Redskins running back Robert Kelley showed the team enough in the preseason to trust him on game day. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)

The Washington Redskins had their first open practice Monday after finalizing their 53-man roster over the weekend. They made a few changes to their 10-man practice squad, adding defensive tackle Louis Nix III and tight end Wes Saxton and releasing fullback Joe Kerridge.

“I feel good about it,” Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said of the roster. “I consider it a 63-man roster. These practice squad guys are very important, as we learned last year, and we’re fortunate to get a lot of the guys back that we had here on the practice squad. Tough decisions went into it, but Scot [McCloughan] and the coaching staff did an excellent job of putting together our team.”

The 53 features three quarterbacks, three running backs, six wide receivers, three tight ends and nine offensive linemen on offense. Washington kept six defensive linemen, nine linebackers and 11 defensive backs. Here’s what Gruden had to say about some of the difficult decisions made over the weekend:

  • On rookie quarterback Nate Sudfeld making the team as the third quarterback: “I think that was pretty much the plan. You want to have three. Some teams go with two and a practice-squad guy. We thought that Nate [Sudfeld] showed enough in the preseason where somebody might give him a chance. I think he’s in a good spot, man. He’s going to develop here on this roster and learn from Kirk [Cousins] and learn from Colt [McCoy] how to be a pro and just continue to develop. Having three is important nowadays.”
  • On the confidence in running back Robert Kelley to have just three running backs: “We felt really good about Robert. We felt really good about Mack Brown. That was a tough decision also. We would like to keep all four, but we kept 11 defensive backs, so some other positions had to suffer because of that, and that was one of them. That was just our decision. We feel good that the three backs that we have right now are going to be very good, and with Mack Brown waiting in the wings, we have four excellent ones in-house.”
  • On keeping Austin Reiter to give them three centers: “He’s one of those guys that really, I thought, developed. He just continued to get better and better. I think he’s proved his worth. And then with [Spencer Long’s] injury a little bit, we wanted to make sure we had another center in the building. He’s just going to keep on developing, getting better. Having three centers is important; we learned that last year. We were really short last year throughout the season. We brought in a couple guys toward the end of the year. I’d love to just work in-house with the center position instead of having to go on the waiver wire Week 8 and find a new center. That’s hard to do. Hopefully our guy stays healthy — Kory [Lichtensteiger] — and Spencer continues to develop and we’ll have Austin here.”
  • On cutting Logan Paulsen instead of carrying four tight ends: “That was another really tough decision there. Logan has done a lot of good things for this football team. Coming off the injury, he did a great job of getting himself ready to compete. We just chose to go with three tight ends instead of four. We’re probably a little light there, but luckily we added Wes [Saxton] to the practice squad today, so we have four in the building. But that was another tough decision. Logan is an excellent football player, and Chicago gobbled him up right away.”
  • On keeping six defensive linemen: “I feel good about our defensive line. They all work extremely well together. I think they complement each other very well. We have some guys that are maybe a little better against the run, some guys are a little bit better pass-rushers, but when you start rotating them around, keeping them fresh, I think they all bring something very positive to this team.”
  • On keeping undrafted rookie defensive end Anthony Lanier over fifth-round pick Matt Ioannidis: “It was very close. They’re different players. Lanier really showed throughout training camp and throughout the preseason games … he’s 6-foot-6, he’s very young, very raw. We didn’t want to risk losing a big defensive lineman that has some pass-rush ability. We’re going to try to keep him here to develop him. Matt, we were hoping he wouldn’t get claimed and he didn’t. We were able to bring him back. But really, we had to choose one. They’re both excellent football players, and it was a very close, very hard decision to make. Fortunately we worked out and got them both.”
  • On having 11 defensive backs, including Deshazor Everett as the fifth safety, and how that affects the 46-man roster on game day: “That’s what it will come down to — special teams will be huge. We’ll sit down and talk about it. Starting Wednesday we’ll probably start to try to figure out what we’re going to do as far as that 46-man is concerned. We’re starting to preview a little bit assuming that everyone is going to be healthy, and we will have a tough decision there, too. We have 11 good defensive backs that can all do something very good and have a skill set that is very beneficial to this team. Odds are we won’t take 11 to the game.”