Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 21, 35 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.
The first five off of the roster
G Kyle Kalis—Last year he lined up with the second team during most of training camp and he nearly made the roster as an undrafted free agent. The team did re-sign him after injuries struck the O-line in the middle of the season. He will push Tyler Catalina for a backup guard spot.
RB Byron Marshall—He got a few touches last year before ending up on injured reserve. Marshall has looked good in practices so far, especially catching out of the backfield. Jay Gruden likely will play Chris Thompson sparingly in the preseason and that could give Marshall a chance to shine. Don’t sleep on him.
WR Cam Simms—Right now, the undrafted rookie out of Alabama looks like the eighth wide receiver on the roster and they are only going to keep six. But if he continues to get the attention of Gruden with his play in practice and makes the most of his opportunities in preseason games, Robert Davis and Maurice Harris should look out.
S Fish Smithson—The Redskins liked him a lot after they signed him as an undrafted free agent last year. But they didn’t like him enough to keep him on the 53-man roster; he spent the year on the practice squad, getting a late-season cup of coffee on the roster. He will push both Deshazor Everett and Troy Apke for a backup safety spot. If the Redskins have reason to be concerned about the health of Montae Nicholson they might figure out a way to keep Smithson on as a fifth safety.
ILB Martrell Spaight—It looks like Spaight’s three-year tenure with the team essentially came to an end when they drafted Sean Dion Hamilton in the fifth round. But his play in offseason practices indicates he’s not going to go out without a fight.
Next five off: OT T.J. Clemmings, QB Kevin Hogan, RB Kapri Bibbs, NT Phil Taylor, CB Danny Johnson
Redskins running back Derrius Guice was born on this date in 1997.
—Training camp starts (7/26) 35
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 49
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 72
The Redskins last played a game 172 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 80 days.
In case you missed it
LAS VEGAS—Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom weren’t expecting to lose their head coach less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.
But business is business, Ovi said, and Barry Trotz is handling his by attempting to capitalize on claiming the championship.
“It’s sad,” Ovechkin said on the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he accepted his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy on Wednesday night. “Obviously, we won together.”
The Caps’ captain also thanked Trotz for directing him—and his teammates—to new heights.
“First of all, [I want to] thank him for a great job to be our coach, to be our dad, to give us a chance to win,” Ovechkin said. “But then again, it’s a business. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine and I wish him luck.”
Backstrom, meanwhile, said he was caught off guard by Trotz’s decision to step down over a contract stalemate with the team. Trotz asked for $5 million per for five seasons; the Caps balked over the terms Trotz’s camp sought.
“I was a little surprised, obviously,” Backstrom said. “I heard the scenario.”
Like Ovechkin, though, Backstrom praised the job Trotz did during his four-year tenure.
“He’s done a great job in Washington,” Backstrom said. “We obviously have him to thank for a lot. He’s done a tremendous job of schooling us and winning a championship. No one is going to take that away from him.”
“I was a little surprised, obviously.” — Nicklas Backstrom on Barry Trotz resigning. Backstrom said he’s exchanged text messages with the #ALLCAPS’ former head coach. #NHLAwards pic.twitter.com/siq88DW9Ss— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) June 21, 2018
Trotz’s next move is unclear, but he’s a free agent and currently eligible to negotiate with any team. The Islanders are the only team with an opening for a head coach.
As for Washington, GM Brian MacLellan said that associate coach Todd Reirden will get the first crack at replacing Trotz.
Ovechkin said he thinks Reirden would be a good fit.
“We all respect Todd,” Ovechkin said. “We all like him. Again, it’s not our thing to say who’s going to be head coach, but if it’s going to be Todd, it’s going to be fun.”
MORE CAPITALS COVERAGE:
- Sticking point: Term, not money was what caused Trotz, Caps to separate
- Second thoughts?: Could the Caps have avoided losing Trotz with a 2017 extension?
- What's next?: Trotz has options for his next coaching job
- Next man up?: Todd Reirden the early leader to replace Trotz