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Need to Know: A look at five Redskins on the roster bubble

Aug 21, 2016, 5:40 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, August 21, 13 days before the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 players.


Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 224 days ago. It will be 22 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 28; Browns @ Redskins 42; Redskins @ Ravens 49

Five Redskins sweating it out on the bubble

ILB Perry Riley—The longtime starter played 10 snaps against the Jets and he doesn’t seem like he was one of the top-line players that Jay Gruden wanted to play sparingly or not at all. That comes after he played just 12 snaps against the Falcons. And he didn’t dent the stat sheet in either game. With a cap number slightly over $5 million it doesn’t look good for Riley.

OT Takoby Cofield—He played 46 snaps against the Jets, more than anyone else on offense. The first-year player was inconsistent, although he had his moments. His task is to convince the coaches that he’s worth a roster spot even though they have a lot of faith in Ty Nsekhe to be effective filling in in both spots. If he can’t make his case another season on the practice squad could be in the cards.

OLB Houston Bates—There is one OLB spot available behind Kerrigan, Smith, and Murphy and it seems to be Bates’ to lose. However, he could lose it. His competitors for the job, Willie Jefferson and Lynden Trail, had good nights against the Jets. Jefferson had a tackle for loss and Trail made a play on special teams. Bates probably has the inside track but he needs to keep pushing to keep it.

RB Keith Marshall—The coaches probably would like to hand him the backup running back job and be done with it. But with 25 yards on 15 carries in two games (1.7 yards/carry) they just can’t do it. If he gets several series with the starters against the Bills on Friday and doesn’t greatly improve that average he could be looking at a spot on the practice squad.

WR Maurice Harris—There could be a spot for a wide receiver available if Josh Doctson starts the season on the PUP list. Harris has consistently looked better than any of the rookie free agent receivers in practice. But he needs more production in games than the two catches for 23 yards he has on the books for far.

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  1. garg8050 - Aug 21, 2016 at 6:22 AM

    Spaight’s emergence definitely puts Riley on the bubble. Having Cravens play ILB doesn’t help either. Bates’ play has been mostly non-descript through two preseason games. And Marshall certainly doesn’t play fast. He make the initial roster if Jones misses any significant time, but it looks like Kelley is clearly ahead of him at this point. I’m starting to wonder if Paea is a lock to make the roster. He’s also been fairly non-existent thus far.

    • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 8:55 AM

      Paea got a sack against scrubs. He also represents $3.75M in dead money and less than a million in savings. He’s basically the Andre Roberts of the DL. You keep him, hoping that you can get something out of your investment and you don’t have anything actually better than him right now.

      • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:09 AM

        I think Paea represents good depth at each DL position. He’ll be on the roster for this year and then we’ll see what happens next offseason.

        Hood has been playing as well as he did for the Steelers 4 to 6 years ago. I thought our one-gap 3-4 defense fit him perfectly and it seems to be the case.

        IMO just because Baker & Hood have emerged to be good players for us the past two offseasons does not mean that Paea isn’t a good player. It just means Baker and Hold have been playing really good to great.

        • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:27 AM

          Paea has been sub-par. He does provide depth — which isn’t what he was suppose to do. There’s zero chance in my mind that he isn’t on the final 53. Hood has been good and makes the team as well. I wish it was as simple as Hood and Baker out playing Paea but it’s other guys too. RJF for instance. Maybe he gets it turned around. I know the organization waited on Roberts. Maybe this time it works.

        • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:36 AM

          He’s only been sub-par on the stat sheet because Baker beat him out for the string LDE spot which, Paea was signed to play also.

          RJF plays a different position. In the defense we run we have two different defensive end positions and they have different responsibilities.

          Baker/Paea play the 3-technique type spot. Just imagine them as a 3-4 technique that gets upfield in a 4-3 defense. Golston is playing a position like a 4-3 NT, not a two-gapping 3-4 NT. Golston is playing a shade NT, he’s playing one gap. Then, RJF and Reyes are two gapping like Hatcher did at the other DE position.

          Sure Paea can play that position but I don’t think it’s ideal be used he doesn’t have great length. Paea is built and plays like a 3-technique but he also could play NT in this defense because we play a shade NT and Paea would only be responsible for one gap, not two like in a transitional 3-4 DE like we played under Haz.

    • hotpicksblog - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:27 AM

      Redskins can certainly survive without Paea. But Kendall Reyes is more expendable. He is a nothing

      • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:42 AM

        Really? I’ve seem Reyes get pressures in every preseason game and it’s been reported he had a good camp. Anyways, like Paea, Reyes is likely to be a back up to RJF who had a good year last year and it’s been reported has had a great camp.

        Guys, we need depth also. We can’t just go cutting our veteran depth in favor of enigma’s or players we know nothing about or what they’ll do in a regular season game.

        Players like Crawford & Lanier will hopefully be practice squad players, but not make the 53 man roster.

