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The 53: Extreme makeover at defensive back

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The 53: Extreme makeover at defensive back

The Redskins will report to training camp on July 25. Over the next five weeks they will undergo the process of cutting their 90-man roster down to 53. Which players will get those coveted spots and which will join the ranks of the unemployed? Over the next couple of weeks well go through position by position and try to predict what decisions Mike Shanahan and company will make.So far weve covered the offense, the linebackers, and the defensive line. Today well look at the defensive backs.There are 15 defensive backs on the roster, the Redskins will keep nine.Cornerback: DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Cedric Griffin, Richard Crawford, Chase Minnifield
Safety: Brandon Meriweather, Tanard Jackson, Madieu Williams, DeJon Gomes
Out: Kevin Barnes, Brandyn Thompson, Morgan Trent, Jordan Bernstine, Travon Bellamy, Reed DoughtyChanges from 2011: LaRon Landry signed with Jets as a free agent, O. J. Atogwe was released, signed with Eagles, Byron Westbrook not resigned; Signed Griffin, Meriweather, Jackson, Williams, and Trent as free agents, drafted Crawford and Bernstine (both 7th round), signed Minnifield as undrafted free agent.BreakdownThis is the extreme makeover edition of The 53. The secondary may be better than it was last year or it may be worse but it seems certain that it will be very different. The Redskins are guaranteed to have two new starting safeties in the wake of the departures of both Landry and Atogwe. It appears that they are ready to bring in a whole new batch of nickel and dime backs and depth players.Hall and Wilson will be the staring corners. Barnes was the nickel back for the first 13 games of last season before the now-departed Westbrook started to get most of the nickel snaps at the end of the year. Griffin was signed to be the nickel back and the team may be ready to move on from Barnes after three years and give Minnifield and Crawford a shot. The rookies stood out during OTAs and minicamp and if they can replicate that performance when the pads go on it will be hard to keep them off of the roster.Thompson is in the mix as well. He is athletic enough to be the playmaker that the Redskins are looking for at the position. Thompson bounced between the active roster and the practice squad all year and they only played him four snaps on defense, however, and he will have to show that he can earn some playing time if he is going to stick around for a second season.If they decide that they would rather not go strictly with youth for depth, Trent could stick around. He bounced around with three teams last year but he does have 36 games of NFL experience under his belt including three starts.One wild card in the mix is Westbrook. He remains unsigned. Word was that the Redskins offered him a three-year deal but he thought he might be able to get a better opportunity for playing time elsewhere. If he is still looking after a week or so of camp there could be a reunion between the 26-year-old, who has been with the organization since 2007, and the Redskins.At safety, the 30-year-old Williams was not guaranteed a roster spot when he signed as a free agent but he worked his way into great position to grab one during the offseason. With Jackson limited as he recovers from a shoulder injury Williams spent a lot of time with the first unit and his play and leadership drew a lot of praise.However, Mike Shanahan said over and over that safety was one of two positions (along with running back) that are very difficult to judge without pads on. It would not be surprising at all to see Bernstine earn a spot over Williams or Gomes or to see Doughty survive one again.It is also possible that Bernstine or Doughty could make it as a fifth safety. They went with four most of last year so they could do so again. Or maybe they will go with nine linebackers instead of the 10 I projected and keep another safety. Or perhaps the additional defensive back spot will go to Barnes, who could be a reserve at both corner and safety.LinebackersIn: Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Rob Jackson, Markus White, Chris Wilson, London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan Robinson, Jonathan Goff
Out: Donnell Holt, Bryan Kehl, Brian McNally, Monte LewisDefensive lineIn: Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Barry Cofield, Chris Neild
Out: Darrion Scott, Kentwan Balmer, Doug Worthington, Chris Baker, Delvin JohnsonRunning backsIn (4): Roy Helu Jr., Tim Hightower, Evan Royster, Darrell Young
Out: Tristan Davis, Alfred Morris, Antwon Bailey, Lennon CreerTight endsIn (3): Fred Davis, Niles Paul, Chris Cooley
Out: Logan Paulsen, Richard Quinn, Beau RelifordWide receiversIn (6): Anthony Armstrong, Pierre Garon, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson
Out: Brandon Banks, Terrence Austin, Darius Hanks, Brian Hernandez, Lance Lewis, Samuel KirklandQuarterbacksIn (3): Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins
Out: Jonathan CromptonOffensive lineIn (9): Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Jammal Brown, Willie Smith, Tyler Polumbus, Josh LeRibeus, Tom Compton
Out: Erik Cook, Grant Garner, Adam Gettis, Maurice Hurt, Nevin McCaskill, James Lee, Nick MartinezRich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email here and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.

