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Need to Know: Why did the Redskins keep three quarterbacks?

Sep 6, 2016, 5:19 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 6, six days before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 240 days ago. It will be six days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 12; Browns @ Redskins 26; Redskins @ Ravens 33

Read and react: Jay Gruden

Here are some quotes from Jay Gruden’s news conference on Monday and my reaction to them.

On keeping three quarterbacks:

“I think that was pretty much the plan. You want to have three. Some teams go with two and a practice squad guy. We thought that Nate [Sudfeld] showed enough in the preseason where somebody might give him a chance.”

I go back and forth on this on the wisdom of using a roster spot for your third, developmental QB. But I think the bottom line is that if you want to keep him don’t risk losing him and the 53rd spot on a roster when you can only activate 46 on game days is an acceptable cost for doing so. We saw the value of a quarterback when the Vikings gave up a first and a fourth for career mediocrity Sam Bradford. It’s supply and demand and if you have a guy you think can be a competent QB in a year or two you should hold on to him.

On keeping 11 defensive backs and how that fits into the game day active 46

“That’s what it will come down to – special teams will be huge. We’ll sit down and talk about it. Starting Wednesday we’ll probably start to try to figure out what we’re going to do as far as that 46-man is concerned.”

Gruden and company might wait until Wednesday to ponder the inactives but I won’t. Here is my early call of the seven who will sit: QB Nate Sudfeld, G Arie Kouandjio, C Austin Reiter, WR Josh Doctson, CB Quinton Dunbar, S Will Blackmon, and LB Terence Garvin. The first three are obvious, and I don’t think that Doctson will quite be ready to play. On defense, Garvin is good on special teams but I’m not sure if he can play Mike LB if Will Compton gets hurt. Assuming Deshazor Everett is up for special teams, I think that right now Dunbar and Blackmon are the DBs on the bottom of the depth chart. If they want another DB against Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown they could sit DL Anthony Lanier and activate Dunbar.

On keeping undrafted DL Lanier over 5th-round pick Matt Ioannidis:

“It was very close. They’re different players. Lanier really showed throughout training camp and throughout the preseason games… he’s six-foot six, he’s very young, very raw. We didn’t want to risk losing a big defensive lineman that has some pass rush ability.”

Really, it comes down to pass rush ability. Pass rushers are not unlike quarterbacks in that if you have on you keep him. It had to be disappointing to have to cut their fifth-round pick and the only D-lineman they have drafted in the last two years. But they hope he will learn on the practice squad and contribute either later this year or in 2017.

On Rashad Ross’ progress:

“As a receiver, he has done good. He was a one-trick pony early on in his career. He played one position; now he’s kind of moved over and flipped on the other side. The versatility is getting a lot better, his knowledge of the offense is getting a lot better but the one thing he has that you can’t coach is his speed. He can still run very, very fast.”

The ability to play quarterback, the ability to rush the passer, and speed will all keep some players on NFL rosters longer than others. You can coach the first two to an extent but not speed. Ross got a degree of patience that other receivers might not have due to his ability to get from Point A to Point B faster than most humans can.

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In case you missed it 

  1. colorofmyskinz - Sep 6, 2016 at 5:54 AM

    Nice article. Not sure Garvin sits. Might have to sit one of the DBs instead. Nice to have a bigger tackler on special teams. Agreed on Blackmon. I almost would rather see Inhencho and Bruton on the field at the same time vs. Dhall and/or Blackmon. Still not convinced Dhall can lay the wood. I have watched him all throughout preseason games avoiding contact and allowing his brother defenders do the hitting. I know he can drop into coverage, just he is not a hitter. I watched him hold. Guy up so another defensive guy could hit him vs just tackling the guy. Not convinced here at all yet on his conversion. Have to be able to hit. Hope he shows something different in the real games.


    • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 7:01 AM

      Agreed, I like your piece — you changed my mind on 3 inactive selections — but I don’t see Garvin not playing against his former team.

      Everyone agrees that Sudfeld is inactive, and with rookie Doctson just getting off the PUP, he’s a logical choice too. I think most weeks we’ll see one pass catcher and at least one DB selected to be inactive.

      A major reason I thought Reiter made the 53 is that the Redskins are concerned near-term for the health of Long and / or Lichtensteiger and so that the probability of Reiter being inactive to begin the season was low, but I like the fact that you are sitting both Reiter and Kouandjio, so I’ll go with that.

      I had either Fuller or Dunbar too. Originally, I thought it would be Fuller inactive, because he is a rookie, but I like your selection of Dunbar for the Steelers game. You have to think Norman and Breeland will never come off the field, and if one has to we have Toler, but the Redskins may need options to cover the slot against Pittsburgh, so it makes sense that Fuller’s number is not called for the inactive list this week.

