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  • Camp Fodder

    Camp Fodder


    This is a rolling blog covering the 2016 Washington Redskins Training Camp.  Be sure to check back often for updates.



    Camp opens at 9:30 a.m. today.

    First walkthrough scheduled at 10:35 a.m.

    Practice at 3 p.m.


    Junior Galette has been placed on the Reserve / Non-Football Injury List.


    Four players begin 2016 training camp on the Active / PUP List:

    Doctson, Josh – Achilles / Toe Sprain

    Lauvao, Shawn – Foot

    Riley, Perry – Foot

    Carrier, Derek – Knee



    The Redskins signed undrafted rookie wide receivers Kendal Thompson and T.J. Thorpe on Wednesday. They now have 13 wide receivers on the 90-man roster.


    Update (08:16A.M. EST):

    WR Josh Doctson‘s stay on the PUP list should be very short, I’m told. Mostly procedural.

    If you’re planning on attending camp today, pack an umbrella or a poncho.



    Update: (03:00PM EST)


    Trent Williams receives high praise from Jay Gruden.

    Gruden gives Cousins the seal of approval as his long=term quarterback.

    Gruden says Doctson and Riley are both close to being ready to go.

    First Camp Practice officially starts now.




    Day Two


    Scot McCloughan hurt his hand by PUNCHING A WALL when a team doctor told him that Josh Doctson (Achilles) could be out 3 months.

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    If I were a betting man

    In the land of sports, all men make wagers. Everyone involved in the spectrum toss the dice in one manner or the other. Sportscasters bet their reputations when they make predictions, they set up the preamble of their story for the season knowing that reality hardly keeps to the script. Coaches gamble with play calls, each down being the difference between achieving skillful victory or losing face, the locker room itself, or worst of all…their employment. As fans, we know better than most the gamble we take with our hearts and hope, and the dark depression that follows each loss. Not all fans are alike in their investment, some even include their wallets, but when it gets down to it all sports fans ante up their heart to the pot.

    The fact that when mine hits the table it leaves a little burgundy and gold is a matter of pride.

    While none of us are right all the time, for the sake of argument let’s take a brief dive into recent history and see who has smiled more.

    Sports Media has blossomed in this vein. ESPN, once a humble idea that could barely secure the rights for slow pitch softball, has transformed into a juggernaut of correspondents and pundits. Its broadcasts now consist of several suits talking over each other, each crafting their story line for the season. Who will rise, who will fade, and who will be the one to get it all right…not the teams mind you, but the men and women making the guesses. Their career depends on getting it right; hindsight is always cruel and it isn’t healthy to eat crow all day. So let’s take a look at the accuracy in the near past and see who cashed in and who should’ve cashed out (mind you, as Skins fans the rest of the NFL falls second to the happenings of the NFC EAST and it is there that we will keep our focus):

    I dug through the archives of the internet to put together the preseason predictions for the two largest media conglomerates (it’s harder than it sounds, as you can imagine both of them do their best to wipe away the entries in which they couldn’t get the color of the field right much less the scoreboard). After enough scavenging, I was able to go back up to 2010 and compare the predications made by ESPN and Fox Sports for the final regular season rankings compared to the actual result. Upon analyzing the results several things become apparent. The first and most obvious point being that both ESPN and Fox Sports tend to overvalue the Cowboys (big surprise), but sans the 2015 season they were both accurate at predicting where the Giants would end up every year which just goes to show you can always count on Mara and company to provide a consistent level of sucking. All in all, unless a breakout performance occurred, you could count on the two placing the teams within quartile of their actual ranking (i.e. if they said the Eagles would be 7th, the Eagles would be +/-4 of 7th at the end of the season).

