Every football fan knows how seemingly unimportant game 4 of the preseason is to the rest of the season. However, if you’re a player whose position on the roster is questionable, this game is crucial. And now, with a guy like Cooley getting cut, I’d image the anxiety is especially high. If they can cut someone as important to the organization as he has been, no ones job is particularly safe. Or so I imagine.
Here are some of the guys to watch tonight as they fight for their spot on the 53-man roster:
Thus far in the preseason, Alfred Morris has stood out as the best Running Back on the team. He is not expected to play tonight, giving Royster a moment in the spotlight. Hightower and Helu may also see some playing time and get a chance to plead their case, but both are still recovering from injuries. Royster showed up in a major way last season, doing a fantastic job of stepping up after injuries sidelined the other RB’s. He will get a chance to do that again tonight. (Isn’t it refreshing to have so much depth in this position for once?)
The kicking situation inWashingtonchanged entirely in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Gano and Rackers were cut (or “kicked out” if you will) and Billy Cundiff was brought in. We all need to keep our fingers crossed that he delivers, because it seems we are fresh out of options otherwise.
Virtually Every Wide Receiver
Except, of course, Moss, Garcon, Morgan and Hankerson. But everyone else will have to play their best game yet in order to secure a spot. This battle will make for some great football tonight. For guys like Anthony Armstrong and Aldrick Robinson, they need to prove they can be a strong asset to special teams as well. On the other hand, if they excel at returns, that could mean the boot for veteran Brandon Banks, who has yet to demonstrate himself as a strong Wideout. Dezmon Briscoe needs to show versatility tonight, while Terrence Austin needs to take everything up a notch (or 4).
Crawford appears to be a shoe in since Kevin Barnes got traded, but is yet another player who needs to step up on special teams. He is up against veteran David Jones, as well as Brandyn Thompson. They all know what the Redskins are looking for in a cornerback, so their work is more or less cut out for them.
Kirk Cousins and/or Rex Grossman
RGIII is the starter. Obviously. And Grossman is our past; we all know what he can and cannot do. So where does Cousins fit in? Tonight we will presumably get a closer look at both QB’s. In my game 1 preview article I said that Cousins, who had flown mostly under the radar at that point would get a chance to fight for relevancy. And he has. But I don’t think he’s done fighting. Even though Shanahan has stated he has the intention of keeping all 3 QB’s, nothing is ever set in stone. Tonight he will get one last chance to make some noise before the season starts and we become obsessed with RGIII all over again.
And, I can’t help but throw this out there as well:
With Cooley out, there are big shoes to fill. Yes I understand that Cooley’s release was allegedly tied to his desire to be a starter. But nonetheless, Cooley was a legend. And every man who wants to be able to call himself a TE on the Redskins needs to give this game everything they have.
This goes for every position. As we’ve seen, nothing can be taken for granted in this league.
Good luck to all the players tonight and let’s just hope for no more injuries. This should be a great game to watch!