Before the Redskins offseason program gets too far in the rear view mirror, lets take a look back at what we saw, which was three OTAs and two minicamp practices, and see what we learned.Keep in mind the usual caveats here, that the workouts are held with no contact in helmets and shorts while the actual games are played in full pads with a lot of contact. And, because there are no pads and more contact you can tell a lot more about defensive backs and offensive skill positions than you can about other players, soHere are some takeaways, in no particular order.The competition for backup cornerback spots will be fierce. I thought this going in but it became more apparent every day that there is some talent vying for jobs there. One day Richard Crawford was flying around knocking down passes, the next week it was Chase Minnifield. And it was apparent that Kevin Barnes isnt going to give up his job without a fight. It looks like those players plus Brandyn Thompson and Morgan Trent will be battling it out for two, maybe three roster spots behind DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, and Cedric Griffin.The depth at running back is shaky. That is not so much in terms of talent but in terms of health. By the end of camp sixth-round pick Alfred Morris had to take a majority of the snaps as Tim Hightower, Roy Helu Jr., and Evan Royster all were spectators due to injuries. Perhaps this is one of those situations where they would have been in there if it was the regular season but there still is some concern. Availability will be the watchword at this position in 2012.Robert Griffin III has a long way to go. He has come a long way but that is just a start. It takes time, reps and more reps until the mind believes and can break down what the eyes see. Until what takes place in the classroom meshes with what he sees on the field, RG3 will have good and bad plays and good and bad days. He had his share of both in May and June.Pierre Garon will make your jaw drop several times this season. The Redskins really havent had a receiver who can make one-handed stabs of the ball on a regular basis in quite some time. Garon is one of those guys who can do that. His one-handed grab in the end zone during minicamp was the highlight play of the spring. Certainly, it is much more important for Garon to be productive from play to play than it is for him to make circus catches. Still, fans should get some thrills along the way in any case.Dont be surprised if Aldrick Robinson is a surprise player. Or something like that. With no offseason program to prepare last year, Robinson looked overwhelmed in training camp. He was so unsure of himself that his speed never was on display. That changed this year and Robinson has a good shot at making the roster and contributing.Neil Rackers and Graham Gano will battle for the kicker spot until the final cuts. It looks like Rackers is better from short distance and gets good height on his kicks. Gano can hit from a longer distant but he is inconsistent from short range and his low kicks are prone to being blocked. The early prediction here is that Gano hangs on but I wouldnt bet a dime on it.
We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the two games against the Eagles.
Week 13 December 3 (Monday night), Lincoln Financial Field
Week 17, December 30, FedEx Field
2017 Eagles: 13-3, First in NFC East, Super Bowl champions
Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 10.5
Early line: Week 13, Redskins +7.5; No lines established for Week 17
Key additions: DE Michael Bennett, WR Mike Wallace
Key losses: DE Vinny Curry, WR Torrey Smith, RB LeGarrette Blount, DT Beau Allen
Notable: Quarterback Carson Wentz is aiming to be ready for Week 1 after suffering a torn ACL late in the season.
- If Wentz isn’t ready, the Eagles have Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles ready. Is the real Foles the one who has been a journeyman or the one who starred in the playoffs? And will Wentz continue the freewheeling style that helped make him successful after the injury?
- After winning Philadelphia its first Super Bowl, will the Eagles suffer from a hangover?
The Redskins lead the all-time series 82-75-6; the Eagles won both meetings last year after Washington had won five straight.
The first time: October 10, 1937, Griffith Stadium — With the Redskins trailing 7-0, rookie Sammy Baugh twice led the Redskins deep into Eagle territory. Washington couldn’t push it across the goal line either time, though, and Philly got out with a 14-0 win.
The last time: October 23, 2017, Lincoln Financial Field — The Redskins took a 10-3 lead midway through the second quarter, but Wentz and the Eagles took over after that, scoring 21 unanswered points. The Redskins got it back within a touchdown and on a third and eight play early in the fourth quarter, it looked like they had Wentz sacked. However, he scrambled out of trouble and ran for the first down. That drive ended with a touchdown pass and Philly went on to win 34-24.
The best time: January 5, 1991, Veterans Stadium — After getting pummeled by the Eagles in the Body Bag Game (see “The worst time” below), the Redskins qualified for the playoffs and got their shot at revenge. The seedings called for the Redskins to return to the scene of the crime, Veterans Stadium, for a first-round playoff contest.
A near turnover that wasn't was the game's turning point. The Redskins had taken a 7-6 lead and were driving for more when the ball popped loose from Earnest Byner's grasp when he was tackled at the Philadelphia six. CB Ben Smith scooped the ball up and ran 94 yards for an apparent TD.
Fortunately for the Redskins, instant replay showed that the ground caused the fumble and the call was reversed, with the Redskins retaining possession. The reversal became a 10-point turnaround as Chip Lohmiller connected on a short FG and instead of a six-point deficit, the Redskins had a four-point lead. The Eagles' offense never could get untracked and the Redskins won 20-6.
The worst time: November 12, 1990, Veterans Stadium — As the Redskins went into 1990, the core players on the team, Art Monk, Joe Jacoby, Jeff Bostic, Charles Mann, Darrell Green, Don Warren, and Monte Coleman, were on or approaching the over the hill side of 30. The team had gone from Super Bowl Champs in 1987 to a losing record in ’88 to out of the playoffs again in ’89. They were facing their last stand as they went into The Vet for a November Monday night game.
This one became known as "The Body Bag Game". Five Redskins had to be carted off of the field as Buddy Ryan's team knocked a total of nine out of the game, including both of the active QB's. The carnage induced one Eagle to yell, "Do you guys need any more body bags?'' as yet another injured Redskin was lying on the turf. The Eagles and Ryan taunted the Redskins after the game, a 28-14 Philadelphia win that was not nearly that close.
Redskins schedule series
- Week 11 vs. Texans
- Week 10 @ Buccaneers
- Week 9 vs. Falcons
- Weeks 8 & 14 vs. Giants
- Weeks 7 & 12 vs. Cowboys
- Week 6 vs. Panthers
- Week 5 @ Saints
- Week 3 vs. Packers
- Week 2 vs. Colts
- Week 1 @ Cardinals
Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.
Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense
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 offense; defense up tomorrow.
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy
I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off.
Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley
I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out.
Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn
The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.
Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle
The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Sprinkle as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.
Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom
I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games.
Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3): Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team).
Tandler on Twitter
An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero.
This officer needs an award of some sort, maybe a Nobel Prize. https://t.co/UGLXnCzIIb— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) June 17, 2018
—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75
The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days.
In case you missed it
- The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger
- Trent Williams very much of approves of Smith and Guice
- Redskins week that was—Biggest offseason moves, next men up