        • hotpicksblog - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:47 AM

          Really? How many sacks does Reyes have so far? How many tackles? He looke like he did last year on a horrible San Diego team. Joe Barry really knows how to pick’em

        • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:49 AM

          3-4 DL don’t rack up a lot of stats, especially two-gapping DL such as Reyes. They are in there to stuff the run first, play the pass second.

        • ET - Aug 21, 2016 at 11:44 AM

          Reyes seems like he’s shown enough to warrant a roster spot. He hasn’t had an amazing stat line, but he’s been getting pressures and plugging holes against the run. This DL philosophy is predicated on having decent depth to sub out of packages and positions—the depth has gotten better and more consistent than last season (at least so far).

        • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 12:01 PM

          Yep. I 100% agree

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 21, 2016 at 1:42 PM

          I have to agree. Reyes has been a pleasant surprise. He’s not popping off the screen like Baker but he’s getting the job done. And he HAS been getting penetration. Just penetration for a 3-4 DE doesn’t usually result in sacks or show up in stats. You can’t judge these guys on stats. Let’s not even mention that a lot of good players go two games without a sack.

          Actually watch him play. He’s holding up blockers, penetrating, making tackles, and filling his gap in the run game. He’s a great depth player and a viable starter.

        • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 1:55 PM

          Yeah man, it’s been a misnomer by most of the skins fans base since we switched to the 3-4 that the 3 down lineman are supposed to get getting 5 or more sacks a year.

          They’re equivalent to 4-3 DT’s, and you’re lucky if you have one of those guys on your roster that gets 5 or more sacks. Last year we had one with Baker.

          In 2011 we had two with Adam Cariker (who I think Murphy can be a comp to eventually) and Stephen Bowen. They had 5.5 and 6 sacks from the 3-4 DE positions. Sadly them, along with Orakpo were lost for the year in 2012. Cariker and Bowen were never the same after their 2012 injuries.

        • lorcanbonda - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:14 AM

          Paea is on the team. The choice for the coaches is between Reyes or Ziggy Hood (or both). I think either will be fine, but Hood has the edge — at least he has the edge on his name.

        • abanig - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:20 AM

          I think we need depth on the DL with as much rotating we are going to do with these DL and the fact that Ioannidis is not really ready for regular season game time action. Ioannidis is going to be in the Nate Sudfeld type position where he’s going to be on the team but will probably be inactive most – if not all – of the year. So, essentially they’re equivalent practice squad players but they will be on the 53 man roster so we can keep them for the future.

    • hotpicksblog - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:44 AM

      Redskins are famous for bad decisions. And forcing Cravens into a new position like inside LB is one of those bad decisions. Why not force him to play wide receiver and tight end as well.

      • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 10:18 AM

        Cravens is playing dime ILB. They’re trying him out there because they know that he’s their 3rd best SS behind Bruton and Ihenacho or vice versa.

        After this year, it wouldn’t shock me to see Cravens as a 1st down SS and 2nd/3rd down -aka passing downs – as the dime ILB in place of Foster.

      • ET - Aug 21, 2016 at 11:50 AM

        “And forcing Cravens into a new position like inside LB is one of those bad decisions.”

        That’s c. 1986 thinkin’ right there. The league has evolved since the Gibbs Glory Days.

        A position-flexible player like Cravens represents a huge opportunity in the hands of a DC that knows how to deploy him. And I’m cautiously optimistic Barry does.

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 21, 2016 at 1:46 PM

        Putting Cravens at ILB was the only decesion. He’s tailor made for that “money backer” role. It’s perfect. Nobody making the decesions on Cravens was around for the past two decades of bad decesions. You can’t hold that against them. Su’a Cravens is an ILB in the modern NFL. A Mo backer who can also play safety. That’s where the league is going. Lots of guys make position changes after college. He was an OLB in college too and the transition really isn’t that different. Playing him at a position he’s not best suited for just because he played it in college would be the mistake.

        • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 5:33 PM

          Yep. The Bears should’ve kept Urlacher at safety. Monk should’ve stayed at running back. Scherff should be playing left tackle and Jordan Reed never should’ve switched to TE from QB. Seriously, I don’t know what that guy (not E.T.) is on. The Redskins are hardly the only team to initiate position changes. The NFL is full of guys that have switched positions and then there’s Tim Tebow trying another sport BECAUSE he didn’t switch. Why is it okay to switch positions in college but not the NFL? Just venting here.

  2. sidepull - Aug 21, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    Josh Leribeus? Is he going to be here another year do you think?

    • garg8050 - Aug 21, 2016 at 6:49 AM

      I don’t think Leribeus is even on the bubble. Barring an injury to one of the guards, I don’t see him making the roster.

      • hotpicksblog - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:29 AM

        Josh is not just “a guy”. He is “a lazy fat slob guy”.

        • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 10:19 AM

          Yeah, Josh Leribeus! Great draft pick by Mike Shanahan! Lol

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 21, 2016 at 6:03 PM

        I don’t even understand why Shannohan drafted Leribeus. Shannohan looks for athletes when he drafts linemen. I mean, say what you will about him, but running backs and Olinemen are two things people consider him an expert on. But Leribus doesn’t fit his mold.