      For the remaining two spot on the inactive list, I had Lanier taking one of them to begin the season. I think he’s still developing / raw.

      This last one is trickiest if the Redskins are 100% healthy. I thought it might be the veteran who is most under-performing (e.g., Reyes) — least likely to contribute — or extra special teamer like Bates (I thought it would be Bates most likely over Garvin because I’ve seen Garvin’s impact this pre-season multiple times). Your choice of Blackmon could be spot on; as Rich notes, the Redskins hinted yesterday that they are more confident in Everett’s play at safety so if Hall must come off, they go with one of the last players to play himself onto the 53. People are talking about Everett “making the switch from CB” which he did, but Everett also played a lot of safety in college.

      So Rich changed my mind to go with 2 — and not one — OL, Dunbar over Fuller (for week one anyway), and Blackmon.

      I differ from you by having Lanier on the practice squad.

      • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 8:01 AM

        Of course, we’re all assuming Jones and Thompson can play; if either is not healthy enough, then either Dunbar or Blackmon become active.

    • renhoekk2 - Sep 6, 2016 at 9:28 AM

      Safeties that can hit and are sure tacklers, and are excellent cover guys are very few and far between. There might be two maybe three in the entire league. Usually when a team runs the ball there are three or four guys who have a shot at tackling the RB. When a team passes the ball there is usually only one or two guys who have a chance to break up the pass. I’d rather have the guy who won’t get beat easily in pass coverage.

      • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2016 at 11:06 AM


        Let’s not forget the litany of “talent” we’ve had the position either. Reed Doughty, Madieau Williams, Brandon Merriweather, Ryan Clark, Dashon Goldson. Should I even throw in the multitude of Bacarri Rambo like players? Gosh, he has big shoes to fill! No, he doesn’t. He just needs to show up.

        D. Hall AT HIS AGE AND INEXPERIENCE is an improvement over that lot.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:14 PM

          I guess I’ll just pile on and agree that I would rather have someone with good coverage skills rather than someone who “lays the wood.”

          I swear sometimes it seems like some people around here are stuck in the 80s-90s. Anyone notice the change at ILB? Some guys in the hall of fame would be unemployed if they played today because they were the type of guy who “laid the wood” and played the run well but can’t cover. It’s a sub-package league and you better be useful in nickel to have value.

          Hall is a free safety, not a strong safety. I completely understand how these roles get changed depending on alignment and all that. I’m not talking about on paper. I mean he’s a free safety no matter where he lines up. He can cover slot receivers and TEs. That’s immensely valuable for a safety. Then we all saw, in the preseason, him “lay the wood” on a TE and knock him out of the game. He knows how to get low and tackle guys.

        • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:23 PM

          Yeah. I didn’t get into the inaccuracy of the original poster’s comments — there is just so much wrong with it. 1) Inaccurate observation. 2) Lack of understanding of the current climate/era of football we’re in. & 3) It’s a upgrade at the position.

          Even the hit Hall made on Gragg, we’ve seen get flagged erroneously before. The NFL is moving in the direction where defenders — particularly those in the middle of the field — are going to have to play the ball in the air and NOT the man immediately after he makes contact with the ball.

          Off topic. Here is a great statistical nugget from the four letter:

          “If Jackson plays 16 games, or even 14, then the Redskins’ offense should flourish. The passing game centers around Reed, but when Jackson played last season, Cousins owned a 126.1 passer rating. Jackson’s deep speed remains scary — and opens up other areas of the passing game for Washington.”

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:29 PM

          Sure Reed Doughty was a strong safety and you didn’t want to see him trying to cover someone downfield.

          But I recall a play where he was all alone against a RB and an offensive lineman, and took them both down for a loss of yards. Wish I could find video.

        • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:38 PM

          Don’t get me wrong. Reed was the best of the bunch. I know exactly what play you’re referring to. I think it was his last season here too. He just couldn’t play free safety — which the team tried to do. A safety needs to cover before “laying the wood.” Doughty could lay the wood a helluva lot better than cover.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:41 PM

          @Ben: Well, this is the same guy who thinks NT is a “critical” position and that fans on message boards could have done a better job this offseason than our front office. I think you have to be stuck in a time warp if you believe every position in the middle, on both sides of the ball, are more important than the edge guys.

          It’s disturbing to me how much the NFL is hamstringing defensive players. Particularly in coverage. Why would any talented athlete want to play defense in the NFL anymore? Hall’s hit was clean and it’s partially the result of this insane restriction to hitting high. A receiver can simply drop his head and get an extra 15 yards. Smart defenders are going to go low. Plus that’s just how a small guy like Hall can take down big guys. But didn’t he stop him in his tracks? Is that not laying the wood?

