Redskins Play Reserves Against Jaguars' Starters as Roster Decisions Loom

The Washington Redskins lose to Jacksonville in their final preseason game, 24-17.
By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 4, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 3 -- Searching for answers about their roster, the Washington Redskins looked past a 24-17 loss Thursday night to the Jacksonville Jaguars in their final preseason game and focused on the bigger picture.

The Redskins must cut 22 players by Saturday's deadline to set the opening 53-man roster, so losing another meaningless preseason game in front of an announced crowd of 39,942 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium wasn't their concern.

The Redskins must make difficult decisions about the battle for the No. 3 quarterback job between Colt Brennan and rookie Chase Daniel and the place-kicking competition between holdover Shaun Suisham and newcomer Dave Rayner. And who's the 53rd man?

The Redskins (1-3) made it through the game with no major injures -- their top priority -- and now prepare to put the finishing touches on the roster with the regular season beginning in a little more than a week.

"Well, some guys made it difficult, and some guys made it . . . it's not going to ever be easy," Coach Jim Zorn said. "I don't want to say it's going to be easy. There was a couple that might have struggled out there that we'll see on video. We'll see why there was a struggle. I thought some of the performances were good individually, but I also look at the team performance."

In the highest-profile position battle, Brennan had his best game of the preseason. The second-year quarterback completed 10 of 14 passes for 83 yards before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter after aggravating a hamstring injury while being sacked.

"I've had a tight hammy for a couple of weeks," Brennan said. "On the beginning of the play, I went to scramble out, and my hammy locked up on the play. When I got sacked, my knee got caught underneath, so it was one of those things where it wasn't a serious injury, but it was like two injuries at once.

"My leg was like throbbing for a couple of plays, so it felt good to get off it. It's nothing serious, it's just kind of unfortunate. I think I've gotten a great experience this year. I've done some good things, and I've made some mistakes. Overall, I thought I showed I've grown. Hopefully, they can look at my two years here and look at my practices and feel confident about me progressing."

Daniel went 8 for 16 for 85 yards. After returning to the game in relief of Brennan, Daniel threw a four-yard touchdown pass in the final minute to rookie wide receiver Marko Mitchell, who is expected to make the opening roster.

Suisham connected on a 48-yard field goal with 4 minutes 2 seconds remaining in the third quarter. That cut Jacksonville's lead to 21-3.

As planned, the first-team offense only played the opening series. The Redskins' offensive starters failed to produce points in their brief appearance, but there were encouraging developments for the unit.

Quarterback Jason Campbell was sharp in the brief stint. "He was excellent," Zorn said. "He made big plays."

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