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Need to Know: Some Redskins focus on Bucs, others on Steelers

Aug 31, 2016, 4:28 AM EDT

Steelers Bucs helmets

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, August 31, three days before the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 players.


Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Bucs, Raymond James Stadium, broadcast on CSN

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 232 days ago. It will be 12 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 18; Browns @ Redskins 32; Redskins @ Ravens 39

The Redskins week that was

You know how in spring training baseball teams will have split-squad games? The top line players will go to one site and play a game while the bench warmers and likely minor leaguers go play at another site.

The Redskins have their version of that going on today.

The second and third string, the reserves and players trying to make the team, will be flying to Tampa to play the Bucs in preseason game No. 4. They are concerned with putting on a good show in hopes of either making the roster or practice squad in Washington or hoping that they put enough on film to get a call from another NFL team.

Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Kerrigan, Josh Norman, DeSean Jackson, and the rest of the starters and top reserves aren’t going to a game; they will be going to lunch. They will be attending the annual Welcome Home Luncheon at a hotel at Tyson’s Corner.

The plan was for the the whole team to attend the lunch event, a tradition for over 50 years, and then fly to Tampa, check into the hotel, and go into their usual routine before playing the Bucs on Thursday night. But Mother Nature got in the way and the threat of a major storm coming out of the Gulf of Mexico forced the game to be moved up and forced the Redskins to alter their plans.

Jay Gruden said that the change was not a major disruption to their planning.

“We just had to speed it up a little bit,” said Gruden. “We didn’t plan on doing a lot of Tampa early in the week anyway, but we’re going to try to do something today and tomorrow. We just have to speed up our preparation a little bit.”

The Redskins were not really game planning for the Bucs; that’s what Gruden meant by “not going a lot of Tampa”. That’s typical for a fourth preseason game and why the change in schedule is no big deal. Moving a regular-season game up and taking 24 hours of preparation time away from a team would be a lot tougher to deal with.

Meanwhile, the players who are staying behind are getting ready for when the game start counting.

“We have started our preparation for Pittsburgh,” said Gruden. “We started meeting on that this past week.”

While it would be great to have all of the players there for support, perhaps just sending the players who will participate to Tampa is not such a bad thing. It gives the front-line players a day or so extra to get ready for the real thing a week from Monday.

Tandler on Twitter Instagram

Josh Doctson with a helmet. No jersey or announcement of removal from PUP. #Redskins

A photo posted by Rich (@richtandler) on

In case you missed it 


  1. redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 5:15 AM

    Normally I wouldn’t be in favor of splitting the squad like this. But given the looming bad weather, and the impact it will have on travel, etc., this makes total sense. As you say, use the extra time preparing for the Steelers.

    Do you have the full list of players staying behind or traveling? I have to believe neither Lauvao nor Long will travel. Since Doctson wouldn’t play, I have to believe he’s staying behind too. Are Paulsen and Jensen the only TEs going or is Paul going to Tampa too? Will McCoy back-up Sudfeld?

    Won’t the “starting team” be a combination of 3rd string / players trying to make the roster, with the 2nd string there just in case?

  2. redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 5:27 AM

    Guess of offensive players not going: Cousins, Jackson, Garcon, Crowder, Doctson, Reed, Davis, T. Williams, Moses, Lauvao, Scherff, Long, Lichtensteiger, Jones and C. Thompson

    Guess of defensive players not going: Compton, Foster, Kerrigan, Smith, Norman, Breeland, Hall, Bruton, Baker, RJF and Golston.

    That would mean, 49 players are traveling to Tampa, three more than a game day active list.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 7:52 PM

      I scored 100% on the offense;

      On the defense, I got three wrong: I had RJF not going when he’s actually going to Tampa (but only playing if required) and I had Hood and Toler going to Tampa when they are not.

      In May, I Hood and Toler making the team, when most people did not; however, its really impressive that they were included in the “starters group” today. Kudos to Hood and Toler!

  3. Skulb - Aug 31, 2016 at 5:39 AM

    Even more likely with the homecoming dinner on the same night. Personally I don’t understand why they didn’t just move venue and play in Carolina or Georgia instead.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 6:11 AM

      I would guess $$$ and logistics; it’s rare that this happens. I think the Bills did this recently for a regular season game and played a home game in Detroit.

    • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 2:59 PM

      That’s actually a great point and I feel like a moron for not thinking about it. Redskins12thman, I think you would be correct if it was a regular season game but 70-80% of the stadium is empty for preseason games. Especially the fourth. And they already had to change the TV slot. That’s the real money. They could have kept the same slot just at a different stadium. These film crews should be able to roll into any NFL (and most college) stadium and set up in no time. The media would have to change some flights, but so what? The risk of injury to the players seems great enough to change this.

      Are Jacksonville and Miami getting slammed like this too? Or Gainsville and Tallahassee? I’m sure the Universify if Florida and FSU could accommodate a preseason game and would love to cash in on it a bit. I know the college season starts this weekend, but they could work that out. These colleges have about 5-10 practice fields. Seriously, at Baylor, a tiny school compared to UF and FSU, there’s 4 I can think of off the top of my head. Not including McLane Stadium.

  4. redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 6:08 AM

    When Gruden says that they’re 8-9 spots up for grabs, I have to assume most of these relate to the practice squad.

    In terms of the 53, I think these are the remaining decisions (barring any injuries tonight):

    1. OL – Are there 8 or 9 on the roster and who fills 8th or 8th and 9th spots? Is it Kouandjio or one to two others?

    2. DL – Are there 6 or 7 on the roster and who fills 6th or 6th and 7th spots? Is it Jenkins only or Jenkins and a younger player like Ioannidis or Lanier, or no Jenkins and 1 to 2 young players (even though both of aforementioned are too raw)?

    They’re using only 4/5 days to get a read and make a commitment on a player two years older than Grandpa Golston — they must be really disappointed and surprised that Paea never showed. With Reyes being dubious too, the Redskins must be counting on Baker, RJF and Hood to be impact players this season.

    3. Based on above decisions, do the Redskins keep Paulsen or not?

    I think the rest of the decisions relate to practice squad spots and I can imagine a number of different ways the Redskins could go and may lose a couple players to other teams.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 31, 2016 at 6:44 AM

      I suspect that Vernon Davis has made Paulsen superfluous and his spot will be used for a younger player at another position.

      • redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 7:36 AM

        If this was not a bubble question, I think the Redskins would have released Paulsen yesterday.

        The only players older than Davis are Golston and the newly acquired Jenkings; it’s kind of a one year rental even though Davis is in phenomenal football shape. Paulson is several years younger. Jensen is even younger.

        Last season, fans were told that one of the reasons the running game suffered (besides Lauvao and Lichtensteiger being injured) was due to the lack of run blocking tight ends. Well, by all accounts, Paulsen is the best run blocking TE so, if this is so important, is that really something you want to give up?

        If the Redskins could roster 54 players, I think that a 4th TE would be the selection. With only 53 spots available, it’s a debatable question as to who fills it.

        I think Reyes’ spot is safe, but if he is really so ineffectual (coaching staff is not saying this but some analysts are), I have to ask why is Reyes making the team over someone like Paulsen who can contribute. Joe Barry must believe that he will help Reyes transform into the player he was his first two seasons in the league. We all hope this occurs!

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 12:03 PM

        Paulsen is the younger player. And he’s a better blocker than Davis. If Davis’ primary role will be blocking, then why are we cutting the best blocker of the group? This is crazy. We have Davis for a year the. He’s gone. Paulsen isn’t young but he will be around longer than that.

        • bangkokben - Aug 31, 2016 at 12:17 PM

          Not everyone’s shelf life is the same. Look at Whitten and Cooley. Paulsen was almost gone last year before the injury. Granted, he’s played better this year but better might not good enough. Maybe they’re hoping Jensen can develop into what Paulsen was or that they can find a guy when they need one in the future unlike last year. However, it is not a foregone conclusion that they go with just three TE.

        • Rich Tandler - Aug 31, 2016 at 12:22 PM

          Wait, you’re seriously trying to lobby for Paulsen over Davis? Davis has more athleticism in his big toe than Logan has in his entire body.

          Paulsen may be marginally the better blocker but Davis is by far (as in miles and miles) the better receiver.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 1:06 PM

          No, I’m seriously lobbying for carrying 4 TEs. Sorry if the way I said it wasn’t clear.

