- Gov. Mike Pence irked as Obama sends illegals to Indiana on sly
- Israel, White House say Obama phone call to demand cease-fire was fake
- Nancy Pelosi: Deporting kids un-Christian, sends them ‘into a burning building’
- Islamist militants seize special forces base in Benghazi, Libya
- Feds sue Pennsylvania State Police over women’s fitness tests
- Israel accused of striking U.N. school, killing at least 15
- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
DALY: It’s time for Redskins’ season to become a tryout
Question of the Day
That crunching sound you hear is the eggshells the Washington Redskins are walking on. When you have lost four straight and your season is vaporizing before your eyes, almost nobody is feeling very secure. Not with four new players arriving the past couple of days (and another last week).
After flirting with respectability for a month — then being undone by subpar quarterback play and a slew of offensive injuries — the Redskins wisely have turned their attention again to team building. They need players at virtually every position, so why not turn the second half of the season into a tryout camp of sorts?
If there’s a guy on the waiver wire who intrigues them, they should claim him. If there’s a street free agent out there who might be better than what they’ve got, they should sign him. We’re midway through Year 2 of the Mike Shanahan era, and things already are well behind schedule. If most of the holes in the roster haven’t been patched over by Year 3, there’s a good chance there won’t be a Year 4.
On Wednesday, offensive guard Tyler Polumbus, wide receiver David Anderson, defensive end Kentwan Balmer and defensive back Domonique Johnson suited up for their first practices as Redskins. All four were on the unemployment line after being cut by the clubs they played for last season. Joining them was running back Tashard Choice, who was let go by the Dallas Cowboys a week ago (but has been rehabbing a hamstring).
Five new faces, almost a fifth of the squad. Yowzer.
Maybe one or more of them will pan out. Polumbus, after all, started for Seattle last season in its playoff win over New Orleans; Anderson caught 38 passes one year for Houston; Tashard averaged 5.8 yards a carry as a rookie with the Cowboys; and Balmer is a former first-round pick.
Let’s face it, the Redskins haven’t been nearly aggressive enough in this area, especially for a team that’s 9-15 since the start of last season. There are always players out there that can make you better, kids languishing on somebody else’s practice squad or veterans looking for another chance. If you’re in a rebuilding mode, it behooves you to bring some of them in, if not a lot of them in.
It’s just doing your due diligence. It’s also — and his can’t be underestimated — giving yourself a chance to get lucky. There’s no telling, really, when something might click for a player, when he might go from being mere training-camp fodder to something more. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting an opportunity. As far as the Redskins are concerned, what could they possibly have to lose?
Two years ago, Arian Foster was passed over in the draft and spent 10 weeks on the Houston Texans’ practice squad before he was activated. At any time in those 10 weeks, another club could have swooped in and grabbed him. And now he’s arguably the best all-around back in the league. Who’s to say there isn’t another Arian Foster out there, waiting to be discovered?
Last season, it was LeGarrette Blount. Tennessee cut him at the end of camp — with the intention of keeping him on the practice squad — but Tampa Bay claimed him. All he’s done since is average 74.1 rushing yards a game (and 4.8 a carry). Wouldn’t either of those backs look good right now in a Washington uniform?
First-round picks are nice to have, but useful players can be found just about anywhere. Consider the offense Shanahan put together in Denver in 1998, the year the Broncos started 13-0 and won their second straight Super Bowl. The unit scored 501 points, had seven Pro Bowlers and a 2,000-yard rusher, yet only one starter was drafted before the third round — and just three before the sixth. Here’s the breakdown:
• Round 1 - QB John Elway.*
• Round 3 - WR Ed McCaffrey* (signed as a free agent), RG Dan Neil.
• Round 6 - RB Terrell Davis.*
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dan Daly has been writing about sports for the Washington Times since 1982. He has won numerous national and local awards, appears regularly in NFL Films’ historical features and is the co-author of “The Pro Football Chronicle,” a decade-by-decade history of the game. Follow Dan on Twitter at @dandalyonsports –- or e-mail him at email@example.com.
- DALY: Rookies RG3, Alfred Morris hold their own against two Browns greats
- DALY: Players soon may equate Redskins with winning
- DALY: Quarterbacks waste no time making impact
- DALY: Just the tip of the iceberg for these Redskins
- DALY: Striking a balance integral to Redskins’ success
Latest Blog Entries
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Ticket me Elmo? NYC mulls law for impersonators
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Government OKs Arab-owned company Gulftainer to operate U.S. cargo port
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world