        I hope he gets cut too. But the sad part is that he shouldn’t be until there’s someone better to take his spot. And it’s a sad state of affairs if we can’t find anyone to beat him out.

        • lorcanbonda - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:23 AM

          Shanahan was not the General Manager. He had input to the picks, but he did not make the final decisions.

          Ironically, Jeff Shull on Bleacher kept harping on Bobbie Massie being a better pick instead of LeRib. Massie is now the starting right tackle on the Bears, but he was drafted by the Cardinals — this followed a substance abuse suspencion.

  3. colorofmyskinz - Aug 21, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    Kendall Thompson showed some props!! Great clutch catches! We have a great group of pass catchers!

    We are completely screwed at RB. Flat out in a bad spot. RBs need their shoulders to hit with, catch, pick up blitz… Wow jones is going to be fighting a ginger shoulder most year if he does not let that completely heal. And while we are waiting we have absolutely no one that can play the role of a 3 down back. Scot dropped the ball on RB depth in a huge way. Kelley seems to be the sharpest. However Marshall is the most dangerous if he finds confidence.

    Riley has always been nothing but a good backup playing a starting role for us. That is how poorly talented we were at that position.

    Bates just has no explosion. I would take a risk on Trail or Jefferson. Bates is solid but could never play a starting role if Preston or Kerrigan went down. Just don’t see it with Bates.

    If Trent becomes an issue with injury, which there are concerns, we might need that extra tackle.

    We are at code red big time with RB. I am calling CODE RED!!

    • redskins12thman - Aug 21, 2016 at 8:38 AM

      I think it’s important to look at special team contributions for these final spots. My guess is that Bates is valued just as much for his role there as he is for playing OLB; this may be giving Bates a leg up if Jefferson and Trail are just marginally better. However, I do agree with you that they are all in the mix for the final roster spots.

      • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:02 AM

        When it comes to special teams, can the guy make an open field tackle? Bates hasn’t shown me anything on special teams to have an advantage over the other guys. His special teams “safety” from last year is New England’s punter taking a safety as the clock is running out. Bates just happens to be the closest to him as the punter steps across the end line. Let’s not make Bates into a special teams demon. However, the reason he’s even on the team is because Plummer, the inside linebacker that made the final 53 last year, was a liability in teams. Plummer was released in less than a month and Bates promoted from the PS.

        • redskins12thman - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:43 AM

          Haven’t seen a breakdown of special teams play yet but since training camp Bates was getting a lot of reps / key assignments; not trying to make Bates into a special teams demon but don’t understand why he is getting these assignments if coaching staff didn’t see something in his game. Would love to get breakdown of special teams performances. Surprised that more balls are not kicked to tempt run out so there would be more instances to evaluate players.

        • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:59 AM

          “Surprised that more balls are not kicked to tempt run out so there would be more instances to evaluate players.”

          Truthfully, that fact the Redskins aren’t even evaluating kick-offs ticks me off. Either they plan on spotting the opposition on the 25 or they don’t want to put on tape their kick-off strategy. If they do plan on kicking to teams, then kick-off duties in pre-season isn’t a factor in making the final 53. Last year it wasn’t with Plummer making the team. Despite practicing teams first in every practice, playing OLB is more important. If anyone can supplant Bates, I’m for it because I don’t see anything special there but I won’t lose sleep over it if it doesn’t happen. Although, I did think Jeffcoat was better.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:21 AM

      There is one OLB spot available behind Kerrigan, Smith, and Murphy

      John Keim likes Willie Jefferson for that spot:

      The Redskins will keep four outside linebackers and, to me, Willie Jefferson is intriguing as the fourth guy. He doesn’t always use his length well, but when he does he shows he could be worth developing. It’s hard to find length. Jefferson has applied some pressure in the two games.

      • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:54 AM

        Big Willie Style! Lol

    • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:27 AM

      We actually seem to be pretty talented at ILB given that a guy who would be a starter on most NFL teams – Riley – will likely be cut. Riley is a few years removed from having 129, 115 & 93 tackle seasons with 2 to 3.5 sacks in each of those seasons. He’s starter quality.

      Garvin is a solid player who played well for the Steelers the past couple of years in a reserve role and is great on special teams.

      Spaight has been playing amazing all offseason. He’s been good vs the run and the pass.

      Cravens seems to be making the transition to dime 3-4 ILB just fine.

      So how are we not deep at ILB?

      • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 10:09 AM

        It’s not potential but experience. Youth plays aggressive and loses sight of responsibility. Not that Riley uses any of that experience. The impression I get with Riley is that he makes the same mistakes all the time. With experience like that, who needs it?

        • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 10:23 AM

          I was told by someone who went to LSU that Riley isn’t very intelligent. That kind of makes sense because he was never made the “Mike” after Fletcher retired, instead it was Robinson and now Compton.

