Did a slip on the tongue on the part of Sherman Smith tip off a key roster decision?
Jason Reid Barry Svrluga recounted a conversation with Smith, the Washington Redskins offensive coordinator, in his Redskins Insider blog. The subject was Clinton Portis and his relative lack of production in the preseason. Here is what Smith said to Reid:
"Might as well not be concerned about it, because it is what it is," Smith said. "He [Portis] hasn't gotten a lot of reps this offseason, but he usually doesn't. It's just one of those situations where you say, 'Hey, let's see how it works out.' What we're doing is we're just trying to get ready, inevitably. If he does go down, Ladell, Rock, Marcus -- those guys will be ready to play."
So Ladell, Rock and Marcus will be ready to play? Hmmm. Obviously he's not referring to Portis "going down" in the final preseason game on Thursday since it's already been announced that Portis will sit out against the Jaguars. It's seems obvious that Smith is referring to the regular season.
While the coaches would like you to believe that a large number of roster spots are dependent on the last preseason game, that's not true. A few names are put on the board with a dry erase marker; most of the 53-man roster is on the board with a Sharpie.
Perhaps Smith unwittingly tipped us off that Marcus Mason is on the board in permanent ink.
Among all the darkness and depression that has followed after the Redskins' 31-23 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, one bright, shining light has emerged: Jamison Crowder's touchdown celebration.
Late in the third quarter, the second-year wideout was on the receiving end of a 26-yard Kirk Cousins strike, which put his team in the lead on the game's scoreboard by three. However, it's what he did post-catch that put his team in the lead by a far larger margin on the swagboard.
Feast your eyes on this dance, and if you've already seen it, feast your eyes on it again. And again. And AGAIN:
Do you see how much Juju he put on that beat? And did you catch how he gave the ref a little somethin'-somethin' right at the end of the sequence? Calling that flawless would be an insult to Crowder.
Apparently, Jay Gruden was heard screaming at his players in the locker room as they were processing the matchup's result Sunday night. Is it possible he was just loudly complimenting Crowder's moves?
MORE REDSKINS: BARRY, COUSINS BOTH COOL OFF IN OUR REPORT CARD
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.