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Need to Know: Did the Redskins gamble and lose at tight end?

Aug 17, 2015, 5:29 AM EDT

Mahina camp

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, August 17, three days before Washington Redskins play the Detroit Lions at FedEx Field.

Lions preseason game may affect tight end depth chart

RICHMOND—Did the Redskins gamble and lose at the tight end position this past offseason?

They had Logan Paulsen and injury-prone Jordan Reed under contract. They re-signed Niles Paul before he hit unrestricted free agency. Je’Ron Hamm and Chase Dixon, who spent 16 and seven weeks on the Redskins’ practice squad last year, respectively, were signed to futures contracts. After the draft, they signed Devin Mahina as a college  free agent.

It was not an aggressive plan at the position, one that indicated that the Redskins believe that they were set there. But were they?

It’s easy to look back now with 20-20 hindsight in the wake of season-ending injuries to Paul and Paulsen and say that they weren’t ready. But many were calling for the team to bolster the position before these injuries happened.

Reed, as noted, has issues staying on the field. In two NFL seasons he has missed 12 games due to injuries. In his 32 games under contract he has either been on the injury report or on injured reserve for 17 of them. It’s not his fault but reliability is not one of his strong suits.

Paulsen may have been on the bubble when it comes to making the team. He caught only 13 passes last year despite playing 390 offensive snaps. He did have some value as a blocker and on special teams but a salary cap number just north of $2.1 million could have led to him being a cap casualty.

So that left Paul, a converted wide receiver, as the only solid, reliable option and now he is on the shelf for the year with a dislocated and broken ankle. Yes, it’s bad luck but perhaps the Redskins should have been better prepared for it.

In fairness, their options were limited. The demand for quality tight ends exceeded the supply in both free agency and in the draft. Perhaps they could have reached for one but other needs would have gone unmet.

The Redskins have added two tight ends to the mix, D. J. Williams, a former fifth-round pick of the Packers who also played for the Jaguars, Bucs, and Patriots, and Ernst Brun, who hasn’t played a snap in the NFL. They are unlikely to play on Thursday so the stage will belong to Hamm, Dixon, and Mahina. If they can make a good impression, they can get an inside track on the new guys. There might be further shuffling at the position if they show that they can’t get the job done.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Final practice of training camp, 8:35

—It’s been 232 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 27 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason Lions @ Redskins 3; final cuts 19; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 38

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In case you missed it

  1. sidepull - Aug 17, 2015 at 6:55 AM

    Yea they may have gambled. I liked Funchess in the draft and hoped they might snag him but at what cost? There were, and are, so many needs on this team you just knew were going to be thin somewhere. One thing is for sure the season is right around the corner and its possible we may find that TE by committee is going to have to suffice. If they did gamble lately I think it is with Amerson bringing him back so quickly. Thats a position we are patching together as well and the one that worries me more so than TE. CB is thin and fragile. Hope Breeland will be ready because it looks like Hall is going to get nicked up a lot this season given what we have seen so far from him.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 17, 2015 at 12:31 PM

      A significant reason for clearing a player for returning to the field comes from the feedback provided by that player. There is a old adage that been used in cases like these: “Players need to know the different between playing with pain and playing with injury”. If Amerson didn’t feel ready to be back on the field then he should have communicated this to the staff. I’m sure there are many stipulations in the CBA preventing teams from forcing players back too soon, especially if the player communicates he isn’t physically able. So when a player re-injures himself then some if not much of the blame falls on the player.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:05 AM

    Hindsight was not 20/20 here. A matter of fact foresight was 20/20 here with posts to so for it. It was pretty easy to see we could end up here with our hopes banked on Reed who takes up one of the 53 spots like hot air, niles Paul covered WR, new weight to try to right the position, and then Paulson the TE that can’t catch. The writing was on the wall well before FA and draft. This was just poor management at this position. Agreed many more big holes to fill. But this one was glaring… Just sayin. No surprise here.

    • bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:24 AM

      Yes. You had foreseen the injuries and offered no alternatives but, of course, you were right about the position.

    • bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:25 AM

      If anything, you should be happy because now they are forced to address the position.

