Washington Redskins

Quick Links

The Ins and the Outs--The Redskins Make Their Moves

The Ins and the Outs--The Redskins Make Their Moves

The Ins and the Outs—The Redskins Make Their Moves

Part One: A look at those who didn’t make it.

You can reach me by email at rtandler@comcast.net

During training camp and the preseason games, I never paid much attention to Robert McCune. The Redskins’ fifth-round draft pick was a great story, as he served in the military and was coming in as a 26-year-old rookie, and my assumption was that he would make the squad and contribute on special teams. While taking my final look at the roster, though, I tried to think of anything that McCune had actually done. Had he made a good hit in practice, had he fought through a blocker to make a stop, had he been anywhere in the vicinity of a pass receiver? No, no, and no. Apparently, to make this team you have to do something, not just look good not doing it. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the field for at some point this season; he’ll be signed to the practice squad if nobody else is interested in him.

I’ll save most of the discussion of the decision on the punters for the part on who did make it, but I’ve got to say that I didn’t like Chris Mohr from the moment he hit town. He made that comment about being here because he didn’t want to have to compete for a job. He sounded like he’d just signed a guaranteed long-term deal or something. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Chris.

On the other hand, I was rooting for Kevin Dyson from get-go. He was both a good story and a good guy to talk to. Apparently, however, he was out of football last year for a reason. In camp, he started off slowly but he appeared to be shaking off the rust after a week or so. After that, he didn’t show much, however, and apparently the Redskins didn’t think that they needed a “big” receiver badly enough to keep the Music City Miracle man around.

Again, more on this when talking about those who made it, but Garnell Wilds and Rufus Brown were a pair of cornerbacks who didn’t really improve all that much from their rookie years to their second seasons. Granted, both had very little playing time last year but they had the entire offseason to get better at playing cornerback and/or special teams and neither of them did either.

He’s not talked about as a veteran who has been cut, but Brandon Barnes played in 12 games for the Redskins last season, mostly on special teams. The return to health of LaVar Arrington and others pushed him out the door.

On the other defensive players cut: Ron Warner was pushed out by the return to health of Phillip Daniels. Siddeeq Shabazz (nothing personal, but I’m glad I don’t have to try to type out that name on a regular basis) and Eric Joyce never had a chance. Aki Jones should be a practice squad addition, a great destination for a rookie free agent out of Fordham.

On the other side of the ball, tight end Robert Johnson has great size and speed, but at this point he can’t put the two together to become a productive player. Jimmy Farris’ two TD receptions against Baltimore were too little, too late for his chances. Jon Alston and Tyler Lenda were up against very stiff veteran competition. Mark Wilson, a 2004 draft pick, impressed to coaches just enough to appear in two games last year and didn’t impress them enough for him to make it this year. Rich Parson may have a shot as a returner somewhere down the road, but Jamin Elliott may be at the end of the road.

Tomorrow—The “Ins”, the ones who made it

Quick Links

Need to Know: Five pre-training camp questions for Jay Gruden

Need to Know: Five pre-training camp questions for Jay Gruden

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 26, one day before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 206 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 46 days.

Today’s schedule: Players report to training camp for physicals and conditioning test. Jay Gruden news conference 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 15
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 24
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 38

Five pre-camp questions for Jay Gruden

RICHMOND—The media portion of training camp gets underway on Wednesday as Jay Gruden holds his pre-camp presser at 2 pm at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center (that’s probably the last time I’ll use the full name of the facility).

Here are some questions we will ask of Gruden as he enters his fourth season as the Redskins head coach.

Will Kirk Cousins’ contract situation be a distraction? This must be asked, even though we know that the answer will be no. Yes, Cousins handled a similar situation just fine last year. But a quarterback playing on a second franchise tag is unprecedented. Certainly, Gruden has to guard against things getting out of hand if the season starts to turn sour.

In his fourth training camp, what is he doing now that he wishes he would have done in 2014? One very visible change has been a reduction in the amount of contact that takes place on the field. Will this continue to decline or, give the issues the team had tackling last year, will it ramp up? What used to be the morning practice and afternoon walkthrough were flipped a couple of years ago. Has there been any thought to changing it back?

How has the adjustment process to having so many new coaches gone so far? The Redskins have new coordinators on both sides of the ball and several new position coaches. As happens when any group of co-workers gets added to a workplace, there is an adjustment period. In the NFL, the coaches have to get up to speed with each other in a hurry.

Will Gruden use the season-ending loss to the Giants as a motivational/learning tool or just bury it in the past? It’s a fine line between learning from past mistakes and dwelling on them. While Cousin should make sure that he doesn’t throw another late-game interception like the one he threw in that game, he can’t have it spook him to the point where he can’t pull the trigger on a pass late in a close game. How Gruden handles the 2016 finale could have a major effect on how 2017 unfolds.

After having one of the highest pass ratios in the league, will Gruden look to run the ball more often? Last year, Sean McVay called passes on 62.4 percent of the Redskins’ snaps. The Redskins drafted a fourth-round running back in Samaje Perine and they may team him with starter Rob Kelley and call to keep the ball on the ground a few more times per game.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports declared Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL. Prisco repeatedly points out that while Cousins is a good quarterback, the notion that he should be paid like one of the best passers in the league is what makes him overrated.

From Prisco:

After having six 300-yard-plus passing games in his first 11 games, including two over 400, Cousins had one in the final five games last season as the Redskins pushed for a playoff spot. He had five touchdown passes and five interceptions in those games, going 2-3 as Washington folded. It wasn't all on him, but that's the point. I don't think he's a quarterback who rises above situations when the team isn't going right. I am not going to sit here and pan him as a starter. He has proven to be that, and a pretty good one. It's just that the perception is he's much better than that, which is why he's my most overrated player in the NFL in 2017.

Here's the problem with Prisco's login: Simple market economics. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

An argument can be made Cousins is a Top 10 passer. He's certainly in the top half of the league at the position. Few, if any, would argue Cousins is a Top 5 quarterback, but his contract situation forces him to be paid like he is. Those are the exact terms of the franchise tag, even before the 20 percent increase Washington paid this season to use a second-straight tag.  

Since the Redskins lost their window to sign their single-season passing yards record holder to a team-friendly deal last year, Cousins has leverage and the advantage of inflated QB salaries on his side.

That doesn't mean Cousins is overrated. 

If the threshold for being overrated is money, then Brock Osweiler wins this thing in a landslide. After the 2016 season in Houston, Osweiler seems unlikely to ever again be considered a starting QB in the NFL. He's due to be paid $18 million this fall and his offseason trade to the Browns will go down as the first-ever salary dump in NFL history. 

Is Cousins overpaid? Probably. That's the way contracts work in pro football. 

Is Cousins overrated? Probably not. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards and completed about 68 percent of his passes over the last two seasons. 

There just aren't enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and guys who can play the position get paid handsomely. That doesn't make Cousins overrated. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!