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A look at the Redskins 53-man roster changes from 2014 to 2015

Sep 6, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT


Since the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster a year ago they have been through a 4-12 season and they hired a new general manager. As one might expect there have been some changes to the makeup of the roster. Here are the changes the team has made since the 53-man roster they took into the 2014 season.

Offensive line

Out: Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus
In: Brandon Scherff, Arie Kouandjio, Ty Nsekhe

Chester was serviceable at right guard but he was on the wrong side of 30 and had a cap hit that demanded a higher level of play. Scherff steps into his starting job. Polumbus started part of the season at right tackle before Tom Compton took over for him. Now that job belongs to Morgan Moses who has some learning to do but could be at least a slight upgrade immediately.

Offensive skill positions

Out: Roy Helu, Silas Redd, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, Aldrick Robinson, Santana Moss
In: Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Derek Carrier, Rashad Ross, Jamison Crowder

Jones is the power back the offense has been missing for a number of years. Thompson has the potential to be an upgrade over Helu but has to show it on the field. Robinson was fast but never polished his route running and Moss was at the tail end of a great career. Crowder and Ross bring youth and speed but neither has taken an NFL snap. Paul and Paulsen would have been on the 53 had the not been injured.

Defensive front seven

Out: Jarvis Jenkins, Clifton Geathers, Barry Cofield, Brian Orakpo, Gabe Miller, Adam Hayward, Akeem Jordan
In: Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea, Ricky Jean Francois, Preston Smith, Jackson Jeffcoat

Perhaps the biggest upgrade on the team from year to year is Knighton at nose tackle. Cofield did well for an undersized nose tackle but Knighton brings a combination of size and athletic ability few can match. It turned out to be a bad year for Orakpo, who had a half sack in seven games before a season-ending injury. The combination of Smith and Trent Murphy could be an improvement over the 2014 Orakpo. The addition of Paea lets Chris Baker come off of the bench where he can be most effective.

Defensive backs

Out: Tracy Porter, E.J. Biggers, Ryan Clark, Brandon Meriweather (opened season on suspended list), Bacarri Rambo, Akeem Davis
In: Chris Culliver, Justin Rogers, Deshazor Everett, Dashon Goldson, Duke Ihenacho, Jeron Johnson, Kyshoen Jerrett

The cornerbacks are better with the addition of Culliver, who may go from side to side to cover the top receiver. The safety group may be better but perhaps only by default. Goldson will have to play better than he did the last two season in Tampa Bay and Ihenacho will need to improve in coverage. But they have a low bar to clear following Clark, who provided leadership but had clearly lost multiple steps, and Meriweather, who was unreliable due to his penchant for injuries and drawing suspensions.

The specialists, K Kai Forbath, P Tress Way, and LS Nick Sundberg, all remain the same.


Total: 20 players who were not on the initial 2014 roster, 12 on defense, 8 on offense

  1. bangkokben - Sep 6, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    Great job, Rich! I would’ve listed Stephen Bowen (PUP list, I believe). Of course, I could be wrong.

    • skinsgame - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:59 PM

      Bowen was cut long ago.

      • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2015 at 3:03 PM

        For 2014. He was released this off season before the league year but I believe he was on the PUP to start 2014.

  2. goback2rfk - Sep 6, 2015 at 11:33 AM

    I continue to think the team looks good on paper. We are weak at TE however the roster is not that bad. The talent is there to be good lets see if it turns into some W’s.
    I would say the roster is stronger than last year for sure. Great test off the bat with Miami.
    Got an anniversary addition Sean Taylor jersey this week to celebrate the start of the new season.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:25 PM

      You think they look good on paper?

      I see an overloaded WR position, a huge question on kickoff/punt coverage, defense back questions in just every area, a starting QB that needs to prove he can produce at a capable level for more than just a few games, a linebacker crew with no true edge rusher, a shaky tight end group, a safety group that looks as prone to big play as in the past. The only positions I find that looks remotely strong are WRs, RBs, NT, and punter. I think the team on paper looks quite poor and hope that can prove more on the field.

      • goback2rfk - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:35 PM

        Yeah your probably right. The injuries really messed us up. Loosing Gallete was the worst though.
        Guess they will have to work out the holes in the off season.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 1:25 PM

          Good coaching can compensate for lack of solid players. It’ll be interesting to see it the coaching staff can overcome what I perceived are many glaring holes on this team.