  3. mr.moneylover - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:05 AM

    Yea they gamble and fail at the postion when they sign ernst brun jr. Jay gruden said that ernst brun jr. Is probably the best blocking tight end out of the group…I think devin mahina is capable of bein that blocking tight end as well…dj Williams havent played in a year but he must of showed the coaches something for them to sign him…I think if both tight ends plus devin mahina show good things at the tight end postion they might move on from jordan reed simply cause he have a limit to his game and he cant stay to show what he can do…remember we got scot m. In controll now if you cant put something on tape for him to see then its a chance he get traded or cut #movingintherightdirection

    • ET - Aug 17, 2015 at 12:43 PM

      While I hope two of the young TEs now in camp can step in and contribute this season, it’s very unlikely that any of them could displace Reed and his skill set. Yes, we all know Reed is fragile, and yes, his injury history is very frustrating. But his talent is undeniable. One or more of the young guys might really shine, who knows. That’d be great. But it’s premature to count out Reed.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 17, 2015 at 5:56 PM

        I’ve given up on this guy with Reed. It’s like he is stuck on repeat with no sound reason to his stance.

  4. 214hof - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:13 AM

    Like you said, hindsight is 20-20 but looking at the position pre-draft it seemed pretty low on the priority list. That’s not to say someone couldn’t/shouldn’t have been brought in to push Paulson but Reed and Paul were definite locks. I’m kind of excited the team didn’t rush out and pick up some old washed up vet off the street to fill the void. I’m intrigued by the UDFA they just picked up Brun… I know it was a “highlight” video on YouTube but nevertheless, he looked like a solid hands catcher with a big catch radius. I’m not saying that this guys the answer, but I will be watching for him the rest of PS.

  5. Skulb - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    TE wasn´t the big need before the draft though. All three of last year´s TEs are good. People obsess of Paulsen`s ball troubles last season but he´s a good blocker. Secondary, offensive line, RB and defensive line all needed more love than TE. And with Paul and Reed in and a ? on Logan it might have been considered excessive to draft or FA a TE in April. It just went pear shaped in a hurry now with two of them out for the year and Reed with another hammy. But nobody could have predicted that. Paulsen and Paul have barely missed a game since they joined the team. Going for a TE would only have made sense to me if Reed had been cut because of his injury problems, which I half expected him to be at the beginning of the offseason.
    Anyway, hopefully the backups and the new guys can step up and fill the hole at the TE position. If nothing else this is a great opportunity for those guys. Odds are at least one of them will step up, and then it won´t look quite so bad anymore.

    • hk2000 - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:58 AM

      Agreed. And I remember Paulsen being a lot better catching the ball a couple of years back, I’m not sure why last year he was not, but then again, he was not targeted much. Of the young guys we have, the coach said “we have to work to get them better.” then promptly went out and signed 2 new guys. Let’s face it, with this team, coaching is a lost art.

      • Skulb - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:07 AM

        Definitely agree with your statement about Paulsen. Previously he has been a safe pair of hands, decent after the catch as well as being a good blocker. He was slightly off last season for whatever reason, but that wasn´t typical of his career.
        About the coaching though, it´s training camp and you have freedom now to bring in bodies and have a larger pool of players to work with, and a greater chance of finding a TE who will be capable of doing the job. Five is better than three in that respect. If this had been in the middle of the season I think I might have made a bigger deal out of coach double talk like this. Getting the three backups ready doesn´t exclude bringing in some more guys for a look I mean. You´re gonna work with all five of them, but ou need to develop a depth chart for the position as well. Three people is not a TC depth chart. It`s a rotation of the three guys who will be starting anyway.
        Anyway, I`m more optimistic about the TE spot now than I was when Paul was carted off on Thursday. It looked really dire of course, but at the same time it spurred the management into having a slightly more detailed look at this position. And that can´t be bad. They relied too much on Logan and Niles never being out I think and seemed to be overlooking the depth a bit at TE.

      • bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 9:09 AM

        When Reed went out in the first game last year, Nile Paul picked up the slack. Let’s see how the two practice squad guys do.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Aug 17, 2015 at 9:29 AM

        @ Skulb if you wanna go back on a previous article and call me a liar and say I never Posted stats with links to those stats try going back a little further and look on previous articles or ask some of the other commenters on here. Instead of running your lips and calling names like a child when someone points out your absurd hate and crushing your dumb argument over 8 preseason throws. When Tom Brady had a bad QB Rating with limited throws. I’ve Posted links from The NFL, Football Outsiders, and the Washington Post. You dig for ridiculous stats that prove nothing and you take those stats out of Context. I’ve bin on this blog for years and have watch people like you shoot off and try to down grade people all the while you barely have a clue how the game is played. You even show your lack of intelligence and common sense by shooting off about the guy who runs this blog. I’ve bin on here longer than anyone else that have bin commenting and you remind me of Polo and walter too people who hate just to hate and show no comprehension of what a Discussion is.

        Try Checking Before Calling Someone a Liar.

        • Skulb - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:54 PM

          Please leave me alone with your obsessions Ti. No need to comment in my direction in the future because I will ignore it. You go preconception – rant – tantrum every single time, as if you´re five years old and it is very boring. Goodbye!

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Aug 18, 2015 at 1:34 AM

          I called you out for what you are you called me a liar for Zero reason just because you were mad that noone supported your view and I blew your one stat out of the water after you continuously kept ranting about it like you knew what you were talking about. Hating on someone like you do for no reason is pathetic. And your damn right Im gonna stand up for myself when someone blatantly lies about me.

        • Rich Tandler - Aug 18, 2015 at 5:34 AM

          Guys, can we stop this? It’s getting repetitive and tedious. Agree to disagree and move on. Thanks.

    • ajbus1 - Aug 17, 2015 at 5:22 PM

      Agree with you 100% Skulb. You never think it’s gonna come down to the guys you had pegged for the practice squad. Unfortunately that’s where we’re at. If Reed can stay healthy for passing downs and one of the other guys can pick up the slack in the blocking department, we’ll be fine. I really like that Compton has been working as an extra blocker from the TE spot. When you look at Callahan’s run game with the cowboys last year, he had the TE’s blocking most of the time. Jason Witten, who is better than any TE we have, tied his career low in receptions aside from his rookie year. He blocked a lot compared to before Callahan was there. We really just need a solid blocker out there to get this ground game working the way they want.

      • Skulb - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:56 PM

        I do like me some slant routes now and then, especially when the def shows blitz. So you do need the tight ends to be able to catch the odd ball as well. Otherwise you´re probably right.

        • ajbus1 - Aug 17, 2015 at 10:25 PM

          Ya, and that’ll be what we won’t have this season. The defenses will know that when in our base package, the TE won’t be a big worry which will encourage them to blitz more. There won’t be much chipping and then going out for an outlet pass. The only security blanket for RG will be if the RB goes out for an outlet pass so he better get used to throwing to his hot reads. I figure it’ll also lead to more 3 WR sets being used than what was originally planned. You never want to lose a guy like Paul but extra protection (Compton at TE) and more 3 WR sets could benefit RG. But the key to everything is still whether the run can be established early.

        • Skulb - Aug 17, 2015 at 11:19 PM

          You might be right there. It´ll be interesting to see how they approach this in the next PS game. As long as they are flexible enough to adjust to what they have available rather than insist on shoehorning people into the existing system come hell or high water, it should be fine.

  6. dcfaninecuador - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:51 AM

    No, they didn’t gamble and lose. They had 6 TEs on the roster. A team cannot foresee two of them going down in the first preseason game for the year. Don’t try to create controversy where there isn’t any. It’s like saying if Alfred Morris and Trey Williams go down that they were shortsighted for not having enough RBs.

    • ajbus1 - Aug 17, 2015 at 5:24 PM

      Exactly right. But I don’t think there’s an attempt to create controversy here. Notice the title is a question.

  7. gonavybeatarmy - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:52 AM

    Every team has a weakness; even the best, most well run organizations do. Some very good organizations have multiple holes.

    The Ravens, for example, haven’t been able to identify a legitimate “Number 1” WR during their successful several years run, and last year their secondary was awful due to limited personnel and injuries. And yet, they won ten games during the regular season, qualified for the playoffs (as always) and dominated the Steelers (without Bell) and nearly beat the eventual Super Bowl champs on the road.

