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The 5 O'Clock Club: Playing GM — KEEP or CUT, you make the call

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere...

The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

The Redskins have had surprising play from some players this off-season, both good and bad. We all know that, come 1 September, finalizing the roster is a numbers game. More than 1,200 players league-wide will get their walking papers next week.

Players ‘on the bubble’ have to find a way to shine in camp and in preseason games, despite the fact that whatever they do comes with the caveat that it was done against the other team’s second & third string players, so somehow, it doesn’t seem to mean as much.

Still, players like Nico Marley have been able to grab the attention of Jay Gruden and his staff from tryouts, to mini camp, to OTAs, to training camp by “making plays”.

In possibly his only lucid moment of the Redskins-Green Bay broadcast, Joe Theismann said that a player fighting to make the team at the bottom of the depth chart needs to come onto the field against the ‘two’s’ and “dominate”. That sounds right to me. Guys fighting to be the fifth linebacker or safety, or the sixth wide receiver need to make multiple outstanding plays against the opponents in preseason games.

I don’t think Fabian Moreau is one of those guys (he’s not ‘on the bubble’), but his two special teams tackles against the Green Bay squad in the first quarter — one of which forced a turnover — are the types of plays that get noticed.

The play pictured at the top of the page — Chris Carter, helmetless and getting the sack — is another example of the type of play I’m talking about, and Carter is the kind of player that needs to do it. Chris Carter is fighting for a spot on the team. That play got Joe Theismann talking during the game broadcast about Carter, and Charlie Casserly, who was in the booth with Joe, added that when he was at Redskins training camp, the first time he saw #55 on the field he assumed it was Junior Galette. Charlie said he was surprised to find out it was Chris Carter.

Hustle, hard work, intelligence all count. Making big plays... a lot of big plays... trumps the rest.

In the end, though, if you’re a player, what counts is what the coaching staff and the General Manager think of you.

Today, I invite you to enter the world of “suppose”.

Suppose you are the GM of the Redskins. All but one roster spot has been decided, and you have to make the final choice. Who do you keep? Who do you cut?

(Man, as an English teacher, it really hurts me to NOT write “Whom do you keep?”, but it just sounds too pretentious for a sports blog).

I’ve put seven different poll questions below, but I’d invite you to answer each poll question individually, independent from the others. In other words, for each poll question, assume that all other decisions have been made, and all you have to decide is: Between the players listed in that poll question, who do you keep, and who do you cut?

NOTE that some poll questions say KEEP, and some say CUT. They are not all the same.

If you want to add some different choices than the ones I’ve proffered and explain your thinking in the comments, feel free. Today, you’re in charge of Redskins personnel. You decide who is on the roster that lines up against Philadelphia in two weeks.


Question 1: Who do you KEEP?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Joey Mbu
    (56 votes)
  • 90%
    Phil Taylor
    (708 votes)
  • 2%
    A.J. Francis
    (20 votes)
784 votes total Vote Now


Question 2: Who do you KEEP?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Chris Carter
    (456 votes)
  • 16%
    Josh Harvey-Clemons
    (125 votes)
  • 23%
    Joshua Holsey
    (179 votes)
760 votes total Vote Now


Question 3: Who do you CUT?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    Mack Brown
    (492 votes)
  • 17%
    Niles Paul
    (138 votes)
  • 19%
    Jeremy Sprinkle
    (150 votes)
780 votes total Vote Now


Question 4: Who do you KEEP?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Arie Kouandjio
    (297 votes)
  • 53%
    Kyle Kalis
    (408 votes)
  • 6%
    Tyler Catalina
    (53 votes)
758 votes total Vote Now


Question 5: Who do you KEEP?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Ryan Grant
    (171 votes)
  • 32%
    Maurice Harris
    (251 votes)
  • 45%
    Robert Davis
    (357 votes)
779 votes total Vote Now


Question 6: Who do you CUT?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Matt Ioannidis
    (287 votes)
  • 62%
    Anthony Lanier
    (480 votes)
767 votes total Vote Now


Queston 7: What do you do with Nico Marley?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    (372 votes)
  • 52%
    (404 votes)
776 votes total Vote Now