Thursday, September 29, 2011

Redskins-Dallas 3rd quarter game review

Hi there. As mentioned the schedule this week severely interferes with timely game review completion, so I after doing the 1st quarter on Tuesday I have skipped the 2nd quarter altogether and we're going straight to the 3rd. 

Third Quarter

G.Gano kicks 72 yards from WAS 35 to DAL -7. D.Harris, Touchback.

Dallas Cowboys at 15:00

1-10-DAL 20 (15:00) T.Romo sacked at DAL 12 for -8 yards (R.Kerrigan). FUMBLES (R.Kerrigan), and recovers at DAL 15. T.Romo to DAL 15 for no gain (A.Carriker).

Kerrigan is only blocked by the FB and is taken far enough upfield that Romo can step up, but with impressive alertness he manages to swipe with his right arm – which is hooked under the FB’s arm – and knock the ball out of Romo’s hands.

2-15-DAL 15 (14:13) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short middle to F.Jones to DAL 22 for 7 yards (L.Fletcher; R.Doughty). Pass complete slant.

3-8-DAL 22 (13:28) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short left to D.Bryant pushed ob at DAL 42 for 20 yards (D.Hall). Pass complete on a sideline "curl."

Barnes (over the slot receiver) and Fletcher blitz from the offensive right. Kerrigan tries to rush inside to open the B gap for Fletcher. But he doesn’t drive the center hard enough, so as the RG doubles him – as the blitz was designed to make him do – Fletcher runs into his back.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Redskins-Dallas 1st quarter game review

First, a service announcement. We're getting a late start because of a Monday night game, and I happen to know my schedule this week will not allow me to complete all four quarters in a timely fashion. A shortcut will need to be taken somewhere; I haven't decided yet whether to skip a quarter entirely, or do abbreviated versions of two quarters, or something. I'll figure it out later.

Also, this is only the first quarter but if you wondering what I thought of Jim Haslett's double safety blitz there will of course be more on it when I break down the fourth quarter. Until then, I wrote about it last night in case you haven't seen it yet (hint: I consider it so indefensibly irresponsible that it should put Haslett's job security at risk).

Anyway, let's dive into the first quarter. As always, the raw play by play info is taken from the NFL Game Book. You may notice that this play by play contains more detail than most, that is because Dallas seems to have an overly enthusiastic scorer - the unique game books jump out at me every year with the Dallas game.

Have at it:

First Quarter

D.Bailey kicks 58 yards from DAL 35 to WAS 7. B.Banks to WAS 30 for 23 yards (D.Bailey). Return left side of the field.

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:55)

1-10-WAS 30 (14:55) T.Hightower up the middle to WAS 30 for no gain (J.Hatcher).

If Hightower hadn’t slipped here (first of many) there could have been a good gain. He had a wide cut back lane to the left as a result of strong blocks by Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger, and Santana was positioned to seal out the playside CB.

2-10-WAS 30 (14:19) R.Grossman pass deep middle to S.Moss to WAS 46 for 16 yards (M.Jenkins). Pass complete on crossing pattern.

Trent would go on to have a very good day against DeMarcus Ware, but he got embarrassed here. Ware gave an initial outside move before cutting in, and Trent lost his balance while trying to react and basically spun in a rather ridiculous looking circle. He was bailed out by Cooley who gave a very solid block from the fullback position before leaking into the flat. This was an inaccurate throw from Rex and outstanding leaping catch by Santana.

1-10-WAS 46 (13:44) T.Hightower left end to DAL 49 for 5 yards (M.Jenkins).

Lichtensteiger gets overpowered by the RDE and Chester is unable to get outside the NT to slow his pursuit, causing the cutback lane inside Trent’s block to close off. Hightower manages to bounce outside and would have had good yards, but Santana wasn’t expecting to be needed on the play and slacked on his block on the CB.

Blame Jim Haslett, not DeAngelo Hall, for 3rd & 21

Obviously Rex Grossman's unimpressive play, Sav Rocca's botched hold, and many other factors contributed to this loss. But the 3rd and 21 completion to Dez Bryant that saved Dallas' game-winning drive is the most painful failure because it was self inflicted. A reckless, show-off play call in the worst possible situation quite likely cost the Redskins a win.

