The Redskins received some bad news today when an MRI on rookie defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins revealed that he tore his ACL during the Redskins’ preseason game in Baltimore last night. The team’s second-round draft pick was going to be a heavy contributor in the defensive line rotation and many were figuring that he would eventually take over as the starter at left defensive end.
The team already was somewhat thin at the position. The starters are fine with Adam Carriker and Stephen Bowen. Kedric Golston provides some experienced depth but things get shaky beyond that. Next up on the depth chart are journeyman Darrion Scott, who has played in six NFL games since the 2006 season and second-year player Doug Worthington, who has yet to take an NFL snap.
There are other options out there. The Redskins released longtime end Phillip Daniels (pictured) just after the lockout ended. There was word that the Redskins told him that they might be interested in bringing him back if the situation changed. Daniels knows the defense, he is in town, and he has been working out. As there is no reason to believe that Jenkins won’t be ready for next season, a short-term solution may be called for here and, at age 38, Daniels would be just that.
There may be some free agents out there that the Redskins could sign but the pickings appear to be slim. The first tier is gone and the second and third tiers are pretty well picked over. They might not be able to find anyone much better than they have on the roster now and maybe no one better than Daniels.
The Redskins could decide to trade for depth. Perhaps a team that is in need of depth at, say, wide receiver would be willing to deal away a rotational defensive end.
The first round of cuts takes place starting today with the deadline being Tuesday. This is a cut from 90 to 80 players so the chances of finding quality depth then are small. However, the next round goes to 53 and there could be some quality reserve defensive ends on that waiver wire list.
Hello and welcome to the Real Redskins live bog for tonight's game between the Redskins and Ravens.
I'll be commenting on what is going on during the game. Hit refresh frequently to get the latest updates.
This also is about what you think. Either hit the comments section below or hit Twitter and ask or comment to @Rich_Tandler. We'll bring the best comments and tweets into the blog here and discuss them.
Question for comments or Twitter: Sonny Jurgensen said that the Redskins should start Grossman in Week 1. Agree? Disagree?
Summary—Certainly not the sharpest performance by the Redskins but they did manage to hang with a pretty good team with both squads had their starters in. Beck and Grossman were ragged and Beck threw an interception but they each throw for a touchdown and they averaged 8.8 yards per pass attempt.
Joe Flacco was very good at times, putting a touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans right on the money. He did throw the pick six to DeAngelo Hall on their first possession and that was ultimately the difference in the game until the Ravens scored with 22 seconds left.
Ray Rice averaged 5.5 yards a pop, gaining 72 yards on 13 carries in a little over a half of work. That might have spelled problems if Rice had 25 carries over four quarters.
As noted, Sav Rocca was money with a 41-yard average on six punts.
6:00—It is getting a little bit sloppy here in the late going. Tyrod Taylor juked out of the pocket for a nice run into the red zone. But a sack by Shannon prevented a tying touchdown and Billy Cundiff booted a field goal that cuts the Redskins lead to 31-27. And the danger of the game going into overtime just about disappears.
10:21—Graham Gano has fought off whatever notion the Redskins may have had of seriously challenging him for the kicking job. He just booted a 48-yard field goal that would have been good from 55 or more. That doesn’t mean that he might not stumble at some point during the year but the job is his.
14:00—The Ravens drove to a field goal behind Tyrod Taylor to make it 28-24. It is now officially garbage time as Kellen Clemens is in the game.
5:15—After throwing a deep pick on his first pass of the second half, Beck got things rolling. Terrence Austin was his prime target as Beck hit him with a couple of passes in stride. Roy Helu kicks in with a few solid runs, Leonard “Hands” Hankerson plucks one off of the ground for a nine-yard gain and the Redskins are in the red zone.
Flanker screen to Austin gets the TD as he weaves through traffic to cap a 97-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown catch. Beck was 5 for 6 for 75 yards and the TD.
9:23—It was the definitive hot knife through butter drive as the Ravens first-team offense drives 80 yards on the Redskins’ second-team defense. Twelve plays, 85 yards with Flacco to Boldin for 21 yards for the score. Game tied at 21.
Summary—The Redskins were playing well until a couple of penalties kept a Ravens drive alive. That allowed Baltimore to turn a 14-0 game into a 14-14 tie.
Both Redskins quarterbacks were spotty. Beck fired a 33-yard completion to Anthony Armstrong on his first pass, setting up the Redskins touchdown. That was his only completion in three attempts.
