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.
The sudden resignation of Barry Trotz as the coach of the Stanley Cup champion Capitals is the most stunning Washington coaching departure since Joe Gibbs retired from the Redskins about 13 months after the team won its third Super Bowl in a 10-year span.
In the years leading up to Gibbs’ departure, there were some rumblings that he might leave. As early as 1986, John Madden said that Gibbs was a candidate to burn out of the profession early. During the 1989 season, Gibbs said that he was contemplating retirement, but he retracted his words the next day. In 1990, columnist and TV pregame panelist Will McDonough reported that Gibbs would retire after the season. Retirement rumors popped up again in early 1992, just two days before Super Bowl XXVI. Again, Gibbs denied them. The Redskins easily beat the Bills to claim their third championship in 10 years and there was no apparent reason why such a successful coach would think about leaving.
Redskins fans had become so used to hearing the Gibbs retirement reports that many just started to tune them out. So on the morning of March 5, 1993, when reports of Gibbs’ resignation as coach started to circulate, many were in a state of denial.
That turned out to be wishful thinking. The fans were given a hard jolt of reality when the team announced a noon press conference.
There the coach was on TV, as promised, confirming the news. He said it was a family decision.
“Every year, we get away and talk about it,” Gibbs said. “We always reach the same conclusion. This year, it was different. The boys didn’t encourage me one way or another, but they understood when I told them what I was thinking. I think Pat’s happier than anyone. This isn’t an easy lifestyle for a coach’s wife. The coach is the guy who stands up and hears everyone tell him how great he is. The wife is the one waiting at home alone while the coach is spending every night at the office.
“I wanted more time with my family. I wanted more time with my sons. I look at this as a window of opportunity with them and I couldn’t let it pass.”
Although he has been diagnosed with a condition that has caused some pain and some difficulty in sleeping, Gibbs said that health was not a factor in his decision.
Richie Petitbon, the team’s longtime defensive coordinator, was named the team’s new head coach. It had to be one of the shortest job interviews ever.
“I get a call from Mr. Cooke who tells me Joe has retired and that he wants me to coach the Redskins,” Petitbon said. “After I picked myself up off the floor, I said yes.”
After hearing the news, most Redskins fans had to pick themselves up as well.
Petitbon lasted only one season as the head coach and the other eight head coaches who followed, including Gibbs himself in a four-year second stint, have been unable to get the Redskins back to the Super Bowl. Coincidentally, the Caps’ head coaching job is widely expected to go to Todd Reirden, who was Trotz’s top assistant just as Pettitbon was Gibbs’.
Washington fans hope that the Caps have better fortune with Trotz’s successors.
Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 19, 37 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.
Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense
It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on defense; the offense was posted yesterday.
Defensive line (7)
Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Stacy McGee, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood
I don’t think that McGee’s groin injury will be an issue, but it seemed that Jay Gruden was very tight-lipped about the whole thing, so we will have to wait until training camp starts. This is one more than they normally carry here and Hood’s presence on the roster could be in danger if injuries force the team to carry more players at another position.
Outside linebacker (4)
Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Ryan Anderson, Pernell McPhee
Anderson is certain to make the roster, but he was mostly invisible during the offseason practices that were open to the media. The spotlight will be on last year’s second-round pick in training camp. After a zero-sack rookie season, Anderson will be under pressure to produce this season.
Inside linebacker (5)
Zach Brown, Mason Foster, Zach Vigil, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Shaun Dion Hamilton
The player I have on the wrong side of the bubble here is Martrell Spaight. If he does work his way on, the spot most in jeopardy is Vigil’s. Harvey-Clemons got a lot of reps with the first team in OTAs and the team thinks he can help in nickel situations and perhaps more. And Gruden called Hamilton a potential future starter. So the two younger players seem safe, leaving Vigil vulnerable.
Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Orlando Scandrick, Josh Holsey, Greg Stroman
As is the case with the running backs that I looked at yesterday, this group seems to be pretty well set. It’s not that it’s an exceptionally strong group, but there isn’t a lot of real competition. Behind these six are three undrafted free agents, and while Danny Johnson, Kenny Ladler, and Ranthony Texada all have had flashes in the offseason practices, they are extreme long shots to make the roster at this point.
D.J. Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke
If there are concerns about Nicholson’s health—to be clear, as of now there are none—Fish Smithson could make it as a fifth safety.
K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg
It looks like the Redskins will have the same trio of specialists for the fourth straight year. I will look it up at some point but for now, I’ll say that it’s been a while since they had such stability here.
Defensive players: 26
Rookies (5): Payne, Settle, Hamilton, Stroman, Apke
New to the Redskins in 2018 (7): Rookies plus McPhee, Scandrick
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (13): Rookies plus new players plus Vigil (released in the final cut, re-signed later in the season).
On the 53-man roster:
24 offense, 26 defense, 3 specialists
New to the Redskins in 2017: 12
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster: 16
Tandler on Twitter
I have not heard but they kept things very quiet before extensions for Kerrigan, Trent, etc.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) June 18, 2018
—Training camp starts (7/26) 37
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 51
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 74
The Redskins last played a game 170 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 82 days.
In case you missed it
- Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense
- Redskins will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor at training camp
- Redskins will look to knock off champion Eagles in Weeks 13 and 17