September 16, 2019

Washington Redskins: Analysis of Preseason Dress Rehearsal Win over Ravens

We could write pages of the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins. Was Robert Griffin III benched? Does he and did he ever have a concussion? Who will start behind center Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins? It is too early to tell all of that regardless of the several reports saying one thing or another.

All we know for sure is what we can see on the field when former Michigan State Spartan, Kirk Cousins received the opportunity of his career to play with the first unit offense in the dress rehearsal for the regular season. What did he do with that opportunity? Lets discuss that along with the rest of important things learned about the Redskins. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins: Updated Unofficial Depth Chart prior to Preseason Bout with Ravens

The Washington Redskins have made some changes to their unofficial depth chart heading into the “dress rehearsal” preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. You can see the full depth chart below as the cuts to the 53 man roster have to be finalized by September 5th. In bold we have denoted those who are locks to make the roster, while those names that are italicized are individuals who we expect to round out the 53 man roster.

With 46 locks, we predict that Rashad Ross (WR6), Ty Nsekhe (RT2), Je’Ron Hamm (TE3), Kedric Golston (DE4), Frank Kearse (DE5), Houston Bates (OLB5), Martrell Spaight (MLB4), and Justin Rodgers (CB5*) to be on the 53 man roster starting week 1. Although there are 8 players listed to possible make the team leading to 53 man players, CB Baushad Breeland will not count towards the Week 1 53 man roster while serving his one game suspension. It is possible that Justin Rodgers could be gone come Week 2 when Breeland returns unless he can convince the coaching staff to keep him on the roster at the expense of someone else.

Need to Know Changes from Previous Depth Chart:

  • With the season ending injuries to Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen, the Washington Redskins acquired TE Derek Carrier from the San Francisco 49ers for a 5th round draft pick in 2016. Je’Ron Hamm currently seems to be slightly ahead of Chase Dixon and Devin Mahina in the competition for the third tight end roster spot. Ernst Brun and D.J. Williams who were recently signed seem to be long shots to make the team.
  • After the Redskins lost another special teams standout in Adam Hayward, it was Terrance Plummer and not 5th round draft pick Martrell Spaight given the MLB4 spot on the depth chart. Though it is still expected for Spaight to make the team, fully expect that all borderline competitions to possible be determined by the impact said individuals can make on special teams.
  • Chris Thompson, who is expected to make the team as the third string running back, has now leapfrogged Andre Roberts into the starting kickoff return role. There have been only one chance for the Redskins to return a kickoff during the preseason due to touchbacks, so this position is not set in stone.

Surprising Non-Changes to Depth Chart:

  • After being absolutely destroyed on multiple occasions when starting at left tackle for an injured Trent Williams, inconsistent lineman Willie Smith is still listed as backing up the Silverback. Tom Compton has continued to be listed as the third string right tackle, but his newly found role as a blocking tight end makes us consider him a lock to make the roster.
  • Houston Bates has not made up any ground on Jackson Jeffcoat according to the new depth chart, but it is possible that the flashy pass rusher is making a case for a roster spot with three sacks in the first two preseason games. With the injury to Hayward, a linebacker spot opens up for the taking. Expect Bates to be required to also make a difference on special teams in order to make the team.
  • Similarly to Bates, talented OLB Junior Galette has still been listed as the third string WLB although he could possibly start Week 1 against the Dolphins barring a lack of chemistry with the team in his recent arrival and/or a possible suspension for off the field issues.

Do not take any of these rankings too seriously as much can still change up to and beyond the start of the regular season. District Sports Page will keep you updated on the latest changes in position battles that could come down to the wire.

