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Need to Know: 5 Redskins depth chart hot spots

Jun 7, 2014, 5:53 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 7, 10 days before the start of Redskins minicamp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five thoughts on the Redskins’ depth chart with about six and a half weeks to go until the start of training camp.

—I’ll have more on this at some point over the weekend but if you think that Santana Moss is a goner come September, think again. I asked Jay Gruden about him and the coach said, “I like having guys like that, veteran guys who are great examples for rookies and also can help you win in big games.” Sounds like a pretty strong endorsement to me.

—You always have to be careful when players give you an optimistic prognosis on their own serious injuries. Late last year, Richard Crawford was telling everyone who was listening that his knee, which he injured during the preseasons last year, was doing great. But he has been off to the side during OTAs, not looking like someone who will be ready for the July 24 start of camp. If he starts the season on the PUP list (note that we are a long way from that happening) that will affect the depth chart at both cornerback and punt returner.

—If you are a regular here you know I believe that Keenan Robinson will be the starter at inside linebacker next to Perry Riley once the season starts. But it remains to be seen if he will be an every down player like Riley and London Fletcher have been for the past few years. There could be a substantial role on second and third down and short situations for Akeem Jordan or Darryl Sharpton. Keep an eye on what develops there.

—Whether Crawford is healthy or not, the punt returner job is wide open. Lining up to field punts on Wednesday were Andre Roberts, Nick Williams, Lache Seastrunk, and Santana Moss. There is a chance that any of them could be the Week 1 punt returner. Or perhaps it will be none of the above. Since you can’t run special teams live in practice, preseason games will tell a lot.

—The running back picture may already be sorted out, three months before we kick off the season opener. I can see Alfred Morris as the lead back, Roy Helu as the third down back and Lache Seastrunk getting about a half a dozen carries per game on first and second down in relief or Morris. Don’t base your early fantasy draft on this, by the way, but it’s how I see it playing out.

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—It’s been 160 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 92 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 10; Training camp 47; Redskins @ Eagles 106

In case you missed it

  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jun 7, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Here’s hoping Kory Lichtensteiger (and the Redskins OL as a unit) will be better this year.

  2. ET - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Rich, any chance that Riley comes out in some situations, too, or do you think he’ll be out there for every down? Do his playcalling duties require him to be out there full time?

  3. shermanp79 - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    I hope Helu gets a shot. I think he was horribly under used last year. His R year he had some nice games when given a shot. He can do some damage catching the ball. The lack of him showing speed I believe has to do with him not getting in rhythm and not enough touches. His speed was an asset coming out of College, so I hope we see some of it this year. Maybe having the power run with one hole and go suits him better. IDK but I just don’t understand where his speed went? He is one of the guys I’m rooting for this year.

    I am surprised you think Robinson would not be an every down guy?? I thought he had great athleticism? I guess what you are saying, is he won’t be a run stopper. I guess that makes sense with athleticism, I am hoping he can provide some big plays. I’m sure they will use him to put some heat on the QB too. I truly believe this Defense will be much better, clearly more talent and most importantly , depth throughout the front 7. I think that will be the key. Having guys fresher in the 3rd and 4th quarters I believe helps the Defense make plays and get off the field on 3rd downs. That has been a huge problem over the past few years. There was always a play to extend the drive and it left a tired defense on the field even longer. Then the big plays killed them. We need to get stops and put teams away, something we never could do under Shanahan.

  4. mrhart76 - Jun 8, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Rich. Aldric Robinson is the fastest guy on the team. Why dont they give him a shot as the punt return guy?

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 8, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      Because there’s a lot more to returning punts (or kickoffs) than speed. If you don’t have the instincts to run short and intermediate pass routes you likely don’t have the instincts to return. He has tried fielding punts in practice and he looks very unnatural.

      > >

  5. skinsdawg - Jun 8, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Aldrick Robinson is not going to be on the Team this year. So he will not be returning punts. That’s my opinion. The guy is completely 1-dimensional. And here’s the more important thing…… he isn’t that good at that singular dimension. Moss all day long over him. I like Garcon, D-Jax, Roberts, Moss, and then the 2 rooks- Ryan Grant & Hoffman (the only big WR). I think both rooks bring something different. And heck- they’re going to be the 5 and 6 men, if they make the Team. If Hank can get himself healthy (doubtful), then I’d take him all day long over AR. I don’t see Robinson making the Team. I could also see Hoffman on the practice squad. Then Hank as the #6.

    Our offense should be DEADLY- (IF)…… huge if…… the OL is worth a nickel. That’s a big if. I’m not even remotely close to be sold yet. But there is a chance…. that the changes will bring a complete line together. I sure hop so.

    • kenlinkins - Jun 9, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      This offense go’s no where if RG3 doesn’t develop his “passing from the pocket skills” early in the season. Redskins fans should understand by now the gamble taken to pick RG3 and the results to date have not been outstanding. You can blame the WR’s, the O-Line, the OC, old head coach, injury to RG3 knee, Special teams or even the Defense for RG3 being about 13 and 20 as a starter in two years, but the truth is that RG3 must learn to over come many of the things listed above and still win. RG3 will never have a team that is 100% better then the teams he plays against, there will always be weak spots, but good QB play can over come some of these (see the 2012 season). The Redskins have moved to fix a lot of areas this off season and the 90 man roster looks much better IMO, but the key to winning in 2014 is RG3’s development as a pocket passer. Without that skill the play action, read option, roll out plays and RG3 playing street football on broken plays will not win many games. IMO RG3 has many talents and is a special kind of NFL player, but until he can look down the field – make the correct reads, deliver the ball on time and place fear into the DB’s of the other team while standing in the pocket, this trade up to pick him will look like a bad deal. If he gains that skill, the sky s the limit for any team he plays for. Archives

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