Quick Links

The 53: Final roster projection

The 53: Final roster projection

Here is my prediction for the 53-man roster that will emerge from the final round of cuts:SpecialistsIn (3):P Sav Rocca, LS Nick Sundberg, PK Billy CundiffObviously Cundiff beating out both Neil Rackers and Graham Gano without making a single kick in a Redskins uniform was a surprise to most.DefenseDefensive backsCornerback (5): DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Cedric Griffin, Richard Crawford, Brandyn ThompsonSafety (4): Brandon Meriweather, Tanard Jackson, Madieu Williams, DeJon GomesJordan Bernstine goes to the practice squad. Reed Doughty may give you more than Gomes this year but I think that last years draft pick stays with an eye towards 2013 and beyond.LinebackersOutside (4):Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson,Inside (5):London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan Robinson, Bryan KehlIts hard to cut an athlete like Markus White but Wilson is a more polished player and can be a huge asset on special teams.Defensive lineIn (6): Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Barry Cofield, Chris BakerThis has been set since Chris Neild went out with a torn ACL. Golston stays because the blocking in the middle of the line on field goals fell apart when he got injured last year. Doug Worthington goes to the practice squad.For a look at mypre-training camp 53-man prediction, go here.OffenseRunning backsIn (5):Roy Helu Jr., Tim Hightower, Evan Royster, Darrell Young, Alfred MorrisNone of the four tailbacks is a stud but it would be hard to cut any of them, so Shanahan wont.Tight endsIn (3):Fred Davis, Niles Paul, Logan PaulsenThis was set when Chris Cooley was released on Tuesday.Wide receiversIn (6):Pierre Garon, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson, Dez BriscoeYes, Anthony Armstrong plays special teams and Briscoe doesnt or at least not very much or very well. But in 2010 Armstrong caught seven passes. Briscoe caught sixtouchdownpasses. Briscoe has been the better player in camp and in preseason games since learning the offense. Briscoe has to stay.If Brandon Banks staysand I dont think he willhe wont take a job away from one of the six wide receivers. If he does stay it will be as a return specialist and his roster slot will come from the offensive line or from a linebacker.QuarterbacksIn (3):Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman, Kirk CousinsRex stays. Period.Offensive lineIn (9):Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Josh LeRibeus, Jordan Black, Adam Gettis, Maurice HurtAs noted above, the Redskins could decide to keep Banks and trim back an offensive lineman. They got burned last year keeping eight linemen when a rash of injuries hit so I think they will play it safe this year and keep nine.If they do decide to go with eight, Gettis seems to be the most vulnerable. Black is the swing tackle, LeRibeus can play guard or center, and Hurt can play guard or tackle. Gettis may develop versatility but for now he seems likely to learn on the practice squad.Willie Smith does have a shot at getting Blacks spot. He started camp and the preseason games slowly, something the coaching staff made no secret of. But he has performed better lately. But it looks like Black will get the nod.Breakdown: 26 offense, 24 defense, 3 specialistsAgree? Disagree? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter @Rich_Tandler

Quick Links

When it comes to Madden corners, there's Josh Norman, then everyone else

When it comes to Madden corners, there's Josh Norman, then everyone else

What do Chris Harris Jr., Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis have in common? They're all excellent NFL corners — and they all rank behind Josh Norman when it comes to ratings in Madden 17.

The Bronco (93 overall), the Seahawk (92), the Cardinal (91) and the Jet (91) should be proud of the grades handed to them for the next edition of the legendary video game. It's Norman, though, who's at the top of these top-notch defenders, checking in with a skillset that's good enough for a 94 in the eyes of EA Sports.

"Norman is expected to be a lock down corner for the Redskins this season," reads the description underneath Norman's name in a post ranking the elite cornerbacks that was published Thursday. "He is best in zone with his 97 zone coverage rating, but has the ability to match up in man to man situations with 90 speed and 92 man coverage."

These numbers are subject to change during the course of the season, so if No. 24 has a rough outing or two, he could tumble down a few points and give up the crown to someone else. As it stands now, however, Madden thinks he's the preeminent man at his position. 

And that's something Odell Beckham Jr. can't say.

RELATED: WHY DID SCOT MCCLOUGHAN PUNCH WALL?

Quick Links

Redskins activate Perry Riley from PUP list, LB set for practice

Redskins activate Perry Riley from PUP list, LB set for practice

After opening training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced that LB Perry Riley has been activated and will practice on Friday.

Riley went out last December with a foot injury and missed the Redskins run to the NFC East title. A six-year veteran, Riley was drafted by the 'Skins in 2010 and emerged as a starter in 2011. Riley struggled somewhat early in the 2015 season, but his play was improving into the second half of the year.

"I expect him to come on and continue his strides," Gruden said of Riley's improved play. 

Coindence or not, Riley's play improved once Will Compton took over at starting linebacker for Keenan Robinson.

"I think it did," Gruden said of Riley playing better paired with Compton. "Maybe it's just the whole entire defense got better as the season went on."

Gruden said that the defense as a whole was becoming more comfortable with new coordinator Joe Barry, and that should only increase this season. 

Some think with a $5 million cap number - and a potential savings of $4 million if he was released - Riley could be subject to a roster squeeze. But after Compton and Mason Foster, Riley is the only inside linebacker with significant NFL experience on the roster compared to Martrell Spaight, Steven Daniels and Terence Garvin. 

It will be interesting to watch Riley's return from injury, both to see how he looks, and to watch where he fits with the defense. In nine games last season, Riley grabbed two interceptions and 24 tackles.

Quick Links

Josh Norman using his physicality to help cure Matt Jones of 'fumble-itis'

Josh Norman using his physicality to help cure Matt Jones of 'fumble-itis'

RICHMOND—Josh Norman was brought to the Redskins to help the defense. But he’s trying to solve one of the potentially biggest problems facing the other side of the ball.

In a part-time role last year, running back Matt Jones fumbled the ball five times, losing four of them. This year Jones is projected to be the full-time running back and if he continues to fumble at the same rate Norman and company will be coming onto the field a lot sooner than they planned on many occasions.

Norman has taken it upon himself to try to fix this. When Jones is carrying the ball Norman makes an effort to knock it out of the back’s arms. It’s become a running competition between the two.

“We crack up all the time because [Jones] knows when he comes to that hole I’m looking for that ball,” said Norman. “I’m punching; I’m looking to get it out of there.”

So far, Jones is doing a good job with ball security, something he’s been working on all offseason.

“He’s holding that thing high and tight and I don’t know if I've got him once yet,” said Norman.

Norman said that his goal is to knock the ball out of Jones’ grasp five times during training camp.

“I’m going to be lurking, trust me, I’m going to try and get it,” he said. “And that makes him better because he knows he’s going to have to hold that thing tight.”