    Having said that, when they missed they missed BIG. The sweetest example of this which should put a huge smile on the faces in D.C. is this past year in which Fox had us at 27th and ESPN had us DEAD LAST at 32nd. Likewise, the Cowboys in all their pomp were pre-ordained to be 6th and 8th respectively only to end up 29th. In fact, in no season did the mainstream sports media get the narrative more wrong on the NFC East than this last one.  Both ESPN and Fox Sports had the Cowboys and Eagles ending up in the top 10, with the Giants at the back end of the teens and the Skins getting the first overall draft pick. In happy reality we now know that no one except the Skins would get below 20th overall for the regular season (and we all loved picking at 22nd overall).

    Having said that, when you average out their rankings versus reality the pundits really have been within only a few ranks of the final standings with their picks (again, minus overreaching on the Cowboys). But betting isn’t about breaking even or getting close, it’s about taking home the pot. No one understands this better than the people who eat breathe and sleep risks and wagers. I’m talking about the purveyors of Sin City.


    When you want a prime example of how to properly ensnare the wallets of fools and the hopeful, look no further.  Skip Bayless may say a lot of crazy ridiculous nonsense (a simple Google search should be able to illustrate this), but he is at least smart enough not to back his word vomit with his own money. The same spineless behavior is not seen at Caesar’s, and for good reason, THEY WIN.

    Vegas doesn’t waste times with frivolous things like team rankings and potential season storylines. They have the same laser focus akin to most owners and ask only one thing, “DID YOU WIN?”

    Well the answer for Vegas is, “Yes, we did.”  And then some. In the past five years, Vegas has won 14 to 6 in predicting the Win/Loss totals for the NFC East. No team beat the Vegas odds more than twice, and in fact other than the Redskins, no team was over the Vegas odds by more than more a single win and that was only accomplished during the amazing breakout season of 2015 (yet another reason why 2015 was such a spectacular year).

    While they may have taken our money with reckless abandon, there is one fact that should vindicate them: they rake in massive profits off of fools in Dallas. No team has been overvalued and underperformed in Vegas like the Cowboys. The hype generated on SportsCenter directly translates to blown paychecks in Sin City. 2014, their 12 win season where they finished number 1 overall for the regular season is the ONLY time they rewarded the pansies who root for them. Every other year not only did they lose out, they lost out by the smallest of margins (half a win in most cases) and the only thing close to the glory of a Skins victory is the thrashing of the hopes of the silver and blue.

    I had originally planned on running a thought experiment on what would have happened in NFC East fans bet loyally on their teams but the results are the same across the board. WE LOSE, VEGAS WINS. There is in fact no hypothetical scenario I can put together in which Vegas does not walk away with both their money and yours eventually. Having said that, the current numbers at Vegas are The Cowboys at 9 wins, The Eagles at 7.5, The Giants at 7.5, and our Redskins at 7.5.

    So to conclude this gamble ramble, remember luck never gives it only lends. Sports Media will be in the ballpark, but that’s about as close as they get. Vegas will take your money, so keep it in your pockets. If you HAVE to bet, bet with your heart and put it all on burgundy.




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    Bacon Bits: Redskins News From Around The Web For The Week Of July 27th 2016



    ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim projects Jamison Crowder as a starter ahead of first-rounder Josh Doctson.

    The Redskins have spent the offseason raving about their second-year slot man, leaving another obstacle for Doctson to hurdle as he hunts for rookie year snaps. We still wouldn’t be surprised if Doctson eventually nudged by Crowder, or even Pierre Garcon, in three-receiver sets, but these aren’t artificial hoops. Doctson should be viewed more as a Dynasty league stash than immediate re-draft contributor in fantasy leagues.
    Jul 21 – 2:56 PM

    Redskins TE Derek Carrier (knee) could open the season on reserve/PUP.

    Carrier is seven months removed from tearing his ACL. He isn’t going to be rushed back with Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen returning. Carrier will compete for a backup role when healthy.
    Jul 22 – 7:15 PM

    Redskins OLB Junior Galette has suffered another torn Achilles’ tendon, and is done for the season.

