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