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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

July 17-- A look at the WR's

No news today, with only 1 first round draft pick signed in the league thus far, the Skins are likely to wait to see how Laron Landry at 6 is slotted before committing anything to him.. This is pretty much par for the course annually, unlike the NBA, there is no cap limit on the first round pick contracts.. The NFL might be well instructed to try to get that into a future bargaining agreement considering there is always a litany of early camp holdouts due to their signing process..

The WR's are an interesting bunch, in some ways underachieved, and then in other ways showed potential.. The Skins appeared non-plussed about the lack of a true possession WR, they did offer Keenan McCardell a league minimum deal last month, the Texans did as well (McCardell lives in Houston) so he ha a choice to make.. But considering he need not be in a rush to get to anyone's camp McCradell might be wise to sit back and wait to see who gets an injury in camp and then may be in line for a better payday plus skip as much of camp as he has to.. The Skins certainly aren;t the favorite here, but he certainly would be a help in my opinion pushing the younger players and Brandon Lloyd..

Number 1-- Santana Moss, unquestioned.. The only serious hang up is the fact that he has a penchant to get leg injuries, specifically groin and hamstring.. When healthy, Moss is uncoverable and has some of the best hands and ball adjustment skills I've seen.. His health is key for this team not seeing 8-9 men in the box.. He's the threat that forces teams to play Jason campbell staright up.. Moss missed a lot of OTA work and the mini-camp dealing with a slight hamstring strain and groin pull.. The team was being careful with him and not wanting it to turn into anything more so they essentially rested him.. His history of hamstring issues is the reason the jets made the move to reacquire Laveranues Coles from Washington.. Moss may not look like a number one, but he is, a threat to have the highest yards per catch average in the league when healthy..

Number 2-- This one is very much up for debate, but Brandon Lloyd plays the position so I guess he gets the nod.. Team management went out of it's way to praise Lloyd's off-season work and the condition he is in.. That's never been his problem, Lloyd is a workout fiend and health nut, he remains constantly in top shape.. The rumor is he has gained some weight which should help him be a little more aggressive.. If Moss is the team's best potential play maker, Lloyd is a close second with phenominal hands and great leaping ability, but keeping his head in the game is a problem.. He had issues with his coaches calling out WR coach Stan Hixon for not knowing why he was benched late in the season, had RB Clinton Portis call him out publicly for being a problem in the locker room, even Moss had little kind stuff to say about him and that's saying a lot considering Moss is as PC as it comes when talking about teammates..
This guy has to come back and get on board with the program.. One unnamed member of the organization used to refer to him as "Slapdick" last season.. Lloyd had private meetings with Joe Gibbs, never a good sign because if Gibbs is revealing he had to take you aside then you have to be a huge disturbence.. Lloyd had no TD's a year ago, maybe a second year in the O and an obvious off-season dedication to tuning his body will help him forget year one in DC.. The Skins did little with the WR position starpped with his 10 million dollar bonus as a cap albatross should they have wanted to part ways.. The two are stuck with one another, hopefully, the results will be better..

Number 3-- Antwaan Randle-El, an extremely well liked figure in the locker room who has broadcasting aspirations ahead of him.. He was what the Skins thought he'd be, the change of pace match-up problem for the defense.,. His punt return ability is also very threatening, a bit of a risk taker, but then again he's getting paid a lot to be a utility man so why not let him use a little of his ability.. Randle-El will never post big WR numbers, one because he plays the slot, two because this team is run first, three, he's not supposed to, he's the guy who gets 3 catches for 68 yards including a 30 yarder and you're happy.. In that regard with another year under Al saunders, I'm expecting Randle-El to figure more prominently, he's going to steal a couple of games for this team before this year is over..

Number 4-- Tough call, but by default James Thrash, true professional, fabulous special teamer, not a good replacement should one of the top 3 get hurt.. Thrash isn't as quick as he used to be.. Certainly he knows what he's doing but the drop off is precipitous when he comes in as a WR especially in the Moss or Lloyd positions..

Number 5- Would likely be McCardell if he signs if for nothing else, insurance if Lloyd blows a gasket or an injury occurs.. This team could use a possession WR veteran to solidify the core.. If he signs elsewhere, probably Mike Espy right now.. he was a nice surprise in camp last summer.. The talent isn't jumping off the field at you, but hard work can pay off.. He is well liked by the coaches and may get the spot by default.. Steven Harris would have had a shot if he didn't blow out a knee ligamen during mini-camp.. He's on IR..
Jason Mcaddely, jason Willis and Burl Toler (just signed from NFL Europa) at least have some NFL expeience.. Maryland WR Dan Melendez is a long shot as are Carl Berman and Kyle Brown.. Ryan Hoag comes from the most obscure place ever, Gustavos Adolphus, I'm rooting for im just I can say Gustavus Adolphus daily..
The five spot on this roster, assuming they keep five WR's is wide open in my opinion, should an able bodied vet get cut during camp, the Redskins almost have to look at him..

OK men.. See you tomorrow..


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