Thoughts and observations after the Washington Redskins' 24-10 win over Tampa Bay:
I just don't see how you can try and put Lache Seastrunk on the practice squad. There are times he overestimates his speed, with quick reversal-of-fields. That could get him in trouble, but he has speed to turn the corner, a speed no one else in the backfield can match.
Chris Thompson could be placed on the practice squad. Durability remains an issue. That hasn't changed. He showed quickness Thursday, but with him it's not about one game. And I'm not sure he showed enough when he did play to bump Seastrunk.
Evan Royster has improved on special teams and perhaps that gives him an edge over the young backs. But he's not so good that it should be an absolute deciding factor. I've followed Royster since his Westfield High School days. But the other backs have been more dynamic. They need, and want, that.
If Gabe Miller and Everette Brown were even entering this game, then Miller had to surge ahead. Miller does have practice squad experience, but he outplayed Brown Thursday. Miller made a very nice tackle for a loss when he took on the pulling guard, by going low and allowing him to spin off. Next play, he recognized the draw and made a tackle on third and long. He also showed good recognition on a bootleg to his side and that resulted in the sack/fumble and subsequent recovery.
Not a whole lot might change with the Redskins' kicking game this season. Kai Forbath is a solid place kicker, but his kickoffs are inconsistent -- both with distance and hangtime. The ideal hangtime is 4.0 seconds; he rarely reaches that number and that leads to longer returns. And both punter options are inconsistent. Rookie place kicker Zach Hocker had a shot and I thought he had the lead entering Thursday, but Forbath had the stronger game. If that's the case, the veteran should keep the job.
Very tough blow for backup nose tackle Chris Neild. I did not think he'd make the roster, but my guy Chris Russell from ESPN980 said he was told Neild would have been on instead of Clifton Geathers if not for this torn ACL. Both players are one-dimensional so it's a matter of taste. But I thought that with others on the front having the ability to play nose if something happens to Barry Cofield -- like Chris Baker -- it would make Neild expendable. But he's also the sort of player coaches love to keep around. Regardless, it's a shame. The guy works awfully, awfully hard.
Wrote this earlier, but if anything happens to DeSean Jackson or Andre Roberts, who is your speed receiver? Has to be Aldrick Robinson. That's why I'd keep him. Besides, he was better this summer than Nick Williams. Just because some are tired of Robinson doesn't mean he should be cut.
I love Akeem Davis on special teams. Watch the opening kickoff and see how he takes on the wedge; took out two blockers and that enabled Royster to make a tackle. Davis has a big-time knack for special teams. But Trenton Robinson is better from scrimmage. Not sure I'd trust either one from scrimmage right now. If it's just about special teams, Davis is the call. Not sure what will happen there.
I love everything about Ryan Grant's game. He's so even keeled, too, that he comes across like a veteran in interviews. An underrated part is how well he catches the ball at its highest point and uses strong hands. He runs such good routes and creates extra yards of separation because of it -- whether it's his ability to come back to the ball, drive a defender off or maintain the right spacing to the sidelines, giving the quarterback a little more room to throw.
Will Compton tackled well Thursday and that was one thing the coaches wanted to see from him this preseason. He made good reads and filled the hole. His tackles were at or near the line of scrimmage, so that counts for even more. He's versatile inside, with the ability to play both spots. Compton has consistently worked with the second unit. I'd be surprised if he were cut, even before injuries to others.