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Redskins minicamp depth chart, offense: Are they set at running back?

Jun 10, 2016, 11:51 AM EDT

Mack-Brown-RBs-AP

Here is a look at the Redskins’ depth chart on offense as they get set for minicamp next week. Here is my analysis of the defense from yesterday. 

*Denotes a player who is injured

Quarterback (3)

Starter: Kirk Cousins
Backups: Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld

Sudfeld has looked good in OTAs and if that carries over to training camp and preseason games it might be hard to get him through waivers and onto the practice squad. Based on the very early returns the 53-man roster looks like his likely spot when final cuts are made.

Tackle (6)

Starters: Trent Williams, Morgan Moses
Reserves: Ty Nsekhe, Takoby Cofield, Al Bond, Kevin Bowen

When Williams missed the OTA on Wednesday it was Nsekhe who lined up with the first team at left tackle. It’s going to be tough for anyone else to break through, although it should be noted that a year go there didn’t appear to be much of a chance that Nsekhe would make the team.

Guard (6)

Starters: Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff
Reserves: Arie Kouandjio, Shawn Lauvao*, Cody Booth, Nila Kasitati

Can Arie Kouandjio push Long and, when he gets healthy, Lauvao for the starting job at left guard? Right now that appears to be a two-man competition but Kouandjio will get his chance to make his case when they put the pads on in Richmond.

Center (3)

Starter: Kory Lichtensteiger
Reserves: Josh LeRibeus, Austin Reiter

The Redskins likely will go into the season with Lichtensteiger as the starter here but they want to be better prepared for an injury than they were last year when he was lost for 11 games. Long has been working at center along with LeRibeus and Reiter.

Tight end (6)

Starter: Jordan Reed
Reserves: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen, Derek Carrier*, Marcel Jensen

This group could be a major strength but there are reasons to be wary due to injury histories and Davis’ low productivity the last two seasons.

Receiver (10)

Starters: Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder (slot)
Reserves: Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross, Reggie Diggs, Maurice Harris, Valdez Showers, Jarvis Turner

It looks like Diggs, Harris, Showers, and Turner are all fighting for practice squad spots.

Running back (7)

Starter: Matt Jones
Reserves: Keith Marshall, Chris Thompson, Mack Brown, Robert Kelly, Ryan Kerridge, Kelsey Young

It remains to be seen if Marshall can be Jones’ tag team partner in the Redskins’ running back committee. It would not be surprising to see a veteran like Pierre Thomas brought in to help prop things up. If not, Brown, who was on and off of the Redskins’ practice squad last year, or one of the undrafted rookies might have a shot at the 53.

  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jun 10, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    I guess we should hope one of the new guys steps up so we don’t need Pierre. This would be best for team going forward, since Pierre will be 32 in December.

    Having said that, I’m still betting Pierre Thomas is a Redskin come September.
    ~

    • bangkokben - Jun 10, 2016 at 1:26 PM

      I just don’t see how the team doesn’t keep four running backs and I agree that Pierre will be a Redskin at some point. I don’t see how moving on from him is even the best for the team when you consider the talent and experience on the roster. As you know, you CAN find a diamond in the rough at running back but the Redskins approach to running back this is season is one of two possibilities. 1) Dumpster diving or 2) So what? Who cares? The last time the team was so devoid of talent in a skill position was when Rex Grossman and John Beck were the quarterbacks. Don’t get me wrong. I like Matt Jones potential and Chris Thompson in his role — it’s after that. Marshall has got to be a lock to make the roster by default. He and the rest of the lot might as well be Lache Seastrunk clones.

    • Joe Ringling - Jun 10, 2016 at 11:02 PM

      You mean 30

  2. bangkokben - Jun 10, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    What always throws these out of kilter is the inevitable season ending injury that occurs during the off season. There’s no way in predicting who that will befall but be assured someone will go down. Last year Galette, Paulsen, and Paul were all on injured reserve before September 1st.

  3. troylok - Jun 10, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    Frankly, Grant has had long enough to blossom. If a tall receiver like Diggs can show he can get over people to catch the ball, I would say good-bye to Grant. Of course, that isn’t going to happen because Gruden has said too many times before how much he loves stone-hands Grant.

    Sounds crazy but I think they should move Bowen to nose tackle. Even if he can’t sprint to the QB, he is a massive player and no one is going to pancake him. Plus, those long arms will make it easy for him to come off a block. He would have a hard time making it an offensive tackle so why not move him somewhere he can do some damage?

    • vtsquirm - Jun 10, 2016 at 4:06 PM

      Bowen who? Are you talking about Chris Baker?

      • Sam - Jun 10, 2016 at 6:44 PM

        Kevin Bowen (rookie UDFA OT)

  4. sidepull - Jun 10, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    Man this is going to be fun to watch. I dont know how opposing defenses are going to cover this offense without getting burned. Best they can hope is Cuz gets rattled by an all out blitz and chucks an interception. Cuz just has to get rid of the ball with poise and I am telling you there is so much quick on this O its gonna hurt somebody. Injury bug be damned.

  5. wncskinsfan - Jun 10, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    I have to say I agree with bangkokben and his assessment of the RB situation. It is one of the few things that worries me about the offense ( center being the other, like so many of us). That being said, I would like to see Pierre back, he has had some time with the playbook, I like his vet presence and abilities ( for now). I agree, I think Grant is (finally) gone, too much pressing and real competition. Gruden will likely see that. It is crazy to me that we are at the point where we perhaps can’t stash a qb on the PS . . . gonna have to blame that on Scot and the scouts doing too good of a job! It sure would be nice to be able to allocate that slot elsewhere . . . this might be the last year we see McCoy around. And yes, camp is going to be the real deal this year, and hopefully for years to come. Our cuts will land elsewhere. Year two of a re-build, things are in motion. One more year of this, and we should really start coming up as solid . . although who knows what will happen this season . . . gonna be interesting. It already is! HTTR!