Grossman started off slowly before going six for eight for 80 yards on a late touchdown drive that put the Redskins up 21-14. He finished the half 8 of 15 for 114 yards.
The defense got some pressure on Flacco but he proved to be slippery at times. Kevin Barnes, Brian Orakpo, and Ryan Kerrigan got sacks.
5:41—And the Ravens make the Redskins pay for their errors with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Lee Evans. Game is tied at 14.
7:07—The Redskins managed to stay penalty free for most of the first two games. Not only are they having laundry dropped on them tonight, the flags are coming at key times. After Rocca’s punt the Redskins had the Ravens backed up with third and six at the eight. Another neutral zone infraction and then a holding call got them out of the hole. A deep seam pass to the tight end has them in Redskins territory.
10:19—Sav Rocca is a keeper. He just boomed a 63-yard punt that went out of bounds at the four.
12:09—The Redskins make mistakes and the Ravens capitalize. On a third and 10, the Redskins are flagged for a neutral zone infraction and then they get a first down after a running into the kicker penalty. Flacco converts a third and long with a pass to Anquan Boldin down to the one and Rice punches it in two plays later. Hate to see dumb mistakes and third and long conversions but now is the time to see them.
3:35—A lightning drive with Beck at the helm. After a 33-yard pass to Armstrong, the Redskins went with two tight ends on second and 10. Tim Hightower made a nice cutback and bolted 37 yards to the end zone.
Hightower 37 run (Gano kick)
Redskins 14, Ravens 0
3:35 left in first quarter
8:30—Some max protection on third and 14 from the Ravens 45. The only players out on a route were Moss, Gaffney, and Armstrong. Gaffney was the only one who was beyond the first down sticks.
10:30—Press box announcement was that Jenkins has a sprained knee and his return is questionable. It is kind of early to predict how much time he might miss.
11:10—Jarvis Jenkins down on the field. They helped him up and he is limping off with some assistance. Too early to speculate what the issue might be.
12:40—Pick six by DeAngelo Hall. I have no idea what Joe Flacco was looking at, Hall was right there. There was a little chippiness after the PAT but no flags.
Hall 52 interception return (Gano kick)
Redskins 7, Ravens 0
12:40 left in first quarter
8:00—It looks like we are going to get underway on time here. The Ravens were just introduced and once the finish the fireworks in the end zone we should get rolling here.
7:40—Byron Westbrook will get a shot tonight. He, not Kevin Barnes or Phillip Buchanon, will start at cornerback in place of the sidelined Josh Wilson. Jarvis Jenkins will start at end in place of Adam Carriker and Keyaron Fox takes Fletcher’s linebacker spot.
7:35--Comment from Dale:
Best Qb play tonight becomes the starter against the Giants in my opinion.
That would seem to be the logical conclusion. But logic has not always prevailed in this matter, so we will see.
7:30—We are wondering if this game is going to kick off on time. They cleared the field of players about 15 minutes ago after some lightning was seen in the vicinity and they are just coming back on. I don’t know if they will start the game with an abbreviated warmup period.
7:00—Per ESPN 980, the following players are inactive: Malcolm Kelly, Brandon Banks, Josh Wilson, LaRon Landry, Kareem Moore, Ryan Torain, Chris Cooley, London Fletcher, and Adam Carriker. None is a surprise scratch.
6:55--Comment from Philly Skins Fan:
A wise man once said, "If you've got two QBs, you've got none." I suspect we have none, but I don't like this whole "every two series" thing. Let them get into a groove.
Whlle I generally agree, it only preseason.
6:25—I’ve never been to the stadium before. It’s pretty nice, a cut above FedEx Field in terms of looks, feel, and the setup in the press box. Of course, M&T Bank Stadium was built primarily with taxpayer and other public funds while FedEx was primarily built with Jack Kent Cooke’s money. They didn’t have to cut corners here (like the brick façade) while FedEx is more Spartan.
6:00—The quarterback news is, well, head-scratching. According to Bruce Allen, Rex Grossman will start the game and the John Beck will come in after two series. After that, they will alternate every two series.
Most figured that Beck would start since the Redskins know what they have in Grossman. Beck could use more time under live fire. Before last week, Beck had not faced another team’s starters since the 2008 preseason.
Alternating is no big deal because, well, it’s preseason. It seems that Mike Shanahan wants to be able to sub for a some starters as the game goes on and he doesn’t want to bring in the second “starter” after, say, Santana Moss and Tim Hightower have taken off their shoulder pads for the night.
Regardless of the outcome of tonight's preseason game in Baltimore the recommendation here is keep on telling yourself the following:
It's only the preseason.
