One possibility is that the league could tie a reduced preseason to an expanded postseason. Adding one or two teams in each conference to the playoff field would create additional postseason games that would enable the sport to offset revenue losses from shortening the preseason.
“I hear rumors of that from time to time,” the owner said. “Whether that gets presented, I don’t know. I’m not sure I’d be in favor of expanding the playoffs. How much do you expand them? Two teams? Four teams? There could be a case made for that, I suppose. [But] you’re going to have 8-8 teams making the playoffs on a fairly regular basis.”
The Post Sports Live crew discusses why fans should be excited that the Redskins’ roster for the 2013 season is similar to last season's.
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It’s not a major issue to every player, either. Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss said this week: “Preseason is preseason. Whatever they want it to be, they can make it. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Redskins linebacker Nick Barnett said he favors a two-game preseason but not if it comes with a lengthier regular season.
“I think two is the right number,” Barnett said. “But then will they go up on games? Now you’re playing 18 regular season games. For me, I think they’re at the right number now as far as regular season games. Preseason games, I would like to see them go down.”
Griffin lobbied to play in the preseason as part of his comeback from knee surgery. But Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan decided there was no need and Griffin could get ready for the regular season solely in practices.
“Remember, the first time Robert ever had a preseason game was last year,” Shanahan said. “He never had one in college. He never had one in high school. You don’t have preseason games. When I was in college, I coached there for 10 years [and] I never had a preseason game. I didn’t know what they were. I kind of feel the same way now as I did back then. A lot of times you have games and you’re always trying to protect your guys, at least the majority of the guys, so they don’t get hurt. So there’s a fine balance in evaluating players, getting players ready. I really believe that if you can put guys in full-speed-type practice, you can get them ready for the regular season.”
The Redskins’ list of injuries incurred during preseason games this summer includes Cousins suffering a mid-foot sprain, nose tackle Barry Cofield suffering a broken hand and punt returner Richard Crawford suffering a season-ending knee injury. They’re playing it safe in Tampa, with close to two dozen players sitting out. The Redskins have fourth-string quarterback Pat White scheduled to play the entire game Thursday night. Starting safety Brandon Meriweather is to play as a test of his readiness for the season as he returns from a knee injury. Competitions for the team’s punt returner job and backup running back spots are still playing out.
“It gives people opportunities to showcase their talents and abilities to future employers all through the league,” Barnett said. “For me, I would just like to see it cut down a little bit. I think four games . . . is a lot of games to risk everything for nothing.”