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James practices

James practices

Erasmus James proceeded to the next stage of his rehab as he took the practice field for the first time as a member of the Washington Redskins.

After three years of struggling with injuries and earning the label of a first-round bust—he was selected 18th overall in the 2005 draft—in Minnesota, he was traded to the Redskins for a sack of potatoes (actually, a conditional seventh-round draft pick). He has been working to get his knees back into good enough shape to join his new team in practice.

About a week ago, he thought he was ready. Figuring that it was better to bring him back a week too late than a week too soon, they moved him from the physically unable to perform list to the active roster yesterday.

James' return leaves the Redskins with six defensive ends on the roster and each of them has a good shot at making the team; it's likely that five of them will. Starters Andre Carter and the newly-acquired Jason Taylor obviously are in and it's hard to imagine that a solid, experienced backup such as is Demetric Evans being let go. That leaves James, Chris Wilson, and Rob Jackson fighting for two jobs.

Wilson demonstrated some potential with four sacks in part-time duty last year while Jackson, a seventh-round draft pick, has been earning praise in practice and has played well in the preseason games. Assuming that they hang on to James, those two are in a battle for the last spot.

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
  2. Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
  3. Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the Manusky hire?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the Manusky hire?

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