Monday, September 26, 2011

How to beat Dallas

I, of course, am not a football coach. The Shanahans and Jim Haslett are, and there’s a good chance that what they choose to do will have little resemblance to what I suggest here. But looking at the strengths and weakness of each team, this is how I would go about trying to beat Dallas:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wrapping up Redskins-Cardinals

Just finished the game review this morning. Here's the link for each individual quarter if you're a detail person:

1st quarter
2nd quarter
3rd quarter
4th quarter

If not, here's a not-at-all exhaustive list of some things that jumped out at me. Feel free to add your own.

 - In the 4th quarter, at 7:27 and 3:56, you get two good examples of why the Redskins often motion running backs out to receiver positions but rarely throw to them Click the game review above for the details.

- I'm not sure I've ever seen as many unsuccessful cut blocks as the Redskins committed in this game.

- Kevin Barnes gets overeager before blitzes and tips them off, and on two occasion the Redskins got burned for it. One of was Larry Fitzgerald's 73 yard touchdown.

Redskins-Cardinals 4th quarter game review

OK, finishing up the Cardinals win this morning. Here are the links to the 1st quarter, 2nd quarter, and 3rd quarter. A little later today there will be a summary post with some highlights from the full review.

[You may be wondering about the large blank space at the top of this post. As am I. It cannot be deleted in my editing screen - in fact it doesn't exist there. Well, that's Blogger for you.]

Fourth Quarter

Washington Redskins at 15:00

1-10-ARZ 44 (15:00) R.Grossman pass short right to A.Armstrong to ARZ 36 for 8 yards (K.Rhodes).

2-2-ARZ 36 (14:33) R.Helu right tackle to ARZ 29 for 7 yards (R.Walker).           

Helu  creates yards despite less than perfect blocking. Chester gets beat and has to cut inside early, but a hard cut gets him throught the hole. There may have been more yards to be had, but Lichtensteiger missed a second level cut block on an ILB. Seems like I’ve been writing that a lot this week.

1-10-ARZ 29 (13:58) R.Helu left end to ARZ 11 for 18 yards (K.Rhodes).

Niles Paul motions to behind Fred Davis on the left, then after the snap crosses the backfield to cut block the backside pursuit. I don’t think this was intended to be a fake, and yet the strong safety and one of the ILBs reach strongly to Paul’s move as if they think an end around is coming. That takes them out of position and Trent knocks the other ILB backwards.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Redskins-Cardinals 3rd quarter review

Third Quarter

G.Gano kicks 60 yards from WAS 35 to ARZ 5, out of bounds.

Given the depth I don’t think this was a directional kick. If not, kicking it out of bounds is rather inexcusable.

Arizona Cardinals at 15:00

1-10-ARZ 40 (15:00) C.Wells right guard to ARZ 49 for 9 yards (R.Doughty, R.McIntosh).

A LG-C double team drives Cofield off the line, then the C gets in Rocky’s face to spring the RB to the secondary.

2-1-ARZ 49  (14:27) K.Kolb pass short left to L.Fitzgerald to WAS 48 for 3 yards (D.Hall; R.McIntosh).           

And another fine open field tackle by DeAngelo Hall.

1-10-WAS 48 (13:54) C.Wells right end to WAS 38 for 10 yards (O.Atogwe, R.McIntosh). WAS-J.Wilson was injured during the play. His return is Questionable. injured back

Kerrigan is easily sealed inside by the TE and Fletcher’s attempting to set the edge by taking down the FB is unproductive since the RB was intending to cut inside anyway behind both pulling guards, who neutralize Rocky and a pursuing Cofield.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DeAngelo Hall, physical football player

Remember when DeAngelo Hall was afraid to hit?

In 2009 (when I first started this blog), I found him to be a confusing player. I was well aware of his reputation, of course, and most of the time he truly did seem to shy away from contact. The notorious game-conceding non-tackle on Jake Delhomme - who is not exactly Mike Vick, I might add - cemented his image with Redskins fans as a soft player. And yet, about once per game, he would stick his nose into traffic and make a physical play. Just as I would start to get impressed, he would go back to dodging ball carriers.

As late as the 2010 preseason, Jets coach Rex Ryan was incorporating Hall's history of poor (or lack of) tackling into sideline trash talk.

But something odd happened during the 2010 regular season.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Redskins-Cardinals 2nd quarter game review

Click here for the first quarter. As always play by play is taken from the NFL Game Book.

