1. I can't let the opportunity escape to give Kevin Ewoldt some coveted real estate in the Sixpack this week. We had an old-school weekend with no wives and kids in town, which made for some interesting discussions. I already posted a 22-minute podcast segment we did that got a little off-topic (on this morning's 5 O'Clock Club), but I am happy to report that Kevin still retains his unique blend of cynical homerism. Like many of you, his ability to fully invest in the "new Redskins era" is hampered by his experience during the extended previous era. Like many of us, he does recognize the difference in what is happening in our front office now versus what went down in the Vinny regime. I enjoyed seeing and hearing a more optimistic Ewoldt, and I look forward to getting him on more shows with us (Tim, Kevin and I) as we move through the season. (Speaking of audibles, you have to respect Kevin's decision to re-engage the bar scene late Saturday night. After pulling the plug on things around midnightish, we got a call from some friends who had gathered at 1 AM at a nearby watering hole. It is not an easy call to make, as late-night food was already being prepared. Before I could even ask if we should put the food on hold, Kevin had already ordered an Uber.)
2. It was brought up by Ewoldt that a Redskins training camp is nothing unless and until a wide receiver is on the sideline riding a stationary bike. I think we can all agree that Josh Doctson's health has been an area of concern, but just has not risen to the level of an old-school "Code Brown" scenario that sees us all freak out. (The best was when Kevin would blame me for the injury, the player's mindset and the decision to draft the player in the first place. You can't tell me this kind of argument never took place in your group house with college friends between 2000-2011...I won't believe it.)
3. The first unofficial depth chart is out--find it here. I am loving the way at least one position looks, and you all know exactly what I am going to say. Spencer Long has the edge--at least today--at left guard. This would be HUGE if this proves to be the way the team goes into the regular season. I have no ill will towards Shawn Lauvao, and if the coaches ask him to contribute to this team in 2016, I have no doubt he will have earned that chance. On the flip side of that though, is my desire to see homegrown talent develop into a gameday impact. Spencer Long has been working hard since being drafted by the team in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but was never able to overtake the guys in front of him on the depth chart. He has a little more size than Lauvao, which gives him a slight advantage since Gruden's offense prefers the bigger linemen, and he has always appeared to have the nastiness you want in an interior lineman. I think it bodes well when the team can develop its draft picks this way, and I think you would be hard-pressed to suggest they are forcing it (as I have been doing since he was drafted. haha)
4. Kory Lichtensteiger="Reed Doughty of Centers" (h/t to Chris Hess)
5. Vernon Davis is currently sitting at the #2 spot at the tight ends position, which of course means nothing on August 8th, but still feels kind of surprising to me. I honestly thought Niles Paul was going to be there--if not now, than by September. At a couple million bucks, it stands to reason that the Redskins are going to give Davis every chance to prove his worth. We should be careful not to couch this as just a "race to back up Jordan Reed." Even though none of us has gotten this directly from Jay Gruden, we all believe in our hearts that the Redskins will be heavily employing double-tight end sets. Assuming that Tom Compton will be playing less tight end this year, it stands to reason that both Vernon Davis and Niles Paul will be incredibly valuable to our offense. I don't really view Davis as a lock to always be ahead of Paul in every scenario, and I don't think the coaches do either. They will both have strengths and weaknesses that the offensive schemes will attempt to maximize. To me, seeing Davis on top at the moment is great because it means it is less likely that he will be one of those "swing and miss" kinds of veteran signings. We can ill-afford to have those if we expect to build on our 2016 campaign.
6. Talking about the depth chart is the perfect way to introduce our final ranking of the preseason on The Audible. Here was the last segment we did on our all-time favorite quarterbacks list.
There was only one of us who picked Kirk Cousins, and I think the argument stands up, but that will ultimately be for you all to decide. This week we wrap up with a look at our all-time favorite "special players." This is an open-ended conversation about special teamers, role players and any other Redskin who came through and won over the fanbase without necessarily taking the league by storm. I think we will give a nod here to one of two at the top of the list, and then move through what should be our most diverse set of names thus far. That will be tomorrow night, and I always like to highlight comments made in the section below when we get the conversation underway. (As always, never settle for cable.)