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Marcus Mason

Aug 4, 2008, 10:09 PM EST

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The second-year back, who spent all of last year on the Washington Redskins’ practice squad, looked good running the ball. He was decisive, quick to the hole, and he had a sneaky way of dodging through traffic to make the most out of each carry. He wound up with 98 yards on 18 carries. Mason also caught a touchdown pass from Colt Brennan, improvising like a veteran as the rookie QB rolled out of the pocket.

Naturally, such a performance has some calling Mason a lock to make the final roster.

Not so fast, my friend.

Barring injury, Mason has a very small chance of making the final 53. It’s a numbers game, as simple as that.

The Redskins will carry 25 players on offense. Three will be quarterbacks, three will be tight ends. Nine offensive linemen is the bare minimum and even at that at least one of your reserves has to be ready to play two positions, more if one of them is inactive.

That leaves ten spots for backs and receivers. Five wide receivers will make the team; six is a possibility, as discussed here earlier. If that happens, the extra spot is likely to come out of the allotment for the defense and there will be 26 offensive layers.

Portis, Betts, and Cartwright all will make it and none of them is well-suited to play fullback. That means that either Nemo Broughton or a player to be named later has to stick as the backup to Mike Sellers.

The end result is that there is no room for Marcus Mason. The best his supporters can hope for is that he lands on the practice squad again.

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  1. Travis J. - Aug 5, 2008 at 11:50 AM

    Rich,

    Don't be so suprised if 'the Rock' gets cut in the end…

    J.Gibbs is GONE now if you hadn't noticed… [ROCK be a 'core' Redskin]… Times be A'Changin – are they not. When Portis starts to fade – M.Mason has the potential to be 'The Man' in the backfield! [Certainly wont be R.C. - & Betts is Portis' age too]

    Never say never. Marcus Mason [after Portis] might be the NEXT TRUTH!

  2. Ben Folsom - Aug 5, 2008 at 3:53 PM

    Curly R has been a big proponent of Marcus Mason since last preseason (as seen here , here, here and here) and I see him sticking with this team. Despite Rock’s performance on Sunday’s HOF game and because of Marcus’ strong showing, I still do not see Rock as an every down option at tailback, meaning that no matter Rock’s designation on the depth chart, if it comes to that he won’t be an option and Marcus will get his shot.

    Based on practice squad rules Marcus could be cut by the Redskins and still serve up to two more seasons on the practice squad, he has accrued only one game of active service. I think the Redskins might lose him before they need him, that’s my concern.

    Marcus certainly does not feature into the Redskins’ plans for this season, barring injury, though going forward it’s Jim Zorn’s team now, the prejudices toward Ladell and Clinton are eroding.

  3. Dustin M. Czarny - Aug 5, 2008 at 6:52 PM

    Rich,

    Sellers will be backed up by Fred Davis and Todd Yoder. The way the West coast offense works iis that the reserve TEs seem to be lining up as the FB. note that NEMO did not play at all during the HOF game and I am pretty sure neither did Sellers. I am not sure we need a backup FB on the roster.

    We may need 4 RBs though with the injury history of Betts and Portis. I am not totally sold on Mason, and I love Rock. But We have seen it before where both Portis and Betts were out with injuries. We need 2 quality RBs backing them up for depth alone.

  4. Rich Tandler - Aug 5, 2008 at 8:54 PM

    I’m aware that Gibbs is gone, Travis. I also know that all coaches like players such as Cartwright and Thrash because they help keep coaches employed by doing the dirty work.

    Ben, thanks for dropping by. Most third-string players are not “every down options” by conventional standards. At that level of the depth chart, you look at what else the player can do. As noted, Rock is one of the better kick returners in the league and he is generally a special teams stud. Mason? Don’t know.

    Dustin, thanks for coming by as well. I’m not sure what “injury history” you’re talking about. Betts hasn’t missed a game in two years. Portis didn’t miss one last year and the eight he missed on ’06 was more than he missed in his other five seasons in the league combined.

  5. houseman - Aug 5, 2008 at 9:45 PM

    In all fairness, regardless what Mason does on the field it appears to me that most of you are ok with the backs we currently have. Well, I don’t know if you all are watching the same TV or you are in la la land but excuse me this kid is a player. I hope no I pray this kid gets a chance in Washington because if he doesn’t. I bet almost anything he will land on another team and be a star and guess what we will be saying then. Man, we should have given this kid a chance. No disrespect to the current running backs but it time to put up or shut up period!

  6. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2008 at 9:05 PM

    If you think the skins are going to cut a team leader, a guy who was top five in the NFL in kick return yards, and a viable backup running back think again. Rock is a leader and a great option as a #3 running back. And if you don’t think so go back to the Rams game in 05.. him and portis put up 100 yards. Mason is a great player.. he’ll just have to find another team to do it with. That or we keep him and trade betts.

    I always hate when bloggers bring up the idea of trading betts but if the team thinks mason is starter/2nd string material its not a bad idea. Carry 4 running backs throughout the first quarter of the season. When a running back goes down in the league trade betts and recoop that 2nd we lost for JT55.

  7. Rich Tandler - Aug 6, 2008 at 9:16 PM

    Betts just redid his deal to help Taylor’s salary fit in,adding a year and guaranteeing a roster bonus, so that makes a trade unlikely, although certainly not impossible.

    Zorn is a rookie head coach. I don’t see him taking too many gambles with untested personnel. Out with the old and in with the new is a nice, romantic notion but when push comes to shove, the Z-man is going to play it safe. That means sticking with Betts and Cartwright.

  8. houseman - Aug 6, 2008 at 9:46 PM

    Don’t get me wrong I truly understand salary cap as well as your research of Cartwright past performance but honestly if he was as great as a kickoff returner and option back don’t you think another team would has snatched him when they had a chance? I’m not questioning his ability because it’s proven and I’m not here to bash any player but sometimes in life you have to take a risk. Look at the Wright brothers if they didn’t keep trying to fly there would be no airplanes….This is just opinion and I understand that people will never see the things as you would. Cartwright, Portis, Betts, and Mason I wish you all the best….Houseman:)

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