Position First String Second String Third String Other
WR1 DeSean Jackson Ryan Grant Jamison Crowder Rashad Ross
LT Trent Williams Willie Smith Takoby Cofield
LG Shawn Lauvao Arie Kouandjio Bryce Quigley
C Kory Lichtensteiger Josh LeRibeus Austin Reiter
RG Brandon Scherff Spencer Long Tyler Larsen
RT Morgan Moses Ty Nsekhe Tom Compton
TE Jordan Reed Derek Carrier Je’Ron Hamm Chase Dixon, Devin Mahina
WR2 Pierre Garçon Andre Roberts Evan Spencer Colin Lockett, Tony Jones, Reggie Bell
QB Robert Griffin III Kirk Cousins Colt McCoy
FB Darrel Young Jordan Campbell
RB Alfred Morris Matt Jones Chris Thompson Trey Williams, Mack Brown
LDE Stephen Paea Kedric Golston Corey Crawford
NT Terrance Knighton Chris Baker Jerrell Powe Travian Robertson
RDE Jason Hatcher Ricky Jean Francois Frank Kearse Robert Thomas
SLB Trent Murphy Jackson Jeffcoat Houston Bates Dyshawn Davis
MLB Keenan Robinson Will Compton Martrell Spaight
MLB Perry Riley Jr. Terrance Plummer Alonzo Highsmith
WLB Ryan Kerrigan Preston Smith Junior Galette Sage Harold
CB DeAngelo Hall Bashaud Breeland Justin Rogers Trey Wolfe, Qunton Dunbar
CB Chris Culliver David Amerson Deshazor Everett Tajh Hasson, Bryan McCann, DreQuan Hoseky
SS Duke Ihenacho Jeron Johnson Akeem Davis DaMon Cromartie-Smith
FS Dashon Goldson Trenton Robinson Kyshoen Jarrett
P Tress Way
K Kai Forbath Ty Long
H Tress Way
LS Nick Sundberg
KR Chris Thompson Andre Roberts Jamison Crowder
PR Andre Roberts Jamison Crowder Rashad Ross

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 8 Observations- Texans are in Richmond

The Redskins started their first of three joint practices with the Houston Texans, this years featured team on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”. Today will be the only day that the teams will participate in an afternoon walkthrough together as tomorrow’s was canceled due to the possibility of precipitation. Stay tuned for additional possible changes to the schedule with rain forecasted for much of the next 24 hours.

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien gave us his impressions on Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. Although O’Brien may not be speaking candidly, the former Penn State head man said “he’s a good guy, a really good football coach” about Gruden. O’Brien also commented that rookie WR Jamison Crowder is quick, can accelerate, and has good instincts after the Duke product made his corner back Kareem Jackson look bad on several occasions. He can see just exactly what we are talking about below.

https://twitter.com/Redskins/status/629282083916091392

Starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, started his press conference by exuberantly stating that “I felt overall it was a great day for us. Great competition.” Griffin was at times harassed by arguably the best defender in the game in J.J. Watt, but you have to face the best in order to improve, which Griffin said he wants to “improve every single day”. Griffin kidded that he hopes he never sees Watt when quarterbacks are no longer protected under practice rules but understands it was “good for the offensive line”. The quarterback also commented that he trusts the coaches will put the best five individuals in front of him to protect him when asked about Morgan Moses at right tackle and Brandon Scherff moved inside to guard. It might just be talk but so far Redskins fans have to at least like what they are hearing when Griffin made it clear that “my job is not to pick the five up front — it’s to pick apart the defense. And I plan on doing that”.

Griffin also made a surprising, but realistic claim that joint practices are more useful than preseason games where you have to “get in and get out” without being able to establish a rhythm.

Gruden’s description of Griffin’s performance against the Texans was “ok” but positively announced that “he’s coming along…seeing things more clearly”. Gruden also discussed the offensive line situation by noting that for Moses “having a year under his belt has helped him” and as a result, Scherff getting kicked inside for Moses to start at tackle is “a definite possibility”. Unlike what some may think about spending the 5th overall pick on just a solid guard, Gruden said it is not too high of a price if he’s “really, really good”. You might remember that the Redskins passed on DT Leonard Williams out of USC who was surprisingly still on the board.

Gruden also addressed the HBO “Hard Knocks” cameras, a possible reason why the Saints backed out of joint practices with the Texans, by saying his players were not distracted because “they have bigger things” to worry about.

Practice Notes and Evaluations:

  • For the second straight practice we saw that Bill Callahan’s starting offensive line consisted of (from left to right): Trent Williams, Shaun Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Brandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses. Most would end up saying Scherff will not have been worth the 5th overall pick if all he is in the NFL is a good right guard, but nothing is etched in stone with this lineups.
  • Even though the Redskins tried running to the left side, away from the presence of Watt, the elite defender showed he has the quicks to move down the line and make an impact on the play regardless. Watt also made is presence felt in the passing game by pressuring Griffin while also swatting other pass attempts. Brandon Scherff was the primary blocker against Watt and though beaten a handful of times, the Iowa product also held his own.
  • With DeSean Jackson being sidelined with a shoulder injury (see more information below), Jamison Crowder got a lot of reps with the first team offense and made the most of it. Crowder was continuing either beating his defender or drawing an interference penalty. Crowder was the highlight of the day for the Redskins when he broke CB Kareem Jackson’s ankles (see video above).
  • In today’s field goal drills, Kai Forbath was three of four with makes from 38, 40, and 45 while missing from 50 and Ty Long was 3/5 with makes from 33, 36, and 43 while missing from both 45 and 50 yards out. Forbath will likely keep his roster spot as a specialist bringing back some consistency in the unit that includes big leg punter Tress Way and long snapper Nick Sundberg.
  • In a lighter moment from practice, the Redskins attempted a fake field goal pass from K Kai Forbath to RT Morgan Moses. It is clear that Moses wants to show Watt he can play tight end too. The play was ruled an interception although Moses might have wrestled the ball away before both players hit the ground.

