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The number of versatile players the Redskins have added this offseason is actually baffling

The number of versatile players the Redskins have added this offseason is actually baffling

Counting on the Redskins to be good in 2020 may be too much to ask for — requesting mere decency after a 3-13 season feels more appropriate — but it's safe to say that Washington is going to be a lot more versatile.

Throughout the offseason, Ron Rivera consistently mentioned how he wanted to build a roster of players who can do multiple things on a football field. Well, now that the main portion of free agency has wrapped up and the draft is over, too, Rivera can consider that item on his list accomplished. 

Really, absolutely, completely accomplished.

Take a look at all of the position-flexible guys Rivera and VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith have added to the Burgundy and Gold over the past five weeks or so. Seeing them listed together, one after the other, really illustrates how much the organization valued that quality in both NFL veterans and incoming rookies:

  • Kendall Fuller: Can play slot corner, outside corner and even a little safety
  • Wes Schweitzer: Has been a starter at both right and left guard
  • Sean Davis: Will be a free safety here but played strong safety in Pittsburgh and corner at Maryland
  • Cornelius Lucas: Can play both left and right tackle
  • JD McKissic: A running back with a deep wide receiver background
  • Antonio Gibson: Had 38 catches and 33 carries last year at Memphis
  • Saahdiq Charles: Played both tackle spots at LSU and even some guard
  • Keith Ismael: Played guard and center at San Diego State
  • Khaleke Hudson: Popped up everywhere on Michigan's defense, including linebacker, safety and edge rusher
  • Kamren Curl: Started as a corner before moving to safety at Arkansas

Four offensive linemen, three defensive backs, two offensive players and one hybrid linebacker make up that group. That means Rivera, Jack Del Rio and Scott Turner will have a lot of new, movable parts for their first year together, not to mention the ones already in town like Steven Sims and Ryan Anderson.

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Now, skeptics will question whether this approach for roster construction will lead to winning, which is understandable. Do some of them line up at multiple places because they aren't reliable enough or talented enough to thrive in one? 

Rivera, though, obviously looks at it differently.

"They’re not pigeon-holed into one position and one position only," he said this past weekend. "There’s an opportunity for us to find ways to use them, to get them on the field."

At the very least, the 2020 Redskins should be much more creative and dynamic than the 2019 version, and for anyone who watched the 2019 version, that'll be a more than welcome sight.

Take Gibson and McKissic, for example, both of whom should make the offense less predictable. When they're in the backfield, they can take handoffs or feast on slower defenders on quick-hitting routes. Opposing coordinators will have to devote resources in order to stop one type of play, then the Redskins can attack with the other.

On defense, meanwhile, Fuller and Davis can combine with Landon Collins to do various things on the back end. Sure, they're best-suited for a specific role, but for a few snaps every game, Fuller can shift around at corner while the two safeties can interchange. The less static and stale they are, the more that the QBs they're facing will have to think.

On top of those strategic concepts, Washington should be more prepared to handle in-game and long-term injuries as well. No one reading this story needs to be reminded of how valuable that could prove to be.

Again, whether this strong commitment to versatility eventually equates to be a better record remains to be seen. However, it does indicate that the Redskins have a clear idea of how they want to build their team — which hasn't always appeared to be the case — and it should put them in more advantageous situations on both sides of the ball. That alone is promising.

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Chris Cooley out of Washington Football organization, radio broadcast

Chris Cooley out of Washington Football organization, radio broadcast

Chris Cooley knew his time with the Washington Football Team came to a close a few months back, but he wants fans to know how much he enjoyed it and that he has no hard feelings about his departure. 

"The Redskins provided a great job for me for the last six years," Cooley said Thursday morning in an interview on The Team 980. "They were the Redskins then, and the Washington Football Team will not provide a great job for me."

The team finalized their new radio broadcast this week, announcing that DeAngelo Hall would serve as the analyst alongside Julie Donaldson as the host and Bram Weinstein doing play-by-play. Hall essentially replaces Cooley, but the former Washington tight end believes Hall will do a great job. 

"I can talk about it but I’m not going to talk about it," Cooley said. "I just wanted to say I think DeAngelo Hall is going to be pretty good at it."

Cooley also confirmed he's out of the organization completely, so fans should not expect any of the podcasts or video work he used to provide on the team's website. Kevin Sheehan, who hosted a morning show with Cooley on The Team 980 for a few years and conducted the interview, hinted that perhaps a reunion could be in the works, or at least more appearances. 

A tight end in Washington for nine seasons, Cooley twice made the Pro Bowl and recorded 429 catches for more than 4,700 yards and 33 touchdowns. A fan favorite throughout his career, Cooley became a rock star traveling with the team for the last six seasons for radio broadcasts. At road rallies Washington fans would besiege Cooley for autographs and pictures.

RELATED: LONDON FLETCHER TO JOIN WASHINGTON FOOTBALL BROADCAST

While it was known privately for some time that Cooley wanted a job in coaching, he revealed that publicly while speaking with Sheehan. 

"It was going to become a tough decision in the future for me," Cooley said of the radio job. "Over the last few years I've had this dream that I would become an NFL football coach. It is not an easy job to acquire."

He explained that he had an opportunity for a coaching internship with another team for this fall, but the grind required for young coaches to grow in the industry was not something Cooley wanted to put his family through. He has two young children. 

"Moving forward in the next phase of my life I can’t spend every weekend on the road," Cooley said. 

Washington Football media executive Donaldson tweeted her support of Cooley on Thursday morning, saying, "A decision was made at the beginning of the year that Chris Cooley would no longer be a part of the broadcast team. Personally, I loved listening to Cooley and have the upmost respect for him and his work. He’s one of a kind and will always be around as a beloved alum."

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London Fletcher will also be a part of the Washington Football Team's 2020 game day coverage

London Fletcher will also be a part of the Washington Football Team's 2020 game day coverage

DeAngelo Hall won't be the only longtime defender to cover his former squad on game days in 2020.

On Thursday, the Washington Football Team revealed that London Fletcher will serve as an analyst on their postgame shows during the season. This comes after announcing on Monday that Hall will be one-third of the organization's radio booth, along with Bram Weinstein and Julie Donaldson.

Fletcher was a standout for the Burgundy and Gold from 2007 to 2013 and is one of the more beloved players of the past few decades. Most recently, the former linebacker had been working for CBS Sports as an on-air personality.

The move is just the latest in the team's effort to revamp its media efforts.

Hall, Weinstein and Donaldson will replace Larry Michael, Chris Cooley and Doc Walker, while Fletcher represents a new voice as well.

Those decisions have received various levels of approval — many fans seem to be especially upset by the loss of Cooley, who was popular for his hardcore and in-depth comments — but the call to hire Fletcher should be widely accepted. 

The only question remaining is: Do they know how to spell his name yet?

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