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Clearing out the WR logjam

Clearing out the WR logjam

Two wide receivers who have shown some promise during various preseason stints with the Washington Redskins have been released.

Mike Espy and Seven Harris were waived by the Redskins on Monday. The team's unfiltered announcement of the move on its website gave no reason for the cuts.

At least part of the reason could be that the injury but bit both of them last year. Both Espy and Harris spent 2007 on injured reserve. Harris suffered a knee injury during minicamp last year and Espy had surgery after blowing out a knee ligament during the preseason. Carlos Rogers and Rocky McIntosh are given all the time they need to recover from knee surgery. Players on the fringes of the fringe are not given that luxury.

In addition to being damaged goods, Espy and Harris were victims of the numbers game. Before the moves there were nine receivers on the roster (Espy, Harris, Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El, James Thrash, Anthony Mix, Billy McMullen, Maurice Mann, and Burt Toler) and the Redskins have a standing offer for unrestricted free agent Reche Caldwell on the table.

In addition, the Redskins are likely to add a wide receiver in the upcoming NFL draft. Counting Caldwell, that would make 11. That makes it tough for everyone to get sufficient reps in the OTA's and in training camp.

They probably will keep only five, six at the most, so there is little sense in keeping around so many WR's.

Having an excess of players at one position keeps you from having enough at another. There were only five defensive tackles on the roster, for example, and there are two of those in the game at a time as well. To avoid wearing out their DT's in camp, more of those were needed.

In fact, the Skins did add a DT in ex-Bengal Matthias Askew, who had a cup of coffee at Redskins Park during last year's training camp. More on him coming later today (teaser: "tased but exonerated").

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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