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53.1—The Offense

Aug 25, 2009, 8:53 AM EDT

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Marko Mitchell should make it

Marko Mitchell speed will help him make it

Here is a look at the roster projections I made before training camp and how they stand up midway through the preseason schedule. Today, the offense:

Tight Ends—On the roster (3): Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Todd Yoder. First off: Robert Agnone

No changes here, Agnone has displayed some flashes of talent but even a practice squad spot seems to be a long shot.

Offensive Line—On the roster (9): Chris Samuels, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Randy Thomas, Stephon Heyer, Jeremy Bridges, Chad Reinhart, Devin Clark, Edwin Williams. First off: Mike Williams.

It looks like they will give Mike Williams a full year to attempt his comeback, so he is on. Clark lost a lot of hope for making the roster by having to sit out the Pittsburgh game with an injury and it looks like he faces another year on the practice squad. It also appears the Will Montgomery will make it as the backup center, pushing E. Williams to the waiver wire.

Wide Receiver—On the roster (5): Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Marko Mitchell. First off: Marques Hagans.

I went with Mitchell from the beginning and there certainly is no reason to change now. Mitchell is raw but you can teach route running and catching technique; you can’t teach 6-4 and raw speed. D. J. Hackett now seems to be the first alternate since he knows Zorn’s offense but, barring injury, he probably won’t make it.

Quarterback—On the roster (3): Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Colt Brennan. First off: Chase Daniel.

While it would be premature to swap Daniel to making the roster and push Brennan out it could happen. Brennan has the advantage of a year under his belt in Zorn’s offense and height more suited to an NFL QB. Daniel seems to be smoother mechanically and has every bit the competitive fire that Brennan possesses.

Running Back-Fullback—On the roster (4): Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright, Mike Sellers. First off: Marcus Mason

Cartwright’s spot is quite secure given the departures of fellow special teams studs James Thrash and Khary Campbell. It’s possible that the team will find a spot for Mason or for Dominique Dorsey but it won’t come at the expense of Cartwright.

Changes made: M. Williams and Montgomery on, E. Williams and Clark off.

  1. fastwb - Aug 25, 2009 at 5:34 PM

    Special teams is still the wild card here. Looks like you’ve got it pretty well nailed down. It would certainly seem hard to justify keeping Mason again this year. He still flashes as a running back but I have yet to see him show up on Teams at all really. Dorsey made ARE look like he was running in peanut butter. Sure, he didn’t break anything but he made a couple people miss and averaged 12 yards per punt return. I know this doesn’t sound very scientific but at least he looked fast and perhaps a step away from breaking something open. Aside from Santana, I haven’t seen a Redskin do that regularly since B Mitch left. I saw Dorsey get in on some tackles on Teams as well. The return game has become the most interesting part of the pre-season games for me this year. I don’t know if I should be concerned by that or not.

  2. Rich Tandler - Aug 25, 2009 at 6:24 PM

    Excellent point. Smith has a great deal of say on the last 2-3 roster spots for special teams. Often that’s the reason for surprises on the final 53.

  3. Kirby - Aug 25, 2009 at 7:37 PM

    I SO wish for Mason and Dorsey to replace Betts and Cartwright. Betts does nothing unless he starts (pathetic as a change of pace back). Cartwright is not a good RB. I think Dorsey could easily take his place as KR (and do PR much better than ARE) and Mason would be superior to Betts (how much does Betts really contribute to ST anyway?). Yeah, we’d need to find someone for Cartwright’s other roles on ST, but unless we can somehow fit him in, I’d prefer Dorsey (yeah, there’s a little concern about Dorsey’s drops, but that hasn’t been a pattern for him in the past, and he has so much upside as a returner).

  4. Justin - Aug 25, 2009 at 10:58 PM

    It is time for a change at kickoff returner. Rock has took one kick to the house in many years of returning. We need to score someway, and since our quarterback cant, we have to rely on the defence and special teams. Rock is gone, Mason in I also wouldnt mind dorsey replacing betts. As far as returning, i would like to see Moss returning kick-offs and Hall getting punts. How many td’s do u think that combo could get? answer- probably more than than Jason Campbell can throw

  5. Daniel - Aug 26, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    I have a strong feeling Bugel cant resist the urge to keep Williams around… for a man who loves violent collisions, a 340 lb bulldozer is dream come true

  6. Pizzatown - Aug 27, 2009 at 5:04 PM

    Cutting Rock is an even crazier idea than benching Campbell. After losing James Thrash and Khary Campbell it would be a terrible move to toss another key special teamer. Rock is the on-field leader/coach of our special teams, in addition to setting the single-season franchise record for kickoff returns in 2007. It’s true he doesn’t take it to the house, but he consistently gets above-average returns.

    Cutting Ladell may be more defensible, but probably next year, not this year. Meanwhile, I’d like to hang on to Dominique Dorsey if possible for punt returns. It’s long past time to pull ARE from punt return duty and risking Santana on returns in non-priority situations is madness.

    I love hanging on to Mike Williams, also.

    In order to keep Dorsey, I might look at one of the extra linebackers to cut, perhaps Robert Thomas.

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