          It’s true, Riley is what he is. He’s a good run stuffer and tackler. He’s athletic and good in one on one coverage but he’s poor in reading his keys and his recognition in a zone or on play action.

          The latter comes down to intelligence.

  4. colorofmyskinz - Aug 21, 2016 at 7:59 AM

    I am going in record to say we are in worse position at running back than any team in the NFL. We are going to be hating life watching Morris run all over us as we watch Scot try our waterboy out toting the rock. Maybe we can get Riggins to fill in after his pre grams show? Maybe they should visit the local high schools, or perhaps pop warner camps? Wow. Might as well tell every team to place 6 cornerbacks on the field and pull their linebackers. They won’t be needing them…

    • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:05 AM

      You’re on record for a lot of silly stuff. Should we get historical?

      • colorofmyskinz - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:32 AM

        Yes a lot of silly stuff like, RGIIIs love affair with Snyder, how he requested to change the playbook, and how he poisoned the locker room… I was called out for being silly then when all the documentation years after shows it was dead on.

        Silly stuff like Morris not showing past performance like he used to… People hating my comments for bringing it up, and then he was cut.

        Controversial stuff like Cousins will deliver and not be the INT machine like everyone was convinced of last year, as he turned in redskins record breaking year.

        Down right stupid unpopular stuff like calling forbath out for having a weak accurate leg. Then getting cut for Dustin. Everyone belly aching on how bad of a move that would be as we continued to watch boring kickoffs one after another go through the endzone all last year.

        Yea I say the silly stuff that most diehards refuse to recognize until hindsight is clear…

        • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:37 AM

          My bad. I got you mixed up with HK2000. The only thing I’ve got is how great the DL was going to be LAST year. You’ve got to admit that was pretty silly.

        • colorofmyskinz - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:53 AM

          You are right. I was pumped up last year about pot roast to realize he was nothing but donuts soaked in bullion. Lol

          Yes our line was not good last year and there are major concerns for this year as well. Out control of the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball is very poor. Our offensive line gets blown off the ball when trying to establish blocking lanes for the run and the our defense gets blown off the ball 3 yards on every snap. We need about 100-150 lbs more muscle on our defensive line.

          All the best,

  5. blazerguy234 - Aug 21, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    I haven`t been impressed enough with Matt Jones to say he should be the starting back…certainly not from last year. I think Marshall and Kelly need to play behind the ones on the O line…and then decide. Jones has that history of injuries to also consider.
    In the end, even good running backs need to have the line open holes. Morris did not have that the last two years…but seems to be doing fine in Dallas..with their O line. The back has to be patient, and have great vision to see a hole, but the line has to blow guys off the line.

  6. redskins12thman - Aug 21, 2016 at 8:28 AM

    Maurice Harris is so far off the bubble, he wouldn’t hear it if it burst. Harris is battling, along with Kendal Thompson and Thorpe, for practice squad spots.

    To me, Everett, Garvin, Hood, Jefferson, Paea, Paulsen, Toler and Trail are sitting on top of the bubble. Can only see half of them making it — four will be on the team and four of them will not. There’s an outside chance that if Doctson starts off on PUP, potentially five of them make the team, but I think it’s more likely Redskins elect for fourth RB, given the injury bug that neither Jones nor Chris Thompson can shake. Hood’s the only one who seems to have created some separation since pre-season games began but not sure he’s a lock just yet since few felt he would be on the team until the Falcons game. I believe Everett, Jefferson and Trail are practice squad eligible so could see them there if they clear waivers.

  7. redskins12thman - Aug 21, 2016 at 8:43 AM

    Does this year’s cap impact next year’s cap? If no, why is Riley’s number this season that big a deal if the Redskins have enough cap space for this season?

    He help Spaight and Hall get that key turnover in the Jets game.

    • COSSkinsFan - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:07 AM

      The cap money that’s left this year rolls over to next year so it does have an impact.

    • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:22 AM

      “Does this year’s cap impact next year’s cap?” Yes. Teams for the past couple of seasons are allowed to carry over some of all of there surplus on to next year’s cap. This is why teams individual caps vary. The Redskins 2016 cap is $161,624,774 while Dallas’ is $156,893,513. The Giants’ cap is $167,036,044. Jacksonville’s is a whopping $189,910,735.

      So Riley easily fits under the cap this year but the Redskins would be able to use the $4,000,000 in savings next season. Now does Riley’s experience save him? Time will tell.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 21, 2016 at 8:46 PM

      Why does most / all of Riley’s cap money roll over to next year whereas Paea is mostly ($3.75 million) dead money, which presumably does not roll over to next year and accounts less than a million in savings?