      • hail74 - Sep 6, 2015 at 3:05 PM

        I don’t see an overload at WR as a problem and I think your selling Kerrigan short. Outside of that I agree.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 3:54 PM

        I’m not saying Kerrigan isn’t a capable pass rusher. However, there is a reason why he has traditionally lined up on the other side of the Right Tackles in the league. Kerrigan will win his battles and is becoming an elite player in his role. However, there is a big difference from a edge rusher that can explode off the line and around a left tackle than what Kerrigan provides. Kerrigan has great technique but gets his sacks in other ways.

  3. mr.moneylover - Sep 6, 2015 at 11:42 AM

    I cant say the D-line is a upgrade because they aint show nothing in the preseason and so as the DBs…they didnt show they was playing as a unit….the second string D-line got to the QB more then the starting D-line…im hoping they show something totally different week 1 because capital punishment defense look capital soft so far…special teams still suck for another year witch will hurt us again this year…hopefully they can fix these things

    • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2015 at 11:59 AM

      I’m going to hold out my judgment until the season starts.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:13 PM

      I agree that the line has been less than impressive. The defense they are playing is a 3-4 under which few teams play so the learning curve on this defense is high. I’m not sure if we’ll see great success with that defense out of the gate. It may take time and coming out of the 1st 5 games with a losing record is quite possible. We need to be patient and see how the defense performs in a series of games and not bail on them after one or two games.

  4. redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    I’m really starting to like Thompson as the 3rd down back. I always like his running style in college and it started to surface in preseason some. Blocking in the 4th game did not give way to many holes but Thompson did a great job of maximizing his yards with what was given. There was one play where I thought he could have bounced to the left outside for a huge gain but missed it and drove inside for minimal yardage. Overall, this guy has the potential to be very good as a 3rd down back and possibly more.

  5. bangkokben - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    Off topic.

    This back and forth about Cousins and Griffin should stop. Cousins is the starter, let’s move on. As for the Griffin bashing, that should stop as well. That is beyond low class. To the folks treating him like he is Dieon Sanders or some other Snyder mercenary – actually worse – just because he failed to live up to the 2012 potential, it makes me sick that you call yourselves Redskin’s fans. I expect that behavior somewhere else. We’ve had a tradition of honoring those that honored our team, even if for only a moment. Timmy Smith, comes to mind. We treat Chris Cooley, Sam Huff, and Sonny Jurgenson like they got us Lombardis. They didn’t. There is no need to delight in Griffin’s failure. Instead of “Kirk Jerks,” how about be Redskin fans? And to you Griffin supporters, who are disappointed that he is no longer the starter, how about you swallow your grief and get behind the team.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:10 PM

      I agree but as long as there is imbalanced provided against a Redskin player, there will always be retaliation at least by me. Look at the last article and you can clearly see that the RG3 detractors continue to pour it on with misinformation and ignoring all the facts about both QBs. It’s clear to me that the ones that lack class or true football acumen continue their slanted views even when it has no longer become necessary. So instead of winning out with their choice of a QB gracefully they continue their one-sided banter against a young man who actually brought us the most hope in 2012 this team has seen since 91.

    • warpath1 - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:18 PM

      agreed Ben. There is a big difference between prefering one player over another and being a hater. I prefer the player who gives us the best chance to win whoever that is. To the “fans” on this site that think we should fire the coach every year and complain about who the qb is, that kind of thinking is what got us here. Lets get behind whos playing and hopefully have a good year.

      • hail74 - Sep 6, 2015 at 3:12 PM

        Yes, I would love some continuity for once. No coach would be able to turn this team around in 2-3 years. Patience is a virtue few seem to possess

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Sep 6, 2015 at 8:09 PM

        Wanting to get rid of a QB after only 3 years 1 Hall of Fame worthy, 1 average while hurt behind a bad Oline, and 1 bad in a new system behind that same Bad Oline isn’t very bright and doesn’t show patience either.