Let's dive in:

Second Quarter

Washington Redskins continued. 2-5-WAS 47 (15:00) PENALTY on ARZ-P.Lenon, Neutral Zone Infraction, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 47 - No Play.           

1-10-ARZ 48 (15:00) R.Grossman pass short middle to S.Moss to ARZ 41 for 7 yards (P.Peterson).

The safety lined up over Santana in the slot bites hard on the play action, so after the bootleg Rex has him easily in the flat.

2-3-ARZ 41 (14:20) T.Hightower left end to ARZ 37 for 4 yards (P.Lenon).           

Lichtensteiger locks onto an ILB at the second level and drives him back, opening up first down yardage for Hightower.

1-10-ARZ 37 (13:41) T.Hightower left end to ARZ 20 for 17 yards (K.Rhodes).

Trent Williams does a good job of sealing the OLB to the inside. Cooley and Montgomery each miss second level blocks meaning a ILB and a safety both have angles on the play, but Gaffney does a good job keeping the playside CB to the outside so Hightower is not forced back into the pursuit.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Redskins-Cardinals first quarter game review

OK, we're back for week 2. As always, the play by play is taken from the NFL game book. Do you have any idea how much more fun it is to do this for a win?

Let's get to it: 
First Quarter

J.Feely kicks 66 yards from ARZ 35 to WAS -1. B.Banks pushed ob at WAS 24 for 25 yards (O.Schofield).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:54)

1-10-WAS 24 (14:54) T.Hightower right tackle to WAS 32 for 8 yards (C.Campbell).

Montgomery controls the DT just enough for Hightower to cut inside behind the solid block from Brown and Chester gets to the second level.

2-2-WAS 32 (14:19) T.Hightower left tackle to WAS 26 for -6 yards (A.Wilson).

This run goes straight into an unblocked safety blitz. Cooley would have been in position to block it but he didn’t see the blitz coming and crossed the backfield to cut off the backside pursuit.

3-8-WAS 26 (13:44) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass deep left to S.Moss to WAS 45 for 19 yards (R.Marshall) [D.Dockett].           

Nice protection against the 7 man rush. With two blockers kept in the backfield (Cooley and Hightower) the linemen can focus on the Cardinals’ front four, so Chester and Montgomery neutralize the DTs and Lichtensteiger is available to take on a blitzing safety. When a linebacker and the other safety (after a delay) blitz through the right A gap Hightower and then Cooley work inside out and take them both out. There were a lot of opportunities for protection breakdowns here – maybe Chester panics on seeing the two blitzers and neglects his DT assignment, maybe Hightower reacts to the safety Lichtensteiger picks up and doesn’t cross the backfield to take out the linebacker, and so on… but they got everything right.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wrapping up Redskins-Giants

As you know I've been reviewing the play by play from the Redskins Week 1 win over the last several days. If you missed them here are the links:

First quarter
Second quarter
Third quarter
Fourth quarter

But if you don't want to get quite that deep into the weeds, below are some observations that can be considered something of a summary. It is not exhaustive, so feel free to add your own notes in the comments. Also, of course, we're only a week into the season. Some things mentioned here may not turn out to be a trend, and some trends will emerge over the course of the year that are not yet visible. But after one good game, this is what seems interesting to me so far:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Redskins-Giants 4th quarter game review

OK, time to wrap up the Redskins' Week 1 win. I know these posts are long, but I do recommend you read this one to the end as the manner in which the Redskins iced this game is particularly satisfying. Here are links to the previous reviews:

And now back into the game:

Fourth Quarter

2-18-NYG 2 (15:00) E.Manning pass incomplete short right to M.Manningham (D.Hall).

Chris Nield drives a double team into the end zone, and Kerrigan, while attempting a spin move, gets sufficiently hung up by the RG that a reasonable case could be made for a holding call in the end zone which would result in a safety. No call comes, however, and Manning is able to roll out to the right after the play action but a hit on the receiver from Hall jars the ball loose.

3-18-NYG 2  (14:52) (Shotgun) E.Manning pass short middle to D.Ware to NYG 5 for 3 yards (D.Hall).

Hall reads the screen early and ignores his receiver’s diversionary route, slipping in behind the advancing linemen. Nice play.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Redskins-Giants 3rd quarter game review

First quarter review is here, second quarter review is here. As before the play by play is taken from the NFL gamebook.

