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A look at last year's final 53

A look at last year's final 53

With theRedskins getting ready to cut to 75 players on Monday and down to 53 on Aug.31, it might be instructive to look at how many players Mike Shanahan kept lastyear at final cuts. Here are the names and numbers from opening 2011 roster:Offense (25)WR (7) Moss, Gaffney, ArmstrongHankerson, Stallworth, Austin, Paul
OL (8) Williams, Lichtensteiger,Montgomery, Chester, Brown, Locklear, Cook, Smith
TE (4) Cooley, Davis, Paulsen,Sellers
RB (4) Young, Hightower, Helu,Torain
QB (2) Grossman, BeckDefense (24)DL (6) Carriker, Cofield, Bowen, Scott,Neild, Golston
LB (9) Kerrigan, Orakpo, Fletcher,McIntosh, Riley, Fox, Alexander, White, Jackson
CB (5) Hall, Wilson, Westbrook,Barnes, Thompson
S (4) Landry, Atogwe, Doughty, GomesSpecialists (4)KR Banks
K Gano
P Rocca
LS SundbergTheymanaged to keep four tight ends and seven wide receivers by going tight witheight on the offensive line and carrying two quarterbacks. One of the eightO-linemen was rookie free agent tackle Willie Smith, who they knew would not beready to play until the latter stages of the season. The gamble did not workout too well as injuries hit along the line and they had to call up MauriceHurt from the practice squad and sign Tyler Polumbus off of the street.Thespot for return specialist Brandon Banks came from the defense with the line onthat side of the ball going tight as well.Thelesson to learn here is that there is no rigid number that needs to be kept ateach position. The last few roster spots, where decision are made based on specialteams, potential, or just keeping the best football players, can throweverything out of whack. Ofthe final 53 last year, 41 are back to try to make it again this season.

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 6, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.


Today's schedule: Joe Barry news conference 12:40; Practice 1:05; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 16; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 24

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Baker (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), G Lauvao (groin)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle
Wednesday injury report

QB Kirk Cousins—It’s on his shoulders. Not just this game but the entire playoff run. He can’t have an off day, not even one like the Arizona game where he was off for just part of the game. Cousins doesn’t have to be perfect on every throw but for this team to win he has to be very good every quarter.

OT Trent Williams—Back from his four-game suspension, Williams can’t miss a beat in returning to his All-Pro form. Any mistake, much less any sacks allowed, will open him up to further criticism that he left the team in a bad spot. 

WR DeSean Jackson—The dynamic here has become more intriguing since media reports of mutual interest between Jackson and his former team have emerged. Jackson has done his thing the last two games, catching passes for long gains. But if he is going to be of value down the stretch (and of value to any other team next year) he is going to need to get his hands on some shorter and intermediate passes as well.

OLB Preston Smith—He was a regular on this list until he came up big against the Vikings. But he has since disappeared again and needs to come on strong for the team’s stretch run.

ILB Will Compton—He has been coming under fire lately for ineffective play, including missed tackles and being out of position on occasion. The Redskins need him to raise the level of his game if they are going to land in the postseason.

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Reed catches a pass. Staying away from contact. #Redskins

A video posted by Rich (@richtandler) on

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).


Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.