          I like Davis plenty. But his play has unquestionably declined and I would say his shelf life is expiring. He is an infinitely better receiver than Paulsen, however, these guys aren’t just receivers. We have Jordan Reed to catch footballs. I want someone to block. And Paulsen is a better blocker than Davis and I would say a much better blocker than Paul based off the preseason. Davis and Paul just don’t have the size to be nasty blockers. Paulsen does. It’s physics.

        • redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 12:37 PM

          I wasn’t trying to lobby for Paulsen over Davis; I was trying to lobby for keeping four TEs, including the best run blocking TE of the group.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 1:08 PM

          Well, you and I seem to be on the exact same page. Didn’t mean to repeat what you said. Should have read further down.

        • redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 12:51 PM

          And that would be Paulsen in lieu of a 9th OL or 7th DL.

        • wvredskins - Aug 31, 2016 at 3:32 PM

          I would almost agree with Trey. It might be proved wrong, but Davis has been on a downhill slope since 2014. He drops balls ALOT. More then Andre Roberts. Maybe Davis revives his career here. But if I was going to keep Davis or Paulsen for blocking purposes, I would keep Paulsen all day. At the end of the day, the Redskins already know who they are going to keep and that is Davis. Hopefully it works out. For me though, I would be perfectly fine with Reed and Niles being the receiving threat tight ends and throw Paulsen in there for Blocking and occasional pass catching.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 1, 2016 at 3:37 AM

          Yeah. Davis really is more of the same. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited to have him on the team. I want him on the team. I just want Paulsen too. 4 TEs. The O-line needs the help. I too would be comfortable with just Reed, Paul, and Paulsen. But help us if we cut Paulsen and Davis goes down. Because Reed can’t block and Paul really struggles. At 6’1 225 he’s really more like a receiver than a TE. Is it even fair to ask him to block DEs and linebackers?

          And I maintain that Davis may not even be around next year. I just hate letting guys walk if they could be of use for a few more years. Damn Sudfield really screwed everything up (kidding everyone, relax).

      • renhoekk2 - Aug 31, 2016 at 12:21 PM

        This isn’t even a question. Age does not matter. Davis is the better football player than Paulsen, plain and simple. It’s not even close. That’s why you keep Davis and cut Paulsen.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 3:09 PM

          Well, age does matter. Because we’re not just thinking about 2016. Davis could very well end up only playing one season for us. Paulsen could be around another 4-5 years.

          True blocking are getting hard to find. Paulsen is pretty good at it. He’s not even close to our other 3 TEs as a receiver, but I think he’s better than he gets credit for. He finds a way to get it done. Cut Paulsen go and there’s no guarantee you find anyone who will be better than him next year, Davis might be gone, and our “deep” TE group just got thin. Especially if we’re talking about blocking. Reed can’t block and Paul is smaller than a lot of WRs. He’s not built for blocking DEs and OLBs. Carrier is bigger but has his own blocking problems. And out O-line struggles in run blocking. Maybe we should keep 4 TEs and have a guy who can actually help them over 7 interior D-linemen when only 3 are ever on the field at the same time (even in a 4 man front). Baker, RJF, Reyes, Ioannidis, Hood, and Golston. Call it a day. If they just HAVE to keep Jenkins, aka Mr. AARP, on a one-year rental then I guess it’s time to say goodbye to Golston and allow Hood to play nose.

    • colorofmyskinz - Aug 31, 2016 at 6:56 AM

      I think the 8-9 positions at stake comment was for him to telegraph that most every position group has a spot up for grabs. It hold true to his messaging on competition on every position until the end. He never wants to communicate to the team their mind is made EVER. I respect him for consistent messaging. And for not ranking players by contract size. Big change for this team.

      • colorofmyskinz - Aug 31, 2016 at 6:58 AM

        Remember the days of Portis not practice because he thought he did not need it? He would never even find a dressed 46 spot on this team with this front office. They killed that behavior for sure. They have every player thinking they are fight for a spot every week. Big change in culture big time.

        • bangkokben - Aug 31, 2016 at 7:12 AM

          I remember Clinton Portis injuring his shoulder in a meaningless pre-season game chasing down an interception.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 1:15 PM

          But remember when Dante Flowler ended his season during a non contact drill the very first practice he attended? Or when Teddy Bridgewater possibly ended his career in a non contact injury in practice?