    • darcrequiem - Sep 6, 2015 at 2:12 PM

      I hate to break it to you, but Redskin fans are no better than other fans. I used to think so, but we are just as petty and petulant as the rest. At least we aren’t Philly fans though. There is no on site jail at Fed Ex Field.

    • hail74 - Sep 6, 2015 at 3:09 PM

      Amen! Can’t wait for the season to start so that the focus can shift to what is actually happening on the field!

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Sep 6, 2015 at 8:05 PM

      I always support my team but I will not curtail my response to clear Jealousy and hate on a player that has bin one of the most upstanding human beings I’ve ever seen. His parents did a great job teaching him right from wrong and he has a great moral compass. I will continue to comment on what I feel are good moves and what are mistakes made by this team and I feel it’s everyone’s right to give their points of view regardless how off base it is.

    • squawonthewarpath - Sep 6, 2015 at 9:31 PM

      I agree with you Bang. Regardless of who we like or who we think is best, its not our call to make. We have 3 choices– continue to support our team, find a new team or find a new hobby.

  6. redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    Could Ross become the improved version of Aldrick Robinson?

    • ET - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:56 PM

      Isn’t he already? Aldrick could never do much more than run fast in a straight line.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 1:22 PM

        I’m not sure since about that since Aldrick has recorded touchdowns in the regular season and Ross has not.

        • squawonthewarpath - Sep 6, 2015 at 9:34 PM

          Ross has only played one season right? How many did Robinson play?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 9:42 PM

          No, Ross has played two seasons in the NFL. You have to at least get on the field before being considered better than a guy that did have some big games for this team.

          The reason I even compared them is because both were very fast but lacked route running ability. Ross has worked on his and it showed in preseason. However preseason rarely translate to regular season performance for guys like Ross. We’ll see but he isn’t an improved version of Robinson until it shows up in the regular season against starters.

  7. gonavybeatarmy - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    On the margins, the roster does appear to be slightly improved. But the baseline of talent from the 2014 season they’re building from is pathetically bad. And the head coach doesn’t seem very bright, the GM with prodigious personnel acumen already seems to be allowing personal problems to develop after being in the building just eight months and the owner is widely considered to be one of the worst in North American professional sports.

    I’d love to be wrong if for no other reason than it would be nice on occasion to be able to re-sell season tickets when conflicts arise in mid-October for more than the cost of a movie ticket. But this again feels like an imminent 4-12 trainwreck.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:28 PM

      I have to agree on just about every point. I think 6 – 10 would be a welcomed surprise for me at this point.

    • goback2rfk - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:38 PM

      The roster is definitely improved. I do not think it is that bad on paper. I dont think it is as great as the New England Patriots or anything but there are some good players on this team just not enough of them.
      Surely they can get more than 4 wins I hope. I guess we will wait and see.

    • hail74 - Sep 6, 2015 at 3:17 PM

      Not saying your opinion is wrong but why exactly do you feel Gruden isn’t very bright? He was considered a rising offensive coach before we signed him and just a couple of days ago Casserly said he was a great OC. Last year was his first year and he won more games than his predecessor with a roster you agree would be pathetically bad and the worst owner in North American sports.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:01 PM

        I won’t speak for Hogs but Gruden wasn’t a rising offensive coordinator before last season. He was a flailing one that was losing credibility even from the fans in Cincinnati. If you look at Gruden’s past, he was known as a guy who can get you passing yards but overall he offense never got better for Cincinnati. The running game continued to be stuck with parity or below average performances. Then he arrives and reinforces my very concerns when our running game performance plummeted and the passing game along with it. As a rookie coach he should have gotten his shot elsewhere. The organization could have done much better for both the team and RG3 by looking at other offensive minds that are more innovative and imaginative.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:06 PM

        Read the article from this link. It’s not full of details about Gruden but was pretty much deadly accurate about the outcome of Gruden’s arrive here as head coach last season.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:10 PM

        I’ll impart one last analysis on Gruden prior to him registering any time as head coach last season.

        This is from Grantland…

        “Earlier this morning, the news broke that Washington had found its new head coach, in the form of Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. The first question — one that Twitter has asked many times today — is what part Gruden’s last name plays in all this. Washington is coming off a horror-show season, featuring an offensive coordinator that owes half his DNA to the head coach, so some folks might be wary of getting tied up with famous families.

