Casey Rabach, who has started all but one game at center since the 2005 season, was told that he would be released this morning. Then defensive end Phillip Daniels, who came to the Redskins along with Joe Gibbs in 2004, announced via Twitter that the Redskins would be letting him go. Finally, nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu, last year’s starting nose tackle, was informed of his imminent release.
In the space of a few hours, the Redskins lopped off 31 years and 359 games of NFL experience off of their roster. They also lost a lot of character. Rabach and Daniels were locker room leaders and favorites of the media due to their willingness to step in front of the microphones in both good times and bad. Kemoeatu was with the Redskins for just a year but he earned respect by fighting back from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered before the 2009 season.
Certainly, character counts. But it only gets you so far.
Rabach was ineffective blocking both for the run and for the pass last year. Although he was praised by coaches for his smart blocking calls at the line, you have to be able to execute your part of the blocks if that is to do any good. Daniels was reasonable effective in the 15-20 snaps a game he played last year but the team can get the same or perhaps even more impact from a younger player. Kemoeatu played with a shoulder injury all year but, regardless, nose tackle was a sore spot all year. Perhaps he would have played better if he was healthy, but the chances of the 32-year-old suffering from another injury were fairly high.
The Redskins are likely to be a better team after replacing those three veterans. Redskins Park, however, will not be a better place.