    Galette’s second year as a Redskin will end the same as his first: With zero snaps. Per PFT, Galette tore his right Achilles’. It was Galette’s left Achilles’ that cost him all of 2015. Headed into what would have been his age-28 season, Galette’s career is now in serious doubt. It’s an on-paper blow for the Redskins’ thin pass rush, but realistically DC Joe Barry should never have been counting heavily on Galette considering his off-field and injury histories.
    Jul 25 – 3:24 PM

    Redskins waived/failed physical DB Kyshoen Jarrett.

    Unless he is released with an injury settlement later, Jarrett will likely spend 2016 on the Redskins’ injured reserve list. A sixth-round steal out of Virginia Tech last year, Jarrett shined as a hybrid safety-slot corner before suffering from nerve damage in his shoulder and neck. He was reported to have lost 30 pounds in April. There is fear Jarrett’s career is in danger.
     Jul 25 – 4:10 PM

    ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim does not view seventh-round pick Keith Marshall as a threat to Matt Jones’ workload this season.

    A size-speed specimen who spent most of his college career injured, Marshall went back on the shelf this spring after running behind someone named “Mack Brown” at rookie camp. Marshall is talented enough to make up ground quickly in August, but he hasn’t given any reason to buy into him as an NFL player just yet.
    Jul 25 – 4:25 PM

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    Doctson A Gamble, Or A Calculated Risk?

    Armchair quarterbacks may have jumped up and screamed after the Washington Redskins made their first selection of the 2016 NFL Draft, but there’s no doubt in most experts’ minds, that they got the best player available on the board.

    Back in April at the NFL Draft, Washington GM Scot McLoughan wasted no time rolling out his usual draft philosophy of trying to gain more picks and traded down one pick in the first round. The Redskins dealt their number 21 pick to the Houston Texans, who gave up their 22 pick and a 7th round pick for the right to move up one selection.

    Then McLoughan surprised many, and didn’t grab a defensive player, but instead grabbed Josh Doctson. The 6’2″ wide receiver out of TCU was the top receiver on many to most sheets (for future reference, Houston selected wide receiver Will Fuller), and Josho was surely the best player available on the Washington Draft board at the time. But the Redskins do not appear to have much of a need at the position with DeSean Jackson, and Pierre Garcon already comfortably filling the one-two, and Jamison Crowder occupying the slot. So, was this a gamble?

    Personally if I’m going to gamble, I try to take the best odds of winning possible and play online slots at All Jackpots casino; but when it comes to football, I prefer to see my draft gambling done in the later rounds.

    But this wasn’t really a gamble at all, it was a calculated risk. You only see it as a gamble if you differ in drafting philosophies.

    Both DJax and Garcon are only under contract through the 2016 season. Not only that, Doctson immediately provides something that Washington hasn’t had in a long time, a big receiver who can go up and win tough Red Zone catches. He’s two inches taller than Garcon and 4 inches taller than Jackson. The selection also gives options, in that Garcon can offer an almost $8 million cap savings if cut, to a team that only currently has $4 million in space.


    Coming out of TCU, Doctson offers a mature and polished 23-year old player.

    So while a draft day wouldn’t be a draft day without a good, “best player available” vs “best player that fills a need” conversation, that doesn’t make it a gamble. It’s that philosophical difference of opinion that I was referring to. Josh Doctson is not a gamble.

    Just a couple more things for you to think about…

    He broke his wrist in November and still blasted out 14 reps of 225 at the Combine. He’s a tough kid.

    He has a 41 inch vertical. Serious hops. Grab a tape measure and see how high that actually is.

    Of course the reality is, that there doesn’t seem to be any scientific way to determine wether a player’s particular skillset is going to translate or carry through to the pros. If there were, then Doctson would surely possess many-to-most of the attributes that you would want to see at the position. He’s arguably the best receiver in the draft, and that’s a good deal at number 22.

    And that’s a calculated risk, not a gamble.

    Hail to the Redskins.

    Agree? Disagree? Hit me up on Twitter @TheHogsdotNet and let me know what you think.

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    Goodbye Old Friend


    I was saddened to hear of the death of Chief Zee, as I’m sure many of you were. He was an incredible fan. A Super Fan. I didn’t know him personally, but had met him many times and felt as though I did. As I’m sure many of you did.

