khary Campbell
The single biggest surprise was that Keasey, an undrafted rookie out of Princeton. In the season preview here, I said that, “It would be an interesting story if a Princeton product could make a cut or two, but it’s unlikely to happen. History has shown that winning the Poe-Kazmaier Trophy as Princeton’s best on the gridiron doesn’t do much for you in the NFL.” Maybe the coveted trophy did not help, but his hard hitting and great hustle certainly did. Keasey didn’t really “beat out” Robert McCune, the team’s fifth-round draft pick who was released as McCune is a middle linebacker whereas Keasey nominally plays the outside. Even though Gregg Williams says that every LB has to learn the Mike position, this probably means that the team is counting on Holdman to move to the inside and back up Marshall once Arrington is back in the starting lineup.

CB’s (4) – Shawn Springs, Walt Harris, Carlos Rogers, Ade Jimoh
In a conversation I had with Jimoh in training camp, he stated flatly that he hoped that he contributed more the team on special teams and not on defense. Most Redskins observers agree with that statement wholeheartedly. Truth be told, most gave him no shot at making the final roster. The fact that he’s there means that a). Gibbs is dead serious about his commitment to great special teams play and b). Gregg Williams believes that he can scheme to minimize the impact of a weak nickel back, at least for a game or two. All it would take is one corner being nicked up for “Uh-Oh” Jimoh to become the team’s nickel back.

S’s (5) – Sean Taylor, Matt Bowen, Ryan Clark, Pierson Prioleau, Omar Stoutmire
Bowen (knee, chest) and Clark (knee) have been in and out of the lineup for much of the preseason so Stoutmire’s nickname should be “Allstate” as he is on the roster as insurance. If and when the coaches decide that Bowen and Clark are fully healed, Stoutmire could be let go to make room for another cornerback or receiver.

Specialists

LS (1) – Ethan Albright
He had the most job security on the team; not a single challenger or backup was brought in.

K (1) – John Hall
He dusted off the surprisingly weak challenge of Jeff Chandler early. He appears healthy and ready for a good season.

P (1) – Andy Groom
It was apparent early in camp that Groom has an NFL leg, but the thinking was that the coaches’ comfort level with incumbent veteran Tom Tupa would mean that Groom would be displaying his talents elsewhere. However, Tupa hurt his back and the door opened for the younger kicker. His stock soared as he kicked well in two preseason games, displaying both power and good direction on his kicks. It dropped as the team brought in veteran Chris Mohr, who, after one unimpressive practice got a one-game tryout after Tupa was placed on injured reserve. The decision the coaches had to make was if they wanted to sacrifice a degree of comfort when it came to holding for Hall—Mohr has been doing it for years in difficult conditions in Buffalo—for the added distance on punts that Groom would bring. They went with the leg and will trust that Groom’s hands will get the job done as the holder.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

MORE REDSKINS: WHAT CAN THE REDSKINS LEARN FROM THE PLAYOFFS?

Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.

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I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

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.