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Conversion Failed: Skins Won't Invite Hoopster

Conversion Failed: Skins Won't Invite Hoopster

In the NFL success breeds imitations and the success of San Diego tight end Antonio Gates, a college basketball player who became an NFL star at tight end is no exception. The Redskins certainly aren't shy about hopping aboard that bandwagon, inviting Pittsburgh hoopster Chevon Troutman to their combination rookie minicamp and tryout this weekend. Troutman, 6-7, 240, last played football in high school.

And that likely will stand as his last gridiron action as it was announced that Troutman will not be invited to training camp in August.

As an NBA 'tweener, not quick enough to be an effective small forward and not quite big enough to be a power forward, Troutman was pursuing alternate means of employment as an athlete. The Redskins looked at his size, watched tapes of him grabbing the ball in heavy traffic, envisioned a few dozen pounds of bulk added to his frame and sent him an invite to come to the tryout portion of the rookie camp.

Troutman had a bit to say after being told that his tryout was over after one day:
When they first threw everything at me, it looked like Spanish or something. I feel like I can play in the NFL. I just need a little bit of time to learn everything. If you're going to Spain, it's probably a good idea to study up on a little Spanish. If you're going to be a football player, it's probably a good idea to learn a little NFL lingo.

At least one writer who knows Troutman well called the result of Troutman's dalliance in the NFL earlier this week.

In a column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Ron Cook tells of a brief chat he had with Troutman during the recent NCAA basketball tournament:
It was in Boise, Idaho, last month, during a quiet moment between the time Chevon Troutman was panting over the Boise State women gymnasts and turning his attention to Pacific, Pitt's opponent the next morning in the NCAA tournament. There was a sense this might be it for Troutman as a college basketball player. Pitt wasn't playing well and had lost four of its previous six games. The next loss would send the players scattering. Just in case, I took the opportunity to wish Troutman well in his football career.

'Football? I'm not going to play football,' he said. 'I don't like football. I'm going to play basketball.' It's hard to play NFL football because you want a high-paying job. There has to be a love for the sport, a willingness to prepare endlessly for those three hours on Sunday. In short, you have to have a passion for the sport and it doesn't appear that Troutman has that. From Cook's column:
Troutman tried football his junior year of high school in Williamsport only after insistence from friends and coaches. By all accounts, he was a fine defensive end, raw but so athletic. But he played just that one season. Sure, he wanted to concentrate on basketball. But he also has said he got tired of getting "dirty."Tired of getting dirty? Doesn't sound much like Donnie Warren or Terry Orr, does it?

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins vs Eagles Preview: 5 things to know as Washington gets desperate

Redskins vs Eagles Preview: 5 things to know as Washington gets desperate

Losers of two straight games and for the first time in a month outside of the playoff picture, a desperate Redskins squad travels to Philadelphia for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday. All the action kicks off on CSN with Redskins Kickoff at noon, but to get ready for the action, here are five storylines to watch:

  1. Getting back to good, or at least decent - Two weeks ago the Redskins seemed like a dangerous playoff squad with a strong offense and an improving defense. After two straight losses where Joe Barry's defense has given up 62 total points, the questions are mounting for Washington. Can the defense get stops on 3rd down? Generate a turnover? The good news for the Redskins is that the Eagles are struggggggling. Their offense has not score more than 15 points in three straight weeks. 
  2. Feed the fat one - After giving Rob Kelley just 28 carries in the last two games, Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay owned up to the Redskins lack of run game, "I definitely feel like I could’ve been more patient on some of those early down and distances where you get a little bit pass-heavy. And that’s something that as a decision-maker and as a coordinator, I have to do a better job." In a Week 6 win Kelley and Matt Jones piled up more than 200 rush yards against the Eagles. The 'Skins offense likely won't feature Jones, but expect McVay to feed Fat Rob plenty on Sunday.
  3. Playing in pain - The Redskins offense features a number of dynamic playmaking threats, but arguably the best is tight end Jordan Reed. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Reed separated his left shoulder, and though he finished that game he was forced out of action in Arizona. Expect Reed to be back Sunday, and expect Kirk Cousins to look for him early and often. On the season, Reed has more than 600 receiving yards and five TDs.
  4. If it ain't broke - Kirk Cousins has had more success against the Eagles than any other team in the NFC East. In four career games against Philly, COusins averages 336 yards per game passing to go with a 101.3 QB rating. He's thrown 10 touchdowns against the Eagles to just two interceptions. The biggest win of his career came last year when Cousins and the 'Skins clinched the NFC East title at Lincoln Financial Field. Cousins suceeds against the Eagles, and there's no reason it should stop Sunday. 
  5. Don't fly away - Rumors are starting to circulate that the Eagles would like to bring back DeSean Jackson next season. It's well known that Jackson will probably hit free agency after this season, and if Philly did pursuit their former playmaker, it would make sense. But between now and then, Jackson has another opportunity to torch his former team and help the Skins pursue a Wild Card bid at the same time. In his past two games, Jackson and COusins have connected on deep patterns, and there's little reason to tbink the same won't happen Sunday.

Numbers & Notes

  • If tight end Vernon Davis catches three passes he will become the 12th tight end in NFL history to record 500 career receptions.
  • With two more catches, wide receiver Jamison Crowder will set a single-season career high in receptions. He caught 59 passes in 2015.
  • If the Redskins win would mark five straight victories against the Eagles for the Redskins for the first time since a six-game winning streak in the series across the 1981-84 seasons.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!