    There aren’t many Redskins fans that don’t know who Chief Zee is, if they’ve ever been near a Redskins game or event. After all, they probably had their picture taken with him. He was just one of the nicest and most approachable men that you could ever meet, and I never saw him deny a request to anybody. Always with open arms, and a warm and welcoming smile.

    Zema Williams was his proper name, and burgundy and gold blood coarsed through this man’s veins for decades. He was an institution. The headdress wearing and tomahawk waving began way back in 1978 in a Monday Night Football match-up with the rival Dallas Cowboys. He missed very few games since then. Even when Eagles fans broke his leg at the old Veterans Stadium in an altercation in 1983, they couldn’t keep him down – couldn’t even keep him out of the Vet.

    Because he truly was a Super Fan.

    The team issued the following official statement, “The Washington Redskins will always appreciate Zema Williams’ unique passion and dedication to our football team and his fellow Washington Redskins fans.”

    According to multiple sources, Zema Williams went peacefully in his sleep. He was 75-years old.

    Rest in Peace Sir. Your fandom was an inspiration to us all. Thank you for touching our lives.

    All Hail Chief Zee.

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    Another THN Wallpaper

    With the only Redskins news of the week being related to Kirk Cousins playing on the franchise tag (Boo!) but with there now being less than 50 days until meaningful football (Yea!) the weekly Bacon Bits space will be filled with the following graphic which may help to get fans back into the mood for some Washington Redskins football as training camps approach.


    THN Screen Saver

    THN Screen Saver

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    The Future Is (Burgundy And) Gold

    Ordinarily, here would be your weekly Bacon Bits blog recapping the week in Washington Redskins news, however, there was literally no news to recap.  Therefore, in the interest of having something to fill the white space the following is being cobbled together from a general upward tick in positive media coverage.  Among those praising the future of the Redskins is ESPN’s collection of pundits in their annual future power rankings.  The full article is, of course, Insider material hidden behind a paywall but fortunately the pertinent information is available in the local newspaper, which is also hidden behind a paywall after a certain number of views per month.  The ethics of excerpting one media outlet’s paid content and then placing same behind another paywall are questionable to say the least but let us digress.


    The following are the actual numbers of ESPN’s 2016 futures rankings.  Numbers in parentheses indicate the change from the 2015 rankings.

    Roster: 71.7 (+11.7)
    QB: 77.3 (+36)
    Coaching: 72.3 (+11.6)
    Draft: 78.3 (+14)
    Front Office: 73.3 (-1.7)
    Overall Score: 74.2 (+14.9)

    Sufficed to say the roster has most certainly improved.  Off-season free agent acquisitions Josh Norman, David Bruton, Kendall Reyes, Vernon Davis, Cody Booth, and Al Bond, the return of Junior Galette, Stephen Paea, Niles Paul, and Shawn Lauvao from injured reserve should make the roster both more stable and more competitive.


    Without reliving the past, let’s just say quarterback play has undoubtedly improved and leave it there.  Moving on. Nothing to see here.


    Coaching is always judged by the results.  More wins invariably means higher coaching rankings.  Playoff wins are the next step.  It’s a big step.


    The draft additions of Josh Doctson, Su’a Cravens, Kendall Fuller, Matthew Ioannidis, Keith Marshall, and Nate Sudfield infuse the roster with youth, size, and potential.  Undrafted free agent signings Rob Kelley and Lloyd Carrington have an excellent chance of making the roster based upon their play thus far.


    How exactly the front office rankings decline when the team has virtually the same front office personnel, had a better season, a better draft according to the very same source, and a brighter future according to the very same source is beyond comprehension.  One would surmise ownership owning rather than managing would be worth it’s weight in gold futures.


    Overall, the Redskins were ranked as having the brightest future of any NFC East team, Kirk Cousins playing the 2016 on the franchise tag not withstanding.


