Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, August 31, three days before the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 players.
—Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Bucs, Raymond James Stadium, broadcast on CSN
—The Redskins last played a game that counted 232 days ago. It will be 12 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 18; Browns @ Redskins 32; Redskins @ Ravens 39
The Redskins week that was
You know how in spring training baseball teams will have split-squad games? The top line players will go to one site and play a game while the bench warmers and likely minor leaguers go play at another site.
The Redskins have their version of that going on today.
The second and third string, the reserves and players trying to make the team, will be flying to Tampa to play the Bucs in preseason game No. 4. They are concerned with putting on a good show in hopes of either making the roster or practice squad in Washington or hoping that they put enough on film to get a call from another NFL team.
Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Kerrigan, Josh Norman, DeSean Jackson, and the rest of the starters and top reserves aren't going to a game; they will be going to lunch. They will be attending the annual Welcome Home Luncheon at a hotel at Tyson’s Corner.
The plan was for the the whole team to attend the lunch event, a tradition for over 50 years, and then fly to Tampa, check into the hotel, and go into their usual routine before playing the Bucs on Thursday night. But Mother Nature got in the way and the threat of a major storm coming out of the Gulf of Mexico forced the game to be moved up and forced the Redskins to alter their plans.
Jay Gruden said that the change was not a major disruption to their planning.
“We just had to speed it up a little bit,” said Gruden. “We didn’t plan on doing a lot of Tampa early in the week anyway, but we’re going to try to do something today and tomorrow. We just have to speed up our preparation a little bit.”
The Redskins were not really game planning for the Bucs; that’s what Gruden meant by “not going a lot of Tampa”. That’s typical for a fourth preseason game and why the change in schedule is no big deal. Moving a regular-season game up and taking 24 hours of preparation time away from a team would be a lot tougher to deal with.
Meanwhile, the players who are staying behind are getting ready for when the game start counting.
“We have started our preparation for Pittsburgh,” said Gruden. “We started meeting on that this past week.”
While it would be great to have all of the players there for support, perhaps just sending the players who will participate to Tampa is not such a bad thing. It gives the front-line players a day or so extra to get ready for the real thing a week from Monday.
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