If they look good against the Ravens, it doesn't mean that a double-digit win season is certainly in the cards. If they go out in Baltimore and get whipped, it doesn't mean that it will be yet another long and disappointing season in D. C.
Even though this is the "dress reharsal" for the regular season, it still is a rehersal. There is some game planning, but not nearly to the extent we will see during the regular season. The predominant flavor of the schemes still will be vanilla.
Still, the Ravens will bring the heat to quarterbacks John Beck and Rex Grossman and the Redskins offensive line, which has received kudos for its play in the first two games, will be severly tested.
Mike Shanahan probably wouldn't mind of the Redskins fell behind in this one. It would be useful to see if the offense can maintain its tempo and commitment to the run if they have to play catch up for a while.
In any case, we won't really have even a solid clue about what the Redskins have until they take on the Giants on Sept. 11. I know we hate to wait that long but that is the way it is.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't watch the game tonight. You know you're going to, especially if you live out of the DMV area since it is on ESPN.
While you're watching, get out the laptop and follow along right here. I'll be doing my live blog from the press box at M&T Bank Stadium with analysis and commentary that is too good to fit into 140-character bites.
We'll get things rolling at about 6:00 p.m. and go through the end of the game.
See you then.
The Washington Redskins season does not start tomorrow but most of the players who are likely to be starting when the Redskins take on the Giants in the season opener will be starting against the Ravens on Thursday.
The Redskins will start 12 players who were not the starters at their positions for last year’s opener. Here is a look at the changes:
Starters Sept. 12, 2010 vs. Dallas: QB Donovan McNabb, WR’s Santana Moss, Joey Galloway, TE Chris Cooley, RB Clinton Portis, FB Mike Sellers, OL Trent Williams, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Artis Hicks, Jammal Brown.
We’re not exactly sure who the quarterback will be but it won’t be Donovan McNabb. For better or for worse, John Beck or Rex Grossman will line up behind center against New York.
Cooley won’t play against the Ravens but he should be back from his knee injury for the Giants game. Moss will start at one wide receiver spot and the other receiver will be Jabar Gaffney.
Both of the running backs will be different. We’ll probably see Tim Hightower (pictured) at halfback and Darrel Young at fullback.
The two tackles will remain the same but the interior line is new with Will Montgomery at center, Kory Lichtensteiger at left guard and Chris Chester at right guard.
Total new starters on offense: 7
Starters Sept 12, 2010 vs. Dallas: DL Adam Carriker, Maake Kemoeatu, Kedric Golston, LB’s Brian Orakpo, London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, Andre Carter, DB’s Carlos Rogers, DeAngelo Hall, Reed Doughty, LaRon Landry
Carriker remains at defensive end and he will line up with nose tackle Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen at end. The only change at linebacker will have Ryan Kerrigan replacing the departed Carter.
Half of the defensive backfield will turn over with Oshiomogho Atogwe taking over for at free safety Doughty (who was starting for the injured Kareem Moore) and Josh Wilson replaced departed free agent Rogers. LaRon Landry may or may not be ready to go for the opener but if he can’t go, Doughty is his likely replacement
Total new starters on defense: 5
After the Redskins drafted three receivers and signed one veteran in free agency and traded for another, Terrence Austin's future in Washington did not look very bright. The 2010 seventh-round pick out of UCLA would have to fight off a sizeable collection of higher-drafted and higher-paid players in order to make the roster.
Halfway through the preseason game schedule, the picture looks considerably brighter for Austin. He took advantage of a knee injury to returner Brandon Banks and did well returning punts against the Colts, taking back four for an 11.3-yard average including a nifty 29-yarder on his first try. He also has made a mark as a receiver. He is tied for second on the team with 69 receiving yards in the two games and he is averaging 13.8 yards on his five catches.
His play has caught the attention of the coaches. “He's a great football player,” said offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. “If you look at him on paper he doesn't scream out at you. He's an NFL talent because he's quick and he's detailed at everything.“Quarterbacks love him because you can throw to him in any situation.”
Austin is not paying much attention to the praise from the coaches. “I just want to stay consistent and show that I'm able to play."
He said that he has been taking punt and kick returns in practice in Banks' absence but, as is the case with most other players, he is not sure what his role will be when the Redskins take on the Ravens on Thursday night. “It could be another opportunity for me,” he said. “They haven't really mentioned too much about what's going to happen yet but I'll know within the next day or two.”
He is happy to do anything to make the team. “I want to take any opportunity I can to prove that I deserve to be here,” he said.