    Former Redskins player personnel man Morocco Brown spoke recently on NFL Network about how an NFL roster is constructed.  His formula consists of ten core players, five on offense and five on defense, based upon position.  The positions specifically ordered in rank of importance are: QB, LT, RB, WR, TE and RDE, 3Tech NT/DT, LCB, MLB, FS.  In terms of futures, Kirk Cousins, Trent Williams, Matt Jones, Josh Doctson, and Jordan Reed make for a nice group.  Defensively, NT is a major concern beyond this season.  It’s possible Jerrell Powe or Ziggy hood can fill that role but that remains to bee seen.  By Brown’s “elite or starter standards” this is an area of need.  One of Trent Murphy or Matthew Ioannidis is likely to be around in three seasons.  Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland are both likely to be on the roster.  Take your pick at LCB.  Free Safety is definitely an issue.  It’s a difficult position to address in the draft.  Safeties with speed want to be cornerbacks.  It pays more.  A lot more.  Safeties without elite speed are generally relegated to strong safety.  Expect this position to be addressed in the next two drafts.


    In summary, if Scot McCloughan is on the same page with Morocco Brown it stands to reason he will focus on defense in the next free agency and draft period.  While the offense appears largely set, the defense has more long-term holes which will need to be filled.



    One final note, for what it’s worth:  The Redskins have poor fan equity for a professional sports franchise ranked #8 globally in net worth.

    Fewer and fewer fans are spending the money to fill the seats.  Even more discouraging, fewer and fewer fans are discussing the team on social media.

    It’s often said winning cures a lot but of the teams that are ahead of the Redskins, Dallas is at #2.  Someone remind us what they’ve won in recent memory?



    Apologies for the rehash drivel.  Typically every effort is made to keep the content fresh, unique, and relevant.  There just wasn’t anything of the kind to discuss this week.

    If reading the “Captain Obvious” material is your thing, let me know.  I have a list of it from the people paid to come up with material even when there is none.


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    Bacon Bits: Redskins News From Around The Web For The Week Of July 6th 2016


    ESPN’s Adam Schefter does not believe the Redskins and franchise-tagged QB Kirk Cousins will reach a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.

    Schefter thinks it will be “too difficult” to find the right value. “I think there would be teams willing to pay him if he were on the open market today more than Washington feels like it needs to pay him,” Schefter said. “I think a team like the Cleveland Browns would’ve given him $20 million a year, maybe more.” Already set to earn $19.95 million guaranteed this season, there is little reason for Cousins to take less than $20 million per year on a new deal, and the Redskins might want to see another season before shelling out that kind of cash. These deals tend to get done on deadline day, but it is certainly possible Cousins plays out the season under the tag.
    Jun 30 – 10:06 AM

    CSN Mid-Atlantic expects first-rounder Josh Doctson to flirt with six touchdowns as a rookie.

    Beat writers Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir both predicted around a “half dozen” touchdowns for Doctson in year one. Tandler doesn’t believe Doctson will be much of a factor outside of the red zone, however, predicting he catches fewer than 35 passes. Doctson will need to outplay Pierre Garcon and/or Jamison Crowder to earn a regular role in the Redskins’ three-receiver packages.
    Jul 1 – 12:05 PM

    CSN Mid-Atlantic reports David Bruton is getting the “first crack” at the Redskins’ strong safety job.

    Rich Tandler said Duke Ihenacho would have to be “clearly superior” in training camp to unseat Bruton, who started just eight games in his seven years with the Broncos. He does have a fourth-round pedigree, however, and showed well as a short stint as a starter before breaking his leg last season. DeAngelo Hall is locked in at free safety.
    Jul 2 – 12:18 PM believes Shawn Lauvao could be released if he doesn’t win left guard duties.

    The injury-prone veteran is competing with Spencer Long. Lauvao underwent five surgeries after landing on injured reserve with a foot issue last year, and struggled mightily before going down. Lauvao will probably be eased into camp, giving Long a leg up.
    Jul 4 – 2:20 PM

    The Washington Post’s Mike Jones reports franchise-tagged QB Kirk Cousins and the Redskins have “made no strides toward an agreement.”