Off we go: 

Third Quarter

G.Gano kicks 68 yards from WAS 35 to NYG -3. D.Thomas to NYG 18 for 21 yards (L.Alexander).

New York Giants at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:54)

1-10-NYG 18  (14:54) A.Bradshaw right end to NYG 22 for 4 yards (R.McIntosh, R.Kerrigan).

2-6-NYG 22   (14:19) PENALTY on NYG-H.Nicks, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at NYG 22 - No Play.

2-11-NYG 17  (13:54) (Shotgun) A.Bradshaw right end to NYG 18 for 1 yard (L.Fletcher; R.Kerrigan).

Great play by Fletcher, who reads the shotgun draw early and beats the pulling guard to the outside to make the play.

3-10-NYG 18   (13:10) (Shotgun) E.Manning pass short right intended for H.Nicks INTERCEPTED by R.Kerrigan at NYG 9. R.Kerrigan for 9 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Kerrigan – who remember is playing linebacker for the first time in a regular season game, does a fantastic job not only of seeing the cut block coming and shoving the blocker to the ground, but of maintaining his balance sufficiently that he could time a leap on Manning’s throw and knock the ball in the air. He then has great awareness to keep track of the ball and make the catch for the touchdown. Just an absolutely outstanding play.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Redskins-Giants 2nd quarter game review

And we're back. The first quarter review was posted last night. As always, the basic play by play is taken from the NFL Gamebook, then I add my commentary after each play.

Let's go: 

Second Quarter

2-11-NYG 43 (15:00) T.Hightower left end to NYG 37 for 6 yards (A.Rolle).

Pretty good zone blocking tandems on the left side as Lichtensteiger and Cooley manage to get out to the LBs, meaning a safety is forced to make the stop after a decent gain.

3-5-NYG 37 (14:18) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass incomplete deep right to J.Gaffney [M.Kiwanuka].

Chris Chester is initially working with Montgomery in a double team on the lone DT on the Giants’ three man nickel front, but he spots the LB on a delayed blitz, hands the DT off to Montgomery, and is waiting for the blitzer – and somehow, inexplicably, just whiffs on the block. Despite getting nailed Rex manages to float a perfect pass to Gaffney at the sideline, who despite his reputation for good hands just drops it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Redskins-Giants 1st quarter game review

OK folks here's our first game review of the year. If you're new to the site, most of my regular season posts consist of running the game back on Tivo and breaking it down play by play to get a more accurate read of what happened and why. Because it's slow work, it usually gets done one quarter at the time.

The play by play info you see is taken from the official NFL game book, then I add my own commentary after each play (or most of them, anyway).

This is just what I saw and is certainly not conclusive, so feel free to chime in with your own observations. If you have the game recorded on DVR or have a subscription to NFL rewind, I highly recommend you play it back while reading.

L.Tynes kicks 64 yards from NYG 35 to WAS 1. B.Banks to WAS 25 for 24 yards (D.Thomas; D.Grant). 

This kickoff, which bounced on the 8 yard line before Banks caught it at the1, prompts me to repeat a point about the new kickoff rule. Any kicker that couldn’t routinely get the ball past the 5 before still won’t be getting it into the end zone now.  And I’m sure you remember that a large number of kickoffs have always landed short of the 5 (in fact, if you’re a pre-Gano Redskins fan, we’ve been watching kickoffs land at the 10 or even 15 for years). And kicks just a few yards into the end zone will get returned anyway. This rule change will significantly increase the number of touchbacks, but the kick return has not been eliminated from the game.

As for a note pertaining to this particular game – I did not notice this watching the game live but after getting in a jawing match with one of the Giants after the return, Banks flips the ball in the guy's face before walking away. If a ref had been nearby I assume that could have been 15 yards.

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:54)

1-10-WAS 2 (14:54) T.Hightower right tackle to WAS 29 for 4 yards (G.Jones).

Cooley kicks out the blitzing OLB, and Montgomery and Chester each ride their DLs down the line while maintaining sufficient control that Hightower can cut back behind them. However, Trent tries to cut his DE and fails while Lichtensteiger gets a clean release to the (backup) MLB but fails to lock on, limiting this run to only an average gain.

2-6-WAS 29  (14:22) T.Hightower left end to WAS 29 for no gain (C.Canty).

