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Daily Slop - 29 Aug 23 - Brian Robinson: ‘I’m a warrior; if the battle finds me, I can fight it”

A collection of articles, podcasts & tweets from around the web to keep you in touch with the Commanders, the NFC East and the NFL in general

Washington Commanders v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

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Washington Post

The Commanders made their first batch of roster cuts. Here’s who’s out.

Washington’s roster stands at 77 players, and it must cut 24 more before the deadline at 4 p.m. Tuesday. It seems unlikely that many, if any, of the players cut Monday will wind up on the Commanders’ 16-player practice squad.

Daniels suffered a torn rotator cuff in the preseason finale, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Daniels, who probably would not have been ready to contribute this year anyway, will miss the entire season. The move seems to increase the likelihood of Washington keeping a fourth tackle on its initial 53-man roster.

The other players cut were wide receivers Marcus Kemp and Zion Bowens; linebackers Ferrod Gardner and Milo Eifler; interior offensive lineman Aaron Monteiro; defensive tackles Isaiah Mack and Anthony Montalvo Jr.; cornerbacks D.J. Stirgus and DaMarcus Fields; safety Joshua Kalu; and former Bowie State defensive end Joshua Pryor.

Washington Post

On the NFL calendar’s ‘worst day,’ fringe players hope for roster spots

As the Washington Commanders’ Jaret Patterson dropped into coverage, his frustration was evident.

For the past two seasons, he had found a way onto the roster as a reserve running back, but this year his status was less certain. At practice, he was tasked with impersonating a defensive back — a position he hadn’t played since childhood.

As the last running back on Washington’s depth chart throughout training camp, he had no choice but to play a dummy cornerback against standout wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Such is life as an NFL long shot. For these players, perfecting your craft can be secondary to versatility and a willingness to fill whatever roles are available. That’s often the difference between making an NFL roster and unemployment.

“It’s frustrating,” Patterson said. “But you just can’t let it get to you.”

Playing on the fringes of the NFL is not what Patterson expected when he chose to forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility. After recording more than 4,000 yards from scrimmage and scoring 53 touchdowns in 32 games with the University at Buffalo, Patterson envisioned he would be drafted somewhere between the third and fifth rounds and have a long NFL career.

Instead, he went undrafted and has spent the past few years trying to prove his worth to the NFL.

The Commanders cut Patterson on Monday. For him and other players on the fringes, Tuesday’s mandatory cuts represent a crossroads. Players who are waived before the deadline can sign with other teams, end up on practice squads or find themselves out of football entirely.

Three Commanders earn spot on ESPN’s top 100 players list

ESPN has released its annual list of who they believe are the top 100 players in the NFL, and three Washington Commanders players were among those to make the cut.

Veteran wideout Terry McLaurin is the Commanders’ top-rated player, coming in at No. 36, and received the third-highest rank among NFC East receivers (A.J. Brown, 19, and CeeDee Lamb, 33, were ranked higher). He is followed by defensive tackle Jonathan Allen at No. 64 and Daron Payne at No.70, neither of whom were ranked on ESPN’s list in 2022.

Riggo’s Rag

Cardinals starting QB situation makes Washington a must-bet in Week 1

The Cardinals QB situation is a disaster which leaves the Commanders in a great spot in their Week 1 matchup.

The Commanders are set to take on the Arizona Cardinals on opening weekend, who have the lowest projected win total in the NFL. Some places have the Cards’ win total set all the way down at 3.5. They’re also the betting favorite to have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The idea the Cardinals are going to have a rough year got even more cemented in reality on Monday afternoon when the team announced they had released expected starting QB for Week 1, Colt McCoy.

Kyler Murray, their star quarterback, is going to miss at least a portion of the season as he covers from a knee injury he suffered last year, and many people thought that McCoy would fill in while he’s gone.

That’s no longer the case. Now, they’re expected to start Joshua Dobbs, who they JUST traded for from the Cleveland Browns last week. This comes on the heels of trading Isaiah Simmons, a former first-round pick, for a seventh rounder.

The Cardinals are tanking hard. There’s no other way to view this.


Should Cardinals start QB Joshua Dobbs or rookie Clayton Tune?

A day before teams are required to reduce their rosters to 53 players — and less than two weeks until the Cardinals play at the Washington Commanders in Week 1 — Arizona made waves when it cut veteran quarterback and presumptive starter Colt McCoy. Also on Monday, Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said Kyler Murray, who has been out since December after tearing the ACL in right knee, will start the regular season on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he’ll miss at least the first four games.

That leaves the Cardinals to choose between Joshua Dobbs — whom Arizona just acquired from the Cleveland Browns in a trade Thursday — or fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune as their starting quarterback. However, the Cardinals will wait as long as they can to reveal their chosen starter.

“I’m not going to name a starter because I think it’s a competitive advantage for us going to Washington,” Gannon said. “But, we’ll know who the starter is.”

Why did the Cardinals cut McCoy?

All the head coach would tell reporters Monday is that Arizona’s decision-makers looked at McCoy’s “full body of work” — from OTAs to minicamp to training camp to the preseason — and believed the best decision was to move forward without him.