    Jones reports the Redskins will make another push before the July 15 deadline, but “there’s not a high level of optimism that those efforts will prove successful.” ESPN’s Adam Schefter agrees, recently saying the deal will prove “too difficult” to get done. Franchise tagged players tend to sign long-term deals on deadline day, but this situation is trending in the other direction. It would not be surprising if Cousins played out this year under the tag.
    Jul 5 – 11:29 AM

    The Washington Post reports Redskins OLB Junior Galette “(looked) explosive” in padless offseason practices.

    Galette is questionable for the start of training camp, but has been progressing without setbacks. GM Scot McCloughan said his “explosion” was already back in April. Galette will be 11 months removed from going down when Washington reports. Galette notched 10 sacks in 2014 for the Saints.
    Jul 5 – 2:51 PM

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    Bacon Bits: Redskins News From Around The Web For The Week Of June 29th 2016


    CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Rich Tandler said ILB Will Compton is written “in Sharpie” at the top of the depth chart.

    Compton started the final nine games last season including the playoffs, but he was a liability in run defense. He should enter this season as a starter, but he will need to take a big step forward to nail down a full-time role. Perry Riley and Mason Foster will vie for the other starting spot. Rookie Su’a Cravens could emerge as the team’s primary sub-package inside linebacker.
    Jun 20 – 12:12 PM


    MMQB’s Albert Breer reports contract negotiations between the Redskins and franchise-tagged QB Kirk Cousins are “going nowhere.”

    Breer reports both sides expect Cousins to play out 2016 under the terms of the franchise tag, which would pay him $19.95 million. Likely thinking he will be in an even better negotiating position this time next year, Cousins has little reason to accept a cut-rate deal before the July 15 deadline, and Washington likely wants to see him do it again before they shell out franchise-quarterback money. No matter how grim it looks in June, these deals usually get done at the deadline, but it would not be surprising if Cousins played out the season under the tag.
    Jun 24 – 9:05 AM

    ESPN’s John Keim reports the Redskins “loved how [Jamison] Crowder looked” in the offseason program.

    Keim thinks the sophomore will continue to have a role in three-wide sets despite the presence of first-round pick Josh Doctson. That will likely be true early, especially with Doctson missing time with Achilles’ and foot injuries, but Crowder is at best the No. 4 passing-game option either way. A low point-per-target player with limited touchdown upside, Crowder does not need to be drafted in standard leagues.
    Jun 25 – 12:00 PM

    CSN Mid-Atlantic expects Redskins ILB Mason Foster to start opposite Will Compton.

    Perry Riley was expected to occupy one of the starting spots, but he was held out of spring practices because of a lingering foot injury. That opened the door for Compton and Foster to cement themselves in starting roles. Set to count $5.05 million against the cap in the final year of his deal, Riley could end up a cap cut if he is not able to claim a starting job.
    Jun 26 – 6:41 PM

    The Washington Post’s Mike Jones left seventh-round RB Keith Marshall off his 53-man roster projection.

    Jones has Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, and Mack Brown making the final roster, but he acknowledged it is possible the Redskins keep four running backs. A 219-pound back with 4.31 wheels, Marshall’s college career was sidetracked by an ACL injury as a sophomore, and he dealt with hamstring issues during the offseason program. Marshall has a ton of athletic upside, but he needs to stay healthy through training camp.
    Jun 27 – 12:02 PM

    CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Rich Tandler believes Redskins third-round rookie Kendall Fuller “will emerge” as the slot corner.

    Fuller was fully cleared in his return from microfracture surgery in May and will be ready to compete for a role in training camp. Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland are locked in as the starters, but the Redskins are still looking for a No. 3. Fuller will have to beat out undrafted sophomore Quinton Dunbar for the job.
    Jun 28 – 9:48 AM

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    From In The Bubble To On The Bubble

    Taking a gander at the 2016 Washington Redskins depth chart it seems abundantly clear there are some veterans whose job security is in question.  One recent development which will benefit at least two rookies is the approval of the league to keep the practice squad at ten players for the next two seasons.  Here are the players who are and are not locks to make the 2016 roster:


    The Quarterback position is etched in stone with Kirk Cousins starting and Colt McCoy backing him up.  2016 6th round draft selection Nate Sudfeld is likely headed for the practice squad.


