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Special Teams Should Be Secondary for D. Thomas

As the team's primary kick returner Friday against the New England Patriots, Devin Thomas averaged 26.3 yards on three returns.

Rock Cartwright, sidelined because of a groin injury, was impressed with Thomas's performance, and he believes they could form an effective return duo.

"He ran the ball exceptionally well," Cartwright said. "We tried out some new things with the wedge. For the most part, I think he did what he needed to do. But that was his first time back there. As he gets more time back there, I think he'll get a better feel for it."

Aided by the blocking of James Thrash, Cartwright ranked sixth in the NFC last season with a 25.6-yard average. Thomas is not considered as skilled at blocking as Thrash was, but he is the team's fastest kick returner. Special teams coach Danny Smith still is
considering things.

"I think you can have dual threats, but each guy has to do their part," Cartwright said. "When the ball is kicked to the other guy, the other guy has to be accountable. It's about holding each other accountable back there.

"If the ball's kicked to Devin, he's back there with me, then I got to block for Devin. Then if the ball's kicked to Devin, he's got to block for me. You've got to have each other's back when you're back there.

"Any time you've got a guy with speed like Devin has, he has big-play capability. It definitely can help you. I don't plan on giving him my job. But if Danny wants to put him back there, then I'm all for it."

As a senior at Michigan State, Thomas ranked 11th in the nation in kickoff returns with an average of 29.1 yards. "Devin did okay. First time out, he did okay," Smith said. "We'll look at it. We're equal opportunity on special teams. We'll try anything and anybody. If they can do it, we'll put 'em out there."

It is too early to tell whether Cartwright and Thomas will be paired together on kickoffs, Smith said.

"We haven't done it enough," Smith said. "We just gave him a couple of reps to see. He done it in his past. We've been waiting for a situation to do that and we just tried it out. We'll see where we go from here."

I don't see this happening. Thomas needs to focus on becoming an effective wideout,
and the coaching staff has been careful not to overload him with additional responsibilities.

The Redskins did not draft Thomas to be a return specialist. They drafted him to become a No. 1-type receiver. He must try to accomplish that first.

By Jason Reid  |  August 31, 2009; 1:32 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Now It's Betts' Turn to Deliver

Comments

First?

Posted by: mattylight | August 31, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

At this point, I think Thomas and the team would be better off if he were returning kicks.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 31, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Assuming I can count correctly:

Practice Squad: Agnone, Williams (FB),Williams (C), Holmes, Daniel, Riley, Burley, Glenn

Defensive Back-ups on the 53: Henson, Westbrook, Barnes, Tryon, Jarmon, Wynn

Offensive Back-ups on the 53: Dorsey, Hackett, Mitchell, Thomas, Kelley, Cartwright

Offense Cuts: Yoder, Aldridge, Mason, Shelton, M. Williams, Eloi, Batiste

Defense Cuts: Buzbee, Dixon, Jackson, Skolnitsky, Young, Dutch,

K: ?

Posted by: iseyij | August 31, 2009 1:47 PM |

I don't think they'll keep 6 CB's.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 31, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

At this point, I think Thomas and the team would be better off if he were returning kicks.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 31, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Thomas may not develop into a good receiver for another year or so and this is something he can do now to contribute. Mitchell and Kelly are ready now. Let them play and take your time with Devin. He's developing a little slower than the other guys and that's ok. Giving him the kick returning duties now may help him to not become discouraged.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | August 31, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The Jax game will go a long way towards deciding if Chase can last on the practice squad without being snatched up. Iffy at best that he stays long if put on there.

Posted by: will_ga | August 31, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I hope we see more Aldridge in the next game before leaping to the conclusion he should be cut.

Furthermore...

The Redskins did not draft Thomas to be a return specialist. They drafted him to become a No. 1-type receiver. He must try to accomplish that first.

If he's useful to the team in any capacity, that would be a first. If this is on kickoffs, it's better than nothing.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 31, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

WOW on this whole article...

Is today, 'SAve Rock's Job Day'???

I think with each post, the case to cut Rock has become more evident.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't see this happening. Thomas needs to focus on becoming an effective wideout,
and the coaching staff has been careful not to overload him with additional responsibilities.

The Redskins did not draft Thomas to be a return specialist. They drafted him to become a No. 1-type receiver. He must try to accomplish that first.

By Jason Reid | August 31, 2009; 1:32 PM ET

Well.....One Name to debunk this WHOLE THEORY:

DeSean JAckson. Remember him? The STARTING Iggles Rookie WR who scored a PR for a TD on us last year? Well...He's returning KOs and PRs still as a starter this year.

So what was being tried to said again? DThomas doesn't even start and will be 4th on the Depth Chart when Opening Day comes around. So, it makes perfect sense getting him more touches on KO Returns.