        On its own, Gruden’s résumé isn’t exactly overwhelming. In his three years as coordinator, the Bengals’ offense finished 17th in DVOA each year. It’s actually hard to maintain that type of mediocrity. Back in 2011, as a first-year play caller with a rookie quarterback and a very young offense, a middle-of-the-pack finish was probably expected. This year, few offenses had more talent than Cincinnati, and no team had a better offensive line.

        The lack of improvement is troubling. And although it’s hard to separate Gruden’s performance from his quarterback’s, Andy Dalton was allowed to sling it around pretty frequently this season — often, in the eyes of Gruden’s critics, at the expense of a very capable running game. The Chargers were reportedly not impressed with Gruden’s game plan last week, and I don’t think they’re alone.”

      • gonavybeatarmy - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:40 PM

        Other than punter (a function of a free agency), it’s hard to find one area of the team under Gruden that was appreciably better than the previous season, and many of its parts seem to have regressed. Perhaps Keenan Robinson and Breeland are the rare exceptions. Of course, it’s clear that overall the talent he inherited is below the league mean. But he appeared to be a non-factor generally in player development, strategic game planning, scheme and tactics. He just seems to be a very ordinary coach at best on a team with minimal talent. Consider how much Joe Gibbs got out of the rat hole of talent he inherited from Vinny in his second stint here- 2 playoff appearances over his final three seasons. Gibbs should have a special second bust in Canton for that alone.

        Gruden does deserve credit for playing a role in the development of Dalton. Over his first three seasons all under Gruden, Dalton’s passer rating rose from 80.4 to 87.4 and then 88.8, and then regressed last season to 83.5 under our old friend Hue Jackson. Dalton’s pass yardage had a similar trend of 3,398, 3669 and 4,293 under Gruden, and again regressing to 3,398 under Jackson last season.

        The jury is still out on Gruden.

        • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:46 PM

          “it’s hard to find one area of the team under Gruden that was appreciably better than the previous season”

          The Redskins won two division games last year up from zero the previous year (.333 percentage points). Perhaps rewording the above statement to ‘two area’ would do.

        • gonavybeatarmy - Sep 6, 2015 at 5:01 PM

          Please see the adjective “appreciably”. God Bless.

        • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2015 at 5:18 PM

          I saw it. 2-4 is appreciably better than 0-6. I’m sure if you saw your investments increase by 33% you wouldn’t discount the appreciation – although that is quite different as there really isn’t a maximum set for those. Perhaps wins in division isn’t an “area of the team” you were referring to? But it’s exactly the kind of tangible results this team will need moving forward. Even if offensive yardage rankings remain the same, most Redskin fans would appreciate a two game bump this year in division wins.

        • gonavybeatarmy - Sep 6, 2015 at 5:38 PM

          I agree. But if my investment returns beat the benchmark by 200 basis points on a relative basis, but my returns on an absolute basis still fell by 40% with seeming economic headwinds over the next eight to ten quarters I’m not doing cart wheels. However you slice it, the Skins were awful in both 2013 and 2014. And the two division win games last year consisted of a regular season win in Dallas in which the team scored 17 points in regulation, and a win over a Sanchez-led Eagles team in which Philadelphia missed two very makeable FG. I’d be very pleased with a six win season that included positive momentum at the end of the season, an elimination of the circus atmosphere and finally certainty at the QB position heading into 2016.

        • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2015 at 5:52 PM

          “I’d be very pleased with a six win season that included positive momentum at the end of the season, an elimination of the circus atmosphere and finally certainty at the QB position heading into 2016.”

          Of the three goals you listed, I think the first one (6 win season with positive momentum) is the most achievable. Circus atmosphere; least likely. That one probably needs to be sustained for fifteen months before we adequately feel like it’s in the past. QB certainty is a tough one. We could be certain that Kirk Cousins is the QB or we could be certain that we will acquiring a new QB for 2016.

        • Skulb - Sep 6, 2015 at 6:48 PM

          On the bright side he just got his first successful challenge against Jacksonville. Or was it the second…Either way it´s looking up:)

  8. jaxjoe - Sep 6, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    Thanks, Rich. Just the article I was looking for comparing this season’s roster to lasts. You’re the best!