          I’ve gotten a lot more optimistic about Desean as this offseason rolled along. He’s looked great in the little I’ve seen him. I’ve always liked Desean just fine as a player but I thought he got a little too much praise is all. I will be very happy if he proves me wrong and it appears he’s well on his way to doing that.

          It seems like health is the only thing that’s going to stop him from having a big year. In that sense, the way he plays worries me. It seems like he takes some unnecessary hits sometimes. I would like to see him be more cautious. But then people would criticize him for “punking out” or whatever. I’m just hoping for the best and that Doctson becomes the guy I think he can be.

    • dcfaninecuador - Sep 6, 2016 at 10:25 AM

      Dhall has been around a loooong time and he knows it’s not necessary to risk injury in meaningless exhibition ( refuse to call them “pre-season) games. Hold your criticism til the real games start. If he still avoids contact, then you’ve got a worry. Until then, relax. Shall doesn’t have to prove anything until Sep. 12. Others do.

    • lorcanbonda - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:33 PM

      I would be surprised to see Blackmon sit over Ihenacho. I don’t think he will.

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:48 PM

        I have to be honest, I think Ihenacho is garbage. Maybe 10+ years ago he would have been good, if healthy. But he can’t cover. It’s not that he struggles in coverage, it’s that he can’t do it. He’s BAD in coverage and a complete liability in nickel, which we play most of the time. I would say he’s still an acceptable backup if he could stay healthy but he’s shown that’s a problem for him.

        His only real talent is hitting hard. But he’s small and not built for that so he gets injured. So, the only thing he’s good at is the reason he can’t get on the field. What am I missing here? Why is he still on this team? People love to say he played on a SB team in Denver. But they CUT him during his rookie contract. You don’t cut draft picks who cost nothing because they’re on their rookie deals unless they’re really bad.

        Cover ability is the most important quality for a modern safety. He can’t do it and he can’t stay healthy. This is one of the few times I say cut the guy before there’s a clear replacement and just give a young guy a shot. Jarrette’s injury really screwed us here but he’s also an example of what can happen if you give a kid a shot.

        • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 3:32 PM

          How about Bruton?

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 4:55 PM

          I don’t have an opinion about him yet. I haven’t seen enough to really know. It’s hard to tell after a few preseason reps. But I suspect he’s played this long and hardly ever started because he’s not a great safety. I am optimistic that he will be better than Ihenacho though.

          Hall is the guy I’m excited about. Again, preseason. But we know Hall better. I think he looked better this year and that he could end up being a pretty good FS for the next few years.

          Losing Jarrett hurts real bad. But then there’s Everett. I know he’s your guy. Again, I don’t really have an opinion about him at safety yet. But hopefully that hunger we saw on ST helps him become a good safety for us.

        • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 6:14 PM

          I don’t know about Everett’s ability to play the safety spot well, but I love players who hustle and give 110% and Everett does that when he’s on special teams.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 9:18 PM

          For now. We will see how he does over the whole season. He has to get better at safety to keep his spot though. I don’t know that we have the luxury of such good safties that we can afford to have an active safety only around to play ST. I like Everett just fine. I’m not knocking him at all. I’ll just be watching him close if he ever does get some snaps (and assuming the camera actually shows him). Because his future is more about his abilities as a safety than ST.

  2. Prospero - Sep 6, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    If you watched the Special teams last year or the first 2 games this pre-season (before Dunbar got hurt recovering his second muff in two games), you would know that it will be foolhardy to sit Dunbar. Garvin was signed for his superior Special teams ability. I’d sit Fuller and Bates. Why would Garvin play Mike linebacker if Compton got hurt? That’s Spaight’s job.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:02 PM

      We can’t sit Fuller though. He’s the backup nickel back if Phillips goes down. If Blackmon is inactive too then who’s going to fill that role? Fuller is in the long-term plans to be a starter on this team. He needs as many reps as he can get. Maybe that’s only 1-2 ever 2-3 weeks. But it will be 0 if he’s inactive.

      Good point about Bates though. The thing is, him and Garvin add some beef to our coverage units. We can’t only send out DBs to cover and block for kick returns. I also assume Bates got the job because of his ST play. I guess we now see how difficult this decesion is.

      • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 3:34 PM

        We could get away with Toler playing outside and Breeland playing nickel back… Wouldn’t be first choice but could do this if necessary.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 4:51 PM

          Yeah we could. But why would we do that? What’s wrong with Fuller that we wouldn’t want him on the field? Especially to the point where we take Breeland (our second best CB) out of his position. I want our second best CB playing against other teams #1 and #2 receivers on the outside. Granted sometimes that’s the slot guy. But you don’t want to get beat on the outside and Toler is not as good as Breeland on the outside.

