Wednesday, September 3: Talking Cuts With Scott Campbell

I’ve spoken to Scott Campbell, director of player personnel, before. His position means that he’s essentially responsible for preparing the team for all aspects of player acquisition, from the pro and college level, and I had found him to be candid and straightforward in the face of some difficult inquiries. so when I had some questions about the recent roster cuts — several of them raised by commenters and emailers — he seemed like a good person to talk to.

Scott Campbell, director of player personnel.

Scott Campbell, director of player personnel.


All right, talk me through the process of the cuts.

We started meeting the day after the Jacksonville game, the entire coaching staff, [Executive Vice President of Football Operations] Vinny [Cerrato], myself, [Director of Pro Personnel] Morocco [Brown], [Vice President of Football Administration] Eric Shaffer was in there as well. And basically just as a staff, we worked through each position and decided how many to keep, and the cons and pros of each guy, and why we should go maybe more one position than the other.

How does it work in the room? Do different people champion different guys or positions, or is it all just consensus building?

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Monday, September 1: Mason a (Practice) Raven, Frost Speaks

Following up on some of the recently cut Redskins…

Marcus Mason is officially on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. It’s probably small consolation to the Redskins fans who believe he should’ve been elevated to the number three or number two RB spot here, but Baltimore almost certainly offers a better opportunity for him to play. (Especially considering that, according to David Elfin at the Washington Times, “a team source said that Mason couldn’t master Zorn’s offense and wasn’t a good enough special teams player to stick around”.)

Derrick Frost sent an email that clarifies (and somewhat recants) his comments from yesterday, making for much classier parting words. An excerpt, via Jason La Canfora’s Washington Post Redskins Insider:

While I believe that I performed well enough to have earned the punting job this preseason, the ultimate decision does not belong to me. The fact of the matter is that playing for a professional sports team is a privilege. Durrant Brooks is a fine young punter and I wish him great success here in Washington.

Also, an NFL rule that MIGHT account for the absence of Billy McMullen or Todd Wade from the roster at this point is that salaries are guaranteed for veterans who open the season on the roster, but not for veterans signed after week 1. I haven’t heard anything indicating that this would be the case with either of those guys, but it certainly seems like a possibility.

Likely Practice Squad

EDIT: The top seven of these — the guys who were cut yesterday — have been confirmed by the team. Still haven’t heard confirmation on Ecker. (Nor Mason, but I don’t expect to hear anything official about that unless and until it hits the news. Clinton Portis spoke very highly of Mason today, and of the team’s decision to let him find somewhere to play.) Original post follows.

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I haven’t heard anything official from the team yet, but these guys look like the likely practice squad, as they’re all in the building and still have lockers set up.

FB Nehemiah Broughton
OL Devin Clark
OL Andrew Crummey
WR Horace Gant
LB Curtis Gatewood
CB Matteral Richardson
CB Byron Westbrook

Also back and on the practice squad is TE Tyler Ecker, the team’s seventh round draft pick last year, who spent last season on IR and was released earlier this summer after surgery.

A completely unconfirmed rumor had RB Marcus Mason heading up 95 to the Ravens, but that’s even less firm than the practice squad list.

Sunday, August 31: Some Reaction to the Reaction to the Cuts

While much of the reaction to the cuts here has focused on Justin Tryon’s presence on the 53 man roster — and, wow, the commenters do NOT seem pleased with that choice — the bigger story to the local mainstream media is the Durant Brooks decision, especially given Derrick Frost’s comments after the fact.

Essentially, Frost told both the Post’s Jason LaCanfora and the Times’ David Elfin that the competition was “a sham” and that he was never given a fair chance to make the roster. More specifically, he said to LaCanfora:

I want to thank [special teams coach] Danny Smith for the three years he gave me here, and I feel like he always treated me well, and I will continue to think that. But I think we all know who made the decision, and when you’ve got a draft that isn’t starting to look so good, you’re going to do whatever you can to make it look as good as possible.

Those quotes in turn inspired Mike Wise’s column today, which spins Frost’s comments forward as foreshadowing a locker room revolt against Vinny Cerrato and Redskins management.

The blogs, on the other hand, have not taken the news quite so negatively.

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Saturday, August 30: Cut Day

Alfred Fincher, still here after a strong performance.

Alfred Fincher, still here after a strong performance.

The team has announced the players that are being released to meet the 53-man limit. Here’s the list, organized by position.

  • QB Derek Devine
  • RB Marcus Mason
  • FB Nehemiah Broughton
  • WR Maurice Mann
  • WR Horace Gant
  • WR Billy McMullen
  • WR Anthony Mix
  • DT Matthias Askew
  • DT Ryan Boschetti
  • T Devin Clark
  • T Todd Wade
  • T Tavares Washington
  • G Andrew Crummey
  • G Fred Matua
  • LB Curtis Gatewood
  • LB David Holloway
  • LB Danny Verdun-Wheeler
  • S Patrick Ghee
  • CB Cedrick Holt
  • CB Matterral Richardson
  • CB Byron Westbrook
  • P Derrick Frost

Some thoughts on the list after the jump.

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Your Concerns About Matt Sinclair

Photo by Don Wright.

Photo by Don Wright.

There was some concern yesterday about Matt Sinclair, and if he was starring in his own AFLAC commercial after being waived injured.

abrlcklnthewall exemplified the concerns in a comment:

Since he was cut as a result of a back injury suffered during a preseason game, does he get some kind of settlement from the ‘Skins? Or is he basically looking for another job to keep himself afloat?

Variations on the question also turned up via email, and even with people I spoke to on the phone. A lot of people seem to genuinely like Sinclair. With that level of interest, I asked around the personnel department to see if I could find anything out.

The short answer is “don’t worry too much, he’s okay.”

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Tuesday, August 26: Another Roster Move

This morning, the team waived/injured TE Jason Goode, and re-signed LB Danny Verdun-Wheeler, who was most recently waived by the team on August 4. The move seems to me like it’s largely to create some depth at linebacker for the last preseason game, but I figured it was worth noting anyhow.

Goode, of course, is probably best known this preseason for catching the game-winning touchdown from Colt Brennan against the Jets in New York.