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Justin Tryon, Nickelback?

Justin Tryon, Nickelback?

Justin Tryon may play a key role in 2009

About a week or so before training camp started, I dashed off the following few paragraphs about Washington Redskins cornerback Justin Tryon. I didn't publish it immediately because I'd just posted a bunch of articles and it got buried. Here it is, below the fold:

My next candidate for 2009 camp phenom is cornerback Justin Tryon. I'll wait until the laughter subsides and then I'll continue.

Tryon was an anti-phenom in 2008. He left scorch marks wherever he went whether it was on the practice field or in preseason games. The stories in the press were far from complimentary. The fan base was willing to chip in and get him on the first plane out of town. When he made the final roster conspiracy theories abounded, the buzz being that he only made it because the front office had ordered that all of the draft picks make the final 53.

But for whatever reason he stuck and, when Shawn Springs was out with various injuries, he played a lot of dime and some nickel. In 14 games he made just four tackles. You didn't hear of him much. And, for a rookie cornerback, that's a good thing.

He's phenom material because he has speed and he has confidence. If he can get his hands on a ball he'll be able to do things with it. SportsCenter highlight kinds of things. Having a year under his belt will increase his confidence. Tryon will make some plays and get noticed.

We'll probably be seeing Tryon past August. With Springs gone he has a shot at being the regular dime back. That may or may not prove to be a disaster.
I found it a few days ago and I immediately wished that I had posted it before camp. By all accounts, Tryon is having a great camp. He's staying on the field, which is more than can be said for about a dozen and a half of his teammates. On top of that he received some help from one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history. Darrell Green didn't just give Tryon a few pointers; he spend six weeks with him, working with him in both Florida and Virginia.

After the teaching sessions, Tryon drew some high praise from someone who knows a thing or two about solid cornerback play.
"I'm gonna say that Justin Tryon, if he's given the chance, he's a starter in 2009, 2010 or whenever the opportunity comes," said Green "He is definitely qualified to be a starter in the National Football League. I'm putting my reputation on that after being with him for six weeks, seeing what I've seen from him. Hopefully he'll have his chance and be a Redskin for a long time."
Even before Green gave one of the most ringing endorsements I've ever heard from any former player Tryon was a player on the move. It was thought that third-round selection Kevin Barnes would push him for the No. 4 cornerback position. That hasn't happened and it's not only because of Barnes' health and performance issues. If Tryon isn't the dime back it will be because he has beaten out Fred Smoot for the nickel position.

While Tryon still have to get it done on the field to calm the skeptics, Green's endorsement makes one less to break out in a cold sweat at the thought of Tryon covering the slot receiver on a regular basis.

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Need to Know: Do the Redskins need a big day from Cousins to win?

Need to Know: Do the Redskins need a big day from Cousins to win?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 6, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Off day

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 14; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 19; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 26

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Postgame injury report

Last look at Redskins vs. Cardinals

Turning point: I have feeling that Sunday was a pivotal point in the season. When it’s all over the Cardinals game will either be looked at as the beginning of the end of their playoff run or as the low point that preceded a streak that got them into the playoffs.

A one-man show? One question raised on Sunday is whether the Redskins can win without a stellar performance from Kirk Cousins. His completion percentage of 56.8 on Sunday was his worst in any game this season. He made some nice passes but all in all he was not the guy who has carried the team for the past six weeks. If they are going to make the playoffs and perhaps do something when they get there the defense and running game are going to need to pitch in.

Pass happy play calling: The Redskins’ first four plays were passes. Then Rob Kelley went up the middle for 13 yards. The next five plays were passes. It was foreshadowing; during a game they never trailed by more than one score the Redskins called 39 passes and 17 runs. Kelley got 63 yards of 14 carries and Chris Thompson got 24 yards on two. Doing the math, the running backs averaged 5.4 yards per carry. I’m not one to nitpick the play calling but perhaps a few more handoffs would have helped move the ball more effectively.

Snap count spot check: Vernon Davis played every offensive snap but one. On defense, Duke Ihenacho played 64 snaps, his second-highest total of the season. They were in nickel a lot—Kendall Fuller played 55 snaps—but Su’a Cravens played only 37 snaps, about half.

Potpourri: If Dustin Hopkins was in a slump it looks like he’s out of it after booming a 53-yard field goal and pounding all six of his kickoffs for touchbacks . . . Although Davis did catch five passes for 47 yards with Jordan Reed out, he is missed as a second option when Reed can’t play . . . With Tyrann Mathieu, who usually covers the slot receiver, out Cousins tried to go to Jamison Crowder but he caught just three of the eight passes targeted to him . . . Like many games, we could stop all analysis of this game after seeing that the Redskins turned the ball over twice and didn’t manage to take it away.  

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Redskins release Dashaun Phillips, again

Redskins release Dashaun Phillips, again

Cornerback Dashaun Phillips had a very short return to the Redskins’ active roster.

Phillips, who started the season as the nickel cornerback before being benched and eventually released and moved to the practice squad last month, was re-signed to the roster on Friday. He made the trip to Arizona but he was inactive for the game. The Redskins announced today that he has been released again.

It is possible for Phillips to return to the practice squad if he clears through waivers.

The transaction clears a roster spot for the return of offensive tackle Trent Williams, who has been suspended for the last four games.