Random thoughts on Redskins' roster

August, 31, 2014
Aug 31
9:00
AM ET
Thoughts on the Washington Redskins' roster:
  • Meriweather
    I was surprised both Akeem Davis and Trenton Robinson made it, but with Brandon Meriweather suspended for the first two games they wanted to keep four at this spot.
  • They valued special teams, which is why both players, especially Davis, made the roster. He plays with the speed and energy you want on special teams. Focus on him during a return and you will understand what I mean. The kid plays hungry; so does Robinson. The more guys you have like that, the better. If they can play, that is.
  • There is a different level of energy on special teams with not only Davis and Robinson, but rookie corner Bashaud Breeland. They did not have that from last season's young players. Nor did they receive good special teams play from their safeties in 2013 (and from a number of other spots, too).
  • Sharpton
    That said, I worry about the depth at safety. And losing Darryl Sharpton makes their inside linebacker depth questionable as well. Among their backups: Will Compton (whom I like, but has never played in a game), Akeem Jordan (who would have been cut if Sharpton had been healthy) and Adam Hayward (a special teamer).
  • They kept nine offensive linemen, which is what I figured they would do. Of their four backups, none have ever started a game and two are rookies. In a year or so, guard Spencer Long and tackle Morgan Moses might be quality players. Now, they are just rookies learning the game and playing accordingly.
  • I thought they would go with five running backs, figuring either Chris Thompson or Lache Seastrunk would make the roster -- speed backs. They liked Thompson more this summer and my guess is they can sign him to the practice squad. Or, at the least, they will find a way to keep one of them.
  • Feel horrible for Chris Neild, who was placed on injured reserve and will miss a second season because of injury. He is not a difference-maker, but he’s a guy the coaches love because of his attitude and work ethic. A good guy to have at the end of the roster. Thought he looked just OK this summer and, from the outside perspective, I wasn’t sold on him being on the roster. But sometimes it takes being on the inside to have a true sense of a player’s worth. I think that’s the case with Neild.
  • Also thought they would go with six defensive linemen with Stephen Bowen on the PUP list. But they lost some versatility with Bowen -- playing end and also inside in the nickel.
  • I figure they will work out punters this week.
  • Wrote this Saturday, but I like that they went with who played best, not who was a draft pick. Among their final cuts Friday and Saturday were 10 former draft picks, including three from this past spring. Of course, the flip side is that you did not develop your picks (though some of them will end up on the practice squad, so time remains). But I’m still surprised that both Thompson and Seastrunk were cut. A week ago? Would not have been. But what I learned long ago is that the coaches know a heck of a lot more about these players than what they show on the field. All of it makes a difference. Seastrunk had real issues in protection, but that speed warrants a strong look somewhere.
  • Silas Redd deserved a spot. He does not have great speed -- a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash -- but he knows how to run and played his way onto the roster.
  • The receiver position looks exactly like I thought it would, probably from the start of camp. Same with quarterbacks. Same with tight ends. Same with cornerbacks.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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