The Washington Redskins filled out their eight man practice squad roster Sunday, completing the preseason part of the schedule and setting their sights on week one and the Philadelphia Eagles.
LB William Compton, DL Dominique Hamilton, RB Jawan Jamison, WR Lance Lewis and Nick Williams, CB Chase Minnifield, and OL Xavier Nixon and Tevita Stevens will make up the Redskins practice squad for 2013. Minnifield was thought by many to have made the 53-man roster, but the Redskins instead decided to stash him away for another season of development. Lewis, too, has great skill, but is raw and could use another year of seasoning before contributing.
Washington now turns their attention to the Eagles, who have had an interesting offseason themselves by hiring new head coach Chip Kelly. He will attempt to bring his speed-of-sound-paced offense to the NFL with veteran QB Michael Vick under center and human blur DeSean Jackson anchoring the receiving corps. Their run defense gave up 126.3 yards a game, and does not appear to have improved much at all thus far in 2013, so Skins RBs Alfred Morris and Roy Helu Jr. should put up big numbers on September 9th.
The Skins are banking on rookie defensive backs Bacarri Rambo and David Amerson giving an immediate boost to a porous secondary. If they don’t, the team could see plenty of shootouts once again. Hopefully, the return of sack machine Brian Orakpo to the front seven will force opposing gunslingers to make regrettable passes. Washington’s LBs are some of the best in the league, with Ryan Kerrigan wreaking havoc weekly and Perry Riley quietly becoming a steady force over the middle with great tacking technique. Of course, London Fletcher is still the man pumping blood through the defense’s veins. Even at 38 years old, his determination is infectious and his knowledge of the game and innate positioning cannot be replicated.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the QB position in a Redskins article, after all the attention it has received lately, so here we go:
Pat White has made the team. A lot of people doubted that he could after he started off so poorly in training camp, but he impressed coaches with his steady improvement each week and will be a solid fill-in for Michael Vick at practice.
Hmm? That’s not the QB you thought I was talking about?
Oh right. That RGIII fellow. Dr. James Andrews officially cleared him to play this past week, and now “Operation Patience” can be laid to rest once and for all. I’d be shocked if Griffin did not line up under center against Philadelphia (UPDATE: Coach Mike Shanahan did indeed name RGIII as the starter on Monday). It’s just a hunch, but I also would not expect any rust from the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year. He always plays with a chip on his shoulder, but now he has more to prove than ever before, and I think he’ll stop at nothing to prove it.
Philadelphia: you are officially on notice. Good luck.