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Snap judgments: Analyzing how much Redskins players played vs. Falcons

Jay Gruden has been tight-lipped about how much he plans to utilize projected starters in the preseason, but we get our first hint with the snap count following the Redskins first game of 2016.

There are many takeaways from the Washington Redskins preseason opener loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Breaking Burgundy breaks them down here and here. Yet another way to do so is to see which players were most, or least, utilized during the preliminary tune up. Here are the biggest takeaways from the Washington snap count courtesy of Redskins.com.

General numbers, the highs and lows of snap counts.

  • Takoby Cofield and Rashad Ross played 78 percent of the offensive snaps, while Quinton Dunbar and Trent Murphy led at 59 percent of defensive plays.
  • On the other extreme and most notably, Matt Jones only played six snaps and on the other side of the ball Josh Norman and Ryan Kerrigan only played three each.
  • Spencer Long, 59 percent of offensive plays, along with Dashaun Phillips and Stephen Paea, 36 percent of defensive snaps, played the most in preseason game number one from the Redskins projected starting lineup on their respective phases. Long's numbers are inflated due to his role as second string center, while coaches are taking a hard look at brewing battles on the defensive side of the ball.
  • Again based on Breaking Burgundy's project starter, the first team offense played just over 10 snaps or 18 percent of the game, while the first team defense eclipsed 12 snaps or 21 percent of the game. The slight discrepancy can be explained by Jamison Crowder, Jordan Reed, and Trent Williams not suiting up

Offense

  • The competition for the third string running back spot truly began with live tackling possible in a preseason game. Robert Kelley led the way with 18 plays of action, while Mack Brown was right on his tail at 17 snaps. Seventh round pick Keith Marshall, and arguably the favorite to win the roster spot, did not have much running room during his 13 snaps of action.
  • Despite Jay Gruden talking highly about the lone fullback on the 90-man roster, Joe Kerridge, the undrafted free agent saw the fewest plays of the offensive roster at three snaps. With the team releasing Darrel Young earlier in the offseason, it is unlikely the team will field a traditional fullback on the 53-man roster.

Defense

  • Dunbar and Murphy leading the defense is no surprise. Washington coaches probably wanted to build Dunbar's confidence back up after the Florida product got beat deep twice by former Redskin Aldrick Robinson. On the other hand, Washington wants Murphy to reset his mindset back to the outside linebacker position after a conversion back to the pass rusher position following Junior Galette's injury.
  • Opposite Chris Baker, the Redskins have a dilemma of who to start at right defensive end. Deciding between Ricky Jean Francois (20 snaps), Kendall Reyes (20), Stephen Paea (21), and even journeyman Ziggy Hood (22), the coaching staff decided to give the group considerable playing time. Francois was the most consistent last year, Reyes was the first free agent signing this year, Paea was the prized acquisition last offseason before injury, while Hood has been showing well during training camp. Regardless of who starts against Pittsburgh on September 12, Washington will rotate a lot of bodies along the line throughout a game.

What's next?

  • Jay Gruden will probably again announce playing time for starters in the second preseason game as unknown because he will play it by ear, but expect at least double the number of snaps next Friday against the Jets.

See the full list of preseason Week 1 snap counts below.

Offense (58 Snaps)

Takoby Cofield 45

Rashad Ross 45

Maurice Harris 38

Nate Sudfeld 35

Logan Paulsen 34

Spencer Long 33

Ty Nsekhe 32

Nila Kasitati 28

Ryan Grant 25

Josh LeRibeus 24

Marcel Jensen 21

Arie Kouandjio 21

Austin Reiter 21

Valdez Showers 20

Colt McCoy 19

Robert Kelley 18

Mack Brown 17

Isaiah Williams 17

Brandon Scherff 17

Morgan Moses 17

Kory Lichtensteiger 17

Shawn Lauvao 16

Vernon Davis  14

Keith Marshall  13

Al Bond 13

T.J. Thorpe 10

Chris Thompson 8

Dez Stewart 8

DeSean Jackson 8

Kirk Cousins 8

Pierre Garçon 8

Cody Booth 8

Matt Jones 6

Niles Paul 5

Kendal Thompson 5

Jarvis Turner 4

Joe Kerridge 3 

Defense (58 Snaps)

Quinton Dunbar 34 

Trent Murphy 34 

Martrell Spaight 31 

Duke Ihenacho 31 

Greg Toler 30 

Will Blackmon 30 

Kendall Fuller 27 

Geno Matias-Smith 27 

Jeremy Harris 26 

Carlos Fields 25 

Deshazor Everett 25 

Su'a Cravens 24 

Matt Ioannidis 24 

Ziggy Hood 22 

Terence Garvin 21 

Dashaun Phillips 21 

Stephen Paea 21 

Kendall Reyes 20 

Ricky Jean Francois 20 

Houston Bates 19 

Preston Smith 18 

Corey Crawford 16 

Lloyd Carrington 16 

Chris Baker 16 

Ejiro Ederaine 15 

Anthony Lanier 15 

Mike Wakefield 14 

David Bruton Jr. 13 

Mason Foster 12 

Will Compton 12 

DeAngelo Hall 12 

Perry Riley Jr. 11 

Kedric Golston 11 

Mariel Cooper 10 

Willie Jefferson 9 

Shiro Davis 7 

Bashaud Breeland 7 

Josh Norman 3 

Ryan Kerrigan 3 

Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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