I’m pretty sure Fred Davis blew his assignment here.  He dashes to the outside despite having no unaccounted for defenders there, then tries to recover as a LB drives into Trent, who is already engaged with the DE. Davis is too slow to get back in position, however, and only fills the hole, slowing Hightower on his way past the line of scrimmage.

A bigger factor, however, is that the Giants saw this play coming before the snap. As soon as Cooley motioned to the playside the WLB started waving his hand, and the entire LB trio shifted with him.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My sure-to-be-hilariously-wrong NFL predictions

NFC East
New York Giants (wild card)

On Friday I postulated an 8-8 finish for the Redskins with only the mildest rose-colored tint in my glasses. In a division in which each team is flawed, an 8-8 team shouldn’t be expected to finish last. So, keeping in mind that I am consciously being a homer here (which I think is okay as long as you admit it to yourself) which other team is the most likely to collapse and fall into fourth?

Snide "Dream Team" comments aside, the Eagles should be the best team in the division. The offense is in doubt, however - the offensive line is questionable and late last year a "book" was developed on Michael Vick. But even if the offense underperforms, the defense scares me. I am not looking forward to throwing the Redskins tackles up against Trent Cole and Jason Babin, nor the interior line against Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson.  They will generate tons of pressure, and the loaded cornerback crew will turn that into turnovers. So the Eagles for real even if they don't live up to expectations.

The Giants aren't exactly a scary team, but they're well rounded without any obvious weaknesses. They are probably the least likely team in the division to suffer a total collapse.

That leaves Dallas with it's thin offensive line and weak secondary, not to mention a defense learning a new system. They could end up quite good, but it's easy to see how things could go wrong. So, with the confession that I was going looking for a reason not to pick the Redskins last, here's your potential 4th place NFC East team.

Your Redskins-Giants reading list

- Matt Bowen offers up a Grossman-friendly game plan.

- Here's more Matt Bowen Redskins talk, this time as told to John Keim of the Examiner.

- Pro Football Focus thinks Barry Cofield switching teams can have a major impact on the game.

- Tandler talks to a Giants blogger.

- Anthony Brown of Redskins Hog Heaven talks to a Titans blogger to get a reaction on Michael Lombardi picking the Redskins and Titans to win their respective division. The money quote: "I hope for your sake Lombardi is more knowledgeable about the Redskins than he is the Titans. He's completely wrong about several things he wrote about the Titans." Unfortunately, as I wrote Friday, Lombardi does not know what he's talking about when it comes to the Redskins either.

- Homer McFanboy discusses the Giants' recent dominance of the Redskins. 

- Pro Football Weekly thinks the Redskins have a pretty decent chance against the depleted Giants (#11). 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Redskins-Giants and the injury factor

Here's a look at the injury report for Sunday's game against the Giants, followed by comments on which injuries I think can have the biggest impact on the outcome.

DE Osi Umenyiora - Out
MLB Johnathan Goff - Out
CB Prince Amukamara - Out
DE Justin Tuck - Questionable
TE Travis Beckum - Questionable

Obviously it’s great (for us) that Osi Umenyiora won’t be on the field, but that doesn’t mean the Redskins line is out of the woods. For years now the Giants pass rush has been known not only for it’s quality but for it’s quantitiy. Justin Tuck is a dominant player; if he doesn’t play it will be very helpful. But Matthias Kiwanuka and Jason Pierre-Paul are still pass rushers we should be rather worried about, especially given the Redskins' “just okay” tackles.

The significance of the Goff injury is a big question mark. My concern is that I’m not sure the Redskins have the center to properly exploit it. If Will Montgomery can get off the line and put a hat on the backup MLB, he should open some big cutback lanes for Tim Hightower. But based on preseason action I am skeptical that Montgomery can do that.  So this injury is either a huge advantage or a non-factor. The latter would be frustrating. In this regard, the most helpful absence on the Giants' line may be former tackle Barry Cofield (heh).

Friday, September 9, 2011

How good can the Redskins be?

It’s a hard question and I don’t pretend to know the answer. But I think we can look at all three phases – offense, defense, and special teams – and at get a pretty good idea of the range of possibilities. And unlike the Michael Lombardi post I took issue with earlier today, we can base it off what the team actually brings to the table, and where its strengths and weaknesses will lie.