Injury Updates:

  • CB David Amerson (shoulder AC joint sprain), S Jeron Johnson (tweaked hamstring), and OLB Junior Galette (pectoral) will all NOT practice today against the Houston Texans. Gruden said Johnson will be out a week with the hamstring injury which will put him further in the hole behind Duke Ihenacho as they fight for the strong safety position.
  • RB Matt Jones (knee) and NT Terrance Knighton (flu) have returned to participating in practice.
  • OT Willie Smith (Achilles) looks to return to practice after sitting out a few days. The 28 year old will likely see few reps, even with the second team, as he is likely behind the likes of backup tackles Tom Compton and rookie Takoby Cofield in the pecking order.
  • As if the Redskins could use any more injuries to corners, DeAngelo Hall was helped off the field as he looked to be dealing with a left leg injury. The hope is nothing serious as Hall was seen later with his helmet back on, possibly because he wanted to get back in. Hall, however, watched the rest of practice from the sidelines standing without pads on. Hall said after practice that he tweaked his knee and groin while his twice torn Achilles’ tendon is fine. The veteran corner said he was feeling tight in his leg even prior to practice but wanted to give it a go regardless because of the already depleted secondary. The optimism wore off when it was reported Hall will miss at least a week with the injury possibly ending his 2015 training camp. Gruden said Hall will be day to day with the injury.

  • DeSean Jackson was looked at by multiple trainers while he laid on his back. Head coach Jay Gruden was standing near by but did not seem too concerned with the matter as he was looking elsewhere. Jackson would later walk off under some support from a trainer. UPDATE: Jackson returned to the sidelines without pads after hurting his shoulder when extending laterally to make the catch in the corner of the end zone and practice field. You can see the full play that caused the injury below. The shoulder was wrapped, but it is hoped that the area is simply bruised or mildly sprained. Similarly to Hall, the injury to Jackson was worse than expected as it is reported that the deep threat will be out a few weeks with a Grade 2 separated shoulder. Gruden confirmed Jackson will be out 1-2 weeks with what he called an AC sprain, but left hope for an earlier return depending on pain tolerance. Although Jackson did admit the injury is currently putting him in pain (no sling), he said there is less damage than the shoulder injury he suffered last year that did NOT keep him out of any regular season games.

 

 

  • To make things worse, Gruden said CB Chris Culliver is also dealing with a groin injury and is listed as day to day. Although Amerson, Culliver, and Hall are all dealing with minor injuries, for the next few practices the Redskins may be without their top four corners (Breeland- MCL sprain) leading to others like Justin Rodgers and Kyshoen Jarrett having to step up.
  • S Akeem Davis had surgery on his broken thumb today but could still practice tomorrow in a cast. LB Trevardo Williams, who is fighting for his life to get a roster spot after the acquisition of Junior Galette will be out 2 weeks with a hamstring injury.
  • In other injury news after the Redskins waived 2015 6th round pick CB Tevin Mitchel because of his torn labrum that will end his rookie season before it even began, the Colts, somewhat coldly, claimed Mitchel meaning the Redskins could not move him to the IR and secure his contract. It was a bad luck move for the Redskins who did not, and should not, have expected another franchise to side swipe an injured player in such a manner.

For more updates about Redskins training camp come back and visit District Sports Page.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here. The schedule has been updated to reflect the changes of the canceled afternoon walkthrough tomorrow due to weather forecasts.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 (at 8 PM) in 7 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 38 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 5 Observations

With tomorrow being the first off day in the training camp schedule, it made sense that the coaches pushed their players to the limit in order to whip them into shape as the season fast approaches. Although we have seen the players in pads as early as Saturday, today the roster was technically practicing in full pads.

