Redskins wake-up call

September, 1, 2014
Sep 1
6:00
AM ET
The Redskins return to work with a practice at 10:45 Monday morning, followed by an open locker room session with the media. It'll be the first chance we've had to talk to the players and/or coaches since Thursday. So here are three things I'll monitor:
  1. The cuts. Most of them were rather predictable, but a handful of decisions stood out, starting at running back where they opted for four instead of five. They also opted not to sign Lache Seastrunk to the practice squad -- a source said late last night that the Redskins had planned to do so, but changed their minds at the last minute. Also, if it was a close call with either Stephen Bowen and Leonard Hankerson when it came to putting them on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. I never thought Hankerson would be on the roster, but wasn't sure on Bowen. Neither one looked like they'd be ready within, say, the first couple weeks of the season.
  2. The kicking situation. Is Jay Gruden really comfortable with a punter he's seen for around two weeks and who has zero career punts in Tress Way? One veteran punter, Brian Moorman, was cut by Buffalo. But as of Sunday night the Redskins had not contacted him. That doesn't mean they won't or that they haven't spoken to others about a possible tryout (Tuesday is typically the day for that during the season).
  3. Safety. The Redskins signed Duke Ihenacho, who can play strong safety and performed well on special teams with Denver. But it'll take him time to learn the defense. So how much he plays early is uncertain, but he could develop into a decent option if Brandon Meriweather is suspended again. If the Redskins don't plan for that possibility they're in trouble. Even if they keep sticking up for Meriweather and feel he's been wronged, they have to know how hard it will be for him to play 14 games without an incident. He's played 41 games since the NFL started calling illegal hits in 2010 and been punished six times for that infraction. Odds are it'll happen again this season. What sort of option is Ihenacho? Will they go with Bacarri Rambo in the first two games? We'll get a little insight Monday.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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