      Riley seems to be doing more on the field than Paea and I would rather keep the former and don’t understand why their monetary impact differs to such a large extent…

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:53 PM

        It’s the way their contracts are written. Guaranteed money and how it’s spread. So, hypothetically, say they owed bow Paea and Riley $10 mil in 2016. But only $1mil of Rileys was guaranteed while $8 mil of Paea’s. That’s an obvious no brainier for who is a likely cap casualty. They’re both already under this year’s cap. But the cut, and weakening of our depth, maught be worth it to roll $9 mil next year with Riley but not worth the $2 mil for Paea. It’s all about savings. You can find the actual numbers at Just google “Perry Riley cap hit” and it will show up. But almost all of Paea’s salary is guaranteed in 2016. The actual numbers are that we save about $4 mil with Riley and only $1 mil with Paea.

        Not to get sidetracked, but this was one of my main points for not being worried about signing Cousins to a long term deal. There are multiple ways to structure a contract where the bulk of the dead cap/guaranteed money is front loaded. So that we could have a 2-3 year “trial period” then be able to cut him without much dead cap. Basically the exact opposite of Flacco’s contract after he won the SB. So people who worried about being on the hook for 5 years $100 mil (or whatever): that’s all just Monopoly money. The only thing that really matters is the guaranteed money and bonuses.

        • redskins12thman - Aug 21, 2016 at 11:11 PM

          Thanks. I just wish they didn’t guarantee so much money for Paea.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 1:57 AM

          Well, as I’m sure you know, we needed a ton of help on the DL when we signed him. And he was coming off an absolutely monster season in Chicago. So I don’t necessarily blame Scot for taking a chance on him. You have to think, what other options were available and what other offers might Paea have had? It’s still a good chunk of money, but I didn’t think it was a bad signing at the time.

          And I still don’t necessarily think it was a bad signing. Let’s wait and see what happens. He’s a big strong guy who has shown the ability to play well. Sometimes guys just need a little more time to settle into a new system. He has to play better, but he might. It will be hard because him and Baker play the same position though. But, if you really think about it, him and Baker have had the same number of really good years (one). We’re all expecting Baker to keep it up and for 2015 to not be an anomaly. But it will be good to have Paea around just in case. I haven’t given up on him yet. I also think the strength of this Dline will be the number of guys they can rotate through. They have about 7 guys who may as well be cloans. Not great, not bad, and I don’t know any of them really have a big edge to the others. So we can just cycle through fresh legs and hopefully not see a drop in production. Paea is a part of that.

  8. Mr.moneylover - Aug 21, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    You might see robert kelly go with the starters next week they said hes been getting reps behind matt jones in practice ever since the Atlanta falcons game and keith Marshall been getting third team reps so I think that means robert kelly is in the lead to winning the RB competition behind matt jones…if robert kelly go out there and play well again against the bills Thursday the competition is over and they will prep him to go against the steelers monday night

  9. abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 8:56 AM

    • Trade or cut Riley
    • Cofield practice squad
    • Bates is the last LB on our roster
    • Marshall practice squad
    • Harris hopefully practice squad but he may be signed by someone else to their 53 man roster when we cut him.

    • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:28 AM

      Bates is so bad he makes Murphy look like a starting OLB. Then again if the guys behind him can’t beat him, then he’s on the team.

      • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:48 AM

        Murphy would be playing DE if it wasn’t for Galette’s achilies made of glass. Murphy’s strengths as a football player are better used as a DL IMO.

        Bates is fine, how many #4 OLBs are great players? I’ll answer that… None. All Bates needs to do is continue to develop as an OLB in our scheme and continue to be at least an average special teams player.

        I do like Lynden Trail and his size, but I worry he’s a lot like Murphy. They just aren’t athletic enough to play 3-4 OLB at a high level. I’d rather see us put 10-20 pounds on Trail if we keep him on the practice squad to try him at DE next year.

        • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 10:05 AM

          It’s not just Galette but Bates. Murphy after all his failures at the position, weight gain, strep throat, position switch supplanted Bates instantly as 3rd OLB BECAUSE Bates cannot be third. He should not be on the field unless it’s teams because he can’t pass rush at this level and can’t set the edge at this level. I’ve got no problem with him being fourth — unless Murphy is third. The team needs someone a smidge better. They may not have that. I think Trail or Jefferson could be.

        • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 10:13 AM

          I doubt Trail or Jefferson are the answer. Trail has never struck me as a great pass rusher either. Jefferson has upside and talent but is extremely raw. I do agree with what Keim said about Jefferson, he’s intriguing because of his length and talent, even if he doesn’t know how to use it correctly just yet.

          Fast forwarding to next offseason. I think McCloughan will re-sign Galette, but at the same time he’ll draft more of a speed OLB in the mid rounds – not a Kerrigan, Murphy or Smith type – I can’t see him putting all of his eggs in the Galette basket again.

          I think they’ll also move Murphy permanently to DE and possibly cut Paea if Paea doesn’t show something this year.

        • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 10:19 AM

          Trail or Jefferson might not be the answer but I’d be willing to explore.

          Agreed on all of next year’s likely scenarios.

        • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 10:25 AM

          Yeah, I hear ya, good point. Bates isn’t getting the job done that much is clear. I expected Bates to get a sack in every game going against back ups and 3rd stringers this preseason and he’s done nothing.