And Re: Rock and Dual Threat - Come the SJK on......

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Reid's Cartwright pimpin' continues...

Yeah, JASON REID we get it. He's your boy.

And exactly why don't you "See this happening"? Why, because you and Rock take the wives out on double dates or something? Y'all mad tight? Are you all lodge buddies?

What?

Reid, I'm starting to get the impression that you're just going to oppose any idea or player that has the potential to compromise a roster spot for your "brotha from anotha motha", Rock Cartwright.

Or is this on e of those "bromance" things cL was talking about on here a few weeks back?

It's starting to look like you're openly biased RE: Rock Cartwright. It's starting to become gapingly obvious.

Posted by: RedDMV | August 31, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

DT11 is hanging on to a spot at this point because Mitchell and Kelly both showed up this season. Moss and ARE will be the #1 and #3 WR.

DT11 could get the axe, the KR job might be the thing that saves him.

If the Skins keep Kelly, Thomas and Mitchell (and I think that is what'll happen), there are only 2 WRs with noteworthy experience on the roster. If the Spaghetti Gang is uncomfortable with this thought, Hackett stays.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 31, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"If the ball's kicked to Devin, he's back there with me, then I got to block for Devin. Then if the ball's kicked to Devin, he's got to block for me."


So if I understand Rock's quote correctly, DT11 has to block for Cartwright, even when DT11 has the ball?
See, that's why Rock should be cut.

Posted by: RlTCA | August 31, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

my take...

53-Man Roster:
3 QB (JC, TC, CB/CD)
4 RB (CP, LB, AA, RC)
1 FB (MS)
3 TE (CC, FD, TY)
5 WR (SM, DT, MK, ARE, MM)
9 OL (CS, DD, CR, RT, SH, JB, WM, CRi, BMW)
25 Offense

4 DT (AH, CG, KG, AM)
4 DE (AC, PD, LA, JJ)
8 LB (RM, LF, BO, HBB, CW, RT, RH, CG)
5 CB (DH, CR, FS, JT, KB)
4 S (LL, CH, KM, RD)
25 Defense

1 LS (EA)
1 PK (DR/SS)
1 P (HS)
3 Special Teams

Practice Squad:
Edwin Williams, Eddie Williams, Keith Eloi, Byron Westbrook, QB4, Rob Jackson


-- not sure who will win QB3 or PK spot. I think Renaldo Wynn is cut since Jarmon was drafted (next year) and played pretty well in the preseason. The quote about cutting Fincher to make room for Cody Glenn and Robert Henson seems like a good sign for them. Only 4 DE seems short, but Orakpo and Wilson will both get time there (Orakpo will get a lot). Rob Jackson & Buzbee haven't shown much so they're out. I think Bridges is the first OT off the bench (only at RT -- Heyer would move to left if necessary). But Beamer is the project there. Can afford to keep 4 RBs: Portis (starter), Betts (3rd down back), Alridge (change of pace -- 4th QTR burner), Cartwright (Special Teams)

Posted by: Sheriff_Gonna_Getcha | August 31, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

DeSean JAckson. Remember him? The STARTING Iggles Rookie WR who scored a PR for a TD on us last year?

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 2:18 PM

Yeah. I remember that well. I remember their coverage team blocked in the back and the whole thing should not have counted.

Excuse me if I'm not excited about a comparison between their guy who was able to catch the ball and run with it last year and our guy who couldn't catch the ball without first two hand shoving the DB into the turf...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

4th, I somewhat agreed, I think DT was more into the game the other night when he was used on KR.....he's what 23, you can't wear these young cats out...what the team can't do is ignore the assets they have, in the 5 WR(SM/MK/DT/ARE/MM), don't just stick Moss out there play after play after play, use EVERY player, and get the most out of them....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Beantown-
How many players on our team would you say are actually fans of the team as well. All I'm saying is that I love the guy, and he will probably contribute more than plenty of other players who make the roster.

Posted by: mikeyvanilli | August 31, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Let's forget the whole "should Rock be cut or not" discussion for a minute. My main question is, if he is replaced, should we be doing it with an unproven rookie?

I say this b/c I think this is a team, especially offensively, that has no margin for error. A few injuries here or there, or if the O-Line struggles, and we're gonna have a hard time putting up points. So knowing that, I'd be a little nervous giving FT kick return duties to Aldridge or Thomas, given that they have little track record doing so...

Posted by: mattylight | August 31, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins did not draft Thomas to be a return specialist. They drafted him to become a No. 1-type receiver. He must try to accomplish that first.

Say What?

