Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Redskins 2008 Depth Chart

Xs and Os

Final cuts are in, the roster is set, from a personnel standpoint the 2008 Redskins are ready to roll. With the season opener two nights away, prime time national NFL season opener against the defending Super Bowl champion and NFC Beast division rival New York Giants, let us walk the 2008 Redskins depth chart. As ever, these are my thoughts, the Redskins official site depth chart is here, Gary Fitzgerald at the official site walks the roster here, NFL Redskins depth chart here, Washington Post Redskins depth chart is here.

1. Colt Brennan (R)
2. Jason Campbell
3. Todd Collins

Notes: Redskins are going to play it safe and sit Colt Brennan, fearful of ruining league morale if he were to throw eight touchdown passes against the Giants. If Jason Campbell is mediocre enough to keep the game competitive the Redskins may go with this plan all season, Jason Campbell is playing in his 53rd offense in the past 11 months.

1. Clinton Portis
2. Ladell Betts
3. Rock Cartwright

Notes: Clinton played little in the preseason, 15 carries, complained as usual, Ladell had 18 carries and a fumble, Rock had 20 carries. Marcus Mason had more than the three of them combined and was the league leading preseason ball carrier but OH WELL. Clinton and Ladell each has a recent season as the feature back, they should be healthy and ready to go, I worry about Ladell's fumbles.

1. Mike Sellers

Notes: Mike is 33 years old and still chugging. Steady. I agree with Rich Tandler (need to find that link), I wish Mike would carry his weight better as a runner, he is big with good hands and goes down too easily on first contact. Nehemiah Broughton awaits on the practice squad.

1. Santana Moss
2. Antwaan Randle El
3. James Thrash
4. Devin Thomas (R)
5. Malcolm Kelly (R)

Notes: Santana is good to go, lots of pressure based on the layout of this unit. Antwaan has a broken bone in his hand but it's like no big deal. For a receiver. To have a broken hand m'kay. Thirty-three year old James Thrash with his total of 52 catches in the past four seasons easily pushed past the rookies who came to camp out of shape and got injured. With the rookies essentially unable to contribute any time soon, Santana returning to his 2005 form is what this unit needs unless coach Jim Zorn has managed to play hide the salami with his passing game.

Tight end
1. Chris Cooley
2. Todd Yoder
3. Fred Davis (R)

Notes: Chris Cooley has become an integral part of the Redskins no matter the coach or the system, Todd Yoder should catch his touchdown round about week nine and Fred Davis the rookie is supposed to be a blocker and a pass catcher, it is rare really to get one of those.

Left tackle
1. Chris Samuels
2/3. Chad Rinehart (R)
2/3. Stephon Heyer

Notes: with Jon Jansen's demotion Chris Samuels' backup from last season becomes the starting right tackle (see below). Pending Jon Jansen's foot and how badly a backup would be needed for Chris, ie a few games or a whole season, will determine who plays. My guess is if Chris is knocked out only for a short stretch and Stephon is playing well then we will see Chad Rinehart at right tackle, if Chris goes out for a long stretch Jon may come back at right tackle and Stephon would move over to left tackle.

Left guard
1. Pete Kendall
2. Chad Rinehart (R)

Notes: Pete is 35 and still going, with transition at right tackle and not a lot of experienced depth at guard Pete needs solid play this year. Chad Rinehart is playing with both the tackles and guards. As of his demotion Jon Jansen had begun practicing with the guards, I do not think Jon will be a factor at guard.

1. Casey Rabach
2. Justin Geisinger

Notes: Casey is a steady player, the Redskins should be fine at center barring injury. Backup Mike Pucillo (one start last season) was not resigned after 2007.

Right guard
1. Randy Thomas
2. Jason Fabini

Notes: Randy was lost in the second game of the 2007 season with a torn tricep and Jason Fabini started 13 games, he is serviceable and this position should be ok barring injury.

Right tackle
1. Stephon Heyer
2. Jon Jansen

Notes: part of Jon's demotion was health, if even a small part. Once that factor is gone the team easily could get a few to a bunch of games at right tackle out of Jon if needed, either as result of injury or poor play by new starter Stephon Heyer or tackle partner Chris Samuels (see above).

Left defensive end
1. Jason Taylor
2. Demetric Evans
3. Rob Jackson (R)

Notes: Jason may be questionable for the season opener, it is his position, Demetric will be the top backup. Rob Jackson will only see action if Jason's injury is or gets more severe or other injury.

Left defensive tackle
1. Cornelius Griffin
2. Lorenzo Alexander

Notes: Cornelius is 31 and steady, Lorenzo will be working exclusively with the defense unless there are serious injuries to the offensive line. It is conceivable with Anthony Montgomery and Kedric Golston both quality linemen and in the mix at the other defensive tackle position that we may see some packages with alternate lineups.

