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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sizing up the final 53-player roster

Judging from some of the e-mail we've received the past two days, Insider readers are hungry for comment from Redskins officials about their roster decisions.

Well, so are we.

After initially informing members of the media there would be availability Saturday, the Redskins sent out an advisory at 11:13 p.m. Friday that it was canceled. General Manager Bruce Allen is not expected to discuss the opening 53-man roster with local reporters.

Coach Mike Shanahan is in charge of player-personnel and heads the entire football operation, so it's expected that he will address the media after practice Monday afternoon. Of course, the roster was set Saturday, the practice squad Sunday and Shanahan is now focused on preparing to face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night in the season opener.

It wouldn't be shocking if Shanahan declined to revisit the roster maneuvering of the past few days. Hopefully, Shanahan will comment on the roster. If he declines, however, some things seem apparent:

The 2008 draft class was really bad. Guard Chad "The Rhino" Rinehart (a third-round pick) was released and nickel cornerback Justin Tryon (a fourth-rounder) was traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a draft pick. Beginning their third season in the NFL, few guys from that class have done much.

The 2010 class, Shanahan's first in control of the football operation, isn't off to a great start, either. The Redskins cut or traded four of their six selections in the most recent draft.

"The worst thing people can do is keep a draft pick just to keep a draft pick," Shanahan said recently. "What you do is you keep the people who give you the best chance to win."

Defensive end Jeremy Jarmon did everything the coaching staff asked while trying to regain form after knee surgery. First, they asked him to drop weight and become an outside linebacker in the new 3-4 scheme. He had never played linebacker. Then, they asked him to add weight and move to defensive end, basically a three-technique defensive lineman in a 4-3. He had rarely lined up at three-technique. Jarmon also began to show some encouraging signs at defensive end. After all that, the Redskins couldn't have cut Jarmon. Well, they could have. But it's good that they didn't.

Balogun to practice squad

The Redskins hit the practice field Monday at 2 p.m., and they had at least one new player in uniform. The team added an eighth player to the practice squad: linebacker Mike Balogun.

Balogun had spent the preseason with San Francisco but was released last week. He had eight tackles and one interception in four preseason games.

Balogun, 26, is a native of Upper Marlboro and the semi-pro team he reportedly played for was the Maryland Marauders of the North American Football League.

- Jason Reid and Rick Maese


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