    The Running Back position is also largely etched in stone.  Matt Jones has been named the starter, Chris Thompson is the only experienced backup on the roster, and Robert Kelley has impressed thus far with limited non-contact action.  Keith Marshall is currently behind 2015 practice squad player Mack Brown on the depth chart and his recent hamstring tweak issue is not helping his cause.  Marshall will have to be ready for and produce in training camp to avoid the practice squad.  There are veterans available in free agency.


    The Wide Receiver position is etched in stone.  Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, and Rashad Ross are locked in.  It would not be surprising to see Maurice Harris or Reginald Diggs on the practice squad.


    The Tight End position is one where there is more talent than there are roster positions.  Certainly Jordan Reed is the starter but behind him could be Niles Paul or Vernon Davis.  It seems all three are safe which leaves Logan Paulsen, Derek Carrier, and Marcel Jensen fighting for one roster spot.  Carrier will start the season on IR, leaving Paul and Jensen to battle for one job.  The team likes Paulsen as a blocker but also likes Jensen as a red zone receiving target.  Jensen is, according to the NFL rule change in 2014, eligible for the practice squad as the league allows two players with two accrued seasons or less to be on each team’s PS.


    The team will not carry a Fullback this season.  A Tight End or Tackle will be used in the rare instances the team goes “Heavy Jumbo” as Joe Bugel used to call it.


    Offensive line is anything but etched in stone.  Trent Williams is a lock at Left Tackle.  Brandon Scherff is a lock at Right Guard.  Morgan Moses is a lock at Right Tackle.  The team has three players battling for the starting Left Guard position in Spencer Long, Arie Kouandjio, and Shawn Lauvao.  Of the three, Long can play multiple positions.  The team has three Centers in Korey Lichtensteiger, Austin Reiter, and Josh LeRibeus, not including Long, who has been working at Center during mini camps and OTAs.  Lauvao and Lichtensteiger are both coming off major injuries.  It would not be surprising to see Kouandjio at starting Left Guard and Long at starting Center by September.  The team will keep at least nine offensive linemen but they may elect to keep ten.  By position, the locks are probably Williams, Moses, Ty Nsekhe, and Cody Booth at Tackle, Scherff, Long, Kouandjio, and Takoby Cofield at Guard, and Reiter at Center.  That’s nine players.  That would leave Long starting at Center and both Lauvao and Lichtensteiger out.  Al Bond is potential practice squad material.


    The line is a tough read because Scot McCloughan is known to prefer larger linemen more suited to a power blocking scheme.  Lauvao is that, and the running game was effective until he went down last season, but Left guard Shawn Lauvao, who was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 30 after having left ankle surgery, also had surgery on his right foot and leg. He said he had five total procedures during the last three months. Lauvao said doctors sawed the bone of the first metatarsal in his right foot and did a “slight incision” on the peroneal tendon of his right leg. In addition, Lauvao ruptured the peroneal tendon and tore the ligaments in his left ankle, which was the reason he was placed on IR. Doctors also shaved the bone of his first metatarsal in his left foot.  And then there’s the matter of his $5.0MM salary for the 2016 season.


    Likewise, Lichtensteiger is costing $3.878MM for the 2016 season.  He’s on the other side of 30 and is undersized for a power blocking scheme.  The fact Long has been working at Center even with both Reiter and LeRibeus on the roster, says the team is looking to go bigger.  One way of accomplishing that would be to retain a healthy Shawn Lauvao at Left Guard and to start Spencer Long at Center.  If Lauvao is not able to start, however, Long may have to start at Left Guard, leaving the Center position to Lichtensteiger.


    Stay tuned on the offensive line.


    Next Up: The Defense




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