Tuesday Nickel

In today's Tuesday Nickel: Ryan Boschetti, Injured Tackles, Mike Sellers, the Hall of Fame and Sean Taylor.

1. Ryan's Return.

The Redskins cut Shaun Alexander and re-signed defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti. The Redskins coaches, especially Greg Blache, love Boschetti. He's an all-effort guy which is good considering he has no real skills. But he contributes because he works so hard in practice that he gives the starters a good look. Also, he probably discusses line play more than anyone else, at least coming off the practice field. During the summer he'd constantly be spotted talking to the young linemen about stunts they ran or with other linemen about tactics they used.

2. Injured tackles.

But while it's good for him to return, it's not good that the Redskins need him. Kedric Golston was walking around on a crutch today; Cornelius Griffin took a cortisone shot in his shoulder during the game and Anthony Montgomery is just now returning from an Achilles injury. That made Alexander a luxury. He might return if Clinton Portis gets hurt (or Ladell Betts).

3. Mike Sellers.

Another reason Alexander could be cut is fullback Mike Sellers. As Jim Zorn's trust in him has grown, it became clear that he could do more than just block. He could fill Portis' role in a pinch. Sellers did just about everything in the win over Seattle, from running and catching to blocking in the slot.

4. Hall of Fame.

Russ Grimm is on the list of 25 semifinalists fo r the Hall of Fame, but don't get your hopes up. Word is Grimm remains a longshot. But don't worry, one former Redskin should make it: end Bruce Smith. It still brings chuckles to those of us who covered him to remember the day he broke the all-time sack record in New York. For the one and only time in my long career, there was laughter in the press box watching Smith perform that day because of the way he kept jumping on the pile after a sack. Also, after one sack by a teammate, this is what I saw: 10 guys celebrating the sack and Smith slowly walking off the field about 20 yards away. And the robe that he had on after the game. But Smith wasn't bad to deal with. I remember another time when I asked for a few minutes and he was answering some questions. He knew I had a couple more so when a reporter started to ask a question Smith held up his hand and said to wait until I was done. You like things like that.

5. Sean Taylor.

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of his being shot, a day no one ever connected with the Redskins will ever forget. What I can't forget is the looks on the faces of the players and coaches, the choked words. And the next day the puffy red eyes of not just his teammates, but team employees. It was a surreal time and almost every day that I'm at Redskins Park I drive by the spot where fans made a makeshift memorial and I think of Taylor. Seeing his enclosed locker for the first=2 0time was odd; it no longer makes you pause. I also remember being struck when talking to teammates who seemingly had little interaction with Taylor and how they were affected and how much they had seen him change over the past couple years. Growing up in Cleveland, I was naturally a Browns fan. In the late 1980s they had a safety similar in stature to Taylor named Don Rogers. He died of a cocaine overdose before the 1986 season (a couple weeks after Len Bias). They've never replaced Rogers as a player and I always wonder how good he would have been. Alas, I'll do the same thing with Taylor. He had Hall of Fame talent.

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