Lots of questions still unanswered

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Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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c Only a handful of jobs are available.

For a team that won only five games last year, there sure isn’t a lot of competition for roster spots.

On offense, a couple of reserve spots on the offensive line are up for grabs, and Corey Bradford holds an edge over Mike Espy for the fifth and final receiver position because Espy’s knee has kept him out for several days.

On defense, the No. 5 safety contest (Vernon Fox or Reed Doughty) bears monitoring, as does the Ade Jimoh watch. Jimoh somehow has survived even though he has not been trusted to play cornerback (he is almost exclusively a special teams player). Does time finally run out on Jimoh this year?

On special teams, kicker Shaun Suisham and punter Derrick Frost face no competition on the roster.

c Little is known about the defense.

This issue won’t be settled until the games start counting Sept. 9. There is no tackling or scrimmaging in practices, so it’s near impossible to tell whether the run defense is ready or whether the defense is getting pressure on the passer.

The secondary appears to be getting hands on more passes, Fred Smoot intercepted a pass in the Ravens scrimmage, and safety LaRon Landry already is running with the starters.

The good news is the defense is staying healthy, Cornelius Griffin appears to be in top condition and Joe Salave’a and Renaldo Wynn had good opening weeks.

It’s unclear whether Marcus Washington should be used as a rush end on passing downs: Does his skill set translate into winning one-on-one battles against much bigger players, or is he better suited to be used as a blitzer?

c Nobody can cover Chris Cooley.

The Redskins‘ linebackers and secondary have provided little opposition for Cooley, the fourth-year tight end. As safeties coach Steve Jackson said last week, “We’re still trying to find a way to cover Chris.”

Moss‘ injuries prevented him from participating in several offseason passing sessions (though he played a lot during 7-on-7 drills against the Ravens and looked sharp), leaving Campbell to develop a rapport with Cooley.

An example came last week. Cooley ran a pattern along the hash mark. Before he stopped and turned, the ball was being delivered by Campbell — a complete pass between two defenders. Both players recognized the coverage and were in synch.

Obviously, the first week of camp isn’t a complete barometer for what will happen during the 14 Sundays, one Monday and one Thursday that make up the regular season. But Cooley is in for a gigantic season.

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