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OPEN THREAD: Does a healthy Ryan Kerrigan make up for the loss of Junior Galette?

OPEN THREAD: Does a healthy Ryan Kerrigan make up for the loss of Junior Galette?

Most football players never publicly admit that returning from an injury limits their play. The rehab requires such a commitment, both physically and mentally, that top athletes have to believe healthy is healthy.

Ryan Kerrigan fits that mold. Last year, the Redskins linebacker had offseason knee surgery and then suffered a broken hand during the season. Despite the setbacks, Kerrigan started all 16 games for Washington. More impressively, he still logged 9.5 sacks and 33 tackles. In 2014, however, Kerrigan recorded 13.5 sacks and 51 tackles. 

A year remved from the tough 2015 offseason, Kerrigan opened up a little bit about what last season was like. 

MORE REDSKINS: COUSINS FOCUSED ON FOOTBALL, NOT CONTRACTS

"Last year, coming off an injury is a funny thing," he said Tuesday. "While I was technically healthy, you’re not as strong."

Kerrigan explained that some of his muscles atrophied after the surgery, and regaining that strength takes time. Going through that last year, and a healthy offseason this summer, leaves the veteran excited for this fall.

"I'm really excited about this season having not had any offseason surgeries," he said. "I'm hoping for bigger and better things."

With the loss of Junior Galette, better things from Kerrigan could be a big help for the Redskins. Washington's defense should be improved with the addition of cornerback Josh Norman, but much will be needed from Kerrigan and second-year man Preston Smith. If Kerrigan can get his sack total up, say to 12 or more, that would offset some of the set back from Galette's injury.

What do you think - can Kerrigan get to 10 sacks? 12 sacks? More? Let us know in the comments.

 

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Redskins fans brave nasty temperatures bright and early for training camp view

Redskins fans brave nasty temperatures bright and early for training camp view

Summer weather in the Mid-Atlantic is unforgiving.

It's not just the heat.

It's the humidity.

The unrelenting and suffocating humidity. 

RELATED: DOCTSON, FOUR OTHERS START TRAINING CAMP ON PUP LIST

But oppressive summer weather be damned when Redskins training camp rolls through Richmond, Va. for another offseason.

On Thursday, legions of Redskins fans lined up outside the Bon Secours training center in ungodly humidity hours before team walkthrough begins.

At 9:00 a.m ET it was nearly 85 degrees. If Wednesday was any indication, the temperature is only going to go up. 

Way up.

One fan had the bright idea to bring a water fan to help keep him cool. That being said, he will be regretting the spandex jumpsuit before he even gets inside the training camp grounds.

But there is one thing that will quench the most insatiable of late July thirsts:

Professional football.

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS' 53-MAN ROSTER

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Redskins do not have to pay Galette while on NFI list

Redskins do not have to pay Galette while on NFI list

RICHMOND—The Redskins do not have to pay Junior Galette this season after placing the outside linebacker on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list.

The NFI list is not the same as the injured reserve list. Players on that list sustained injuries while either playing in games or while practicing or working out at the team facility.

A player on injured reserve has to get paid per the CBA. He either gets his full salary or, if he signed a contract permitting it, a partial salary.

RELATED: REDSKINS TO LOOK FOR IN-HOUSE GALETTE REPLACEMENT

NFI pertains to injuries suffered while participating in anything else. A player could be on NFI after getting injured in a car accident or while playing basketball. Or, as was the case with Galette, working out on his own preparing for the season. Players injured under such circumstances do not have to be paid.

This can create a sticky situation.

In a circumstance where a player gets injured doing something dumb, like getting in a car wreck while speeding, you wouldn’t create any waves in the locker room by declining to pay that player. But the team encourages players to stay in shape during the break in between minicamp and training camp. If a team declines to pay a player injured while working out on his own, as Galette was, other players could get upset and concerned that the same thing could happen to them some day.

Galette’s one-year contract calls for him to get a $1 million salary in 2016.

There also were incentives that he will not earn. The Redskins could elect to pay him the entire $1 million this year, half of it, or any portion of it they might decide to pay him. We will find out a lot about how much the Redskins want to give Galette, out with an Achilles injury for the second straight season, another shot in 2017 by how they decide to proceed.

If they want to give him another shot they will pay him most or all of the $1 million.

If they are inclined to let him walk his salary could be on the lower end.

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS ROSTER