          Stuff happens and we can’t keep these guys bubble wrapped until it’s game time every Sunday. You didn’t say practices were meaningless because I assume you see the value there. For starters, preseason games are practices. Those reps are not meaningless. They’re preparing the players for week 1. Injuries will happen in OTAs, camp, practice, pre season, the regular season, post season, super bowl, and the pro bowl. There’s no way to get around that (although I’m all for canceling the pro bowl). Some coaches may try to find a way then, boop, your QB disconnects his femur from his tibia without even getting touched. Just prepare for the season and whatever happens happens. But be prepared for the season. That’s the only thing these coaches can really control.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 3:16 PM

          Yeah I get risk management. That’s literally been a big part of my job in the past. I had to go through hours and hours of training on it. But there is a balance, which you said, I just think we disagree on where that balance is.

          I don’t want to assume what you would like to see though. Will you tell me before I really really. No pre season? Hold the starters out of all preseason. Have them only play a quarter? Hold starters out of practice? Only two days a week? No contact in practice? What would be the ideal solution to you?

          Because what I said was about me assuming you didn’t want to see the starters play in the preseason. Not that I don’t believe in managing risk at all. But, I do also believe that you can be too careful. It’s not just about injuries. You can negatively hold a player back with too much caution and an injury could happen because of it, or could happen in spite of it. Sometimes it just happens. So it’s about operating with appropriate risk. And not being so scared of injury that you’re not operating at all.

        • bangkokben - Aug 31, 2016 at 1:30 PM

          Trey, injuries are a part of the game. So much so that there’s risk involved every time they go out on the field. Therefore have your best go out when the risk is less and the reward is high. It doesn’t prevent ALL injuries from happening to ALL players but it does minimize the risk to your best players. Guys like Portis or Gary Clark were notorious for not going full speed during practice and barely participating — in an era where practices were much more physical — yet they brought maximum effort on Sunday. Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan get held out of practices for the same thing. Both are players that if lost would crush the season. So yes: “Just prepare for the season and whatever happens happens.” And preparing for the season is a bit of risk management. Every player doesn’t get the same treatment depending on the players value, the team investment, and the team’s immediate need. Take Doctson for example. Not every player should expect the same “coddling.” Take away is value and investment and you have Reggie Diggs getting waived injured. Take away Garcon and Reed and perhaps the team accelerates his return.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 9:37 AM

      Keim has Ross potentially not making the 53, and players like Harris, Thorpe, Fields or Everett potentially making the roster. I can’t see any of these scenarios happening at this point in the pre-season (outside of those involving injuries), although Everett would be a great addition to Special Teams.

      • Mr.moneylover - Aug 31, 2016 at 10:15 AM

        I think WR Kendal Thompson have a better shot at making the team tonight…I heard coaches not so high on Maurice Harris hes more like a practice squad player….I hearing buzz about WR Kendal Thompson more…in the beginning i heard Maurice Harris was looking good but since bein injured hes been quite and need to show something tonight

      • bangkokben - Aug 31, 2016 at 10:43 AM

        I think Keim’s position is that Ross most likely makes the roster but might not and then if he doesn’t it’s because the Redskins elect to go with just 5 WR counting Doctson being “good to go” or if 6 WR, Harris’ special teams is better than Ross’ contribution. The other guys have practice squad chances. I know Trey would prefer the 6’3″ Harris over the 4.3 Ross. Personally I’d take either one over Bates.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 12:05 PM

          Ha. I would actually prefer they just designate Paul as a WR, cut Ross, and keep Paulsen. Although, yes, a 6’3 receiver would be nice.

    • Mr.moneylover - Aug 31, 2016 at 10:09 AM

      Some spots still up for grabs on the D-line O-line and I think the final WR spot still available…with ziggy hood production and the signing of cullen jenkins and with ricky jean F. And chris baker safe I think theres more spots available on the D-line …rashad ross made three plays if WR Kendal Thompson play well tonight they gonna want to keep him and I give the edge to kendal Thompson heres why hes 6’2 and is capable of blocking and as we all seen he can high point the ball witch all WRs cant do he can be another red zone threat…RB Mack Brown is another sleeper that I think will make the team tonight if he play well

  5. colorofmyskinz - Aug 31, 2016 at 6:48 AM

    Well well well. Did we call the cut of Riley and Paea or what? Seems like we are tracking with the front office on many calls. Another great call by our GM. That will move what about $5 M in cap space to next year? Smart. Riley could not open field tackle RBs clearing first level and Paea was pretty much a flop from day one. Nice move. I think weeks ago I said I would rather have Sua on the field all day everyday as compared to Riley. Thanks Scot. Major upgrade there. And they brought in weight and added it to the DLine to try to sure up the middle with Jenkins. Even though Jenkins is 35 he is probably better at run plugging than Paea all day every day. Another upgrade.

