There aren’t any surprises among the starters on the the Redskins’ first official depth chart, which was released Tuesday, but the pecking order for the reserves reveals a few interesting nuggets.
For your offensive starters, Rex Grossman – as we now know – is the No. 1 quarterback. The chart lists Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney as starting receivers, LT Trent Williams, LG Kory Lichtensteiger, C Will Montgomery, RG Chris Chester, RT Jammal Brown, TE Chris Cooley, Darrel Young as the starting fullback and Tim Hightower as the running back.
From there, Anthony Armstrong and Terrence Austin are next in line at receiver. Armstrong is listed as Moss’s backup, and Austin as Gaffney’s. During the preseason, Armstrong was used as the third receiver, and the fourth receiver duties were rotated among Austin, Donte Stallworth and Leonard Hankerson. It appears that for the regular season, most four-receiver sets will feature Moss, Gaffney, Armstrong and Austin. Stallworth and Niles Paul are listed as third-string receivers, ahead of Hankerson and Banks.
Surprisingly, the Redskins haven’t made any moves to bring in a veteran guard to improve depth at the interior of their line. Second-year pro Erik Cook, who spent nearly all of last season on the practice squad, is listed as the backup at both guard positions and as the backup center as well.
Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that if one of the starting guards was hurt, Will Montgomery would slide over to that spot, and that Cook would come in to play center. Willie Smith is the backup right tackle, and Sean Locklear is the No. 2 left tackle.
At running back, Ryan Torain is listed as third behind Hightower and Roy Helu. Hightower will be the workhorse because of his ability to run, catch and pass-block, and Helu gives the Redskins a good change-of-pace back. Carries could be hard to come by for Torain.
Although Cooley is listed as the starting tight end, his status for Sunday’s season opener has yet to be determined. He practiced – although not fully – on Monday, and his progress will be monitored. Fred Davis would get the nod if Cooley can’t go. Logan Paulsen would then bump up from third-string to second-string. Mike Sellers is listed as backup full-back and fourth-string tight end.
On defense, it’s Adam Carriker at left end, along with NT Barry Cofield, RDE Stephen Bowen, LOLB Ryan Kerrigan, ILB London Fletcher, ILB Rocky McIntosh, ROLB Brian Orakpo, LCB DeAngelo Hall, RCB Josh Wilson, SS LaRon Landry and FS Oshiomogho Atogwe.
Lorenzo Alexander will relieve Kerrigan, and Rob Jackson will spell Orakpo, although Orakpo will rarely be off the field. As expected, McIntosh beat out Perry Riley for that inside linebacker spot. The hope entering camp was that Riley could get the job done, but coaches soon saw that without OTAs and minicamps, he still had a way to go in his education process. Keyaron Fox is Fletcher’s backup.
Up front, Kedric Golston will back up Carriker at left end a year after starting 13 games at right end. Darrion Scott is listed as Bowen’s backup and rookie Chris Neild will spell Cofield.
Kevin Barnes is listed as DeAngelo Hall’s backup, but likely will be on the field with the starters in nickel packages. Byron Westbrook is Wilson’s backup.
Landry is listed as the starting strong safety, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Reed Doughty open Sunday’s game at the position, because Landry’s hamstring still isn’t 100 percent. Rookie DeJon Gomes split time between strong and free safety this preseason, but is Atogwe’s backup on the depth chart.
Banks is the top kick and punt returner, with Austin listed as his backup at both spots. Armstrong is listed as the third kick returner, and Paul as the third punt returner.