    McCloughan did a good job during the offseason of upgrading the corner position, adding depth to the front seven, adding talent to the OL and even improving the RB and WR situation. We all know the outstanding weaknesses, but there are fewer weaknesses than there were seven months ago.

    Every team has weaknesses. It’s up to the coaches to masquerade these weaknesses through smart scheme. And if they can’t, they need to go.

    • hk2000 - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:03 AM

      I love your post- especially the part about the Ravens. I guarantee you, if the Pats were to suffer a similar streak of bad luck at one or even two positions, they’d still be extremely competitive and in the running for the post season, and NO IT’S NOT BECAUSE THEY HAVE BRADY!!!!!

  8. cowboyhater - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    What team in the NFL keeps 5 starting caliber TE’s on their roster?….Not sure why this was brought up. I’m not trying to marginalize the TE position, but in the real scheme of things you don’t fill your roster up with a bunch of starting TE’s when you already had 3 from last year who have proven very serviceable within the offense. Yes Reed is injury prone which is why Paul was named the #1 TE on the roster, Paulson was a good blocker, and has decent hands, and Reed is very athletic and great after the catch and creates match up issues for any defense. We have 3 young raw TE’s on the roster who can became serviceable TE’s down the road, so writing an article about this topic is a bit unfair. You only have a handful of very elite TE’s in this league, and the rest are just TE’s. So my answer is a resounding NO in terms gambling on the position. Injuries happen, and now you move on…it’s what good teams do.

    • sidepull - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:51 AM

      Yea but it would be nice to hit on one that can do it all vs, one can block, one creates match up problems because hes like a WR, one can catch… you know they just didn’t have an all around TE. What was so great about NP is he beefed up and I felt he was going to have a breakthrough year playing at an increased weight. I thought he was going to be the all around, do everything TE for the Redskins. Now back to square one,,,,one with good hands, one that is fast,, one that can block…..

      • bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:58 AM

        What you mention is not solely a Redskin problem.

      • vtsquirm - Aug 17, 2015 at 10:16 AM

        it would be nice… sure. but that’s not in the cards we were dealt. why pass up another position of need when we have 3 TE’s that can play?

  9. bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:55 AM

    I get that the tight end position was not ‘super’ strong – there was no clear pro-bowl player on the roster and there was injury history but let’s look at the facts. The Redskins had three returning tight ends that have played significantly roles over the past two seasons AND two tight ends returning from the practice squad. Five guys that knew the offense going into the off season. Now once again, I ask, who were they supposed to get at the beginning of this offseason to prevent this case of bad luck? Everyone who has lamented about the tight ends on this board have done so without offering any REAL possible upgrades or solutions. Why? Because the pickings are slim. Cooley and Gresham are names that people mention as guys that know the offense. Greshem is no longer an option and the Redskins are in rebuilding mode and are looking more for a guy they can build with at this point. So, tight end crowd, who should they get?

  10. skinsgame - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:56 AM

    The draft would have done nothing for the TE position this year. The draft is not about this year, it’s about the year after. The team was fine at TE until the injuries.

  11. kenlinkins - Aug 17, 2015 at 9:16 AM

    There were 19 TE’s drafted but only 5 in rounds 1 to 4. Of the undrafted TE’s I only saw about 4 big TE’s who graded higher than a 5.0 and might make a teams 53 man roster (Bibbs, La Cosse, Mahina and Holems) and the Redskins signed one (maybe they missed on Bibbs?). Some wanted Jess James out of Penn St (5th round #160 Steelers) but if you saw his first preseason game you would question that pick now. So the math is Maxx WIlliams not P. Smith, Heuerman or Kraft for not trading back for more picks and getting M. Jones, or Walford not Crowder I do not see where the Redskins missed a shot for a 4th TE on the roster. So, was it a “gamble” by the new GM or just a case of not seeing the value that was there at this time vs. other problem areas! Which of the other problem areas would you have passed over? D-Line NT & Pass Rush, O-Line, DB’s, or Special Teams to protect against your top 3 TE’s getting hurt! Other than trying to trade Reed for a draft pick or going old school and trying to trade a TE for a TE (both bad options IMO) I just do not see any moves the new GM could have made other than not draft M. Jones.