          Fuller might honestly be our second best nickel back. Could be our best nickel back by the end of the season. ST are important and all but I don’t see them as more important than putting the best guys on the field for offense and defense. As it stands right now, Fuller is the future starting slot/nickel guy on this team. All the other guys are just guys filling holes until we find someone better. Let’s develop the guys who matter now and not worry about who flashed slightly more on ST in the preseason. It’s just preseason and a lot of the rookies have never done ST before. They’ll learn and get better.

        • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 6:24 PM

          Well we have to find 7 inactives each week; injuries will dictate who is on this list but in general, we’re going to have:

          1 QB
          2 OL
          1/2 DBs
          1 WR (or other injured offensive threat) +
          1/2 others (if not injuries then either performance-based or primarily special teams contributor or a younger player like Lanier).

          So from the 1/2 DBs, assuming we have no injuries at these positions, the likely candidates to draw upon are Blackmon, Dunbar or Fuller. One to two of them will sit is my guess. Could it be another DB even if not injured? Maybe, but my gut says no. If Everett’s game drops off, he would be next most likely to sit.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 6, 2016 at 8:38 AM

    The Jets kept 4 QBs on their 53. And none of ’em are very good.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:57 PM

      They were in a weird situation though. They had the established starter and the clear backup in Fitz and Geno. Then a 2015 4th round pick in Petry and a 2016 2nd round pick in Hackenberg. Both Petty and Hackenberg are very talented but very raw QBs. Both could be starters if given the proper time to develop and both played at a very high level in college (even if Hackenberg finished weak). That’s not the same thing as a late 6th round pick who didn’t really flash in college.

      We believe Cousins could be the guy for the next decade. They believe Fitz is probably a 1-2 year rental and Geno is probably about the same. Petty is surprisingly athletic and has a big arm but was so, so raw coming out of Baylor that I thought he needed a minimum of 3 years on the bench before he could even conceivably maybe take the field in a real game. But if that happens, he could be good. He has every other gift. I actually think Hackenberg could end up being the best QB of the 2016 draft when we look back in 10 years. But he too needs time. Sudfield has potential, it’s just not as obvious as those two. The Jets just found themselves in a very unusual situation.

      • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:22 PM

        The Jets situation is unique in that they have to balance winning now and the future. If Cousins had been in the league as long at Fitzpatrick then we’d be in the same boat. Fitz will be 34 in November. So at best they could keep him for three years before his skills clearly diminish but he’s on a one-year contract. Smith is also in his final year of his rookie contract. I got to believe that he’s on the roster because the TWO developmental QBs aren’t capable of being THE GUY if Fitz is out for any reason. So, the Jets have to keep all four because Petty and Hackenberg could be ready next year (not likely) or forced into action if the team takes a few steps back this year. I expect that they’ll undergo the same song and dance next year.

        Having said all that, there appears to be a slight disconnect with some ‘skins fans in that they think our situation is indeed similar — that somehow Sudfeld is a year or two away and Cousins is on a one-year rental. And that Sudfeld give the Redskins some leverage in next year’s negotiations. Honestly, I don’t think there is anything that could be said that would convince them otherwise. I saw your comment to the guy in a blazer and wholeheartedly concur.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:29 PM

          Oh goodness I hope people aren’t that crazy. People actually think Nate Sudfield gives us leverage against Cousins? Like theyre honestly going to look Cousins in the eye and say, “take $16 mil a year or else Nate Sudfield is our new starter.” Wow.

          You’re dead on about the Jets. I can’t add anything to it except that I hope I didn’t sound like I think Petty or Hackenberg will be read this year or next year. There’s a chance for 2017 but I doubt it.

        • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:43 PM

          I hear you right. The Jets hope Petty or Hackenberg can be legit number 2s next year.

    • COSSkinsFan - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:16 PM

      Responding to your Reed comment, I remember that game too and I want to say it was against the eagles. I remember because I don’t know what he ate before that game but he looked like our best defensive player that day. I know that many wanted to see him go. I didn’t want him as a starter but didn’t really understand the Reed hate. I remember Andre Johnson catching a deep ball game winner in one on one coverage against Reed. I actually thought the coverage was good but the throw was better. Coverage wasn’t his strength but how many safeties would win that matchup?

  4. redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    Cooley predicts Doctson will be active against the Steelers.

    • renhoekk2 - Sep 6, 2016 at 9:39 AM

      I would play him. If he only knows three or four plays I’d activate him over Ross.

      • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 11:02 AM

        … with Thompson returning KOs and Crowder doing PRs?

        • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2016 at 11:43 AM

          That sounds reasonable. However, Pittsburgh had the 4th lowest touchback percentage in the league last year at 40.4%. They had 54 returns averaging 22.2 yards per kickoff. That figures that the Redskins will have at least two kickoffs to return Monday night. If there is any game to have Ross up, it would be Pittsburgh. I’d have all six WR up or put Grant on inactive. You also have two kick returners — Thompson is the other side/short return guy. Who takes this position if Ross is inactive? Kelly?

        • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:25 PM

          They have just two listed right now; in pre-season the third was Marshall so it might be Kelley or Jackson or Crowder.

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:20 PM

        We all know Doctson can run a go rout. I’m willing to bet he can run a post and corner just fine too. Add a curl or out rout to that and he will be useable. Expecially in the red zone. I assume they have practiced a fade with him.

        I agree that if he can just go out and run a few plays he’s meow valuable than Ross to the offense. But I want him fully ready before he steps out there. There’s no need to rush him into week 1 unless they’re confident he’s ready. I kind of doubt he is. And, as other pointed out, that leaves us down a return man. I’m not OK with Thompson returning kicks. So unless Grant or someone like Everett is going to do it, then we probably need Ross. Guess that makes Grant the odd man out.

  5. skinsgame - Sep 6, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Did Dunbar regress or did the team just identify better talent elsewhere? Last year Dunbar was looking like a solid #2 CB prospect, now it’s predicted he won’t even be active on game day.

    • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 11:08 AM

      Well Norman and Breeland will see a lot of the field… like won’t come off unless they have to in which case, Toler (FA signing) can come in.

      When in the Nickel, Phillips has shined brightly with Fuller apparently the back-up there although there was talk early on that if Phillips was off, Breeland would cover the slot receiver and Fuller would be out wide.

      Dunbar continues to grow and play well, especially on special teams.

      In the first preseason game, Dunbar was on the field for two plays that surrendered a lot of yards, but apparently at least one of those plays, Dunbar was suppose to have cover from Blackmon but it never materialized.

      Dunbar is still a solid prospect. Toler may not play beyond this season because he is older but Toler is playing well. The Redskins may not even have acquired Toler if Norman was signed earlier.

    • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2016 at 11:36 AM

      Both. Or in other words, Dunbar didn’t take the next step in his development while the team improved the overall talent at the position.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:22 PM

      It’s my fault for not remembering but can anyone actually confirm how they used Dunbar last year? Did he play a lot of man? Because that would explain a lot.

      We are a zone team. But we still mix in man for the CBs even when the LBs and safties are in zone. Man is a lot easier than zone for a young CB if they long and athletic (Like Dunbar). But zone takes time to learn and gel with the other players. That’s why Cravens has been out of position so often this preseason. They could be transitioning Dunbar to more zone (Which is the right thing to do) and that’s why he’s struggling.

      But also, yes, it’s because we got Fuller and Norman. Obviously getting an all-pro corner singling to push someone down the depth chart.

      • bangkokben - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:41 PM

        From what I saw, Dunbar was almost exclusively in man. Granted, I’m not watching the all-22 and Dunbar actually played a significant amount of time last season. 24.3% of all defensive snaps — which was 8th highest among DBs but 81.0% of defensive snaps against the Eagles in the penultimate regular season game. That was 5th among the DBs. Furthermore the DBs that were ahead of Dunbar in that game were Goldson 100%, Jarret 96%, Breeland 91%, and Blackmon 86%.

        Of the seven DBs that had more defensive snaps than Dunbar last season, only Breeland is still in the same role. Hall and Blackmon have moved to safety while Chris Culliver, Trenton Robinson, Kyshoen Jarrett, and Dashon Goldson are no longer on the team.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 8:29 PM

          Well that explains a lot. I assumed that was the case, because it only makes sense, but Inneeded to be sure.

          Some fans assume everyone is in zone because they see a cover 2 formation or whatever. They know we play a lot of zone. But as I said, they also put our corners in man while the rest of the defense is zone. And with a young/athletic/rangy corner like Dunbar, that only makes sense. So I’m not too worried about him. We have great depth ahead of him. He has time to learn. It’s unreasonable to expect a guy who only played CB one season in his life to master a NFL zone scheme. He will get better. Maybe he will become the next Josh Norman, or maybe he just becomes another guy. But he will get better than he is right now.

  6. smotion55 - Sep 6, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    It looks like they are not worrying about if they were drafted or not =Put the best 53 on the team, is very refreshing news, and the practice squad is being used for what it was intended for, developing players . Lanier is a good surprise, but still think 1 RB possibly a C, and DL player will be picked up after the 1st week so they won.t have to pay a guaranteed yearly contract. No faith in Jones and believe Kelley is the better back and more durable

    Sudfeld was ok and knows this system, no turnovers and a willingness to learn. He is worth the spot and the QB position is in such demand and half the teams don’t try to develop these guys I ask WHY NOT keep him

    Since they keep all those DB’s I would hope that kickoff and punt coverage should be very good this year, not so much return teams but coverage absolutely.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:33 PM

      Why would extra DBs help in kick return coverage more than other positions? Like, why did you point out DBs over WRs, TEs, RBs, linebackers, etc., etc.?

