After looking at the official list of cuts, the Redskins have 52 players on their roster.There is one spot open, perhaps for a player to be acquired in a trade or in a waiver claim.To be sure, there could be surprise or two still in waiting. And trades and waiver claims could further shake things up. But here is how it appears that it stands right now, with some quick analysis.SpecialistsIn (3):P Sav Rocca, LS Nick Sundberg, PK Billy CundiffThis was set earlier this week when Neil Rackers and Graham Gano were released and Cundiff was signed.DefenseDefensive backsCornerback (4): DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Cedric Griffin, Richard CrawfordSafety (5): Brandon Meriweather, Madieu Williams, DeJon Gomes, Reed Doughty, Jordan BernstineThe suspension of Tanard Jackson, who would have been one of the top three safeties, helped Bernstine land a spot. It is still somewhat odd that they are keeping four corners and five safeties and this is one of those areas where further moves could be made.LinebackersOutside (4):Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Rob Jackson, Chris WilsonInside (4):London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan RobinsonIt was thought to be a battle between Wilson and Markus White for the last roster spot and Wilson won it. Bryan Kehl also was a surprise release.Defensive lineIn (6): Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Barry Cofield, Chris BakerOffenseRunning backs(4):Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster, Darrell Young, Alfred MorrisThe shocker of the day was the release of Tim Hightower. It was thought that the team would wait out until his knee, injured last October, got close to 100 percent.Tight ends(3):Fred Davis, Niles Paul, Logan PaulsenNo drama here after Chris Cooley was released on Tuesday.Wide receivers(7):Pierre Garon, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson, Brandon Banks, Dez BriscoeBanks will be more of a kick returner than a wide receiver so there are really six here. Briscoe beat out Anthony Armstrong for the last spot. Most thought Briscoe was the superior receiver during training camp and the preseason but there was a chance that Armstrongs special teams play could keep him on the roster.QuarterbacksIn (3):Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman, Kirk CousinsRex Grossman was never, ever in any danger of being cut.Offensive lineIn (9):Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Josh LeRibeus, Jordan Black, Adam Gettis, Maurice HurtWhile none of the individual names here is a surprise the overall number is. The Redskins have kept eight offensive linemen the last two years. But they did get burned to an extent last year when a rash of injuries hit the line.
Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 27-10 win over the Raiders:
This was the Redskins best defensive performance since 1991. That was the last time they held an opponent to under 128 total yards. They were physical, smart, determined and they made plays. If not for two turnovers they would have had a shutout. Oakland did not cross the Washington 48 without the benefit of a gift. Just dominant.
With a strong defense, you can do what you want to on offense. I asked Kirk Cousins how much running for a couple of yards a pop as Samaje Perine was doing early in the game helped the offense. He answered in part by saying that the offense can afford to run for a low average per carry when the defense is playing so well. That's true. A punt isn't a bad play when you are confident that you are likely to get the ball back three plays later.
Chris Thompson just keeps getting better every week. His patience when he has the ball in his hands and his ability to burst into the opening when it's there are textbook excellent. Oh yeah, his open field speed, which he gets to show off after being patient and cutting is amazing. Even the smaller plays, like two near the end of the half, when he wove his way through the cracks in the defense and then got out of bounds after gaining everything he could, are fun to watch. He is the Redskins' offensive MVP so far.
Doctson showed why the Redskins drafted him on one flash. Nobody is going to give Josh Doctson an MVP award but we did see his potential when he went up and took that deep pass away from David Amerson for the touchdown. Plays like that make you see why the Redskins drafted him in the first round and why they have been patient with him. He will need to develop consistency but in the meantime, splash plays like that help a lot.
It’s hard to find fault in this one. Normally in these posts, I try to find a positive in a loss and something to be critical of in a win. But it’s really hard to find much to be critical about in the immediate aftermath of this one. Jamison Crowder’s muff of a punt certainly was an issue and perhaps Samaje Perine could have made more out of the line’s blocking for him. But from the defense to Cousins to Thompson to Zach Brown to D.J. Swearinger and many more, it was as dominant a game as we’ve seen from this team in a while. Can they keep it up? Tune in next Monday from Arrowhead Stadium and we’ll find out.
LANDOVER, Md. — It took a while, longer than likely anyone expected, but Josh Doctson's first career touchdown catch may just have been worth the wait.
In the third quarter of the Redskins' 27-10 win over the Raiders on Sunday night, Kirk Cousins lofted a deep ball from a bit beyond midfield toward Doctson, who was being boxed out by David Amerson. And as the pass made its descent, Amerson went up to go snag it.
There was just one problem for the corner: Doctson went up and got to it first.
The result? A 52-yard touchdown that made the score 21-0 in favor of the hosts but, far more importantly, opened — quite forcefully, too — everyone's eyes to the sheer talent No. 18 possesses.
"I just made the play," the second-year wideout said afterward, about as nonchalantly as he made the TD look even though it absolutely wasn't. "It was pretty simple to be honest."
Against the Eagles and Rams in Weeks 1 and 2, Doctson suited up for Washington's offense but wasn't involved at all. And in the early going vs. Oakland, it again looked like he'd walk off the field with the same statline as an inactive player, on the verge of facing more questions about why he isn't producing.
But that all changed on one jump-ball, which is exactly what his head coach has been anxiously waiting for.
"I think it was some relief for him," Jay Gruden answered when asked about the highlight. "I think the players have seen him do that in practice quite often but nobody else has... It wasn't a perfectly thrown ball, but to give him a chance where he can go up and make a big time catch, hopefully we'll get more of that."
Doctson's QB, who gestured toward him during the post-score celebration as if to say There's the dude you've all been hearing about for months, certainly appreciated it.
"I do like Josh's ball skills and his ability to catch the ball up in the air and I thought, 'You know what, I'm going to give him a chance, they have been asking me to give him that chance and let's give it to him," Cousins said.
As fans of the team know all too well by now, Doctson isn't someone that can be counted on yet. He's oft-injured, and the grab he made over Amerson, while spectacular, was just the third of his career.
But that sequence provides hope that many more similar to it will follow if he continues to stay healthy and gains more of Gruden's and Cousins' trust this year. He's still far from validating his 2016 first-round selection, but it's now obvious he has the skills to distance himself from those who so badly want to label him a bust.