Landry's exit would open door for Gomes

Landry's exit would open door for Gomes
November 24, 2011, 8:02 pm
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When talking with D.C.-area reporters earlier this month, Carlos Rogers was spot on as usual with his analysis of the Redskins philosophy in how to build a roster.

Besides Chris Cooley and Chris Samuels, I dont remember any other draft picks theyve re-signed, he said. Most everybody comes from outside.

Its why Rogers wasnt surprised when the Redskins parted ways with him he signed a one-year contract with San Francisco.

Its why fans who like safety LaRon Landry in a Redskins jersey better get a good look at him over the final six games.

And its why rookie DeJon Gomes play over that same period of time bears watching.

This winter, Landry hits the free agent market for the first time in his career. The Redskins have to evaluate Gomes to decide if he is ready to be their starter next year.

The last three draft classes are still playing out their rookie contracts but from 2000-07, among the first three rounds, only Cooley, Samuels and Ladell Betts signed multi-year extensions. Fred Smoot and Derrick Dockery left the Redskins before returning for big money contracts.

Landry could be the next to depart and Gomes could be next up.

Gomes got his first NFL start last week against Dallas and made 12 tackles.

Ideally for the Redskins, the last six games would be used to see if the quarterback they drafted in either the last two years could perform well enough to enter training camp as the starter. That, of course, is not an option.

Just like linebacker Perry Riley against Miami two weeks ago during his first start, Gomes was under the microscope against Dallas, subbing for an ailing Landry.

There was the good run support, played through a right knee injury.

And there was the bad didnt react properly in coverage on Jason Wittens 59-yard touchdown catch and run (neither did Riley).

He played OK; he left some plays out there, safeties coach Steve Jackson said. The most difficult part for Gomes was the learning experience, not having seen the blocking combinations, the route combinations and the regular season speed of the game. But the guy works hard, trains hard and youre seeing the result.

The results didnt come early.

He came into camp out of shape, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. So you have the learning and hes trying to get in shape there were a number of issues. He caught up to where he should have been.

Gomes came to the Redskins with an interesting background, having played only two years of major-college football at Nebraska. He started his career at City College of San Francisco.

Hes very raw, Jackson said. But he got it early; the opportunity just never came to get on the field.

Despite that resume, Shanahan said the Redskins didnt have to project too much to see how Gomes would transition to the NFL.

Hes very sharp, Shanahan said. Its carried over to pro football because hes doing the same things for us. Hes got one of those in-ate abilities to go out and be at the right place at the right time.

Playing on a team that is 3-7 equals the right time for Gomes. In another lost season, the Redskins might as well get a head start on next season.

Contact OHalloran is rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com