      I think you’re kind of living in a fantasy if you think Sudfield knows the system already. That’s not his fault, it’s just highly unlikely that he’s already picked it all up. It’s a very complicated and cumbersome offense. That’s a lot for a rookie to learn in a couple months. I love Gruden’s designs and rout concepts but I hate the way play calls require 3 sentences of gibberish so that each player can get their own custom assignment. There’s easier ways to do it.

      And you out Sudfield on the PS for the exact thing you said. The practice squad is used for “developing players.” Sudfield is a developmental QB. Garcon will probably get a snap at QB before Sudfield in 2016. He will be inactive on Gameday and isn’t ready to play yet. That’s why you send him to the PS. That’s not the same as “not keeping him.” We would keep him, but on the practice squad.

      Every team has a PS/developmental QB btw. It’s not accurate to say half the teams in the league so t develop these guys. They all have someone.

      • smotion55 - Sep 6, 2016 at 4:55 PM

        They thought they might lose him and only ment that he was in the system since March and that he is better then what is left out there , and all the DB,s were most likely better then any LB’s to pick from on special teams. .Then why did they cut Riley and Hayward and Paulsen in the first place. Get real everybody knows if Sudfeld plays the season is either over or they are 14 and 0 and resting everybody. Read the whole statement no turnovers and willing to learn was the jest of it.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 7, 2016 at 2:01 AM

          I can understand how you may have taken what I said wrong. But I was genuinely asking. I don’t consider myself overly knowledgeable about ST so I thought maybe I could learn something. I felt like I was missing something for why DBs would be particularly good to have around on ST compared to other position groups.

          Your post was a little hard to read/understand. But I’ll try to answer a question I assume was rhetorical. I think they cut Riley because he was getting starter money and couldn’t beat out Foster. I think they cut Hayward because they found a younger/cheaper version of him. And I think they cut Paulsen because they decided to keep Sudfield on the 53 and felt comfortable only carrying 3 TEs that’s to our top 3 being a string group. But I don’t think any of those cuts had anything to do with their ability to play ST. In fact, Hayward was a ST ace, and captain, (as a linebacker) and that was the one argument to keep him on the team.

          I assume you need a diverse group of guys on ST. Yeah, you need speedy guys like DBs. But you also need bigger/stronger guys to block and tackle. In fact, what little I do know about ST, I know that 3-4 teams are generally better at ST than 4-3 because they carry more linebackers. That tells me linebackers are valuable on ST.

          As far as Sudfield. You asked “why not keep him?” I wanted to specify that sending him to the PS is not the same as getting rid of him. It’s keeping him, just in a developmental role and using that roster spot for someone who could contribute. It’s not a huge deal if they keep him on the 53 or send him to the PS. But I personally would have preferred to keep Paulsen and we couldn’t because of Sudfield. I like Nate. I like his potential a lot. But he will not play a snap for us in 2016. That’s a clear cut PS kind of guys.

          No picks against 4th string players on a few passes doesn’t really impress me. And any 6th round pick better be “willing to learn” or else they don’t even belong on the PS. If Cousins is injured and Colt becomes the starter I would much rather them find a way to get Mark Sanchez, Brandon Weeden, Matt Castle, Ryan Mallett, Bryan Hoywer, or maybe even Mike Vick to be the backup. Because you need a veteran in that situation, not a developmental rookie who isn’t ready to play. So being in the system is kind of irrelevant. We would already be screwed if Cousins goes down, let alone Colt too. No need to ruin a potential future QB by starting him too soon.

  7. COSSkinsFan - Sep 6, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Totally off topic Rich but any thoughts on some of our practice squad signings that weren’t with the team through camp. Both Nix and Painter are huge. Nix was a 3rd rounder so he must have some talent. Saxton seems like more of another receiver that te.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:24 PM

      Be careful about falling into the trap of when guys were drafted. Reyes and Hood were high round draft picks too. Reyes had Preston Smith type fan fare in SD after his rookie year. Their second round pick came in, got a handful of sacks, and so he was going to set the world on fire. Theeeennn nada.

      If a former 3rd round pick is being bounced around from practice squad to practice squad then he was probably either grossly over drafted or he’s just lazy and they didn’t figure that out until after the draft.