        • ET - Aug 21, 2016 at 12:43 PM

          I like Trail and I think he’s athletic enough. The problem with Trail is lack of experience—he’s extremely raw. In terms of raw potential, he’s the best of the three contenders, IMO. But he’s lacking the kind of anticipation that guys like Cravens, Spaight and Compton came fully armed with. Can Trail build it up? Not sure.

        • abanig - Aug 21, 2016 at 1:50 PM

          I think most players can build up and add weight, it’s really just a matter of adding more calories to your diet the way Murphy did this past offseason.

          By my count, counting the shakes he took, Murphy took in like 5 or 6,000 a day. He said he was never hungry, always full. You’re going to put on weight if you’re eating 6 full meals a day and drinking 3 or 4 protein shakes a day.

          Kerrigan joked that Murphy was the only person he ever saw that put protein powered in his coffee! Lol

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 21, 2016 at 10:15 PM

          I think Murphy can be a good DE for us. At least average, maybe better. This guy has gotten a lot of unfair criticism because of where he was drafted and because he probably wasn’t used correctly. I’m fine with him as an OLB if it was just to rush the passer and seal the edge for the run. But they dropped him into coverage 80% of the time. You think he maybe would have had some more sacks if 80% of his plays weren’t spent covering TEs and RBs?

          The good news, just like we say about why we don’t need a true nose tackle, is that we’re only in base 30% of the time (or something close to that). When we’re in nickel, Murphy can play DE. I think he can be very effective in that role. Especially because he’s still versitile to be used in coverage, or as a DT, if need be. Barry can use him for all kinds of wrinkles. He’s a guy who can truly stay on the field for 3 downs. That versatility is very valuable. I honestly love the thought of a 4 man front with Murphy, Baker, RJF/Reyes, and Smith/Kerrigan.

          As far as Bates: we don’t have a true answer at the fourth OLB. The guy isn’t on the team. They’re just bodies. Short of a trade, or another shocking cut (like Norman or Galette), we’re not getting anybody even remotely comparable to Galette. Or someone who will be a good replacement if Kerigan or Smith go down. That’s not going to happen until at least free agency or the 2017 draft. Our best hope is health. Otherwise give me the guy who sets the edge the best against the run and is good on ST. Jefferson is probably my vote.

  10. Mr.moneylover - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    I dont think Maurice Harris won the job yet the kid K.Thompson made some big plays lets who show up in the next two preseason games because the first team and the backups gonna get most the snaps next week so we probably not gonna some of the young guys next week unless jay gruden eaz up on playing time for the starters

  11. Mr.moneylover - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    Idk who #45 is I think its mayfield but yeah him and willie jefferson been showing more then Houston Bates and I dont recall noticing him bein on the field playing defense I did notice him tryna block a punt but thats about it….mayfield and willie jefferson been improving alot

  12. COSSkinsFan - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    Still shocked we left Alf go. That’s gonna sting for years. His last two years weren’t great but he held onto the ball and stayed healthy. It wasn’t like Jones had a better year than Alf last year. Now he’s gonna do great in Dallas who got him on a cheap contract. I get the Jones potential thing but obviously Alf wasn’t asking for 10mil a year. I never understood the knock on him as far as catching the ball. We never really gave him opportunities. Maybe it was something coaches saw in practice. His cap # for two years combined is less than Riley’s this year, just never made sense to me. This RB situation was predictable. Thus ends my rant.

    • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:32 AM

      I miss Alf as much as any ‘skins fan. My wife and daughter have his jersey. But Alf isn’t going to get any carries unless Elliot is suspended. Elliot won’t serve any suspension until next year if any.

      • hotpicksblog - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:37 AM

        Suspension? You are the only one talking suspension for Elliot. He is not up for anything.

        • bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:41 AM

          Of course he isn’t. His ex-girlfriend is apparently just happy to no longer be under the same roof. The NFL will undoubtedly investigate and get no cooperation.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 21, 2016 at 12:14 PM

        Morris will have carry opportunities in Dallas but not as many as he had here unless injury opens up a spot for Morris. He is handcuffed by being one demsional, and he is also not big enough to be a regular goal line threat. As a result, the window on carries narrows for him but there will be one. His durability makes game an asset.

    • hotpicksblog - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:35 AM

      I think a bad OL and predictable 1st down play calling is why Alf and Everybody else got 1 yard rushing last year on the Skins. I can predict when the Skins will run. It’s easy

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 21, 2016 at 11:55 AM

        I agree about the play calling but Oline is anything but bad. You had two new starters on the right side and a starting left tackle on the left go down with injury in game 3. At that time the Redskins held a number 1 ranking in the NFL.

        I agree the rushing offense was poorly executed but the line has the talent and just enough depth to improve, and I think that unit will improve. From what I saw against the starting Jets Dline, I was impressed even for a meaningless few downs in a meaningless game. I’m hoping this unit will give Cousins more time to work downfield. I also believe the run blocking could only improve under Callahan. Finally much of the blocking issues on the run came from the TE group; but there is no doubt the line run blocking needs to and should improve from last season.

