Here is what you need to know going into Thursday, the first day of training camp:Roster movesESPN 980 is reporting that Chase Minnifield was not claimed on waivers and that he reverts to the Redskins injured reserve list. His career will be put on hold for a year and there is a good chance we will see what he can do in 2013.Also per ESPN 980, the Redskins also waived offensive tackle Nevin McCaskill and signed rookie running back Dorson Boyce of the University of Washington.Camp todayAlthough its officially training camp, the first couple of days will essentially be an extension of minicamp in that the players will be in helmets and shorts. Thats because the CBA prohibits pads from being worn for the first two days of camp.That means that the focus will be more on the quarterbacks, receivers, and cornerbacks as you cant tell much about the lineman without pads. They should go on Saturday although Mike Shanahan could opt to wait and not put them in pads until next week.In case you missed itYesterday, we were not all RG3 all the time. We had articles on who might benefit with Minnifield being out of the picture and Ryan Kerrigan. But, yes, we did have full coverage of the Redskins new quarterbacks with a look at his fantasy value, his comments on focusing on football, and his long-distance exchange of comments with Osi.Come and talk about itWere having a chat in between practices today well get it going at 1:00 and run until about 2:00. Its your chat and we can talk about whatever you want. We will also take questions in advance and on Twitter in case you cant make it. Check back here this morning.What do you want to know about this morning? Tell us in the comments!Days until: Preseason opener vs. Bills 14; RG3 vs. Luck @FedEx Field 30; final cuts 37; Redskins @ Saints 45; home opener vs. Bengals 59
The day after the Eagles 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Philadelphia coach Doug Peterson said that he didn’t think that all his players played hard.
“Not everybody, and that’s the accountability that I talk about,” Pederson said, via the Birds 24/7 blog. “I hold coaches accountable for that; I hold myself accountable for that because it all starts with me. I pride myself each week to make sure the guys are ready to go, but at the same time, it comes down to a mentality by each individual player. This is a business where we have to be ready to go every single weekend because every team in the league — there are some teams that are better than others, but for the most part anything can happen any weekend.”
This sort of vague shot fired at the team did not sit well with the players. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the most respected voices on the team, said that the comments put players in a bad spot.
“I know the intent of the guys that I practice with and play with every day, and I didn’t see effort being an issue,” Jenkins said. “It puts us in a little bit of a tough position as players because now everybody wants to know, ‘Well, who were you talking about?’”
Some in the media in Philadelphia surmised that two of the players Pederson was talking about were tight end Zach Ertz and safety Rodney McLeod. One on play it looked like Ertz failed to block Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a Carson Wentz scramble.
“I’m not going to get into the details of every thought I had on that play,” said Ertz. “I’m focused on giving this city everything I have on each and every play. I promise going forward, I will do that. I think I have done that in the past.”
It didn’t look like McLeod did everything he could to keep Bengals running back Jeremy Hill from scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter.
“I thought the ball was going to hit somewhere else, and then obviously it came through. By the time I could react, Hill already crossed the plane,” said McLeod. “Just got caught flat-footed, tried to react and by the time I did, I feel like if I were to hit him it could possibly be late. Just a tough situation.”
We don’t know if Ertz and McLeod are among the players that Pederson was talking about when he spoke of issues with effort. Leaving things vague like that doesn’t do much for the coach’s credibility in the locker room. And when that starts to be in doubt the coach gets asked about his job security. Pederson said that owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman have been supportive.
“From both of them, it’s been 100 percent support on everything. I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things. Every week, it’s very positive,” Pederson said. “I just don’t think you can base a guy’s career on one season. I think you got to give it time to develop.
But the fact that these questions are being asked after he has been in his job for a dozen games is an indication that he is facing at least a minor crisis as his team prepares for four games that are likely to be meaningless in terms of the playoff picture. We will see if he can get the train back on the tracks by Sunday.
The NFL season has just four weeks remaining, and a clear crop of Super Bowl contenders appear to be emerging. It just might not be exactly what the standings show.
Remember the Power Rankings are not designed to mirror the standings or playoff projections. Insted, it's to show the best NFL teams right now. Consider that some mess of a team from the AFC South will make the playoffs, but undoubtedly, many teams will be better than the eventual winner of that division.
The Cowboys have the best record in the NFL, but they don't top the Power Rankings. While Dallas is near the top, two teams in the AFC North might make the rest of the NFL quite nervous if they end up making the playoffs.
As for the Redskins, Jay Gruden's squad looked like a dangerous Wild Card team two weeks ago. Now, the 'Skins are outside the 12-team playoff, but there is plenty of football left.