      • COSSkinsFan - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:51 PM

        A lot of things go into where a player is drafted. I would also say depth of the draft at that position and the words gm’s love to deny, team need as well as who coached them in college. Nix possess good size 6’2 and 331 for a nose. He went to Notre Dame so has been in games against good competition. I still see dline as a position of need so just wondering if he might grow into more than a practice squad guy. Wasn’t thinking he would start tomorrow, but am really nervous about Golston starting all year. As much as I like the guy, believe he is a “football player” and value his leadership it’s a difficult role to take on for the first time in 11 years.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:16 PM

          I agree with just about everything you said. Except maybe the part about ND playing good competition there in the ACC ;) But yes, measurables, draft status, and their college pedigree all matter and get some guys more opportunities than they should get. Even their high school rankings get guys chances. Keith Marshal is a perfect example. He was a 5 star HS recruit and went to a huge college program. Then he did absolutely nothing in college when healthy, suffered some severe injuries, and STILL got drafted and has people thinking he was going to set the league on fire.

          I think I misunderstood what you were saying a little and you maybe misunderstood what I was saying. I didn’t think you were implying he should start at all this season. I just meant: be careful not to get your hopes up about a guy just because he was drafted high. Guys with real talent don’t get bounced from practice squad to practice squad. But yes, he is worth a look and maybe he will be able to contribute for us. Especially if you’re just looking for a run stuffing NT because that position has been greatly devalued so it’s possible someone let him go even though he has potential because they didn’t value his position (just like full backs).

          I don’t love having Golston as our NT either, but I’m also not worried about it. We’re in base for something like 10-15 snaps a game. Most of the time we’re in a 4 man front and it will probably be Baker and either Hood or RJF who plays the other inside spot (call it DT or 3 technique or whatever). Golston won’t see the field much even if he is the starting NT. And Hood could take over that role.

          Sooner or later fans are going to accept that we’re not a 3-4 team and stop worrying about getting a nose tackle. This is a hybrid defense. Not a 4-3 either. I guess I would call it a one-gap 4-2-5 hybrid. It’s basically the defense Wade Phillips created and many teams in the league run it. Bill Bellichick himself said its a “media creation” that he runs a 3-4. Because he doesn’t see his team as running either a 4-3 or 3-4. There’s more than just two options and he likes them all based on the opponents. Denver last year ran a true hybrid defense, so did New England, so did we and many other teams. It’s the new hot trend and true nose tackles just aren’t as important. Pass rushing DTs are still very important, but run stuffing NTs aren’t.

  8. blazerguy234 - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    People are debating the move to keep Nate on the roster. Pointing out that all those who think it was a bad decision..are not NFL quality coaches..have not seen him play/practice daily, and rarely support their argument with nuch fact.. The coaches and Scot watched him since day one, and feel, that he has more than being just another bottom rung QB..going from team to team. Jay is a former QB, as is the QB`s coach, and I am good about keeping him on the 53. If Cousins is signed L.T., after next year, they may feel he can move up.
    Say Kirk gets injured and will miss a few games…so Colt is your QB..who is his back up? You want a guy who knows the offense, or bring in someone who has no clue. Dallas showed what happens when a back up is no good. Also, Nate would be playing with the 1`s not the 2`s and 3`s…which will also make a huge difference.

    People forget too quickly… how many dumb comments that are made by the media..especially by talk radio guys..and they rarely have it thrown back at them.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:46 PM

      Well if you’re going to put people on blast at least get your facts straight. Gruden is not the QBs coach. Matt Cavanaugh is and has been since last season.

      And, if Cousins is hurt, then yes I do believe they sign someone else to be Colt’s backup. I do not believe they have any intention of putting Nate Sudfield on the field this year BECAUSE they believe in him and don’t want to put him in a bad situation. He’s not ready. That’s reality. They kept him in the 53 because they believe he has great potential but that doesn’t mean he’s ready now.

      I think you’re missing the point from those of us arguing Sudfield should have gone to the practice squad. It’s not that we don’t believe Sudfield has talent or that Gruden and McCloughan are wrong. It’s a philosophical difference in what to do with those inactive roster spots. Also about some of us believing he would have cleared waivers without a problem. We lost other players who weren’t practice squad eligible because Sudfield is on the 53. Probably Paulsen. So we get a development QB, who won’t even be active for a game all year and could probably clear waivers, and lost our only true blocking TE on a team who struggles in run blocking. Paulsen would probably be inactive too. But he would be used if Davis, Paul or Reed get injured. See the difference? Nobody is saying Sudfield doesn’t have potential. Just that some of us think he would have cleared waivers and would rather have that spot for someone who may contribute.

      • mtskins - Sep 6, 2016 at 4:20 PM

        Fairly certain that he wrote the Jay Gruden is a former QB and that the QBs Coach (who you are correct in identifying as Matt Cavanaugh) was also a former professional QB as well. I think the implication is that this experience helps them in identifying QB talent which can be debated. However as far as the actual facts go he’s correct.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 4:34 PM

          You are correct. He said “as is the QB coach” and I read that as “and is the QB coach.” My bad.

