August 13, 2008

There Can Only Be 53

The Redskins have so much talent hidden deep on their roster, but unfortunately much of that talent will be gone in a few weeks. By the end of August, Washington must trim their 80 man roster down to 53, meaning some of the preseason stalwarts will be cut to finalize the roster.

Everyone has their opinion on who should be spared from players, to fans, to coaches, and in the end everyone will be upset at the loss of at least one player. However, that's the way it goes when around thirty players are to be cut.

So in order to prepare the Redskins world for disappointment I have decided to make my own roster cuts while attempting to display little if any partiality for certain players. Without further ado here it goes.

Firstly I am going to take into account how many players at each position will make the team. I am uncertain if my numbers will be correct, but this is how I see it playing out.

Jim Zorn will keep three quarterbacks, one fullback, six receivers, three tight ends, four running backs, and nine offensive linemen on offense. Defensively I expect to see six corners, four safeties, six linebackers, and eight defensive linemen. Also on the roster will be a kicker, punter, and a long snapper.

The O-line has some big battles brewing and several talented players will be cut. Justin Geisinger, Fred Matua, and Tavares Washington will likely be released, but I could see Todd Wade getting the axe if Washington continues his strong performance. Wade has a sprained ankle and is an aging player entering his eighth season. I know he's got the experience, but the line is old and a youthful injection might be what Zorn wants.

The sixth receiver spot is a battle between Billy McMullen and Anthony Mix. Mix is out two weeks with a broken rib while McMullen has wowed coaches thus far in preseason. Look for Mix on the practice squad because McMullen has most likely made the team.

At running back I can't see how the Skins ignore Marcus Mason. Rock Cartwright is primarily the return man and probably won't see too many carries. So why not sacrifice a player for Mason? He is way too good to throw on the practice squad again.

Mike Sellars will be the lone fullback as Zorn will rarely use one. Sellars is great catching passes out of the backfield and is valuable in short yardage situations.

At tight end Todd Yoder has been solid in the preseason and is still second on the depth chart. It may take Fred Davis a little time to break into the NFL, so I expect to see Yoder on the final roster.

The defensive secondary is the most hotly contested area at this moment. At safety Laron Landry and Reed Doughty obviously make it, but behind them, there's a mess.

Justin Hamilton played well last week, but he's a long shot. Vernon Fox has the most experience and I expect he'll make it. Chris Horton will make it. So in the end, it will be Horton and Fox with Patrick Ghee, Kareem Moore, and Hamilton leaving town.

Rounding out the secondary with the corners we have Springs, Smoot, Rogers, Torrence, Tryon, and the unknown number six.

Byron Westbrook has yet to impress me and Cedrick Holt has been outperformed by Matteral Richardson. Richardson has a great pass breakup last week which was following his pick six performance the week before. Richardson should get the spot, but Westbrook had the talent to push him.

The linebacking corps is also tough to navigate. Matt Sinclair and HB Blades should survive, but what about Alfred Fincher, Rian Wallace, Khary Campbell, and Curtis Gatewood? Fincher recovered a fumble last game, Campbell is a great special teamer, while Wallace has been drawing some praise from coaches. Campbell will probably make it and Wallace might too if the Skins decide to roll with seven LBs, or cut Sinclair since he and Blades are MLBs.

The defensive line will consist of Montgomery, Golston, Griffin, Taylor, and Carter, leaving three spots available.

Erasmus James just resumed practice, Demetric Evans will back up whoever plays on the left side, Chris Wilson is a pass rushing specialist, Lorenzo Alexander is a jack of all trades, and the list goes on.

Evans, Alexander and Wilson have the inside track and it will be difficult for Matthias Askew and Ryan Boschetti to earn spots. However, James is a wild card. If he performs well the Skins might have to go with nine D-linemen or cut lose Evans. If he fails to produce in the preseason, then Skins should just cut him and keep their seventh rounder.

The special teams consist of Shaun Suisham at kicker and Ethan Albright at long snapper. Punter is up for grabs between Derrick Frost and Durant Brooks, neither of which has distanced themselves from the other.

And that is how I see it going down. Did I disappoint?

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