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Three possible reasons why the Redskins are carrying four QB's

Three possible reasons why the Redskins are carrying four QB's

On Monday we asked Mike Shanahan why the Redskins kept Pat White on the 53-man roster and his answer seemed, well, incomplete. “Like I said all along, we’re trying to keep the top 53 players and I thought Pat was one of the top 53 players,” he said.

Perhaps he was one of the best players but carrying four quarterbacks leaves another area of the roster short. Given that a fourth QB would only see the field in the event of a dire emergency, there must be some other reason why the Redskins held on to White.

I can speculate on three possible reasons why the Redskins have White on their roster as a fourth quarterback. Perhaps the truth lies in one of them or perhaps a combination of them.

White was kept to imitate Eagles QB Mike Vick on the scout team in practice—This strikes me as an odd use of a roster spot but the Redskins did not face Vick last year so perhaps Shanahan thought that it would be worth the risk of losing a promising player to another team.

They didn’t want him to go elsewhere and talk—In general, NFL teams don’t keep players because they are afraid of them going to other teams and spilling secrets. But maybe keeping what went on in the Redskins’ quarterback meeting room and on the practice field after they returned from training camp is worth sacrificing a roster spot. The hole in this theory is that the Eagles could pick up, say, Keiland Williams and he could spill the practice field secrets. But a quarterback does have a deeper level of knowledge of the offense than any other player on the field so maybe it’s worth keeping him locked up at least until after this first game.

A different role in the offense for White—We never saw White do anything but play quarterback in training camp or in preseason games but practices have been behind closed doors at Redskins Park two and a half weeks now. That is enough time to have White work in as a “slash” type player who can be a threat in the backfield and perhaps line up split out wide from time to time. This seems unlikely but if he turns up on the game day active list, look out.

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Redskins' Doug Williams presents a special jersey to family of Jim Vance

Redskins' Doug Williams presents a special jersey to family of Jim Vance

On July 22, legendary D.C. broadcaster Jim Vance died at the age of 75.

During the first day of training camp on Thursday, Washington Redskins VP of player personnel Doug Williams, presented NBC4 sports reporter Carol Maloney with a gift for Vance's family.

RELATED: REMEMBERING JIM VANCE

The gesture by the Redskins was one filled with much respect for the award-winning anchor.

Vance was a staple for many D.C. locals, being a full-time anchor since 1972 for NBC4. 

Last summer, Vance revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer but never stopped working. 

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LIVE Redskins training camp practice report: Day 1

LIVE Redskins training camp practice report: Day 1

RICHMOND—The Redskins took the field for their first practice of the season. Jordan Reed is missing as was the usual stifling heat at the Bon Secours training center.It's warm but the humidity is down from the normal late-July sauna here. 

Here are my observations from practice as it unfolds. Come back and refresh often for the latest:

—Jamison Crowder still appears to be the No. 1 punt returner. Also fielding kicks off of the leg of Tress Way were Maurice Harris, Chris Thompson, and Will Blackmon. 

—The Redskins are practicing without pads per collective bargaining rules. A few are wearing shells. 

—New tight end EJ Bibbs just introduced himself to Vernon Davis as they were getting ready for some individual drills. Reminds me of a few year ago when a just acquired player was participating in stretching and they brought his contract out onto the field for him to sign. He wouldn’t have been able to practice otherwise. 

—Kirk Cousins just acknowledged a fan lined up near the sideline. ‘How’s it going, Derrick?” Derrick’s friends were properly impressed. 

—Maurice Harris showed good form in catching a Cousins pass over the middle against no defense. Nothing spectacular but but a good job reaching forward to pull in a pass that was ahead of him. 

—Harris with another nice catch, this time guarded over the middle by Will Blackmon. He is off to a good start in competing for playing time.

—Torian Gray is admonishing his defensive backs to “wake up, wake up.” On one rep he wanted Tevin Homer to “drive to the ball.”

—It looked like Josh Doctson had a step on Bashaud Breeland on a deep pass but the CB recovered and knocked the pass away. 

—A few plays later Doctson got deep again, this time against Quinton Dunbar. This time the CB couldn’t catch up and Doctson hauled in the pass.

—In the early going in 11 on 11, Will Compton and Mason Foster are the inside LBs with the first team and Joey Mbu is at nose tackle. Both situations could change over the course of the next few weeks. 

—Nice cut by Keith Marshall on a run around right end. He planted his foot and cut upfield with some serious burst. He’s a dark horse when it comes to making the roster but I’m keeping an eye on him. 

—Cousins with a dart to Terrelle Pryor along the sideline. A sharp and accurate throw. 

—Rain is approaching but it should hold off until practice is over. Meanwhile, the clouds and breeze are cooling things down. Nobody is complaining.  

—Pryor was assigned to block Josh Norman on a running play. Norman made a business decision not to contest the block and there was light contact as Norman backed down the field.

—Rookie Robert Davis made a solid back-shoulder catch on the sideline. I’m not sure if Colt McCoy intended for the pass to be back shoulder but that was where it went and Davis reached to make the grab. 

—What was that? Nate Sudfeld heaved one downfield to nobody in particular. Kendall Fuller got an easy interception, his second of the day. 

—That is from Richmond for today. Come on back tomorrow, we’ll do it again.