I have relatives who are still mad that the Washington Redskins released Art Monk. News yesterday that the Redskins fired fan favorite Chris Cooley ignited a bombshell.
Greg Trippiedi warned me this might happen, but there is still a funereal air around Redskins Park. Poor Captain Chaos might be grappling with the first or second stage of grief (denial and anger). The death analogy leads to a blunt conclusion - we all have to go sometime. Few people, players or coaches, leave the game on their own terms.
On Cutdown Monday, Graham Gano lost his job to a player who was not on the preseason roster and the Redskins cut the most popular veteran player on the team. Only London Fletcher rivaled Cooley for fan support.
Firing people has the bracing effect of focusing the attention of the employees. Don't for one minute think that Mike Shanahan is not using that.
If the Redskins can cut Cooley, who seemingly won a place on the 2012 roster, and release Gano for Billy Cundiff, whose best case is that he is not Graham Gano, who is next?
The two players I worry for are Santana Moss and Brandon Banks.
Moss holds the franchise single-season receiving record, way back in the golden year of double-'aught five. Banks is my mother's favorite player ... because he is so small. Redskins Hog Heaven is perplexed why Moss would ask to return punts in the Colts preseason game.
Is he trying to show that he can do more? Has Banks lost his best case for making the team?
In almost every case, Shanahan has gone for youth over experience. Perhaps he has learned from the Donovan McNabb debacle. If Banks or Moss is released, who fills the slot? Aldrick Robinson? Terrence Austin? Dezmon Briscoe?
The Redskins are firmly committed to tight end Fred Davis now. Who is next on the depth chart, Logan Paulson or Niles Paul?
Tonight's last preseason game against the Buccaneers offers some clues. I'll be looking to see how much playing time these players get and when they play during the game. Who plays in the first or second quarter is a clue. Who makes his first appearance in the fourth quarter is an omen. That guy is only getting the chance to make videos to take home with him Friday evening.
Lots of bottom-of-roster churn ahead this weekend in NFL. Guys will celebrate making team only to be cut after waiver claims made.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) August 29, 2012
The Redskins and the NFL Network want you to know that they have moved kick-off time to 7:00 PM ET tonight.
Image from Redskins.com here.