- I hope everyone is enjoying a July 4th week...when the holiday falls on Wednesday, it feels like everyone turns it into a week. And rightfully so! I always enjoy doing World Cup-themed posts every four years, but with the United States not in the tournament, it doesn’t feel the same. My thought was to do a piece on the foreign-born players on the Redskins roster...but we have only one: Arie Kouandjio, Cameroon. Unfortunately for Arie, the “French Les Lions Indomptables” (the nickname for Cameroon’s national team) failed to qualify for the big party in Russia. Another angle would have been underdog/upset story, but covering the Russian men’s national team this close to July 4th, while movies like “Rocky V,” “Top Gun” and even “Red Dawn” play on my television also seemed like a poor editorial choice. (For what it’s worth, I was incredibly impressed with Russia’s win over Spain.)
- There is some actual Redskins news to report on: Jordan Reed is not cruising toward a completely healthy and full training camp. As reported by Rich Tandler of NBC Sports, Reed is “uncertain” for the start of camp. All signs point to him being ready to play this summer. In the same report, Jay Gruden sounded confident he would have the tight end this August, though the words “wait and see” were also mentioned. I think I speak for us all when I say, “Jordan Reed should play zero snaps in the preseason schedule.” More on this...now:
- You won’t hear me say that there is no value in the preseason. You won’t hear me say it is completely meaningless. (That is Kevin Ricca’s job.) I think players desperately need the preseason slate of games to gain at least a sliver of chemistry—nobody is suggesting these games properly simulate in-season competition, but between the whistles in August, a quarterback can get comfy with a receiver and an offensive line can get comfy with each other (for example). Jordan Reed could use reps with Alex Smith, but I am pretty sure they can get what they need in practice to get things started in September. Smith is going to throw to the tight end, and Reed is going to be a tight end running open. Further to that, throwing underneath to Reed so he can run after the catch requires little to no practice in a preseason game. In fact, that is pretty much exactly what I DON’T want to see Reed doing in a preseason game. Basically, a player who has yet to make it through a full season should not be wasting any plays in August—ESPECIALLY WHEN THAT PLAYER IS AS CRUCIAL TO OUR SUCCESS AS WE ALL AGREE REED IS. I almost never think this way, but in this case, I have a pretty good reason, and here it is:
- Jordan Reed has no more guaranteed money left after this season in Washington. If there was ever a year where the Redskins were looking to maximize what many people consider our top offensive player, it would be the year BEFORE words like “cap casualty” ever enter the vernacular. If Reed can’t stay healthy and produce, that is exactly where he is heading. This isn’t me hoping for a clean break from a player that I have thoroughly enjoyed rooting for, but rather, this is me rooting for maximum value from a player who has a proven history of not making it 16 games. In my view, this is Jordan Reed playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge at the end of “A Christmas Carol,” by which I mean he has not yet missed Christmas. He still has a chance to avoid that disastrous departure from Washington where the story is that he failed to get his offense over the hump. I hate it when people blame the player for injury woes. That is simply unfair, as this league makes mince meat of almost everyone who plays it. When you are as big and strong and physical as Reed is, you are going to find yourself involved in more on-field violence than other guys. Circling back to the main point: this is not the year to force reps between Alex Smith and Jordan Reed in preseason games.
- I find myself constantly getting drawn into the running back debate. For the purposes of having something to argue about in the comment section below, give your FOUR. Today, mine are: Guice, Thompson, Perine and Kelley.
- A second debate we will be having regularly on here and on The Audible from now until final cuts are made: who is the best player that the Redskins cut? Instead of attacking it from the standpoint of “surprise veteran cut,” I like the idea of asking who the best player is that the Skins will cut. This is a player we will EXPECT to see in another jersey this season.
Happy Fourth, y’all!