          I still stand by everything else I said. I don’t believe they would have Sudfield as Colt’s backup if Cousins is injured and I do think he’s missing the point people are making for why they would have preferred Sudfield on the PS. Has nothing to do with talent evaluation. Or the ability of our coaches to evaluate a QB. But everything to do with losing a player who may actually contribute this year compared to a guy who won’t ever be activated, even in the case of an injury. Putting Sudfield on the 53 does not mean they believe he will be ready to play this year.

  9. Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    Someone should call Jerry Rice and tell him he could have been a great receiver if he only had speed. I’ll bet Jerry watches Ross (only in the preseason) and thinks, “man, I wish I was like that guy. He’s so fast.”

  10. COSSkinsFan - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    The fact that we can actually disagree about who should be inactive shows how far this team has come in not just developing depth but future talent. Like Rich said the 1st 3 on his list are obvious, after that a good case can be made for each of those players to be active. I can’t wait til Monday HTTR!!!!

  11. redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    No real surprises on the Captains. Paul’s nomination must mean he’s one of the leads on special teams. Besides specialists (K, H, P, LS, KR, PR), I would think Garvin, Bates, Everett, Grant, Murphy, Cravens, Dunbar, Fuller, Toler and other back-up safeties will also play a lot on special teams.

    Hope we can begin to discuss the Steelers match-up soon and how the Redskins can beat them!

    • goback2rfk - Sep 6, 2016 at 7:37 PM

      Lets talk how to beat the Steelers now. The Steelers secondary is a young group of greenhorns and the Redskins offense should be feasting all day long with the passing game. Kirk Cousins needs to throw 32+ times this game. If the Redskins defense can at least be somewhat formidable this game should be winnable.
      The Redskins are a sleeper team this year. This squad could be good.

      Redskins 27
      Steelers 24

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 6, 2016 at 9:29 PM

        Throwing that much is a good way to get picked off a couple times. They have to run the ball too. It can’t be all passes. But here’s how I see it.

        Key matchups:

        Norman and Breeland vs. Antonio Brown.

        Morgan Moses vs. the Steeler’s young pass rushers (I assume it will be Bud Dupree).

        And the key to the game will be Kerrigan and Smith getting pressure on Ben, keeping contain/keeping him in the pocket, and setting the edge in the run. But they have to pressure the future HOF QB.

        • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 10:09 PM

          Bud Dupree is out for now, but the Steelers have plenty of other effective pass rushers including a 2016 3rd round pick, Javon Hargrave, DL, South Carolina St. But the key player is Ryan Shazier.

          ILB Shazier calls Steelers defensive plays and his disruptive game is also supported by not one but two strong OLB pairs (even with Bud Dupree sidelined). How will the Redskins offense most effectively neutralize this linebacker corps?

          On the other side of the ball, with the need for defenders to respect Antonio Brown, Eli Rogers plays effectively in the slot, DeAngelo Williams just as easily catches or runs the ball out of the backfield (9.2 and 4.5 yard average per play respectively) or the pass catcher du jour gains ample yardage on underneath screens which the Steelers like to run. How will the Redskins neutralize the quick, relentless “Pittskrieg” attack on defense next Monday evening?

        • bangkokben - Sep 7, 2016 at 7:16 AM

          Goback is rarely on to something and this one of those times. The Steelers’ DBs is their clear weakness and Cousins will throw between 30-35 times Monday night with only 3 or 4 deep balls. The best way to beat Pittsburgh is to outscore them. Cousins will easily put up 300 yards passing and could approach 400 if the game dictates it.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 7, 2016 at 10:12 AM

          Oh yeah, I know about the Steelers secondary. The thing is that that have one of the best passing attacks in the league too. Do you really want to out pass Ben and AB? It will be important to try and control the clock and keep Ben off the field. And the more you drop back to pass the more chances there are of throwing a pick or taking a sack.

          We’re probably splitting hairs here because I know they’ll need to throw the ball to win. But 35 times just seems like a lot.

        • bangkokben - Sep 7, 2016 at 6:23 PM

          “Do you really want to out pass Ben and AB?” Yes, I do. Pittsburgh pass defense is significantly worse than ours and their passing attack is limited without Bryant and Bell — still great but I’d take Reed, Jackson, Garcon, et all over Pittsburgh’s this week. They had a good stat up last week during the Redskins’ final preseason game of the their W-L record with Cousins pass attempts. It was pretty stark. I think the cutoff was 32 attempts but alas I don’t recall the specifics.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 7, 2016 at 10:17 AM

          @12th man. Don’t forget about Sammie Coats and Marcus Wheaton. It will be interesting to see who steps up with Bryant suspended, but one of them will.

      • redskins12thman - Sep 6, 2016 at 10:10 PM

        I’ll take that result in a heartbeat. Archives

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