Right defensive tackle
1. Kedric Golston
2. Anthony Montgomery

Notes: Kedric rose as a starter over fellow rookie Anthony in 2006 with injuries to Joe Salave'a and started eight games. The following year the team unexpectedly cut Joe and Anthony won the starting competition. Kedric has taken it back in 2008 though expect both to play considerably to remain fresh. As with the left defensive tackle position above with Cornelius Griffin and Lorenzo Alexander in the mix expect some oddball packages.

Right defensive end
1. Andre Carter
2/3. Chris Wilson
2/3. Erasmus James

Notes: I have not seen enough of Erasmus to know the team will go to him over Chris, a young player in his second year with the defense, if he can play anywhere near his potential then he will move Chris down and himself up, that said Chris has a year with this defense. Erasmus' making the roster kicks in the draft pick in trade to the Vikings, the Redskins surrender their seventh round pick in the 2009 draft to Minnesota.

Weakside linebacker
1. Rocky McIntosh
2. Khary Campbell

Notes: Rocky is still working on an incredible comeback from a devastating knee injury, he may not be 100 percent to start the season. Khary Campbell is the generalist, the backup that can play all three linebacker positions well enough not to panic.

Middle linebacker
1. London Fletcher
2. HB Blades
3. Khary Campbell

Notes: might as well put London up as number one and don't bother to put anyone else up there, London plays every down, backing him up is like being the Maytag repair main. HB Blades needs work, we really do not want to see much of him at this time.

Strongside linebacker
1. Marcus Washington
2. Khary Campbell
3. Alfred Fincher

Notes: Marcus had a hip bothering him during much of camp, he swears it is all better now. Khary is the linebacker jack of all trades and Alfred is the surprise camp survivor, I do not know yet if he is a serious player or a roster spot waiting to be used by another receiver.

1. Shawn Springs
2. Carlos Rogers
3. Fred Smoot
4. Leigh Torrence
5. Justin Tryon

Notes: Shawn and Fred took most of the reps early in camp, like Rocky McIntosh Carlos had a seriously good recovery from his own knee injury and is back at the number two spot. Shawn is hurt with a deep calf bruise and may not play Thursday (link coming), Shawn will remain at the top of the depth chart barring longer term injury. Fred is the top backup at corner with Leigh the nickel back and lordy let's keep Justin off the field for a while.

Free safety
1. LaRon Landry
2. Kareem Moore (R)
3. Justin Hamilton (R)

Notes: these are the guys that cover the pass and get to lay the big hits on pass catchers and long runs. LaRon did not play in a preseason game due to a hamstring injury, we will see how he does, by cutting Vernon Fox the team has decided to go with youth, Kareem is promising though raw and likely will get beaten badly if forced to play early in the season.

Strong safety
1. Reed Doughty
2. Chris Horton (R)
3. Justin Hamilton (R)

Notes: these are the guys that get to play linebacker and read the run. Reed has limitations he minimizes by being a serious football player. Chris is the other drafted safety and had some great plays in preseason, barring recurring injury by LaRon Landry Chris is the more likely rookie safety to get playing time.

Shaun Suisham

Notes: had no training camp competition anis looking to get started quickly and with confidence after missing a 30 yard field goal in the Seahawks playoff game last season. Shaun got off to a shaky start in the preseason, missing his first attempt in the Hall of Fame preseason game, he got it together and looks good. Derrick Frost, the released punter (see below) was Shaun's holder so it remains to be seen the effects of presumed new holder Durant Brooks on Shaun's game.

Durant Brooks

Notes: after a long, low key and in the final analysis likely rigged competition against incumbent Derrick Frost, Durant got the nod, will be the rookie likely to make the biggest impact on the Redskins season. Durant was the 2007 Ray Guy award winner as best college punter and the job is all his. Durant is also the holder.

Kickoff returns
Rock Cartwright

Notes: after years of floating on the Redskins team, not really viable as a feature back, not really catching on as a Brian Mitchell style third down back, Rock in 2006 found his stride, as a kickoff returner, a role in which he excelled throughout the 2007 season as well, in 2006 and 2007 Rock was a top ten return man and the position is solid with him in it.

Punt returner
Antwaan Randle El

Notes: in 2007 Antwaan returned 34 punts with only a 6 yard average, there were 19 punt returners with 20 or more punt returns that had longer average returns than Antwaan, the team would like to see him increase that number and even perhaps work his way out of this high risk position with the emergence of the rookie receivers.

Long snapper
Ethan Albright

Notes: the guy has been with the team for like 100 years.

The depth chart will continue to be maintained under this label.

Previous Curly R depth charts: 2007

Pro football field dimensions from here.