As unit previews and positional analysis start pouringin preparation of Redskins training camp, one truth will become oh so clear, if it's not alreadt: the safeties are the shakiest bunch on the roster. That's why no matter how much every reporter, blogger and fan focuses on all things burgundy and gold, attention will be paid to the goings on in Cortland, New York.That is where the Jets summer, training camp wise that is. It's where LaRon Landry is working his way back from an Achilles injury that essentially turned him into ex-Redskins safety LaRon Landry. The Jets announced Monday that the insanely muscular 27-year-old has been place on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list as they prep for the start of camp, according to ProFootballTalk.com. Previously Landry sat out the Jets various practice sessions with the injury, one that kept him off the field for half of the 2011 season. Landry missed 15 games over the past two seasons in Washington, but continues to claim he'll be ready for the 2012 campaign.While the Redskins went all in on a certain young quarterback and spent serious coin on some intriguing receivers, they went with a patchwork approach at safety. Veteran free agents castoffs Brandon Meriweather, Tanard Jackson and Madieu Williams not only joined the fray, they form the nucleus of the unit along with holdover Reed Doughty and rising second-year player DeJon Gomes.Moving on from Landry, hard to quibble with that call. How the Redskins chose to replace him, a different story. That tale could involve some serious revisionist history should the ex-Redskin shine as a Jet. Of course, he first must get on the field.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Redskins offseason thus far comes from the lack of change. Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky are all coming back.
One name that is less certain, and is widely loved, is defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.
For Tomsula, there is no pressure on him to perform better. His work in developing Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle probably ranks as the most impressive on the team.
"Jim [Tomsula] is definitely my favorite coach I've ever had," Redskins defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said this week. "I don’t really count [University of Alabama] Coach [Nick] Saban because he wasn’t my position coach, but as a position coach, love Jim Tom."
The Alabama product's comments came during a charity even at National Children's Hospital, and they came during an interesting time for the Redskins defense. The organization spoke with a number of highly sought after defensive coordinator candidates in the last few weeks, but stuck with Manusky at the position. The team claimed, through an unnamed source in a Washington Post article, that the meetings were just to gain different perspectives. Interesting.
Now that Manuksy is back, however, the future for Tomsula becomes one of the biggest questions for the club.
It sounds like Allen is prepared for any outcome.
"I don’t know if he will be back. I would love to have him back but he has a family, definitely he’s a big family guy and his family is in Florida," Allen said. "I can completely understand his reasons for not coming back."
Any conversation with Tomsula always centers around family. He's one of the few coaches that remembers reporters' kids' ages and often asks about them. It's a genuine thing for Tomsula, and it's impressive.
He is also close friends with Manuksy, and the coordinator's return could help in keeping the fiery D-line coach. If Tomsula does leave Ashburn, he's already made a significant impact for players like Allen.
"Regardless what happens I wish him nothing but the best and I’m just glad I got to spend two years with him."
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The Redskins need a stud wide receiver. Badly.
Antonio Brown is a stud wide receiver. Undoubtedly.
So, Washington should pick up the phone, call Pittsburgh and figure out a way to work out a trade for Brown, right?
It's not that easy.
There are plenty of obstacles between Brown becoming a member of the Redskins, as Washington would have to clear out quite a bit of salary to make room for him and also weigh whether he'll fit into their locker room.
Another thing worth considering, too: What's the point of acquiring Antonio Brown without a QB to maximize his talents?
There are serious questions about whether Alex Smith will play next season, or ever again. That means, barring a drastic move, the Redskins will go into 2019 with someone like Colt McCoy or an unproven youngster starting under center.
Sure, you could argue that Brown would make that passer's life a lot easier. He would, to an extent. But ask someone like Odell Beckham or Larry Fitzgerald what life is like on the outside, even as an elite talent, when the guy getting you the ball isn't properly equipped to do so.
Brown is one of the best pass catchers of his generation and will likely end up as one of the best of any era. Whatever offense he's lining up for next season will be better thanks to his presence.
However, this is a guy who's grown frustrated in a franchise that's made the postseason four of the past five years and is unhappy in a place where he's paired with a top-tier signal-caller.
The Redskins, on the other hand, have neither the track record of success or a settled situation at QB, so it's fair to be very skeptical of how he'd handle a move to D.C.
Now, for this organization to break out of football's middle class, an area they're stuck in, going after a star and taking a risk is absolutely worth trying.
Unfortunately, the quarterback depth chart will affect every potential move. And when that potential move involves heavily investing in a premier wideout, the quarterback depth chart should probably dissuade anyone from ultimately making that move.
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