WASHINGTON – It’s the time of year that Mike Shanahan calls the toughest: Final cut-down day in the NFL. Rosters must be trimmed to 53 by Friday night at 9 p.m.
The Redskins have to say goodbye to 22 players and after Wednesday night’s preseason finale, there are some tough decisions that coaches have to make. There will be some surprises on Friday.
I’m not a coach, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but I will take a shot at the final 53 for the 2012 version of the Washington Redskins.
Quarterback: (3) (R) Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins
Cousins played well in the preseason, but he’s not ready to unseat Rex as the backup to Griffin just yet.
Running Back: (4) Tim Hightower, Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster, (R) Alfred Morris
This was a fun position battle to watch during camp. The rookie, Morris, really impressed with his running style and ability. In fact, he impressed the coaches enough that he didn’t even suit up on Wednesday night for the finale.
It will be interesting to watch throughout the year who is healthy and consistent. I would expect all four of these guys to contribute this season and wouldn’t be at all surprised if Morris lines up in the backfield first against New Orleans in nine days.
Fullback: (1) Darrell Young
Wide Reciver: (6) Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Anthony Armstrong, Dezmon Briscoe
Another great position battle this summer and a good problem to have for the coaching staff. I have them taking six at this position with Anthony Armstrong making the team thanks to his performance on Wednesday night.
Briscoe has great size and showed ability in the games he was called upon this preseason. I just don’t think you can cut a guy with his size.
If the coaches decide to keep seven at wide receiver, then I can see Brandon Banks on the roster. I know he has the game breaking ability but we just haven’t seen him really produce as a wideout. Mike Shanahan told Banks that he would need to show more this summer and prove that he can contribute as a wideout, and I didn’t really see enough.
Aldrick Robinson and Terrence Austin have proven they can play at this level, but there might not be enough room on this roster.
Tight End: (3) Fred Davis, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen
Offensive Line: (8) Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Maurice Hurt, Willie Smith, (R) Josh LeRibeus
Defensive Line: 6) Barry Cofield, Adam Carriker, Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins, Chris Baker, Kedric Golston
Linebacker: (9) London Fletcher, Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Perry Riley, Chris Wilson, Rob Jackson, Lorenzo Alexander, (R) Keenan Robinson, Bryan Kehl
I think the last spot is up for grabs between Bryan Kehl and Markus White. Kehl wins it, in my opinion, with his play on Wednesday night and White heads to the practice squad.
There could be a strong case to take David Jones over Thompson for the last spot, but I’m going with Brandyn. Rookie seventh-round pick Richard Crawford has had a good camp and finished the preseason with two interceptions (one in the opener and one on Wednesday.) He has shown flashes of being able to return punts.