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 21, 2016 at 7:17 PM

        Seriously guys. Everyone on every defense can tell when every team is going to run about 90% of the time. There’s really not that much mystery to it. Playcalling was not the issue in the run game last year. Blocking was a big problem though.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:59 AM

          It’s not so much about when they ran as much as when they didn’t and how they even executed passing situations. Actually the overall offense execution as I recall improved some during the late part of the season but the play calling before was bland and simply made the defense’s job easy. There was a period of zero downfield threats and predictable offense formations. I wasn’t clear about the play calling since I insist the biggest issue was the team not stretching the field and let’s not forget the awful 3 tight end formation on one side of the field which worked maybe twice. Many will argue the run sets up the pass but that is just not true in today’s game. I don’t think anyone was threatened by the Skins going downfield and that allowed defenses to play both more aggressive on the run and pass.

          Sure Cousins first year as a starter and Jackson’s injury played a part. However there was little about the offense theat looked either innovative or dynamic. I expect that to change this year.

  13. hotpicksblog - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Skins need to start Perry Riley and hope he has a great game. Then trade him to Buffalo who is LB deficient due to injury. Showcase Riley on Friday

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 21, 2016 at 11:41 AM

      There is no showcasing Riley. No team would trade for him. He’s not worth any pick at this point in the year and only if cut would he draw interest but only from a few teams. Showcasing players is not done in preseason unless a team wants to trade a young QB or a skill position player. What team would use a preseason game to decide a trade on a veteran when they have past regular season games to evaluate a player’s value?

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 21, 2016 at 7:18 PM

        And nobody would want to take on that contract even if they did like Rley.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 22, 2016 at 9:44 AM

          Absolutely! The Redskins would probably have to eat all Riley’s salary just to get a late round draft pick for him. Would a late round pick be worth millions in Salary when the team instead could release him and get much of it back in Cap space?

  14. hotpicksblog - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    Marshall is getting 1 yard and negative yards a lot like Alf Morris did last year. The common denominator is the Redskins weak and sloppy OL play. Hard to gain yards when you’re hit in the backfield..

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 21, 2016 at 12:22 PM

      Few are going to put more blame on the line than a injury riddled rookie. Especially when FA rookie RBs are putting up better numbers. I like Marshal’s potential but he is destined for practice squad this year and the team will eventually pick up a veteran to fill a spot at RB.

  15. redskins12thman - Aug 21, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Foster and Riley are neck-and-neck for role next to Compton and Spaight. I say keep Riley for this season.

    • ET - Aug 21, 2016 at 1:39 PM

      I don’t think they’re neck and neck at all, especially once performance v. salary is factored in. Foster and Compton aren’t blue chips, but they’re solid and have great chemistry together. Spaight and Cravens are real up-and-comers. We know Garvin’s role, and he’s been doing well with non-ST snaps. Riley is already odd man out. His salary can’t be justified, I don’t think.

  16. redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 21, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    I think Arie Kouandjio should be on the bubble watch. He was a poor choice even at 112th. He lacks the mobility needed to be a good starting prospect coming out of college and now he seems to be slow in grasping the necessary technic to compensate for a lack of mobility. He seems to be getting pushed around and backwards. The area where depth looks strong is on offense line. At least LeRibeus can fill in on multiple positions while Arie isn’t even ready to be a backup.

    I know many here are pointing at the RB position as a major weak spot but I think the most costly weak spot is at safety. It may not be apparent to many now, but by the second game of the season it may be the area many post the most complaints. At running back you at least have two players with potential but will need to overcome an injury history. I’m certainly not content at RB but if Jones and Thompson avoid injury the weak RB comments could cease. At safety you have many retreads at CB and no player not named Hall that can cover well in deep and certainly not against the better wide outs in the NFL. Finally, at RB they can at least hide that deficiency by stretching the offense and opening up more first downs to passing. It’s not my first choice for a offensive strategy but the coaches will uses what they do best. At safety there is no place to hide. Norman and Breeland will have their hands full chasing down wide outs with little help.

    Let’s not even discuss the personnel they are trying to plug at NT. There isn’t any player on the roster that is capable starting either one or two gap NT. Good offenses will exploit this all season.

    I think the Oline could be ready to establish itself as one of the best in pass protection and I still believe they could surprise in run blocking as well. Cousins should have his best season at QB. Even though I prefer not signing him long term, I expect he’ll continue to improve and he has some nice weapons at his exposure.

