ASHBURN – Mike Shanahan and his staff hacked away at the 75-man roster following the Redskins’ final preseason game Wednesday night. The benchwarmers made Shanahan’s job difficult after an extremely strong performance against the Buccaneers – resulting in a dominant 30-3 win. Never-the-less the team now consists of just 53 men, while 22 others left Ashburn with a rough start to the holiday weekend.
The Redskins officially announced the release of the following players, on Friday at 9 p.m.
WR Terrance Austin, Anthony Armstrong (released/traded)
TE Richard Quinn
OL Tom Compton, Willie Smith, Grant Garner, Erik Cook
DL Doug Worthington, Marlon Favorite, Delvin Johnson, Darrian Scott
LB Bryan Kehl, D.J. Holt, Brian McNally, Markus White
CB Brandyn Thompson, Trevon Bellamy, David Jones
Suspended by NFL
S Tanard Jackson
Most Washington Redskin fans unlikely knew the names of many of the 22 players cut. But the talent at wide receiver and running back created a firestorm of debate in Washington, D.C. the past five months and Redskin fans showed mixed reaction on the Internet Friday night, as a few familiar names made the cut-list. While the majority of Redskins Nation supported Washington’s 53-man roster, some fans voiced shock and displeasure at the release of Anthony Armstrong, Terrance Austin and Tim Hightower. It was a tough call on Shanahan’s part but Devon Briscoe, Aldrick Robinson and Alfred Morris obviously impressed the coach more this preseason. And let us not forget, Shanahan inherited several of the final cuts, including Austin, when he took the helm in 2010. But he drafted Robinson and Morris and signed Briscoe this offseason via free agency. This is now Shanny’s team. No doubt about it.
Hightower never completely healed from his knee injury in 2011, which he re-aggravated after the Colts game two weeks ago. Shanahan obviously decided he needed a spot for Brandon Banks after the speedster crafted two 40-plus yard plays against Tampa Bay, and scored on a punt return the week before. The coach’s options were extremely limited, and Hightower’s health issues helped him make the decision. Therefore Shanahan kept three tailbacks and one fullback, as opposed to four and one. Still, the “Three-Headed-Monster” shall continue to thrive in Washington, but with Morris’ head sandwiched between Royster and Helu instead of Hightower’s.
Two factors should unite all Redskin fans in support of the 2012 roster: athleticism and speed. The Skins are faster than they’ve been in 20 years: Robinson , Banks and RGIII alone, should create more big plays in the month of September via quickness and agility, than the whole team made all of last year.
Meanwhile, James Dudko of The Bleacher Report wrote Friday that Washington tried to work out a trade with Miami – Armstrong for RB Steve Slaton – but no announcement was made by submission of this article.
-Todd C. Smith
You can follow Todd Smith on Twitter @tcsmitty.