The coaches holed themselves up late this afternoon, trying to trim the roster to the necessary 53 by 4 p.m. Saturday. Here's a look at each position.
Starting job up for grabs: None. Jason Campbell is the guy, obviously.
Issues remaining: Who is the No. 2? Todd Collins or Mark Brunell? Logic, and preseason performance, suggest it should be Collins. Joe Gibbs loves Mark Brunell, but when he leaves the door open for a change, he does so for a reason. Still, it's still hard to fathom he would lean that way, given Brunell's experience. On a sidenote, the Redskins were never close to trading Brunell to Seattle on Thursday night. If they were, though, the performance of Jordan Palmer would have convinced them to think again. Palmer is a practice squader at best. The only way we can see Brunell being traded is if the Redskins got an incredible offer or if Brunell asked for it. Why does Gibbs, a 66-year-old coach, need a late-round draft pick that would take a few years to mature?
Starting jobs up for grabs: None. Clinton Portis, if healthy, will start at running back and Mike Sellers will start at fullback.
Issues remaining: Who gets the last roster spot -- fullback Fred Beasley or running back Dee Brown? And does Marcus Mason have any chance whatsoever? The kid ran hard, makes the first defender miss more often than not and has a knack for squirting through narrow openings, and looked better than Brown. Mason also did a decent job with pass protection Thursday. The Redskins typically keep five at this spot.
Starting jobs up for grabs: None. Chris Cooley and Todd Yoder will start at tight end; Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El will start at receiver.
Issues remaining: Who is the final wideout? And will they keep three tight ends? If they keep Beasley, they could always use Sellers as a third tight end in a pinch, meaning Eric Edwards would get the ax. At receiver, they need to find a No. 5 -- Carl Berman, Ryan Hoag or Corey Bradford. To be honest, I didn't see Bradford do anything to warrant a spot.
Starting jobs up for grabs: None, not with the addition of Pete Kendall.
Issues remaining: Who are the final backups? Stephon Heyer will get a spot as will Mike Pucillo. We're fairly confident in that. After that, who knows. Jason Fabini sounds like a lock. Then again, he couldn't unseat an undrafted free agent. Todd Wade looked adequate -- actually, rusty is a better word -- the other night at right tackle, but no one else can play that spot behind Jon Jansen. Taylor Whitley is someone they like and he can play guard and tackle. But one of them might have to go.
Starting jobs up for grabs: Looks like there aren't any, but Anthony Montgomery has looked good the past couple weeks, making plays in the backfield. Still don't trust his motor, but is Kedric Golston that much better?
Issues remaining: Assuming Demetric Evans and Renaldo Wynn are locks -- they typically release vets earlier if they know they have no chance -- then the line likely would get two more players. Lorenzo Alexander has played well and Chris Wilson has shown flashes and gotten numerous looks vs. first teamers (with little success). Ryan Boschetti and Alex Buzbee have had their moments. I like Buzbee, but he could use a year on the practice squad first.
Starting jobs up for grabs: None.
Issues remaining: Really, this should be the most settled spot. If they keep six, the backups almost have to be Khary Campbell, H.B. Blades and Randall Godfrey. That is, if they decide Godfrey has anything left. Honestly, I like the Trucks kid. He plays fast and makes plays. He's flashed in every game and warrants a spot. Plus I like that his son's middle name is Mack. Get it: Mack Trucks. Love it. Dallas Sartz is a practice squader at best. Not sure he's even that.
Starting jobs up for grabs: None.
Issues remaining: Probably the hardest spot to settle because it depends if they keep nine or 10 players here. Assuming there are seven locks -- Fred Smoot, Omar Stoutmire and Pierson Prioleau in addition to the starters -- then there might only be two spots available. Ade Jimoh, because of his special teams, is a likelihood. Did David Macklin play his way on the other night? He gave up some passes, but those were all in zone coverage and he had excellent coverage on one deep ball. That leaves John Eubanks, Leigh Torrence, Reed Doughty and Vernon Fox fighting for maybe one spot. We like Doughty over Fox because of his size; Fox just can't help from scrimmage. Eubanks is OK and has flashed a few times. Is it enough? We'll find out Saturday.
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