Practice Squad Is Set
The Washington Redskins officially announced their eight-man practice squad on Labor Day Monday. Here is the final list:
• WR Aldrick Robinson
• RB Evan Royster
• G Maurice Hurt
• DE Doug Worthington
• DL Chris Baker
• QB Jonathan Crompton
• CB Nate Ness
• G Eric Olsen
The first four names on the list were obviously all at Redskins training camp in 2011, the latter four were not.
Robinson, Royster and Hurt were all draft picks this year, and signify a fairly momentous achievement: all 12 of this year's entry selections are either on the 53-man roster, or the 8-man practice squad.
Comparatively, only 12 Redskins from the years 2000-2010 made the team in total; so it looks like a banner draft for the 2011 Redskins. Of course it takes time to see if players are just filling slots, or able to make more significant contributions, but regardless, Redskins fans should be encouraged by the team finally starting to build from within.
Hurt was knicked by injury late in camp, which may have hurt his chances of making the 53-man, but with only two reserve offensive lineman in the line-up, his selection to the practice squad was expected.
Doug Worthington wasn't drafted by the Redskins, but he did have a great camp at Redskins Park this year. The young defensive end had to have been a tough cut for the coaching staff after faring so well, so Washington was likely relieved that he cleared waivers, allowing them to keep him in the system. With only three back-ups total for the defensive line (Chris Neild, Darrion Scott, and Kedric Golston), it's quite possible that Worthington could be needed on the 53-man roster before the end of the season.
Quarterback Jonathan Crompton is another name that the Redskin faithful may recognize - after all, he quarterbacked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their last preseason game against Washington just last week. He wasn't all that impressive or memorable going 12 of 22 for 149 yards, but obviously the Redskins saw more in him than they saw in Ben Chappell who was released last week.
The new '46 man rule' has prompted a lot of teams to go with only two quarterbacks on their 53-man, as the Redskins have, in favor of using the extra active game slot on a specialty player (like Brandon Banks). Thanks to the new trend, there will be a dozen or more quarterbacks out of work in 2011, that were working in 2010. Players like Crompton may catch on with teams as their practice squad quarterback, but how many would be expected to actually back-up a starter if the original starter went down? If Rex Grossman or John Beck were to get hurt, it'd be very surprising to not see the Redskins go out and sign a journeyman free agent quarterback with some experience in the system.
So the 61 players that constitute the preliminary 2011 Washington Redskins have been decided. The team is young, and seemingly a lot more focused; they also seem to have a lot more accountability- two traits that have been sorely missing in D.C. for quite some time.
Now all that remains to be seen, is if it can translate into victories, and restore the faith of a starving Redskins Nation.
This article was released on 2011-09-06.
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