It looks like former Redskins safety O. J. Atogwe has found a new home, not very far from his old one.Chris Russell of ESPN 980 said via Twitter that Atogwe has signed with the Eagles. The source for the story was Atogwe himself via text message.The Redskins signed Atogwe last spring, thinking that he could create some turnovers and solidify the safety position for a few years. But he suffered from knee and other injuries starting in training camp and never lived up to expectations. In 13 games (8 starts) he intercepted three passes and did not force or recover a fumble. He was released shortly before the start of free agency in March.With the Eagles, Atogwe will back up safeties Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen.
Here is what you need to know on this Monday, July 24, three days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.
The Redskins last played a game 204 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 48 days.
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 17
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 26
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 41
Redskins roster projection—offense
The Redskins strap it up and start the battle for the 53 roster spots in earnest in just three days. Some are locks, others are hoping to hang on. Here is my prediction of the roster will shake out along with players who are on the bubble. The offense is up today, the defense tomorrow.
Players I have making the roster who are new to the organization in 2017 are in italics.
Starter: Kirk Cousins
Backups: Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld
Cousins and the team didn’t agree on the contract but that changes nothing for 2017. The elimination of two-a-day practices makes a fourth “camp arm” QB unnecessary so these three will handle all the snaps from now until when the season ends.
Running backs (3)
Starter: Rob Kelley
Backups: Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson
Bubble: Mack Brown, Keith Marshall
Kelley skipped the drive-through window meals during the offseason, switching to a healthier diet to get himself in better shape. He will need to be strong to hold off Perine, who will make a push for playing time. Brown could be on or off depending on numbers elsewhere on the roster. If Marshall can stay healthy, he could force his way into the picture but the health is a big “if”.
Wide receivers (6)
Starters: Josh Doctson, Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder (slot)
Backups: Maurice Harris, Ryan Grant, Robert Davis
Bubble: Brian Quick
I’m not sure if Grant, who caught nine passes while playing in all 16 games last year, should be a lock but it appears that he is. Davis is a projection; he has a lot to learn but if he is showing significant progress he could push out the veteran Quick, who was not impressive during the offseason practices.
Tight ends (4)
Starter: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Jeremy Sprinkle
Bubble: Derek Carrier
Paul and Sprinkle could be considered on the bubble as well. The normal allowance is for three tight ends on the 53-man roster. Reed and Davis are locks, they need Paul for special teams, and Sprinkle is slated to be the blocking tight end. But Sprinkle needs to add a lot of polish to his game and Paul has the injury bug to fight. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Offensive line (9)
Starters (left to right): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses
Backups: Ty Nsekhe, Arie Kouandjio, Vinston Painter, Chase Roullier
Bubble: John Kling
The starters are locked in unless Kouandjio can come up with a huge camp and push Lauvao out of the starting job. Roullier could be the backup center but if he’s not ready the Redskins could look for a veteran off the waiver wire for that spot.
Offensive breakdown: 25 players, four rookies, a total of five new to the Redskins.
Tandler on Twitter
Look at that oppo HR by Difo and tell me that ball’s not juiced.— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) July 23, 2017
In case you missed it
- The Redskins' top 7 undrafted free agents since 2010
- Redskins by the numbers: First-down rushing, forcing fumbles
- Kirk Cousins is actually very effective running the ball
Jay Gruden doesn't always get a lot of attention from national media, which should be considered something of a victory for the Redskins after all of the focus on his predecessor Mike Shanahan.
But looking at Gruden's work over three years, he does deserve some recognition for taking the team from 4-12 his first season to consecutive winning records, including an NFC East title in 2015.
Steven Ruiz, writing for USA TODAY's For The Win, gave the Redskins coach some love in a ranking of all 32 NFL head coaches.
He slotted Gruden at No. 12, above all other NFC East coaches.
Ruiz cites Gruden's unflappability amid personnell and front office changes, as well as his development of Kirk Cousins into a franchise quarterback in a very productive Redskins offense.
MORE REDSKINS: Pair of Redskins rookies could start season on NFI list
Ruiz ranks Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett at No. 16, reasoning that it's not hard to succeed when you pair one of the best offensive lines in the league with superstar rookies Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott.
New York's Ben McAddo and Philadelphia's Doug Pederson rank No. 21 and 26, respectively.
Interestingly, two Redskins offensive coordinators who've since taken head coaching jobs – Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay – fall way behind at No. 29 and 30. Both coaches have been rumored draws for Cousins once he hits free agency in 2018.
Going back to Gruden, he deserves credit beyond giving Cousins the starting QB job. He's become well-liked and respected by Washington's players despite dealing with big-personality additions like DeSean Jackson and Josh Norman.
After the Redskins finished his first season with a 4-12 record, the team rebounded to win the NFC East in 2015 and then narrowly missed the playoffs with an 8-7 record in 2016.
If Cousins plays up to his one-year, $24 million franchise tag, Gruden has a chance to continue building his coaching reputation.