Former Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley tried his hand at fullback last season and it looks like he will get an opportunity to do so again this year.Cooley, who missed the last 11 games of last season with a broken finger and knee problems, said that he is planning on playing some fullback when the Redskins take on the Bills in the preseason opener on Thursday.Before he was injured last year he played fullback on occasion and he saw extensive action at the position in Week 4 in Dallas when starter Darrel Young was out with a hamstring strain.Cooley was listed as the second-team fullback when the team published its depth chart on Monday.Fullbacks just another part of our offense, Cooley said. We have a move position, the Joe Gibbs H-back type of deal. We call it Tiger . . . its all the same position, theyre interchangeable.I know our offense well and I feel like Im very capable of playing any of those positions.Being able to play another position would greatly enhance Cooleys job security. His salary cap charge is just over 6.2 million and his 2012 salary is 3.8 million. Fred Davis is the starting tight end. The Redskins invested heavily in the wide receiver position this year and there are likely to be many sets with three and four wides. That doesnt leave many snaps for two tight end sets so Cooleys opportunities to get on the field could be limited.Mike Shanahan said the starters will play up to about 20 plays against the Bills. Cooley said that he does not know how much hell play or when but hes ready for anything. And, after not having taken a snap of live football for about nine and a half months, and knocking heads with his teammates at practice last week, Cooley is ready to go.Im definitely looking forward to playing, he said. By the time its two weeks of practice without a game it gets real frustrating.I love football and it makes a lot more sense to me when theres a game plan for another team and not just running plays to get better.Cooley said that he is as healthy as he expects to be. I havent had any reason to be limited or miss practice, he said. I feel great.
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Ryan Kerrigan's 47.5 career sacks and 17 career forced fumbles are evidence that becoming an NFL player was the right career path for him to take. But football wasn't the only sport he played back as a high schooler in Muncie, Indiana.
"Baseball, I was a baseball player," Kerrigan said when Redskins Insider J.P. Finlay asked him what his secondary endeavors were as a teenager. "I was on the basketball team, [but] I wouldn't really call myself a 'player' 'cause that would've required me getting off the bench," he added.
While it sounds like the Bearcats' bench was plenty warm thanks to the now 27-year-old, Kerrigan did get the chance to be a part of a marquee matchup against some other soon-to-be-famous guys.
"My high school team was really good," he said. "State runner-up twice, and would've been state champs, I'd imagine, if we didn't run into Greg Oden and Mike Conley."
Oden and Conley, of course, both turned into stars on a 2007 Ohio State outfit that lost to Florida in the NCAA title game that year (which must've felt like justice being served to Kerrigan). They then went on to be lottery picks in the 2007 NBA Draft, and Conley just recently became the league's highest-paid man. So you could imagine how much of a handful they were in high school.
Some quick research reveals that Lawrence North (the squad that featured the two Buckeyes) topped Muncie Central (Kerrigan's side) in 2005 and 2006. No. 91 didn't specify which one of those championship bouts he was referring to, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that his legs didn't get too sore from sitting on the pine, and he eventually ended up with the Redskins.
RICHMOND - After starting training camp on the PUP list, Redskins rookie WR Josh Doctson does not know when he will return to the field, but knows he won't rush back from his Achilles injury. Doctson spoke following the Redskins afternoon practice, and voiced an odd mix of reasons to be optimistic and worried for Washington fans.
First the positive:
"Today was my first day rehabbing it," Doctson said. "Definitely further along than I what thought I was going to be. That's definitely a good sign to get back faster."
Then the worrisome:
"I got to wait till morning and see how it feels," Doctson said. "You never know in the morning."
The TCU wideout could not provide a timeline for his return, and balked at the chance to provide a percentage to describe his health. What Doctson was clear on, however, was he will not rush back from the injury despite his desire to be practicing.
"Everybody wants to play football," he said. "You can’t rush it. I rushed it in OTAs and did what I did. I'm just going to be patient this time and make sure I’m 100 percent before I touch the field again."
Redskins coach Jay Gruden echoed Doctson's comments, saying that the team doesn't want the rookie on the field until he is 100 percent. And, while training camp is certainly important, if Doctson is to miss time, better in July than in September.
Scot McCloughan drafted the 6-foot-3, 195 lbs. Doctson for his explosive atheltic ability, so it makes sense that the organization in no way wants to risk serious injury. Gruden talked about the siginifcance an Achilles injury could bring, especially for an athlete like Doctson, as reason for extreme caution.
For his part, the rookie is keeping a level head despite his frustrations at not practicing.
"I'm blessed to be here, regardless of the situation. I made it."
RICHMOND—A year ago Morgan Moses came to training camp here with many questions about his future. He had missed the entire offseason program after suffering a Lisfranc injury the previous season. The team had just drafted Brandon Scherff with the fifth overall pick and he was put in at right tackle. Trent Williams had the left side locked down. It looked like he might wait a while for his turn.
But things have a way of changing quickly in the NFL. A week into camp the Redskins switched things up, moving Scherff to right guard and inserting Moses into the starting job in Scherff’s former job. Moses started all 17 games and earned high marks for his performance.
This year he comes to camp atop the depth chart and with all of the first-team reps during OTAs and minicamp under his belt. That is helping him feel more comfortable in his role.
“Being able to get the OTAs in that I didn't get the year before just helped me transition,” Moses said today. “I'm still learning, I'm still a young player but you can only take one day at a time.”
Although Moses doesn’t appear to have any serious challengers for his starting job he said that he is taking nothing for granted.
“You can never get complacent,” he said. “That's the thing about the NFL. You see faces one day and they're gone the next day. You still fight for your position.”
Assuming Moses does hold on to his job, the next thing he will be fighting for is a new contract. He will be eligible to get a contract extension after the regular season ends. The Redskins have shown a pattern of locking up their best young players before they hit free agency and Moses certainly will be a candidate if he plays well.