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Rock's chance to roll; a Gray-to-Memphis report

At the beginning of the season, the coaching staff made it clear veteran running back Rock Cartwright would not have a role on offense.

The Redskins had four running backs on the opening 53-man roster (they carried five at one point) and Cartwright was last on the depth chart at the position. Although active every week because of his standout work on special teams, Cartwright was he was the odd man out in the backfield mix, barring a catastrophic situation. Well, that's kind of what the Redskins have experienced with their running game.

Top back Clinton Portis has sat out the last two games because of lingering vision problems from a concussion and backup Ladell Betts suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 7-6 Week 11 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Cartwright stepped up when Betts went down, contributing 67 yards rushing (with a 5.2-yard average) and team-highs with seven receptions for 73 yards. With Cartwright and recent addition Quinton Ganther the only physically sound backs on the roster, the Redskins on Tuesday brought back Marcus Mason for what seems like his 50th stint with the team (actually, it's his fourth).

Mason was one of the many backs previously ahead of Cartwright -- one of six team captains -- whom many players and coaches consider the team's emotional leader. Although Mason and Ganther are expected to get some opportunities in the backfield during the final six games for the Redskins (7-3), it appears Cartwright will be the new No. 1, at least until (if?) Portis returns.

Cartwright definitely has earned the opportunity to start Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

"I've been waiting for this opportunity. The last time I started was 2003 against Chicago, so I'm looking forward to this opportunity," Cartwright said. "I've got to work extra hard at practice this week, and just continue to believe in my O-line, they're doing a great job for me, and the guys around me.

"I've got to try to protect Jason [Campbell] a little bit more. I gave up a sack [Sunday] on a blitz pickup, and that's unacceptable on my part. So I've got to get that corrected, but I'm excited about the opportunity."

Gray to Memphis?

Secondary coach Jerry Gray is the leading candidate for the head-coaching position at the University of Memphis, according to a report in the Commercial Appeal.

Gray and LSU assistant Larry Porter reportedly are at the top of Memphis' list.

Gray flew into Memphis on Monday, had breakfast with FedEx executives Tuesday and later interviewed with UofM president Shirley Raines, athletic director R.C. Johnson and FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith before flying out Tuesday afternoon.
Gray's connection to the Memphis job appears to be Redskins defensive quality control coach Arthur Smith, son of the FedEx founder and CEO. A part owner of the Redskins, Fred Smith also is a prominent UofM booster whose youngest son, Cannon, is a quarterback for the Tiger football team. Cannon is sitting out this season per NCAA guidelines after transferring from the University of Miami in the summer. He will have three years of eligibility remaining starting next fall.

By Jason Reid  |  November 25, 2009; 6:46 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Snyder reminisces about Pollin
Next: Redskins sign QB Bartel, add a FB (updated)

Comments

what the he11 are they waiting for put cp and Cooley on ir already. the season is shot anyway.

oh well Happy Turkey Day RI peeps!

Posted by: jonthefisherman | November 25, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

second that

Posted by: hcic55 | November 25, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Redskins to sign QB Bartel
November, 24, 2009 Nov 249:01PM ETEmail Print Share By Matt MosleyAfter watching Jason Campbell take a beating behind a patchwork offensive line for several weeks, the Redskins have decided to add a third quarterback to their 53-man roster. They will sign former Cowboys quarterback Richard Bartel off the Jaguars' practice squad and release Andre' Woodson from their practice squad, according to two league sources.

Bartel signed with the Cowboys in May 2007 and spent the next season on the club's practice squad. He went to camp again with the Cowboys in '08 and was briefly added to their practice squad before being released for good. Bartel caught on with the Browns late in the '08 season.

He was 43-of-71 for 404 yards during the Cowboys' '08 preseason. At 6-3, 230 pounds, he has a big arm and he moves around pretty well in the pocket. He had an opportunity to sign with the Chiefs late in the '07 season but elected to remain on the Cowboys' practice squad.

Bartel was a standout at Grapevine (Texas) High School and played at nearby SMU before transferring to Tarleton State. He was a 17th-round draft pick by the Reds as a pitcher out of high school, so he got a late start on his college football career. Bartel was 12-of-14 for 137 yards in his only extended playing time for the Browns during the '09 preseason. He was released by the Browns and quickly signed by the Jaguars.

Bartel will serve as insurance behind Campbell and Todd Collins, but don't be surprised to see him get some playing time at some point since both of those players don't appear to be in the Redskins' long-term plans. It could be a great opportunity for Bartel as long as he's willing to take some punishment. But at age 26, he's a pretty mature guy and I think he'd be capable of putting up decent numbers.

j. reid gets scooped again

Posted by: jonthefisherman | November 25, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

No Jerry don't go no no no...make him HC or DC..Please

Posted by: jcnjcnj | November 25, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Redskins to sign QB Bartel ...
Such a wasted move...They could give Woodson a chance to play if they're doing this move...Vinny's just trying his best to keep everyone (Synder) confused...

Posted by: jcnjcnj | November 25, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

j. reid gets scooped again

Posted by: jonthefisherman

He gets scooped like the piece of SH!T he is....

Posted by: jcnjcnj | November 25, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

BOYCOTT $NYDER,
Instead give the money you would spend on $nyder's investments to a charitable organization during the holidays. Abe Pollin would be proud of you as well as hessone. I know you are probably sick of seeing my post about the BOYCOTT $NYDER thing but don't lose focus. Happy Thanksgiving and remember:

THE MOST PESSIMISTIC FAN CAN REFUSE TO GIVE $NYDER MONEY AND STILL SAY A BOYCOTT WON'T WORK!!!

Posted by: hessone | November 25, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Since Campbell and Collins probably won't be around next year, they need a QB. I thought Chase Daniel would be a good choice, but there's a knock on him because of his lack of height. I guess that's why they didn't keep him, or try to re-sign him when he came available.

Doesn't matter who they put back there if they don't do something to upgrade the O line, though.

Posted by: SkinsfaninNebraska | November 25, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"Although Mason and Ganther are expected to get some opportunities in the backfield during the final six games for the Redskins (7-3)...."

Uh, last time I checked, the Redskins weren't 7-3, Mr. Dyslexic.

Posted by: dmorgan6617 | November 25, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

woodson is good... why get rid of him... makes no sense...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | November 25, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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