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The 53: Rackers or Gano?

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The 53: Rackers or Gano?

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, the defensive backs and the defensive line. Today well look at the specialists.There are four specialists on the roster, the Redskins will keep three.In: P Sav Rocca, LS Nick Sundberg, PK Graham Gano
Out: PK Neil RackersBreakdownRocca and Sundberg have no competition right now although they could bring in someone during camp should either one of them falter. That seems unlikely and they are very likely to go into the season with their jobs.If Rackers clearly outperforms Gano in camp and in the preseason games, the job is his. If Gano is better, he gets the job. Thats obvious. But who will win if there is no clear winner?Will Danny Smith and Mike Shanahan go with the veteran Rackers, believing that his experience will be an asset the team can lead on as the season wears on? Or will they stick with younger Gano thinking that they have gone through the labor pains for the past two years to they should get the baby?I think that on this youth-oriented team the younger player will get the push. So since Gano wins out in two of the three possible scenarios Ill go with picking Gano as the winner of the competition.Defensive backsCornerback: 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 DoughtyLinebackersIn: 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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Signed off Redskins practice squad, center Austin Reiter could start for Browns

Signed off Redskins practice squad, center Austin Reiter could start for Browns

If Austin Reiter was on the Redskins roster as he was at the beginning of the season, he could well be starting at center against the Browns this week in the wake of injuries to Kory Lichtensteiger and Shawn Lauvao.

Instead, he could well be starting for the Browns.

Mary Kay Cabot, Browns beat writer for Cleveland.com, tweeted the following:

Reiter, a seventh-round draft pick of the Redskins in 2015, made the 53-man roster coming out of training camp. But he was cut after Week 1 to make room for defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins. The Redskins signed him to the practice squad, but Reiter went to Cleveland when the Browns signed him to their roster after injuries hit at the center position.

What Browns coach Hue Jackson said doesn’t sound definitive, and it may be some misinformation to try to throw the Redskins off. Veteran John Greco started at center for the Browns last Sunday, and he does not appear on their injury report.

Update: Breaking Burgundy is reporting that Reiter will start on Sunday.

RELATED: Redskins have been protecting Cousins well

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Redskins have been protecting Kirk Cousins well

Redskins have been protecting Kirk Cousins well

ASHBURN, VA — The Redskins need to do some shuffling on their offensive line. They hope that they can keep up their performance in one particular area.

Washington is fourth best in the NFL when it comes to giving up sacks. Kirk Cousins has been sacked on four of his 124 pass attempts, a rate of 3.1 percent. Around the league quarterbacks are sacked on 5.5 percent of pass attempts.

Per Pro Football Focus, Morgan Moses is responsible for two of the sacks but that perhaps isn’t fair. One of them had to have been the sack that Cousins took on the last play of the first half as the clock ran out. On that play Cousins was supposed to get rid of the ball immediately and Moses blocked Jason Pierre Paul accordingly. He had no idea that Cousins was going to move around.

The low sack total is no surprise. Last year the Redskins were fifth in the NFL with a sacks against rate of 4.6 percent. That likely is a big reason they elected not to make changes on the line during the offseason.

It should be noted that sacks are not all on the offensive line. Although you rarely see a QB charged with one, Cousins should have been on the play discussed above. Jordan Reed was responsible for a sack against the Cowboys, although one can wonder about a play design that has Reed responsible for blocking a defensive end.

The quarterback also should get credit for sack prevention. Cousins does get rid of the ball quickly, perhaps too quickly sometimes. Occasionally that results in a missed opportunity for a big play but it does keep him off of the ground.