Ill have my prediction for the final 53 up in a little while but let me throw out something that Mike Shanahan said regarding one of the more controversial roster decision he will have to make. After the Bucs game, when he was asked if Brandon Banks ability as a kick returner would make it hard for the team to cut him, Shanahan said the following:Well, I think with the ball on the 35 instead of the 30, its going the other way. A lot of people are having specialists because there are so many more touchbacks than there were in the past. When you punt, you always punt away from the returner. The value is there. From a couple years ago, I think the value has diminished a little bit not to say you dont want a great returner. When they do get their opportunity, just like we saw today, it can change the game.In context going the other way meant that most NFL teams are going away from have a specialized return man. And it appears that that is what Banks is. Yes, he did catch a 47-yard pass from Kirk Cousins and race for 43 on and end around. But if he was called on to do the things that wide receivers need to do if they are in a regular lineup against front-line defendersrun dig routes, go over the middle, block for the run game, and so onits hard to see him doing that.Just when you think Shanahan is saying that there is little hope for Banks he finishes his answer with the part about how a player like Banks can change a game. If he can be a game changer, how can a team that lacks players with those skills let a Brandon Banks go?Well find out over the next 36 hours or so.
Judging by the small sample size that the NFL preseason has become it looks like the Redskins’ starting defense is ready to go for the start of the NFL season.
The Redskins’ opponents had six possessions with their staring quarterbacks in the lineup, which usually means that those teams had all of their healthy starters in the game. In those six possessions the Redskins’ opponents mustered 53 yards of total offense.
As far as the starting quarterbacks, the Redskins didn’t face anyone who is bound for Canton five years after retirement. But there wasn’t a Case Keenum in the group either. Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Matt Ryan combined to complete six of 18 passes for 46 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns. That comes to a combined passer rating of 33.3.
This is a major improvement over the 2015 preseason when starting quarterbacks were much sharper against the Redskins’ defense. Josh McCown, Matthew Stafford, and Joe Flacco completed 19 of 26 passes for 248 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 73.1. That’s not stellar but still effective.
This year the other teams apparently wanted to get the QBs some work and didn’t run a lot. The Redskins gave up 36 rushing yards on eight attempts. That’s an average of 4.5 yards per attempt. Over a year that would be an improvement over last year (4.8 per carry) but still well above the league average (4.1).
It’s hard to overemphasize the small sample sizes involved here. It would be a mistake to draw any sweeping conclusions from a few dozen snaps. But among the goals of the preseason are to look competent and, as Jay Gruden said, create some “positive vibrations”. The Redskins defense can check the boxes next to both of those.
After days of speculation if Bryan Stork would actually end up in Washington, the former Patriots center clarified his next move via Twitter.
Redskins GM Scot McCloughan traded for Stork earlier this week after it became apparent New England intended to release the 2014 draft pick out of Florida State. It was unclear, however, if Stork would accept the trade to the 'Skins as he mulled retirement options.
Stork has dealt with a number of concussions in his two-year NFL career. After playing in a Super Bowl as a rookie, his 2015 season was limited by head injuries.
Coming to the Redskins, Stork may have an opportunity to compete for playing time. Kory Lichtensteiger is installed as the starting center, but he struggled in the third preseason game against the Bills and was lost for much of the 2015 season to injury.
McCloughan has openly said he wants big, tough guys up front on the offensive line. Stork - at 6-foot-4 and 310 lbs. - with a documented nasty streak definitely fits that bill.
Whether or not Stork pushes Lichtensteiger for the starting spot - or even competes for the No. 2 center job with Spencer Long - the price for Stork is tough to argue. McCloughan gave up just a conditional seventh round pick to acquire the former New England starter.
The Redskins have started the process of trimming their roster to 75 players by the Tuesday deadline. The team announced that 10 players have been waived.
- T Al Bond
- T Cody Booth
- LB Shiro Davis
- LB Ejiro Ederaine
- CB Jeremy Harris
- LB Willie Jefferson
- WR Valdez Showers
- WR Dez Stewart
- WR Jarvis Turner
- RB Kelsey Young
The only surprise on the list is Jefferson, who was thought to have a chance at an outside linebacker spot. But apparently the coaches are going to let Houston Bates and Lynden Trail compete for that spot.
The Redskins had 88 players counting against the 90 player limit. So with the 10 players cut today they are a 78, leaving three moves to make before 4 p.m. on Tuesday.