McCoy’s lack of mobility might have worked against him; Gannon pointed to that trait as one of things he liked about Dobbs.

Riggo’s Rag

What are the Commanders thinking at defensive tackle?

It’s a complex situation behind Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen.

Commanders need better depth on their DL interior

It’s way too early to write off either Mathis or Ridgeway. Both are big, strong interior linemen who could develop into quality starters. But if they don’t, the Commanders have a bit of a quandary on their hands.

The Commanders do have several other interior defenders on the roster. Efe Obada can also move inside if needed, though he is better suited to play on the edge.

I’m beginning to wonder if Washington isn’t rethinking its penchant for going with bigger tackles. Over the past couple of seasons, they had a slightly undersized interior lineman named Daniel Wise. He moved ahead of several players on the depth chart and contributed some decent minutes. Like Alexander, he could line up at tackle or at end.

Though a bit underpowered, his best position was tackle, where Wise used his quickness off the ball and instincts to penetrate on run plays. He was never going to provide a sustained push on passing plays, but he could disrupt runs by either making the tackle or throwing off the timing of the play.

I was surprised when the Commanders walked away from Wise at the end of 2022. He is now fighting for a spot with the Kansas City Chiefs.

As I have written recently, stopping the run is going to be the Commanders’ Achilles heel this season because their linebackers are not very good at choosing holes and plugging them near the line. Is it possible that rather than relying on having some big bodies eating up blockers on the line, thus allowing linebackers to make tackles, the Commanders are now seeing the value in having quicker interior players who can shoot gaps at the snap and disrupt the offense?

Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne are good enough to make plays all by themselves. But until Mathis and Ridgeway show that ability as well, the Commanders may be on the prowl for more quick, slightly undersized defensive tackles like Wise.

Washington Commanders announce game themes for 2023 season

Today the Washington Commanders announced 2023 season game themes and activations. The Commanders game themes lineup will be headlined by five marquee games: *Alumni Homecoming, Crucial Catch, Salute to Service, Fan Appreciation, and Inspire Change, and will activate additional league-wide initiatives throughout the season including Hispanic Heritage Month; NFL Fan of the Year; My Cause, My Cleats; Walter Payton Man of the Year; and NFL Coach of the Week.

Starting with the regular season home opener, the Commanders will kick off each home game with a new interactive pregame ritual, beginning 20 minutes before kickoff. Melding together live performances from the Commanders entertainment teams with epic hype videos, the ritual will incorporate long-standing Washington traditions, points of regional pride and elements of the team’s exciting new era, including the Commanders Oath.

Podcasts & videos

Locked on Commanders: Washington Commanders Depth Chart Projection as 53-Man Roster Deadline Approaches | Practice Squad

NFC East links


Eagles sign suspended former Colts CB Isaiah Rodgers

Rodgers, 25, was released by the Colts in late June after being suspended indefinitely by the league for gambling policy violations.

The NFL investigation into the gambling violations did not find evidence of any game manipulation, a league source told Purdum.

Rodgers had acknowledged his situation on social media in June, saying he takes “full responsibility” for his actions.

He will not be with the team until his suspension is lifted. He can petition for reinstatement at the conclusion of the 2023 season.


Sources: Eagles DE Derek Barnett eyes possible trade

Barnett suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions last year and missed the remainder of the season but participated fully in training camp.

[T]hrough agent Drew Rosenhaus, is gauging the market for the potential to play more elsewhere, sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Monday.

The Eagles plan to keep Barnett but understand their deep pass-rush roster could limit playing time.

He is currently part of an edge-rush group that includes fellow defensive ends Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat as well as outside linebackers Haason Reddick and Nolan Smith. If he stays with the Eagles, it would likely be in the role of a rotational player. Teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to trim their rosters to 53 players.

NFL league links




The Washington Commanders are under new management—news that has been celebrated by their fans since Josh Harris completed his group’s purchase of the team from embattled former owner Dan Snyder.

Harris’ route to a majority NFL ownership stake followed what’s become a well-traveled path, one that goes through Pittsburgh. The Apollo Global co-founder is the third Pittsburgh Steelers limited partner to become a majority NFL owner in just over a decade, joining Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam. The trio, who all had stakes in the Steelers at one time, make up three of the last six new majority owners in the league.

Haslam says that being a minority owner in the NFL doesn’t really prepare you to be the boss, at least from his vantage point.

“When you’re a minority owner, it’s just a different league and a much different experience,” he said. “You get to go to the game on Sundays and stand on the sidelines. You’re happy if you win, but if you lose, you go back to your day job.”

Haslam believes Harris’ unique ownership group, which includes Blitzer and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson as well as local billionaire Mitch Rales, and his experience operating franchises, will serve him well in the NFL.

“Let’s face it, I don’t know that we, or anybody coming out of the Browns, are in a position to give advice, because we haven’t done that well, particularly on the field,” Haslam said. “Josh has 20 great [ownership] partners, lots that have been involved in other sports … They’ll do a great job running that franchise well, which helps the entire league. So we’re all excited to see what those guys can do.”