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Youth Movement Sweeps The Redskins

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 3, 2011 – 9:35 pm

AP Image

With Saturday’s roster cuts officially in the books, the Redskins are looking at a younger roster going into 2011.  The following players were officially waived as of Saturday night:

Isaac Anderson, wide receiver, Wisconsin

Selvish Capers, offensive tackle, West Virginia

Shaun Draughn, running back, North Carolina

Thaddeus Gibson, outside linebacker, Ohio State

Matt Gutierrez, quarterback, Idaho State

Chris Horton, safety, UCLA

Maurice Hurt, offensive guard, Florida

Reggie Jones, defensive back, Portland State

Clint Oldenburg, offensive tackle, Colorado State

Donovan Raiola, center, Wisconsin

Aldrick Robinson, wide receiver, SMU

Evan Royster, running back, Penn State

Anderson Russell, defensive back, Ohio State

Davonte Shannon, defensive back, Buffalo

Jeff Stehle, defensive end, Wisconsin

Doug Worthington, defensive end, Ohio State

Keiland Williams, running back, Louisiana State

Artis Hicks, offensive guard/tackle, Memphis

Horatio Benedict Blades, inside linebacker, Pittsburgh

Anthony Bryant, nose tackle, Alabama

Kellen Clemens, quarterback, Oregon

Tony Curtis, tight end, Portland State

Edgar Jones, outside linebacker, Southeast Missouri

Derek Schouman, tight end, Boise State

The Redskins also officially activated safety LaRon Landry from the P.U.P., and placed injured safety Kareem Moore on the P.U.P.  He will not be eligible for the active roster until following the sixth week of the regular season.

When head coach Mike Shanahan came to Washington, his task was to build a winner.  Using the 2011 NFL Draft and calculated moves in free agency, the Redskins have constructed a roster that is ready to compete for the long-term.

The roster composition this year stands in pretty sharp contrast to last season.

The average age of this year’s roster is 25.58491 years, or approximately 25 years, 7 months, and 1 day.  Altogether, there are 25 of 53 players on the roster with three year’s experience or less (nine rookies, one first year, nine second year, and six third year players).

The average age of last year’s roster–one of the oldest in the league–was 27.69 years, or approximately 27 years, 8 months, and 8 days.  Altogether, there were only 18 of 53 players on the roster with three year’s experience or less (five rookies, four first year, five second year, four third year players).

In 2011, the roster will average more than two full years younger.  Two years in the NFL is a dramatic difference, and these are players that can learn and grow in Shanahan’s system.

A few noticeable players that made the final cuts are:

  • Terrence Austin, receiver/returner, UCLA: A seventh-round pick in 2010, he earned his spot on the 53-man squad thanks to his explosiveness on offense and in the return game.  There’s always enough room for playmakers like Austin and Brandon Banks on the same team.
  • Chris Neild, nose tackle, West Virginia: Selected second to last in the 2011 draft, he showed enough to be in the mix on defensive line at the all-important nose tackle position.
  • Logan Paulsen, tight end, UCLA: An undrafted free agent in 2010, he took advantage of the extra playing time without Chris Cooley on the field, and showed that he can be an asset in the passing and blocking game.
  • Donte’ Stallworth, wide receiver, Tennesee: An NFL journeyman of late, his veteran leadership showed in the locker room throughout training camp, and his big-play-ability shined brightly against Tampa Bay.

Of special note, in the final roster, the team will not go with three quarterbacks, electing to use the luxury roster-spot elsewhere.  By all accounts, this is a difficult offensive scheme to grasp, and the coaching staff must be comfortable with the abilities of John Beck and Rex Grossman to handle the duties.

The roster composition is also a positive reflection of the player scouting and development, which carries nine of the dozen 2011 draft picks through the final cuts.  With such a large haul in this year’s draft (especially in the later rounds), it’s a testament to the work that these players and coaches put in during training camp and the regular season to see them make the final 53.

This youth movement is not to say that the team is rebuilding–on the contrary.  As Shanahan said several days ago, “I never talk about anything as ‘rebuilding.’  When you use the term ‘rebuilding, that’s kind of an excuse for not winning.  You always believe you can win.”

Getting younger and winning are not mutually exclusive things, and Shanahan intends to prove that in 2011.

Now, certainly there will be more roster shuffling in the coming hours, days, and weeks, as the market is now flooded with more than 800 NFL free agents.  For some of these men, this is the last hurrah, but some will inevitably find new opportunities elsewhere.

Perhaps a few lucky players will even be able to join the Burgundy and Gold in the next few days, but they’ll have to be a considerable upgrade to knock off Washington’s final 53.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments »

18 Responses to “Youth Movement Sweeps The Redskins”

  1. By Carl007 on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    I was surprised they cut Evan Royster. He had a very good game against Pittsburgh and didn’t play against Tampa. Something must have happened in practice that sealed his fate.

  2. By Cranky fan on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    I saw it differently, he seemed to lack the explosion that Helu and Hightower possess. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was offered a spot on the practice squad.

  3. By @MaineSkin on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    I do not like the Horton cut, but I am cool with the rest. We have two fragile S right now, so letting go of a guy who once looked like a starter in this league with some experience for rookies is a little risky. It’s not like we play Nicks, Mannigham, Dez, Austin, DeSean, Maclin, ect… Hopefully, these guys will make it to the practice squad:

    With the new KO rule, how will this impact certain positions and their depth picks?

  4. By david on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    @ Carl007 – I like Royster too given what he did at Penn State. Royster played a lot against Tampa but didn’t impress (44 yards on 11 carries, and a fumble). Roy Helu, the other RB drafted, was impressive in the preseason and made the team. (I like Royster but love Helu). And the Skins have Hightower and Torrain as the veterans. So those are the three RBs kept. No room for Royster 😦 Perhaps he’ll be placed on the practice squad.