    Now we need to land a real center and RB and we will be back in business. I expect to either see Long excelling to bump Kory or they will find a new center through waivers. There will be many RBs available.

    It is comforting to know we have a GM that sees the issues we see finally. The last 2 decades watching this team was painful with so many bad decisions. Pretty much now we chat about stuff in pure speculation here and then it is like they take action on what we chat on. Very comforting knowing we have a front office that gets it. Been a long time.

    I think we actually have a chance at locking in DJax and Garcon if we want to after this year. May not need to with Doctson, but nice to have depth and different skills.

    Now one thing I was yelleing at the screen about was the Jets game where they kept placing crowder in as the punt returner. That was a waste of talent to expose him in preseason on returning punts. Then sure enough he takes a helmet to the knee and hyperextended his knee. That hit and Hyperextension was plain as day and I knew it would be a set back as soon as I rewound that play. Hyperextensions are notorious for causing longer term issues on the meniscus requiring microfracture surgery. Let’s hope this does not develop into an issue on the meniscus. That is the primary concern.

    Go 2nd and 3rd string! HTTR!

    • redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 9:17 AM

      I thought Riley might make the roster until the 3rd preseason game; at that point, I saw the writing on the wall. I was a long holdout for Riley — I may have been in denial that his run defense had grown to as poor as it was, and I wasn’t counting on Spaight remaining healthy and playing as well as he did (he’ll mainly sub for Compton I know but if something happens to Foster, I guess he could come in for early downs / short yardage rushing plays while Cravens will continue his contributions on passing situations).

      I thought Paea wasn’t worthy of a roster spot for awhile, but given Paea’s contract structure, I didn’t think the Redskins would cut him.

      Mike Jones had Paea on and Riley off the roster prior to the beginning of training camp, but post-training camp he had Paea off and Riley on the roster. Jones was the first sports reporter to put out a mock roster with Paea not on it and that was only a couple weeks ago.

    • John - Aug 31, 2016 at 10:13 AM

      Jenkins is no run stuffer. He is a situational pass rusher who can provide a push up the middle. Philly gave him big money (after Green Bay beat Pittsburgh a few years back) to come to start fulltime and he flopped. 2nd and 3rd down rusher ala Perry Brooks and Jumpy Geathers.

      • redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 11:05 AM

        Do you think the Redskins should roster Jenkins?

        • John - Aug 31, 2016 at 11:52 AM

          Yes as he is someone who can make a difference up front, rushing the passer and god know they need that. Oh, but then we have “the beast”, Trent Murphy. LOL

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 3:23 PM

          This defense will live or die by the amount of pressure they can get on the QB. That’s the most important thing right now. We have two quality edge rushers assuming Smith continues to develop. But that’s very thin and neither are a speed rusher. I can’t overstate how much losing Galette hurt this team. We may literally lose games we would have won had he been out there. So there HAS to be interior pressure to help. Has to. That’s more important than a run stuffer with the way Scot has built this defense. They’re going to cover well and force the QB to make quick throws. We’re toast if that doesn’t happen.

          It’s not that I don’t believe in stopping the run, but you have to look at the way this unit is built and play to their strengths. Teams are going to run on us. That’s just going to happen wether Jenkins is on the roster or not. But we can win if we shut down the pass, force turnovers, and have a good passing game ourselves.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 3:28 PM

          Oh, and look to the linebackers for the real improvement in run D. It has to come from them. It’s just a fantasy if anyone expects these interior linemen to be stout vs. run. But Compton could grow quite a bit this year and make a huge difference. Same with Foster. It’s ultra important for the OLBs to keep contain/set the edge and also pursue and make tackles. We need all of our linebackers dominating their gaps. If that happens, our run D could greatly improve. To like, average ;)

          And I’m not sleeping on Cravens to help. He’s small and that’s usually a bad thing in run D. But he seems to have great instincts. Once he learns a bit more and refines those instincts he could be shooting through gaps untouched and making TFLs. The of course Bruton and Hall could really help, of nothing else, by just making their tackles.

