First, the obvious: Sugar has been shelved for the time being. I will be tackling a new writing assignment within SB Nation and I was asked to come up with a cooler name to write under. The best I could come up with was "Ken Meringolo". I know what you're thinking...sounds too much like an undercover secret agent of international intrigue. I guess you could say I followed the lead of one my heroes, Lt. Frank Drebin, and decided to use my maiden name.
Not that many tears (besides mine) will be shed over it, but Sugar will most assuredly be back. I will keep you guys posted on when and where my other writing assignments will end up. But on to the issues of the day.
Here is our crack at predicting the Redskins "Final 53". We have all been watching the preseason closely--there won't be many surprises. But we are picking a couple. Have at it (after the jump):
QB (3): Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Colt Brennan
RB (5): Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright, Mike Sellers, Anthony Alridge
WR (5): Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Marko Mitchell
TE (3): Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Todd Yoder
OL (9): Chris Samuels, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Randy Thomas, Stephon Heyer, Chad Rinehart, Mike Williams, Jeremy Bridges, Will Montgomery
DL (9): Phillip Daniels, Albert Haynesworth, Cornelius Griffin, Anthony Montgomery, Kedric Golston, Lorenzo Alexander, Andre Carter, Jeremy Jarmon, Rob Jackson
LB (7): London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, Brian Orakpo, H.B. Blades, Chris Wilson, Cody Glenn, Robert Henson
DB (9): Carlos Rogers, DeAngelo Hall, Fred Smoot, Kevin Barnes, Justin Tryon, LaRon Landry, Chris Horton, Reed Doughty, Kareem Moore
P: Hunter Smith
LS: Ethan Albright
K: Dave Rayner
I put Rob Jackson in over Renaldo Wynn, Robert Henson in over Robert Thomas, Rayner over Suisham, and Anthony Alridge in over whomever you want to call the 53rd man to make it.
Why do I continue to keep Renaldo Wynn off my final 53 list? If you think like me, then you think Wynn is not really a guy who is going to get a lot of snaps anyway unless there is an injury. Rob Jackson is still a little young and raw, and I have not heard his name a ton but if you are going to keep a guy around to caddy for the rest of the defensive linemen, why not keep a young guy who has a shot to develop into a serviceable backup instead of a guy at the end of his rope who has played all of his best football already? This is the pick I will most likely be wrong about, as Renaldo Wynn is a pro who knows how to play the game, and was brought in for his leadership and experience this offseason. But I had to stay true to what I have been saying this summer.
The Robert Henson/Cody Glenn/Robert Thomas decision at linebacker is a little more straight-forward. I think Cody Glenn is at the head of the 3-pack. The decision between Henson and Thomas is not so hard when you remember one thing: Vinny drafted Henson. He hates to be wrong about his draft picks. And lucky for him, he is in the position to pronounce his rightness! Henson has made a few mental blunders during games this preseason, and dropping that sure interception against the Ravens hurt him (coming out of TCU, he was actually graded as a sure-handed linebacker.) But in the end, the team will keep the guy they picked in the draft, and drop the guy they signed off the street. Regardless of who is better--though let's not make that out to be a huge deal. Neither Henson nor Thomas factors huge for us this season, and if Henson can figure out to stay on the field for special teams by mid-season, he will be worth the investment. Finally, it says here that Robert Henson will pull off an Alfred Fincher kind of performance against the Jags and earn the spot.
Anthony Alridge...really? Vinny brought him in this offseason and the word from the inside of the building is that Vinny loves him too much to let him go. What's not to love? He is one of those "yards-per-touch" guys. He is going to get the ball in the flat on screens, pitches, and dump-offs and he is going to get upfield in a hurry. I know Marcus Mason has been a fan favorite to make this squad multiple times, but the fact of the matter is he does not give us something we don't already have. Alridge gives us a scatback, speed option off the bench that will prove very useful this season.
I went with Rayner over Suisham even though there seems to be a resounding consensus that Suisham will retain his position. I FEEL LIKE I AM TAKING CRAZY PILLS! How do you hold any benefit of the doubt in a kicking competition when you were last in the league in field goal percentage? Rayner has had the better kickoff leg and neither has blown the roof off with their field goals. If anything, I would be tempted to keep Rayner and then bring in either Mike Nugent (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) or Brandon Coutu (Seattle Seahawks)--helps to watch every preseason game!--to compete with Rayner in the week leading up to the regular season. Coutu has a good chance to make the Seahawks' roster, but if he doesn't, we wouldn't be the only ones trying to sign him.
Practice Squad Predictions: Edwin Williams, Scott Burly, Keith Eloi, Robbie Agnone, Chase Daniel, Eddie Williams
What do you guys think?