A few thoughts on today’s roster moves:
I’m a bit surprised coach Mike Shanahan and special teams coach Danny Smith decided the placekicking competition without Graham Gano attempting a field goal in a preseason game. Smith on Aug. 8 emphasized the importance of kicks in games, but it turns out they saw enough.
“We’ve been doing this for a long time,” Shanahan said. “If we thought one week or one game was going to be the difference, we would have waited until the end of the game. Obviously, we didn’t feel like the game was going to be any difference at all looking at the stats that occurred over the last few months.
“Graham won the statistical battle in practice and in games and that’s why he’s on the team.”
Shanahan has stuck with Gano through three offseasons hoping he will develop into a consistent, reliable kicker. Why give up on him now? You don’t want the growing pains over the last few seasons to benefit some other team that picks him up.
Gano finished last season by making 15 of his last 16 field-goal attempts, and the one miss was blocked. If he picks up where he left off, the Redskins will deserve the rewards because of their patience.
I wouldn’t know how to read an MRI on Jammal Brown’s left hip, but I still think it would be an upset if we see him on the field this season. News of his latest hip surgery at least indicates a proactive approach that addresses a concrete problem. That course of action seems a bit more encouraging than pilates or yoga. Still, he’s had hip problems for three years now.
The questions about Brown’s availability can stop for six weeks while he rehabilitates his hip on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Brown is eligible to begin practicing anytime between the Redskins’ sixth and 10th games. The team has 21 days to activate him after he starts practicing.
For those of you wondering about Brown’s salary cap situation, this report I wrote earlier in training camp will hopefully answer your questions.
The Redskins’ decision to part with veteran cornerback Kevin Barnes isn’t a huge surprise. He fell out of favor as the slot cornerback and was replaced there this season by DeAngelo Hall. Shanahan praised Barnes’ speed after announcing the trade, but he alluded to Barnes not fitting in to the Redskins’ scheme.
Barnes, of course, was drafted by Vinny Cerrato in the third round in 2009. Shanahan inherited him.
The move bodes well for sixth-round rookie Richard Crawford, whose ball skills exceeded Barnes’ this preseason. Crawford was the fourth cornerback on the field late in the first half against Indianapolis on Saturday.
Now the numbers game in the secondary gets interesting. Could the Redskins keep only four corners and go with five safeties (Brandon Meriweather, Madieu Williams, Tanard Jackson, Reed Doughty and DeJon Gomes)? Only four more days until we find out.
Poor Jonathan Crompton was a good soldier as the fourth-string quarterback and didn’t get any preseason game film to show for it. It’s a tough business this time of year.