    • hail74 - Aug 21, 2016 at 12:24 PM

      I agree with a lot of this. Safety is my biggest concern too. Even Hall’s abilities. Also Lavaou’s contributions tend to be undervalued by fans at times. We had no problem with run game and MJ was averaging 6 ypc in those first weeks like you mentioned. However I feel lichty is close to the end and Moses needs to see a level of improvement to match the one he made last year. He can be slow out of stance, real slow. Solve that and then I’d agree with your optimism.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 21, 2016 at 6:50 PM

        I agree I’m shooting at a high mark for the offense line. Keeping the group healthy is a daughting enough task. If both Long and Lauvao go down with injury then the group becomes much weaker as a unit. So it’s understandable if many are more tepid in their expectation. I just like the choice made in moving Scherff to guard. I again see him as an elite player in the position where he or ably would not be playing tackle. Moses emergence at tackle provided a huge upgrade and added flexibility along the line. If the starting unit can live up to my expectation then the team is a center away from being among the best.

        Take rumors for what they are, but many claims were made after the draft that the team was going to select Ryan Kelly as the first player. I would have been very happy if it came true and the starting unit could have been locked down for many years.

  17. kenlinkins - Aug 21, 2016 at 12:29 PM

    I agree these five guys could be numbers 54 to 58 with a few making the Practice Squad. As for the RB position, I just do not see any Free Agents out there right now that would really fit. My best guess is that the Redskins will wait until the cut down to 53 and look to see if someone Cuts a RB who might have something they can use. Jones getting a minor injury should not be cause to panic. We all knew the risk of going into Camp with such a weak group on players at RB, so IMO the GM’s plan along was to see what happened in preseason and adjust as required (i.e. as best he can) until the finds someone who can carry the rock. Has anyone seen a RB who would the GM passed on that would have turned the position around? (I know I have not). There will always be a short list for every position that the GM keeps close in cases of pure panic mode, but to date I have not seen any reason to push the panic button (then I again, I haven’t been saying the Redskins will win more than 8 games this year no matter who is at RB). Do not count me as a “my kingdom for a RB” guy. This is another rebuilding year and the talent level over all is better, but not yet ready for Prime Time. Let’s give it a while before we make any more major moves. (unless someone want to trade Riley for a good RB, then go ahead and pull the trigger).

    • sidepull - Aug 21, 2016 at 7:36 PM

      I think they passed on Booker in the 4th and the Broncos scooped him up and yea I think he could have really helped the Redskins.

    • sidepull - Aug 21, 2016 at 7:38 PM

      I think Booker in the 4th would hve been a great pick up and would have helped the Redskins. Instead the Broncos gladly scooped him up.

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 3:31 AM

        There are some other guys out there who could become available and should definitely be able to help. All is not lost as long as our OLine can block. We only need to be competent at running the ball to have a good offense. We don’t need to be great at it.

        I think it was JP at CSN who had the article today about trading a late round pick for one of KC’s RBs. Probably Charcandrick West. That would be a damn steal. Instead of a 4th for Booker (an unproven rookie) we pay a 6th or 7th (probably conditional) for a guy who flashed a lot of potential last year. I was on board with the KC RBs earlier this offseason when the talk was of getting Niles Davis but I didn’t think we would have a shot at any of them because I thought they only had 3. Completely forgot about Spencer Ware. Either West or Ware would be worth seriously considering.

        Branden Oliver in San Diego might be a real interesting guy to try and trade for. The Chargers like him but Gordon is the guy and Woodhead is a fine #2. Plus he chargers need all the help they can get. A late round draft pick might be more appealing to them than most teams. If they like any of their other guys, Oliver might be for sale. And I love his potential.

        Finlay also brought up Sankey. I find it almost more likely that Antoni Andrews gets cut and we could try to get him. Either could help us though.

        Finlay also brought up Starks. I can’t imagine why GB would let him go, but if they would it’s a no brainier. Get him. Maybe even for that extra 5th we got for not drafting Booker (not balky about that).

        There’s a possibility Ronnie Hillman gets cut. There’s another no brainier.

        Billal Powell is an option but risky. Just like Karlos Williams. Williams looked fantastic last year. But the weight and behavior issues are very concerning so I doubt we pick him up. Still worth a look though. Just like Scot did with Galette. Maybe getting cut will be his wake up call.

        And there’s more man. There are some guys who I can picture but can’t remember their names off the top of my head. The guys you picked up in week 8 for your fantasy team because the starter went down for a couple weeks and they actually looked pretty good until the starter returned. Quite a few of them will get released as the odd man out between the starters and the roomies.

        Of course there’s still Pierre Thomas.

        And don’t forget about the Cowboys. Elliot, McFadden, and Morris are clearly the guys. They will be cutting somebody (what’s going on with Lance Dunbar?)

  18. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 21, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Matt Jones update from Mike Jones:


    • kenlinkins - Aug 21, 2016 at 1:24 PM

      OK< change "minor injury" to "Unknown injury". Yes, it would suck having to open the season with Jones not able to play yet, but I am not still not ready to start signing RB's from the list that is out there right now.

  19. bangkokben - Aug 21, 2016 at 6:02 PM


    Must be football season.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 21, 2016 at 6:22 PM

      Imagine if there is a Super Bowl Season here. It could crash Rich’s Web Server.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 21, 2016 at 6:53 PM

        16-0 season, Super Bowl Champions, Sláinte!!
        ~ Archives

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