    • lorcanbonda - Aug 17, 2015 at 11:38 AM

      Jesse James’ best friend from high school died a few days before the Minnesota game. You can rationalize the need to separate your personal life while trying to earn a spot on an NFL roster, but James (like most rookies) is still a kid. That sort of problem would be difficult for all of us to deal with at his age.

      Regardless of the justification, the Redskins need a tall, strong receiving threat for the red zone offense. There is a reason why the redzone offense has been terrible — and a reason why both touchdowns were rushing touchdowns against the Browns. Our choices in the redzone are minimal.

      James was the best choice for a tall receiving threat after the second round. He may have been drafted as a prospect — but he would have been a good prospect.

      • Klinkins - Aug 17, 2015 at 12:50 PM

        I did not know that he just lost his best friend. Very sorry for his lost. I hope he does well in the nfl.

  12. Skinsdiehard - Aug 17, 2015 at 9:17 AM

    I don’t think it was a gamble. Reed should be the starter and will be. Miles dropped more passes but was a good leader. Paulsen gave up many sacks and penalties and turnovers. He was on the bubble. Skins comitted to 1st and 2nd stringers. I don’t see anything wrong with that. An undrafted FA should be able to replace Paulsen. Paul will be missed but Reed led all TEs last year in receptions and yards. This would be a different conversation if Reed is lost.

  13. renhoekk2 - Aug 17, 2015 at 9:49 AM

    Most teams only carry 3 TE’s. They had 3 guys who all had designated roles and proved they could play. Reed was the receiving TE, Paulsen was the blocking TE and Paul was the hybrid TE and ST stud. You don’t use a high or mid draft pick on a position group that is that set. They had more questions at QB than they did at TE going into the season. No one seems to be complaining they didn’t take a QB in the draft. I;m sure you would have to research and go back many years before you found a team that lost 2 TEs to injury for the season before the 2nd pre-season game. Wicked bad luck, not foreseeable or preventable at all.

  14. timwillhidetimwillhide - Aug 17, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    TE is a Position everyone has bin Screaming for next to Oline and we had plenty of opportunities to add help there in free agency and the Draft. We could have made a run at Cameron, Gresham, or Casey in free agency. We Drafted a RB early which I think we could have gotten one in the later rounds ( Carlos Williams ) and Drafted Smith High wich I feel wasn’t really a need wich is debatable. Those are two spots we could have traded down or got a better player at a need position. Blake Bell, Jesse James, and Boyle all went after the 3rd round and we could have gotten them and a player with some maneuvering. Or at least one of them. Im not sure a decent TE will get cut that is a position where you rarely see that

    • bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 10:39 AM

      None of the rookies are clear upgrades over the Redskin’s three and most are not even upgrades over our two practice squad guys. Had we signed an FA, then Niles Paul wouldn’t have been resigned. Cameron got a two year contract worth $15M, Gresham got one year for $2.5M both more than Paul’s average $2M contract. We never would have paid the $9M+ for Julius Thomas. Gruden had Gresham in Cincinnati and yet the Redskins elected to go with Paul instead of Gresham. Suppose we did sign an FA, the same injury could’ve easily happened to the FA. Suppose we signed Cameron for $15.5M over two years out bidding the Dolphins. Then we would’ve gone into the preseason with Cameron, Reed, and Paulsen as the clear favorites plus Dixon, Hamm, and Mahina. Then Cameron suffers the same injury as Paul, Paulsen has the toe, and everyone is complaining of the bad luck or the money we wasted on Cameron.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Aug 17, 2015 at 11:37 AM

        Im not saying signing anyone I mentioned would fix an injury problem. I’m saying the position is weak and we should have addressed it so we had better players and depth. Nobody can predict injuries. If we would have signed Cameron or even James Casey ( one player I mentioned you had no comment on) and Drafted Bell, James, or Boyel the Position group would be better. Nobody can predict injuries what if everyone was healthy are you saying our current group is better? I think if we had Cameron, Reed, Paulson, and Bell would be better than the guys we have. It’s about improving the position group not what if injuries

        • bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 12:10 PM

          Cameron was too expensive. Having five guys in the organization and getting a UFA puts three guys in the pipeline. The team elected not to upgrade the position due to resources and the need/desire to shore up another position. For instance, had the team drafted one of the TEs you mentioned in addition to re-signing Paul instead of Matt Jones. We would have Reed and the draft pick at TE before Hamm, Dixon, Mahina, et all and at RB we’d have Morris, Thompson and his injury history, and Mack Brown as Morris’ primary back-up. Sure Trey Williams looks good but with Redd’s injury there really is no one on the roster in case Morris tweaks an ankle let alone the worst case scenario. So it’s not a matter of not addressing the position as much as is it managing resources. As for James Casey, he’s a FB/TE in Gary Kubiak’s system which makes him sound like a bad fit at worse or a Chris Cooley (in Shanahan’s offense) at best. At $1.25M, I’m sure DY fans would have been upset (DY makes a smidge more) but was he an upgrade over the guys we had? IDK but hindsight says it would’ve been nice to have him now.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Aug 17, 2015 at 12:54 PM

          I do believe I adressed the RB position with Carlos Williams and RB is a much easier position to fill so I really don’t see the need to draft Jones a TE would have bin better for the Team and the young guys we have barring injury non wouldhave made the team and non of those guys look like they would be worth molding into a starter.

        • bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 1:33 PM

          Agree to disagree. This team needs to run the ball to be successful. A back is more important than a TE. You don’t keep two TEs on the practice squad if you don’t see a future for them. As for you drafting both a TE and a back, it kind of steps over the line of realistic what ifs. Sure, we could all massage the draft to possible trades that never were actual possibilities to get our perfect eight to ten guys that we think would’ve best served the team but that’s not reality. If a guy was there when we drafted and we passed a la JJ Watt then maybe we missed something. It’s not like we can tell the GM, “Don’t draft Jones, Carlos Williams is definitely going to be there for us later on.”

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Aug 18, 2015 at 1:40 AM

          That Draft was Extremely Deep at RB could have gotten a Quality back later. I do agree the RB position is more important than TE but it is also easier to fill the pool of talented RBs is bigger

  15. vtsquirm - Aug 17, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    What are the chances that two players at TE would have season ending injuries in the preseason. Paulsen & Paul were both fairly durable. yeah I could see Reed getting hurt again, but I don’t think anyone would have predicted the others to be out for the season. In addition we had so many other needs and the supply of TEs was fairly light. I place little blame on the front office. its just one of those things that happens

  16. bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    Awesome. How many blogs do you do your thing on?

  17. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 17, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    Per Rich on twitter, I see Crowder and DJax will be missing the Lions game. Dang.
    ~

  18. MC12 - Aug 17, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    TE was low on the priority list with lots of holes to fill in this roster. SM was not going to make this team a playoff contender this year anyway. I also like SM’s point that a lot of college teams run the spread bow reducing the amount of defend NFL ready TE. Low hurt them in this case.

  19. timwillhidetimwillhide - Aug 17, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    I know everyone thinks Cooley is washed up but what would it hurt to bring him in for a try out? If he doesnt have it they can just not sign him. I think they should atleast give him a tryout. Leave no stone unturned.

    • bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 11:02 AM

      I think the thinking on him is that he’s a last result. He can be a team’s third TE, in the Nile’s Paul mode, but they’d like a younger option that they can build with. If none of the guys they bring in look like they can fill Niles’ TE role, then you might see Cooley at Redskin Park doing something other than radio two weeks from today. In other words, the no-name guys have two weeks to show what they can do.

    • lorcanbonda - Aug 17, 2015 at 11:31 AM

      The year he retired, Shanahan brought Cooley back to replace an injured Fred Davis. This is how Niles Paul became a Tight End. It’s hard to believe that he may have improved since then.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Aug 17, 2015 at 11:38 AM

        All Im saying is what would it hurt to give a tryout?