Austin knows that he has a better chance of making the team if he can be an effective option catching passes. “I've been trying to capitalize at wide receiver,” he said. “It's pretty tough because there are a lot of guys here.“I'm just trying to take advantage of every opportunity I can get. I'm pretty much happy with what I'm doing.”
It looks like the coaches are happy with Austin's performance as well.
When Mike Shanahan announced at the beginning of training camp that Mike Sellers would be moved to tight end, it looked like the end of the road for the 11-year veteran. The Redskins were set three deep at tight end with Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, and Loan Paulsen. Two younger players, Darrel Young and Keiland Williams, moved into the fullback spot and it looked like Sellers would end up on the outside looking in.
Now, Sellers may—just may—be getting another chance.
He was spotted working with the running backs during the media portion of practice on Monday and when asked about, Mike Shanahan confirmed that Sellers was being given some work at fullback.
Shanahan said that Sellers would not be giving up any of his other responsibilities. “He has to be ready to play fullback in the second half and also the tight end and H-back position and play special teams as well,” he said.
There could be one of two things going on here. Maybe the Redskins are looking to save a roster spot and they want to see if Sellers can be a Swiss Army Knife and fill a number of reserve positions.
Or, they could be helping Sellers out by giving him a chance to showcase his versatility to the other 31 teams in the league. That could help his chances of getting picked up by another team should the Redskins decide to release him.
When the team drafted Riley in the fourth round last year, it looked like he was going to slide right into the inside linebacker spot that Rocky McIntosh would vacate when he became a free agent this year. But then the lockout happened. After taking a look at him in the first few days of training camp, the Redskins brought back McIntosh and it looks like he will be the starter alongside London Fletcher in the Redskins defense.
"Not having the whole offseason hurts guys like Perry," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "They don't get an opportunity to learn everything so it takes time.”
The Redskins put a lot on their inside backers. “That's probably one of the hardest spots to learn in this defense,” said Haslett. You’re playing the Jack, the Mike, you’re playing strong and weak. There are a lot different combinations.
“One minute you’re playing all the weak hooks the vertical stuff, one minute you’re playing all the three-receiver stuff, all the strong stuff. It takes a while.”
Haslett said not to look for Riley to get any work with the first team any time soon. “Right now we’d probably go with who we have unless something changes.”
This does not necessarily mean that Riley will spend the year playing special teams and getting very limited snaps on defense like he did last year. Look for him in some defensive packages during the early season. McIntosh is on a one-year contract so if Riley progresses he could well move into the starting job by sometime around midseason.
Mike Shanahan is in no hurry to let the world know who the Redskins' starting quarterback will be when the season starts on Sept 11 at FedEx field against the New York Giants.
When asked today when he would decide on if John Beck or Rex Grossman will take the first snap in the opener, Shanahan said, "It probably won’t be until game time, just before the game."
He apparently wants to use the quarterback competition to his team's advantage. "Probably have the [Giants] get ready for both quarterbacks," Shanahan said.
It seems difficult to believe that Shanahan truly will not have his mind made up by the beginning of the week leading up to the Giants game. Quarterback reps with the first team are both important and limited and it would be counterproductive. It wouldn't make much sense for Shanahan to split those reps between Beck and Grossman. Chances are he will have made his mind up by then.
But he will not tell us who he is going with. There is a certain strategic advance, albiet slight, in making the opposition prepare for two quarterbacks, espcially two with different styles. Beck is the more mobile of the two while Grossman is more of a threat to unleash a long pass.
Whether he will be able to keep the identity of the starter a secret for a week remains to be seen. There will be some 60 players on the field and others in the organization will know Shanahan's decision. That means that there are dozens of opportunities for a leak to occur and it only takes one for the world to find out.
This morning on CSN Washington, I posted an article about some of the favorable trades that the Redskins have made since Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen came aboard in 2010. A few folks on Twitter pointed out that I neglected to mention the Adam Carriker trade.
That one took place in April of 2010. The Redskins did not give up any draft picks to the Rams in the deal. They swapped draft positions with St. Louis in the fifth and seventh rounds. In the fifth, the Redskins moved down from overall pick No. 135 to No. 163. In the seventh, Washington moved up from No. 211 to No. 208.
The Redksins used both of those picks in deals for other draft selections so it is hard to say exactly what they gave up for Carriker. Still, it
The defensive end found a home in Washington's 3-4 defense after struggling in the Rams' 4-3 scheme. He started all 16 games at left defensive end for the Redskins this year.