Wendy's Q&A: Who will be the Redskins' impact rookie?

Wendy's Q&A: Who will be the Redskins' impact rookie?
July 22, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Tandler - Tarik

With training camp just around the corner we know that Redskins fans have plenty of questions about the upcoming season. Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler answer them in this week’s Q&A presented by Wendy’s.

I don’t that see that happening. The Redskins are currently at the training camp maximum of 90 players, so they would have to release a player in order to add one. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any moves a few days into camp, though. That always happens. I should add that your point is a valid one. D-line is a position where the Redksins must get younger. Jason Hatcher, Barry Cofield, Kedric Golston and Stephen Bowen are all 30 or older. 

--TEB

I’m going to take the easy one here and say Trent Murphy, the top draft pick. No rookies are slated to start as of now so we have to look at who can make the most impact in a reserve role. I think it’s the pass rusher, the player who led the nation in sacks last year at Stanford, coming off of the bench in nickel situations. The defense is emphasizing the pass rush so Murphy is in a perfect situation to succeed. I see him posting five to seven sacks and, with his great length, batting down a few passes, perhaps snagging one of them out of the air for a Kerrigan-style pick six.

--RT

Based on OTAs, I think Polumbus will open as the starter in Week 1. He worked exclusively with the first team and he’s their best option at this point. Moses was drafted to eventually start at right tackle. And while he’s got all the physical tools and football smarts to succeed, he has much to learn from a technique standpoint. Does that mean he’ll be a backup all season? No. If he proves in practice that he’s overtaken Polumbus, I suspect he’ll get a shot. I just don’t see that happening between now and Sept. 7.

--TEB

Wow. Great question. We don’t really have anyone who is the complete package. I’d probably go with NBC4’s Dianna Russini for speed. She’s a former college soccer player and looks quick. I’d probably go with the WaPo’s Mike Jones or myself for strength. Jones works out a lot; I lift double decker taco supremes. Cameramen Mitch Tischler, from CSN, and Chris Kerwin, from NBC4, are pretty strong, too. Football I.Q., I’d go with John Keim from ESPN, who watches as much film as any reporter I know. I’d also give a nod to my CSN colleagues Rich Tandler, a Redskins historian, and Chick Hernandez, a former high school QB who's convinced he could have played in the NFL.

--TEB

I don’t think that either is likely to get released but if I have to say one or the other I’ll say Bowen. Chester is healthy, he had a fairly strong offseason and I think he will hang on to his starting right guard job, at least for the season opener. Bowen was recovering from knee microfracture surgery all offseason and we’re not sure he will be ready to start camp on Thursday. On top of that, Bowen doesn’t necessarily have a starting job. Chris Baker and Jason Hatcher are atop the depth chart at DE and while Bowen could contribute in a rotation, he would be a very expensive reserve (cap number just over $7 million, $4.4 million salary). I saw a few “Waived—failed physical” designations on the league transaction wire and I’m wondering if Bowen could suffer the same fate. Again, I don’t think it’s likely but I won’t rule it out.

--RT

I’d suspect Kai Forbath will enter camp as the leader. Whether he leaves as the leader, well, that depends on whether he improves the hang time and distance of kickoffs. Jay Gruden used a seventh round pick on Zach Hocker for a reason. At Arkansas, he was money on field goals and sent kickoffs through the end zone for touchbacks. But can he do it on the big stage? We’ll find out in the preseason. It’s always possible Gruden will elect to keep both—Forbath as the FG kicker and Hocker as the KO specialist. But it’s really hard to justify two PKs on the 46-man game day roster. So I’m willing to bet it will be one or the other. Stay tuned.

--TEB

Andre Roberts got a lot of reps this offseason at both spots. But in speaking to him, he seemed to hint that he expects to handle kickoffs and someone else will handle punts. That’s to be determined. I expect Chris Thompson and Richard Crawford—if he’s healthy—to get a strong look, along with some other candidates. For either Thompson or Crawford to claim the punt return job, though, they’d need to make the team as a position player, too. And that’s up in the air at the moment.

--TEB

Reed has not shown any symptoms of the concussion that caused him to miss the final six games of last season. That’s very good news for Reed and the Redskins. But you know what is unsettling? The fact that he’s already had four head injuries dating back to his time at Florida. If he stays healthy, he could be a Pro Bowler. He’s certainly got the talent and work ethic to reach elite status. But I can also tell you this: every time he absorbs a hard hit this season, everyone of the Redskins’ sideline is going to hold their breath.

--TEB