  6. troylok - Aug 31, 2016 at 7:25 AM

    I would have liked to have seen the starters get just a little more playing time as a unit. They looked rusty and out of sync in that Bills game. I’d rather they shake off the rust in the preseason.

    Still, I like watching the young guys try to make a name for themselves in this last preseason game. It’s like an all or nothing cage match. Without the starters, we will just get to see more of that. With lots of rain and wind forecast, it should be a crazy, sloppy game.

  7. smotion55 - Aug 31, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Interesting development with the team and the last pre-season game, I am not sure the conditions will make the signing of these last spots any easier . Best hope for is for no injuries and some magic on the waiver wire next week to really shore up C,RB, and maybe a DL. The new signing- Jenkins- was just on with Cooley on the morning show and is going to play tonight . That tells me he needs the work and it is a chance to see if he stands out with 3rd and 4th string and shows some leadership . I had hoped that Reiter and Ioannidis got better and don’t like the idea of Lichensteiger starting and being the best center on this team .My gut tells me Ioannidis is not as good as he was in college and they might try to put him on practice squad.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 11:08 AM

      The sense I get is both Ioannidis and Lanier show promise but neither is ready to play against first string NFL players. Ioannidis has not stood out playing against the third string NFL offensive linemen with the exception of against Reiter and LeRibeus.

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 31, 2016 at 1:17 PM

        Ioannidis can’t go to the practice squad though. That’s the same as cutting him. Someone will want a closer look at a 5th round pick from a DEEP D-line class.

  8. bangkokben - Aug 31, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Hopefully the weather will cooperate so this game gets underway. Living in central Florida for a good chunk of years, these systems usually produce lots of tornado warnings and at the very least thunderstorms. Would suck to get down there and not be able to play due to lightning. Just another reason why getting rid of two preseason games for real games is foolhardy. Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Carolina, Washington and Baltimore have significant chances of afternoon thunderstorms during late August.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 11:10 AM

      I think there is a better than 15% chance the game doesn’t get played and over 60% chance the game is delayed, at some point, due to lightning. Is that about right or would you put the odds even higher?

      • bangkokben - Aug 31, 2016 at 12:09 PM

        That sounds about right.

  9. redskins12thman - Aug 31, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    It’s hard to judge performances in the 4th preseason games b/c you don’t know how they’ll do against first string competition; with that caveat, I like the energy with which the Redskins are playing.

    Players not doing themselves a favor:
    1. Paulsen – three dropped balls (don’t know how his run blocking is)
    2. Ross – I’d like him to take on punt return responsibilities but he looks so hesitant doing them; Thorpe got no reps at PR; still not sure anyone has done better as 6th receiver however
    3. Sudfeld – Struggled but looked better than Tampa Bay 1st half QBs; still too risky to expose him to waivers in my opinion
    4. Dunbar – Looked awkward / out of place at times

    Players doing themselves a favor:
    1. Everett – He’s stood out the most to me; I’d find a way to roster him (if judging based on 1st half)
    2. Brown – I’m sure Redskins wanted to have him on practice squad, but now may get picked up by another team (cross your fingers he’s still a Redskin)
    3. Jenkins – Again inferior competition, but has a sack, tackle for loss, penetration into the backfield (so hard to judge); have to make a decision with no first team competition this offseason
    4. Other D young guns (decent job by so many guys) — Spaight, Fields, Ioannidis, Lanier, Wakefield — It will be interesting to see where Garvin stands vis-a-vis taking extra D-lineman or Fields or Wakefield

    It will be interesting between now and Saturday; some tough decisions to be made especially if tonight’s game is important to the process.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 31, 2016 at 11:32 PM

      Everett is exactly the type of younger player at another position I think they should keep instead of Paulsen.

      P.S. HTTR!

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 1, 2016 at 3:22 AM

      I have to start this by saying I didn’t get to watch the game. But I was listening to it on the radio at work. So I can’t speak to the technique, just the results.

