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Rookie preview: Wide receiver Lance Lewis

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Rookie preview: Wide receiver Lance Lewis

LANCE LEWIS
Wide receiver
East Carolina
6-0 34, 209The need: Blame last years quarterbacking tandem of Rex Grossman and John Beck for the Redskins passing game woes, but the lack of receivers generating big plays on the outside, downfield or on 50-50 jump ball passes factored into the lackluster equation. Thats why the team went hard in free agency to acquire Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan. Thats why (among other reasons) they waivedthe solid vet but not breakaway threat.Jabar Gaffney andcleared the path for rising second-year receiver Leonard Hankerson. Thats why the still productive, but aging and expensive Santana Moss is not a lock for the final roster, especially if younger legs are deemed worthy of the job.The fit: During his two seasons playing in East Carolinas spread offense, the junior college transfer hauled in 149 receptions for 1,716 and 22 touchdowns. SI.com dubbed Lewis the Redskins top undrafted free agent, saying despite inconsistencies on the college level, hewill open some eyes this summer and will make some exciting plays. Though listed in the 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-3 range, Lewis measured out at the still respectable 6-foot-0 34 at the East-West Shrine game.The depth chart: Garcon, Hankerson and Morgan are locks. If Moss enters training camp in better shape than he did last season and cap space does not dictate the teams actions, hes good. Anthony Armstrong faded into the background last year, but could benefit playing with a better deep ball passer. Terrence Austin never quite took off, Aldrick Robinson looks to move off the practice squad and Brandon Banks hopes his return ability makes him invaluable for another season. So yes, there are options in front of Lewis, but hardly formidable obstacles, especially if he can produce throughout training camp and the team keeps a deep stable of receivers.Lewis upside: As with many rookies, Lewis will need to prove his worth on special teams if he wants to make the 53-man roster. However, his ability to separate from defensive backs and make plays in traffic could separate him from the other young receiver types in camp. Odds suggest Lewis is practice squad material, but if he can shake off the injury bug that plagued him last season at ECU and get after it throughout training camp, well see.Pro Football Weekly on Lewis: Lean, long-limbed, long-striding, junior-college product and X receiver with smooth athletic ability. However, he did not elevate his game as a senior and finished the season on the injured list, failing to provide reason to overlook inconsistent hands, finesse mentality and questionable intangibles.

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Redskins report card vs. Cardinals: Cousins cools off

Redskins report card vs. Cardinals: Cousins cools off

Here is my report card on various aspects of the Redskins 31-23 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. I didn't cover everything, feel free to hit on what I missed in the comments.

A

Week after week Pierre Garçon just leaves it out on the field. All he does is produce.

It’s getting to the point where you can say the same thing about Jamison Crowder.

B

After he struggled against the Cowboys, Rob Kelley was his normal self against the Cardinals. For Kelley, "normal" means getting a couple of yards more than the play was blocked for and popping off a few runs of 10-plus yards. It looks like Matt Jones will continue to be inactive and Mack Brown will continue to look for his first NFL carry. 

This may be a little high for Jay Gruden but I liked that he got angry after the game. He could be heard ripping into his players through closed doors after the game. If a coach does that after every loss the players will tune him out eventually. This was the right time for Gruden to play that card. His game strategy was OK but I might have gone for a touchdown from the one yard line in the first half instead of having Dustin Hopkins kick his second 20-yard field goal in ad many games. 

C

All hot streaks come to an end at some point and Kirk Cousins' run of putting up elite performance on a weekly basis ended on Sunday. Yes, he was under some degree of pressure on many of his dropbacks but even when he had time he just wasn't sharp. He did have some top-drawer passes like the 59-yard bomb to DeSean Jackson that set up the Redskins' first touchdown. But for every one of those, a couple of other throws missed the mark.

D

If you read much of what I write you probably know that I am much more apt to point the finger at the players for defensive problems than the coaches. But on Sunday the Cardinals were a step ahead of Joe Barry's defensive calls all day long, especially on plays involving David Johnson. Arizona had scored over 30 points just twice this season before Sunday.

The offense was bad on third down situations, converting just five of 11. The defense was worse as the Cardinals moved the chains on 10 of 16. And don’t forget that one other Arizona third-down try in the fourth quarter got them close enough to go for it on fourth down and they just about sealed up the game on David Johnson’s run. Just not a good day on either side.

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There's lots of talk about Trent Williams at guard instead of tackle. Don't listen to it.

There's lots of talk about Trent Williams at guard instead of tackle. Don't listen to it.

With Trent Williams eligible to return to the Redskins after serving a four-game suspension, much chatter has emerged about the All Pro left tackle moving inside to play left guard.

Don't listen to that chatter.

Williams made the move inside to guard once this season, during a win in New York when injuries decimated the Redskins offensive line. He played well, especially considering Williams said after that game that he had never played guard in his life. 

For Washington moving forward, some fans want Williams at left guard and Shawn Lauvao sent to the bench. That would mean Ty Nsekhe stays at left tackle. 

A few problems with this plan: 1) Trent Williams is the best left tackle on the team, and maybe in the NFL. 2) Injuries are mounting up for Nsekhe and right tackle Morgan Moses, not to mention the rest of the offensive line.

RELATED: Nsekhe could move to left guard with Trent Williams back

Nsekhe left the locker room in Arizona with a walking boot on his foot. Moses has dealt with a severely sprained ankle since Halloween. A healthy Williams returning to the team allows Nsekhe or Moses sit and get the rest they need for their injuries. 

Further, on Sunday in a loss to the Cardinals, center Spencer Long sustained a concussion. His backup John Sullivan came in and handled the center duties well. 

Some might suggest that Long move to guard, Sullivan stay at center, and Lauvao go to the bench. That move has more merit than moving Williams inside, but still seems like it would be a reach. And now with Long forced to enter the NFL concussion protocol, it's unclear when he will be back on the field at all.

Another suggestion has been to move Nsekhe inside to left guard. Consider that Nsekhe has been a development project; he's bounced around lower professional football leagues and at age 31 only has six career NFL starts. Couple that with his size - he's 6-foot-8 - and it's a tall task to move from tackle to guard. 

Lauvao played poorly against the Cardinals, that's indisputable. But as much as some fans believe a reworked offensive line is the answer, moving those pieces is not very simple. Coaches and players like and respect Lauvao, and his play can only improve with Trent Williams back standing next to him. 

Like all things in sports, the situation will remain fluid. More injuries could force more changes, but speaking with folks that know the situation, do not expect to see Williams at guard when he returns to the field next week in Philadelphia. 

MORE: Gruden says Redskins "not even close" to thinking about playoffs