  9. hk2000 - Sep 6, 2015 at 3:20 PM

    This is like a race car that gets tuned up with lots of performance parts added, but the same lousy driver. Unfortunately, it’s not the car, it’s the driver.

    If they win even 1 game in the first 5 weeks, I may change my tune, but for now, I’m expecting a winless season.

    • ET - Sep 6, 2015 at 5:27 PM

      You might as well take up crochet or ship-in-the-bottle-making now, I guess, ’cause the current head coach will only bring you angst.

  10. kenlinkins - Sep 6, 2015 at 3:25 PM

    So far I have heard the Hamm, Plummer, Bates and Cofield will sign on to the Redskins Practice Squad. Now I just need Dunbar, Trey Williams and Spencer to sign and I will be a happy guy again.

  11. gonavybeatarmy - Sep 6, 2015 at 3:32 PM

    For entertainment purposes only, the VI Consensus has the line at Mia -4, up from -2.5 before all of the drama started before the first preseason game, a huge line to cover for a visiting team. And the current breakdown of wagers being placed on the game straight up have 98.04% going with Mia, 1.96% the Skins.

    The betting public view the Skins as a train wreck.

    • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:16 PM


  12. bangkokben - Sep 6, 2015 at 4:19 PM

    As we pat ourselves on the back for upgrading our talent, let’s look at where the 2014 guys are now along with their 2015 cap hits for their current teams and the dead money the Redskins are using on them if any.

    Brian Orakpo – Tennessee $4.47M
    Chris Chester – Atlanta $2.8M ($800,000 dead money)
    Roy Helu – Oakland $2.1M
    Jarvis Jenkins – Chicago $825,000
    Stephen Bowen (PUP list until last October) – NYJets $665,000 ($2,520,000 DM)
    Clifton Geathers – Pittsburgh (injured reserve) $665,000 ($250,000 DM)
    Tyler Polumbus – Atlanta $585,000
    Tracy Porter – Chicago $585,000 ($1,000,000 DM)
    E.J. Biggers – Philadelphia $585,000
    Brandon Meriweather – NYGiants $585,000
    Bacarri Rambo – Buffalo $585,000 ($50,836 DM)
    Aldrick Robinson – released by the Ravens on August 29, 2015
    Akeem Davis – waived this year by ‘skins with injury settlement
    Ryan Clark – retired
    Santana Moss – free agent (presumed retired)
    Barry Cofield – free agent ($3,555,000 DM)
    Gabe Miller – free agent
    Akeem Jordan – free agent

    Redskins IR
    Logan Paulsen $2,116,668
    Niles Paul $1,833,333
    Adam Hayward $990,625
    Silas Redd $512,666

    • ET - Sep 6, 2015 at 5:35 PM

      I can’t wait for an injury-riddled Philly secondary to play EJ Biggers in a key game. The schadenfreude will be delicious. Same goes for Meriweather.

      • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2015 at 5:39 PM

        Biggers apparently wears #35; not sure about Meriweather. Instructions for the QB against Philly: find 35 and throw it at his man.

  13. kenlinkins - Sep 6, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    Anyone hear any news on Trey Williams yet? Did he clear waivers?

  14. kenlinkins - Sep 6, 2015 at 9:23 PM

    Ok, 20 of 53 new faces on the roster, that’s about 38% turn over (no too bad). Now I just hope the new GM has found the talent required to improve the pass rush (because I haven’t seen it show up yet) that will allow the still weak DB’s get some turn overs (also maybe we will see Hall or Amerson at FS sometime this season). I would have released Golston, Hall, and maybe Hatcher and Goldson (even with the cap hit) to keep some of the young talent I saw, BUT that would have been a mistake now that all I wanted is on the practice Squad (best of both worlds as we wait to see if the old guys can still perform). PERSONAL NOTE to all Practice Squad members: Please work very hard to replace the above guys and earn your way on the 53 man roster. The Redskins are going to require Special Teams help so there is your ticket (also, it would make me look very smart after believing that you guys would not make it clear of waivers.) A job well done by the GM to gain more talent. HTTR and let’s hope for a good season.

  15. Dennis - Sep 10, 2015 at 12:49 AM

    Bring Chris Cooley back. He’s better than any of their TEs. Archives

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