      You’re right about the completion. You simply can’t take what guys do against 3rd stringers in the preseason and project them. All you can do is pay attention to stuff like: their technique, if they were in the right spot, effort, and the good ol eye test. Then, on top of the competition, remember that they were playing in a hurricane. There’s a reason each team ran so much. It’s hard to throw and catch in those conditions. Especially when a rookie 6th round pick is the QB.

      So Paulsen: I wouldn’t worry about the dropped passes. He has enough of a resume for us to know exactly who he is. He’s never made this team for his pass catching ability. He can do it. And at times he’s surprisingly sneaky and elusive (relative to his status). But if he makes the team it’s because of his blocking. He only needs to get a pass thrown his way once or twice a game (maybe even less) to force defenses to account for him.

      It sounded like Brown had quite the productive night, but I wouldn’t worry for a second about putting him on the practice squad. The league is full of RBs like him. We’ve talked at length about all the guys, with better resumes, who will likely get cut. I think there’s a low risk of losing him, but it’s not a big deal even if we do. A lot of RBs coul have rushed for 200 yards vs that defense.

      And don’t forget teams can’t just claim a guy and stash him in their practice squad. They would have to put him on their 53. So they would have to be really sure about a guy who’s never take a regular season snap. Washington probably has the weakest RB corps in the league. I doubt teams will be jumping to claim someone who couldn’t make it on this team. All these other teams have guys too. Probably more promising guys. I just wouldn’t worry about that.

      Ross isn’t a punt returner. Some guys have it, others don’t. He’s a decent kick returner but that’s a different skill set than punts. His straight line speed makes him a good kick returner. Just fine your line, or crease, or whatever and run as fast as you can with the blockers. Punt returners have to be more shifty and quick. They make more lateral movements in traffic. As far as I can tell, Crowder is our best punt returner. Which I hate because A) he was not good at it last year and B) I don’t want to unnecessarily expose him to injury. One of these guys on the bubble could have solidifyied his spot if he took over punt return duties. But it doesn’t appear that happened.

      Dunbar: Zone is difficult to learn man. Not the basics but to develop the instincts for it. It’s a lot easier to go man for a guy like him. I would have to see what happened to know for sure but I’ll bet he’s struggling to master our zone. That has basically been the only thing I’ve seen Cravens struggle with along with over pursuit. It’s common, and they will overcome it with more experience.

  10. lezziemcdykerson - Aug 31, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    Hey Rich, a while back you expressed a little disdain for the NFL top 100 process. I believe you said you’d be doing a piece on that but I may have missed it. Can I get a link to it?

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 1, 2016 at 3:30 AM

      If he did then I missed it too.

      I love the top 100 but I understand the complaint. It’s not very scientific. They don’t poll every player in the league (I don’t think they even get a majority). A lot of the guys on the list comment about how they didn’t vote on it. Seems like nobody recognizable does except for the handful they show. And there’s a certain popularity that goes with it, not unlike the pro bowl. Guys vote for themselves and their friends and stuff. You could give a reasonable + or – 5 margin of error for something like that. Maybe even 10. But some of those rankings are so far off it’s crazy. That’s why some people don’t like it.

      Also, it’s not clear if they’re voting on the season that just happened, career, or projecting the upcoming season. That’s a damn debate every single year. Explaining that to the players would solve a lot. Why can’t they just do that?

      I basically consider it mostly equal if a guy just makes this list in general. Obviously there’s a big separation between 1 and 100. But in general.

      • lezziemcdykerson - Sep 1, 2016 at 4:51 PM

        Yeah that’s why I was waiting for Rich’s piece. I wanted to see exactly what goes into it as he said the voting was flawed.

  11. John - Sep 1, 2016 at 2:08 AM

    All the worry over the weather. The hurricane is still a ways away. Folks should watch the film from the Skins/Bucs game back in 1982. That was a gully washer, where it rained so hard, the water rolled down the stadium steps and on one play, Riggo slid a the way into the stadium wall. Even with all the rain, the field was not as bad as the mud bowl, where Eddie Brown returned a punt for a TD on a Monday night game against the St Louis Cardinals in a heavy downpour in 1975?

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 1, 2016 at 4:31 AM

      Better safe than sorry. I personally hate weather games and wish they would just make all domes with retractable roofs. But I know some of you like them. I just don’t like weather to determine a game. I like watching football. Not a snowball fight or mud wrestling. Archives

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