  5. By Justin on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    Sad to see Horton go but he’ll end up somewhere. Keiland & Horatio were two of my favorites. How’s our depth at MLB stack up now?

  6. By @MaineSkin on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    If Banks was not around, Royster’s speed would probably have him as KR/PR. I surprised to see Torain not dealt to ARZ, DET or MIA for a pick, but Torain did avg the 2nd highest rush per att behind Charles from KC. Hightower brings all the tools to the table, but Helu is faster and Torain is a wrecking ball, so wearing teams down will be easy. Start out with Hightower mixing in Helu’s speed then in 4th quarter ask Torain to go out there and run over guys then dump off a screen to Helu with the D off-balanced. Remember, Hightower put up some great numbers in ARZ in limited playing time, but that’s because he is a fumbler which the Shanahan’s will not put up with at all.
    I am still surprised Banks made the team with almost every KO going into the end-zone, so he is basically a PR specialist. Let me say, two years ago I was talking about how the Skins needed that “pain in the ass” returner for other teams to respect and seeing it action, 1 of the 53 is deserved especially since the NFL is about every play from scrimmage(detail) and its good we have it back in DC!

  7. By @MaineSkin on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    Riley is an athlete and Fox has shown McKintosh is trade-able. I actually drafted Blades in a dynasty league thinking he was our starting MILB next to Fletcher with McKintosh leaving FA, but one year of young guys showing their upside is all this league gives these guys (not explaining that). If Atogwe and Landry cannot get onto the field, we will certainly have a top 5 pick. I am not sure why this is not a bigger deal in the media, but one I live in ME now so it might be, but Landry saying he is scared to get re-injured is horrible. Anyone who has played a sport knows that if anyone thinks they are going to get hurt while on the field they are toast. Landry is a staple of this D or else we will be drafting D next year up top.

  8. By Carl007 on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    Maine, they cut Horton??? Is Atogwe that good??? These are some odd cuts. I knew Blades was done — he’s undersized and doesn’t make enough game-changing plays, but cutting a tackling machine like Horton is pretty strange.

    I would have given Torrain the boot — he seems injury-prone, but if you have to keep one of two rookies at RB, it’s a coin flip.

    I’d like to see my other team, the Dolphins, pick up Merriweather and Horton for their secondary.

  9. By Carl007 on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    @David I guess keeping four RBs was too much to ask. I like our depth at RB and TE.

    I still think Royster can play in this league. Honestly, I was expecting Torrain to get cut, due to being injury-prone.

  10. By david on Sep 4, 2011 | Reply

    @Carl007 I hear you on Torrain. If we just kept Hightower, though, both of the other RBs would be rookies, and maybe that feels a bit risky.

    I read somewhere today that Shanahan likes to think of the practice squad as just an extension of the depth chart. So perhaps Royster will not only make the practice squad, but will be treated as the 4th-string RB likely to be called up the moment Torrain or someone else goes down.

  11. By Carl007 on Sep 4, 2011 | Reply

    @David I expect Torrain to be productive this season, but I also expect him to go down at some point. I agree with you on the risk of not wanting to have too much rookie depth at a skill position, but I’d rather have rookie depth at RB than at QB or WR.

    I hope we do see Royster again — I always noticed how productive he was at Penn State.

  12. By david on Sep 4, 2011 | Reply

    @ Carl007 — looks like things played out just as we thought/hoped. From today’s Post: “Royster said he was glad to re-sign as a member of the practice squad, and liked his chances of being promoted to the official roster at some point this season.”

    Shanahan probably told Royster that the practice squad is part of the depth chart and he’ll likely become part of the team as soon as someone goes down.

  13. By @MaineSkin on Sep 4, 2011 | Reply

    Yeah, some of these practice squads have guys who make plenty above min and some at NFL min. I was listening to a podcast about how NE will pay guys over the active roster league minimum and incentives.

  14. By mjreeseycup@aol.xom on Sep 4, 2011 | Reply

    Carl…u r an idiot. Pick a damn team and don’t be so wtever! Sounds @ the same to me as “Yea I’ve got 8 teams I pull for at the end of the year in the playoffs.” Your in or out? Wt do u go to skins and fins games? Is it cuz they rhyme?
    Horton was horrible in coverage minus the 2 ints game. Did u watch the preseason?! The body language?! R u a fake?! So forget him. Pick a guy that WILL improve over someone that has peaked. Go on and trade for Vonnie Holidays 14 year in the league ass. We’ll keep a Gaffney. Stop playing GM Cerrato JR

  15. By blahgedy blah on Sep 4, 2011 | Reply

    I agree. Carl u r a retard. If u had any sense whatsoever you wouldn’t think of cutting Torain. In fact he was a very en vogue pick for many fantasy teams later last year and racked up quite many yards. We aren’t talking of a Reggie Brooks one year wonder here are we? Learn your Redskins and then come back to chat some more good fellow. So he’s had injuries. That is why we have brought in Tim Hightower and Roy Helu. Torain is a beast MAN. U idiot.

  16. By Carl007 on Sep 4, 2011 | Reply

    @David You really knew what you were talking about, I see. I knew Royster was too good to just let walk. I’m glad the Skins still have him in the fold. I’m surprised no one picked him up.

    I have Torrain and Sproles on my Fantasy team. I think I made a mistake with Torrain, but then again, I think Shanny’s gonna use his backs as a change of pace throughout the games.

  17. By Carl007 on Sep 4, 2011 | Reply

    @Maine I was really shocked at the release of Horton. Is there something about the guy I’m missing? He seemed like a very good tackler in run support, the perfect complement to the ball-hawking Landry.

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