    • bangkokben - Jun 10, 2016 at 2:49 PM

      http://www.csnmidatlantic.com/washington-redskins/redskins-have-high-hopes-ryan-grant-after-great-showing-otas

      Says all you need to know about Grant. “Grant appears pegged as the No. 5 receiver on a crowded depth chart.” “Despite an uneven 2015, Gruden indicated that the team remains as committed as ever to Grant’s continued growth, while the player and the team await the opportunity Gruden believes will eventually come his way.”

      Grant just has to do the same things he’s been doing before except make the most of his opportunities. Those opportunities will come next year when the ‘skins walk away from Garcon and/or Jackson. Then he’ll count $743,403 against the cap. The 5th WR is not a position that demands an upgrade.

  6. bangkokben - Jun 10, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    Great piece on CSN by Rich
    http://www.csnmidatlantic.com/washington-redskins/improvement-key-red-zone-stat-helped-2015-redskins

    In my mind this was the fundamental reason for the improved record.

  7. bangkokben - Jun 10, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    Keim hit the nail on the head in his piece about Cousins’ passing and the effect of a healthy Desean Jackson. I’m just putting it here for quick reference for the Jackson haters and the inevitability that the Cousin detractors will awake from their zombie stupor in a month when Cousins gets that long-term deal and espouse a bunch of regurgitated misinformation.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/washington-redskins/post/_/id/25425/kirk-cousins-can-throw-downfield-more-but-perception-isnt-reality

    • mtskins - Jun 11, 2016 at 12:02 AM

      I don’t think most of the Jackson “haters” would/could dispute the fact the offense is better with him in the offense. The issue is how often he is in the line up and if he fits with the culture they are trying to build. For all he does for the offense plays like not reaching for the end zone in the playoff game vs the Pack stick in your mind. Feel like the sequence in the last Cowboys game summed him up my feelings in a nutshell. From hating him on the failed punt return to loving him when he made up for it on a long strike from Cousins minutes later.

      Don’t think missing OTAs are a big deal. Happy to have him on the roster this year to open things up . The bigger issue is if the team should shell out a contract to keep him after this year.

      • bangkokben - Jun 11, 2016 at 8:27 AM

        “The bigger issue is if the team should shell out a contract to keep him after this year.”

        I agree. This is the crux. Personally, I think they should let him test the open market after this season but I — like others — acknowledge his UNIQUE value to this offense and don’t let his shortcomings — which there are plenty — cloud my objectivity in evaluating him. The frustrating part is that he could be soooo much better with just a bit more effort.

        Where I disagree is the hater rhetoric that he’s rarely available and a one-trick pony that can easily be replaced. That’s allowing one’s judgement to be clouded by the other stuff. That’s giving the negative more weight than it deserves. Don’t get me wrong. It DOES deserve weight, but there’s a different weight to losing the Dallas game on a bad punt return to missing OTAs to having a reality tv show. Being frustrated with Jackson is par for the course for Redskin fans. Allowing that frustration to turn into hate is probably a product of the negative influences of our modern culture. No, the haters have called for Jackson’s outright dismissal, suggested the Redskins trade him presently, and some have even wished him injury in this upcoming season due to his participation in OTAs. That doesn’t describe most of us but what I meant by “haters” because let’s face it although Jackson may have his admirers from the adult Redskin fan base, he doesn’t have much fans.

        • mtskins - Jun 11, 2016 at 10:44 AM

          Agree with a lot of what you said. Especially the part of not wishing injury on him or any player.

  8. wvredskins - Jun 10, 2016 at 8:10 PM

    Yeah as far as the running backs I’m just hoping we have a hidden gem in one of the undrated free agents or Keith marshall. I do like Matt Jones alot. He is explosive and powerful. And yeah ota’s are a time when everybody has high expectations and you really can’t judge running backs with out contact, but if Jones improves on his ability to be patient and allow the hole to open, we might have us somebody here. Duribility and ball security comes into question though. Like rich said, it’s hard to imagine us not picking up veteran sometime in training camp or there after. I am getting impatient for having to wait for football! Hail

  9. goback2rfk - Jun 10, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    No way in he|| we are “all set” at the running back position. Matt Jones is pretty good but he is no star. We will see what happens but I figure the running game will be sh|t again this year. Look for Kirk to open that sh|t up a little bit this year as he is surrounded by play-makers in the passing game.

  10. James McFullan - Jun 11, 2016 at 12:26 AM

    I really hope Arie Kouandjio starts thus year at LG and plays as well as everyone thinks he should. Plus, if we carry Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Keith Marshall, and Robert Kelly as our running backs, that group is young and inexperienced, but once they gain some experience, I feel that could be a very good group of RBs

  11. Joe Rivers - Jun 11, 2016 at 9:04 AM

    Reggie bush!!!!!! Stop acting stupid pick this man up we want the best player well he the best av at runing back y not

  12. Jlb12300 - Jun 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    The depth of the offense is better now then I have ever seen. The only week spots are running back and center. With center I hope Reiter works out but he might need 1 more season with the 2nd team. With the running backs its unknown. I think that Marshall and Kelly will be fighting for the 3rd spot with Thompson the #2 if healthy .

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