DeSean Jackson took questions from the media and made it clear he is willing to make the commitment to turn this football team around. The elite deep threat was criticized earlier in the off season for skipping out on voluntary OTAs and taking time to film a BET reality television show. Jackson responded by stating “I’m here now, I’m ready to work and focus on the season”. As an injury update of what was reported to be a dislocated finger for Jackson, the wide receiver said “just popped it back in place. I’ll be alright” with little concern of missing any prolonged practice time.

Jackson also provided his own perspective on the talent of some of his teammates. First of his quarterback, Robert Griffin III, Jackson said “I’ve definitely seen progression” and that the more practice reps they can get together, the better. The former Eagle also noted that rookie Jamison Crowder was thrown into the fire a bit but has actually come out with some “great results”. Jackson also complimented his counterpart across the field in CB Chris Culliver by ranking him as a “great cover corner in this league”.

The subject of Griffin’s performance returned to the mainstay of today’s press conference with Jay Gruden. The head coach said, “He’s been doing fine…Overall, I think he’s handled everything extremely well.” Moving onto one of Griffin’s weapons, Gruden has extremely high praise for WR DeSean Jackson. “DeSean has been great since we got him here and …when the balls come to him, make the play like he always does” on having to share the ball especially when Jackson is double covered. Gruden also had kind words for the oft-injured but explosive TE Jordan Reed. Beyond Reed’s normal ability to be a dynamic option in the passing game, Gruden said he has most noticed his improvement in pass protection and the running game in part due to his improved strength and technique.

To continue the beat, Gruden was also complementary of both Morgan Moses and Josh LeRibeus in their performances with the first team offense yesterday, in place of LT Trent Williams and C Kory Lichtensteiger who were given the day off. It would be hard to see Moses getting any significant playing time at tackle in the future, assuming Trent Williams’ contract is extended. The guard position for Moses and the center position for LeRibeus are both adjustments that would take time beyond this season to become starting options.

Practice Notes and Evaluations

  • Rookie CB Tevin Mitchel, who was expected to make the 53 man roster, will have surgery on his left labrum (he had surgery on his right in college) and will likely miss the entirety of his first year.
  • Rookie RB Matt Jones, who did not finish yesterday’s practice with a right knee injury, did not participate today but is listed as day to day. The hope is that the rookie bruiser will be back in full participation on Wednesday after tomorrow’s day off.
  • CB David Amerson did a nice job covering DeSean Jackson on a deep ball that traveled 50+ yards in the air. Unfortunately, the ball hawk corner fell to the ground and looked to have injured his shoulder and would leave practice. The Redskins have already lost Baushad Breeland to a 4-6 week MCL injury and 1 game suspension as well as Tevin Mitchel for the season. Beyond Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall, it is the likes of Justin Rodgers and Kyshoen Jarrett (who would have to convert from safety) to step up during training camp and possibly beyond. UPDATE: Amerson suffered an ac joint sprain and could be back at practice Wednesday if the swelling comes down.
  • OLB Junior Galette continues to work on side fields with trainers to continue practicing an ever evolving craft of pass rushing. Gruden noted that Galette was going to be held out a few more days meaning he could miss out on some if not all of the joint practices with the Houston Texans, which takes place Thursday through Saturday (8/6-8). You can see a clip of what Galette has been up to the past few days below.
  • After second round pick Preston Smith struggled yesterday, the pass rusher responded with a better output today. Smith used both power and quickness on two separate occasions to make T Takoby Cofield look like a rag doll. The Ole Miss product also had his moments as a run stopper, making life difficult for Silas Redd who saw time with the second unit as Jones was sidelined.
  • The battle for a third string running back will be an interesting battle to keep track of throughout training camp. Silas Redd has the most recent experience in the offense but does not necessarily excel in one particular area. Chris Thompson, though speedy, has failed to shake the injury bug in the past and has pass protection to work on after Keenan Robinson made him look bad in his opportunity with the first unit. Dark horse Trey Williams has track level speed but at 5-7/195, there is a big question of whether his body could take a continuous beating.
  • Arguably the most impressive performance of Griffin since his rookie year came today. Yes it is simply training camp, yes he cannot be roughed up, but his quick decision making ability in the two minute drill can translate to the regular season. Griffin was 8/8 and sharply finished the drive for a touchdown while diversifying his receiving targets.

Gruden noted that the off day should be used for a reboot for both the coaches and players, to simply get away from the game a bit.

For more updates about Redskins training camp come back and visit District Sports Page.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 (at 8 PM) in 10 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 41 days.
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