        • ET - Aug 17, 2015 at 12:32 PM

          The harm is Cooley would be an on-the-bubble player even if he makes the team, yet he’s a fan favorite with a long team history. If he was cut, say, eight weeks in, the a portion of the fanbase would be upset. From a PR standpoint, it’s a lose-lose proposition: pay an aging but well-liked player over a rookie for one season or a part of one season, get hammered if he doesn’t make the cut (What were you thinking?), get hammered if you part ways (How could you be so ruthless to one of our favorite players of the past 15 years?). Not to mention losing the development time for one of the young fellers.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Aug 17, 2015 at 1:00 PM

          If he had a try out Im pretty sure his work out would be judged as if he could make the team not as an extra body. You never know what someone has until you take a look. If he got signed after the tryout that means he showed something.

        • ET - Aug 17, 2015 at 2:30 PM

          I think Scot will (wisely) stay away from trying out Cooley. Any upside seems marginal at best.

        • lorcanbonda - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:01 PM

          There is a lot of potential harm. First, it’s a time waster — then you are stuck with a decision of what to do with him. That’s a bigger deal than you think. It has a huge potential backfire if young players think they are better than him, but he gets some reps they think they deserve.

          That’s the best we could hope for. The worst is that Cooley badmouths the new organization on a radio show.

  20. brucefan1 - Aug 17, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    The question now is. “What’s going to be the NEXT position that the Skins (or any team for that matter) come up short in because they couldn’t foresee that that spot would be devastated by injuries, and thus prepare for it?”

    Guard maybe? Lose a couple guards and a team is hurting. Cornerback? We see how short the Skins are there in the preseason; why can’t it happen in the regular season? Safety? Kick returner? (I think we get the idea)

    Teams all know that injuries WILL happen — in spades, usually — they just don’t know WHERE they will happen. As some have already posted earlier, a team just can’t be prepared for a spate of injuries at every position. Something frequently has to give.

    It’s just an ugly part of the game that all teams have to live and die with.

  21. bangkokben - Aug 17, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Rich, now that training camp is over does your access to the practice diminish?

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 18, 2015 at 5:37 AM

      It practically disappears. After Thursday’s game media can only watch stretching and position work. Then it’s back to the media room while the meat of practice goes on.

      • bangkokben - Aug 18, 2015 at 9:37 AM

        Thanks. I knew it was coming just wasn’t sure when. Thanks for all the insight. Follow-up question: In 2012 was the “50 series” offense showcased at all during training camp or was it all shelved until the practices were closed?

        • Rich Tandler - Aug 18, 2015 at 9:52 AM

          We saw it but not much. Like maybe once a day. Mostly shelved until after the second preseason game and practices were closed.

        • bangkokben - Aug 18, 2015 at 9:56 AM

          Thanks again. Any indications that that sort of thing might be in the works? I’ll be thinking that that is the case if Griffin continues to get limited action in the preseason.

  22. ajbus1 - Aug 17, 2015 at 5:27 PM

    The question I have is what makes Paul’s injury worse than Griffin’s last year? Same injury but more severe?

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:03 PM

      Paul also has a broken bone

      • ajbus1 - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:54 PM

        Bummer. Thanks Rich!

  23. goback2rfk - Aug 17, 2015 at 6:52 PM

    Wait a Second! Did RG3 just say he is the best Quarterback in the league?

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:25 PM

      When you are a professional football player, there is no room for modesty. You have to believe in yourself. He also stated he knows others QBs are ahead of him in some areas. So I don’t see an issue with the statement. What do you expect him to say about how he sees himself as a NFL QB? “Yeah, I’m pretty average or suck sometimes but I wish to be a franchise QB someday”

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:43 PM

      Below is the full comment. I don’t see any issue and just another example media blowing a comment out of proportion.

      “I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league, and I have to go out and show that,” he told the station. “Any athlete at any level, if they concede to someone else, they’re not a top competitor, they’re not trying to be the best that they can be.

      “There’s guys in this league that have done way more than me. But I still view myself as the best because that’s what I work toward every single day.”

  24. redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 17, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Seems this account merits banning. I’ve never seen anything from this guy other than typo checks. No life and probably needs a woman.

  25. wncskinsfan - Aug 17, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    there really wasn’t much in the draft or FA. bum luck, really. sad for paul and paulson. opportunity for the new guys. that is football. it can be cruel and brutal.

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