Ryan Yirka – WVCW Staff Writer
RICHMOND, Va — The Washington Redskins packed their bags and traveled down I-95 to Richmond this week to kick off another year of training camp at the Bon Secours Training Facility. The team arrived on Wednesday and did some light conditioning. There is plenty to talk about with this football team as fans hopes for the season still remain high.
It wouldn’t be a Redskins training camp without big storylines and this year there are two that standout. First is the noticeable absence of All-Pro Left Tackle Trent Williams, arguably the best football player on the roster. Williams has decided to holdout from camp due to reported frustration with the team’s medical staff and his contract. William’s absence leaves a glaring hole at a position which protects the most important position on the field. When asked about the holdout on Wednesday, Head Coach Jay Gruden told reporters, “I’m really concentrating on the guys that are here right now. We know how we feel about Trent, how important he is to this football team, and we expect him here sooner than later.” Only time will tell how this situation gets resolved but one thing is for sure, the team is much better when the 7x pro bowler is on the field.
The next big story of camp thus far is the open 3-way quarterback competition. Dwayne Haskins is receiving a lot of attention from fans and national media but he is going to have to earn the starting job. The first round pick from Ohio State has much better measurables and arm strength than his fellow teammates. However his inexperience running an NFL offense is the reason for his early struggles. The Redskins traded a late round draft pick this offseason to snag Case Keenum from the Denver Broncos. So far the veteran signal caller best known for leading the Vikings to the NFC Championship in 2017 is making his case to be the Redskins’ week one starter. Colt McCoy is the 3rd quarterback on the roster who seems to be flying under the radar. McCoy has a legitimate shot to be the starter. He has been in Gruden’s system since 2014 and his experience could give him an upper hand in the battle.
Veteran inside linebacker Mason Foster was cut from the team in a surprise move Tuesday. The move opened up $4 million in cap space for the team. It also shows the team has faith is their roster even after losing Reuben Foster to a season ending injury during OTAs. Jon Bostic and Shaun Dion Hamiltion look to be in line to start at MLB. Watch out for rookie Cole Holcomb out of UNC and Josh Harvey Clemons to fight for the starting job as well.
Looking elsewhere on the roster there is a lot for fans to be excited about. Former LSU running back Derrius Guice suffered a torn ACL last preseason and missed his entire rookie season. He is entering training camp as a full participant and looking to make noise. 34-year-old Adrian Peterson is back for another season with the Redskins as he looks to continue to defy the limits of age. Factor in Chris Thompson and this stable of running backs looks to be one of the best position groups on the team. The Defensive line, anchored by Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis creates the foundation of this team. The D-Line is coached by Jim Tomsula and also sports quality depth to create what could be the best Redskins line we have seen in a long time.
The defensive side of the ball looks to carry the team this season. Montez Sweat was drafted in the latter portion of the first round to rush the passer opposite Ryan Kerrigan. Former Giant Safety Landon Collins was the prize free agent acquisition of the offseason. He will roam the back end of the defense and look to make his former team regret letting him walk. Josh Norman is back for another season with the team. Fighting for playing time amongst the defensive backfield are Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and a few other names. Keep an eye out for 7th round pick Jimmy Moreland out of James Madison University. The undersized corner had a very impressive spring during OTAs and has made his presence felt early on.
More competition will take place amongst the wide receivers. The Redskins selected rookies Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon in this years draft. Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn are both back from injury. Josh Doctson is in a contract year looking to prove himself. Cam Simms and Robert Davis are amongst some lesser known names who will be fighting for a roster spot. The tight end position looks similar to last year’s group as Jordan Reed is healthy again and Vernon Davis is back for his 14th NFL season.
On the offensive line, left guard looks to be an area of contention between rookie Wes Martin, Tony Bergstrom, and possibly Ereck Flowers. The right side of the line is solid again as Morgan Moses and Brandon Scherff are both healthy. Center Chase Roullier is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery during the early portion of camp. The glaring question will continue to be Trent Williams status with the team.
Redskins training camp will be open to the public at the Bon Secours Training Facility from July 25 until Aug 11.