Michael Lombardi is wrong about the Redskins

The DC internet buzz today has been about's Michael Lombardi explaining his reasoning behind picking the Redskins as NFC East champions. I am as tired of anyone of members of the national media dismissing the Redskins as a matter of course without bothering to learn about the team in any depth. But unfortunately this little bit of positive attention also seems pretty baseless (by the way, I can't find a link but in 2008 this writer mentioned in passing that Clinton Portis was weak as a pass protector - so I don't trust him to know this team in detail).  The reasoning is at various times overstated, flatly false, or simply specious.

Let's go point by point:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A look at the Redskins not-at-all final 53 man roster

This post will probably need updating rather quickly, as the receiver and offensive line depth charts just don't make sense as they currently stand.  Also, not all the practice squads have been filled, and there is always likely to be turnover at the bottom of the roster. Nonetheless, here's a look at the 53 man roster as it stands at 5pm Sunday. Let me know if I missed anyone.

Starter: John Beck
Backup: Rex Grossman

This is, of course, an educated guess as to the starter. But I think it's where most people would put their money. Neither of these guys has shown enough in the NFL to be entitled to a job of course, so it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest some back and forth here.

It is not altogether shocking that Mike Shanahan would go with only two QBs; he did it all the time in Denver. It was not a foregone conclusion, however. He kept three last year even when he knew who his starter was going to be. And if either Beck or Rex gets hurt it would be nice to have an experienced backup rather than some kid off the street or the practice squad.

Running Back
Starter: Tim Hightower
Fullback: Darrel Young
Backups: Roy Helu, Ryan Torain
Practice Squad: Evan Royster

Hard not to feel good about this position. We were all worried about Torain's durability, but as the third running back its much less of a concern. Of course having Mike Sellers make the team as a tight end means that he can function as a backup fullback, so Keiland Williams was superfluous. I was not at all surprised that Evan Royster didn't make the roster, as he reminds me a lot of Keiland - a well rounded back who does the little things but offers little upside as a ballcarrier.

Redskins cut two SM favorites

I will, of course, be postin a reaction to the entire 53 man roster. But it's so clear that more moves are coming (unless you really think the Redskins will keep eight receivers and only one backup interior lineman) that I am going to hold off for now until things look more settled.

But for now I'd like to address two cuts that were utterly unsurprising and yet noteworthy because they happened to players who I had spent a fair amount of time promoting on this blog.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A quick note on the practice squad

With final cuts looming, it's the time of year that the practice squad keeps getting suggested as an option for every fringe player who may have potential but isn't ready to contribute right away. And nearly every year there is confusion over just how the practice squad works. It's important to understand that the practice squad is not simply a bunch of extra roster spots that can get a team out of hard personnel decisions.

SB Nation has a writeup on the eligibility rules:

"Eligibility for the practice squad is limited to players who do not have an accrued season in the NFL, or were on an active list... for fewer than nine games during their only accrued seasons. Players that have served two seasons on a practice squad are eligible for a third season only if the team has at least 53 players on its active/inactive list for the duration of that player's employment."

So the gist of it is that anyone with any meaningul NFL experience is ineligible for the practice squad to begin with, especially when you consider that an "accrued season" is only six games. This is a very important point, as fans and even media routinely suggest suggest ineligible players for the practice squad. Last year one of the professional writers even mentioned 11-year veteran Hunter Smith as a practice squad candidate.

But eligibility is just the beginning of the limitations. Even when the guy you want to keep is eligible, you can't simply "put" him on the practice squad.

First, you have to cut him and he goes through the waiver process. Like any other cut, he can be claimed by any other team willing to use an active roster spot for him. This is how the Redskins lost Chase Daniel to the Saints.

If he makes it through waivers, he's a free agent. He's free to turn down a practice squad offer and sign with someone else. For the most part, these sorts of fringe players will just be happy to still have an outside shot at the NFL and will decide their best chance is to stick with the coaching staff that already knows them. It's still their decision, however. When the Redskins tried to sign preseason hero Marcus Mason to their practice squad in 2008 he simply said "no, thanks" and signed onto Baltimore's squad instead because the depth chart there gave him a better chance to see the field.

Also remember that even when a guy is on the practice squad during the season, he is still free to sign with any other team that will clear a spot on their 53 man roster.

The end result is that if the Redskins feel they really couldn't bear to lose a guy, then the practice squad is not an option.