That's EXACTLY how developing players earn their keep - by excelling at ST's. Given the new rules, I expect speed will rule the day on kick returns. DT has that speed and some good college experience. Let him return kicks. Then we can upgrade the speed in the backfield as well.

Posted by: edvar | August 31, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Ummm...hello. DT11 ranked 11th in the nation as a senior at Michigan State. I think he has a track record.

Posted by: RlTCA | August 31, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I stand by my statement, the NFL signed Rock's retirement paper when they banned the wedge.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Ummm...hello. DT11 ranked 11th in the nation as a senior at Michigan State. I think he has a track record


I meant in the NFL...

Posted by: mattylight | August 31, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"DT11 could get the axe, the KR job might be the thing that saves him."

Is that a joke?


Posted by: mattylight | August 31, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It counted...And we still beat them...SO the non-call was unimportant......

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

No. It's supposed to be cute. As in "gee, Momma, look at my clever turn of phrase!"

John D. MacDonald had nothing but contempt for such hackery, and I share his view on that.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 |

Can't say I've missed the little scuzbag, but it's always illustrative to find out when they let the career criminals use the computer room.

Oh and by the way, John D. MacDonald doesn't care what you think, you megalomaniacal twit

Posted by: TheCork | August 31, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

From Wikipedia:

Rock Cartwright's Professional career:

2002 - In his first season, Cartwright rushed three times for 22 yards and had 11 receptions for 121 yards. He also returned ten kicks for 169 yards.

2003 - In his second year, Cartwright was used much more. He rushed 107 times for 411 yards and had 18 receptions for 176 yards.

2004 - When Clinton Portis was traded to the Redskins, Cartwright didn't have many chances to make plays. He only rushed the ball twice for zero net yards. Cartwright suffered his worst season.

2005 - Rock ran the ball 27 times for 199 yards and had two receptions for 23 yards. He also had four kickoff returns for 82 total yards.

2007 - Rock wasn't used on offense much during the season but was a big threat on special teams. Cartwright broke the Redskins' single-season kickoff return yards record with 64 returns for 1,541 yards.

Don't you think that a combo of MM/AA/DD and DT11 can do better than this? 2007 was a fluke year cuz our defense gave up a ton of points.

Posted by: RlTCA | August 31, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sheriff_Gonna_Getcha | August 31, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse


I like it but I see AA or Rock getting the ax and the team keeping Wynn. I think they'll opt for more depth at DE instead of the 4th RB. I like your roster though. That's how I would do it especially considering that 2 of those LBs can play DE.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | August 31, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I'd have no problem waving goodbye to Rock Cartwright. I believe there are other dudes who can do what he does for this team.

There's a precedent, too, in (finally, mercifully) bidding James Thrash adieu... a "core Redskin" and important special teamer who we can absolutely live without.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | August 31, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Reid's Cartwright pimpin' continues...

Yeah, JASON REID we get it. He's your boy.

And exactly why don't you "See this happening"? Why, because you and Rock take the wives out on double dates or something? Y'all mad tight? Are you all lodge buddies?

What?

Reid, I'm starting to get the impression that you're just going to oppose any idea or player that has the potential to compromise a roster spot for your "brotha from anotha motha", Rock Cartwright.

Or is this on e of those "bromance" things cL was talking about on here a few weeks back?

It's starting to look like you're openly biased RE: Rock Cartwright. It's starting to become gapingly obvious.

Posted by: RedDMV | August 31, 2009 2:21 PM

RedDMV, that was funny as Hail...... But very true...... I bet Reid sprinted to Rock to let him know what the bloggers have been chatting about today. Funny.....

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Without the wedge, elusiveness & speed will be a returner's main weapons in gaining yardage. Who has better tools in this regard, Rock or DT11? I think we know the answer to this. DT11 isn't replacing Santana on the field anytime soon so get the most out of him now & let him contribute on teams.

Posted by: will_ga | August 31, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

From the Times:

All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth isn't on the field for a second straight day because of a stomach illness.

Star running back Clinton Portis remained sidelined with bruised ribs, but backup Marcus Mason returned from the same injury.

Starting guard Randy Thomas wasn't working either, probably a veteran's day off to rest his surgically repaired knee.

Cornerback Carlos Rogers remained out with a lingering calf injury that could well keep him out of a second straight preseason game Thursday at Jacksonville.

Safety Kareem Moore was also sidelined with the hamstring he pulled in last Friday's game against New England.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Things are starting to get brutal over the Rock over Mason, Mason over Betts, Mason over Rock, and the flat out Betts should be gone argument. I think Marcus will do well if he made the team and time will allow him to grow into the position as a RB and a ST'er. Will he cover punts and kicks as good as Rock in the first month? maybe or maybe not but game experience and reps will allow him to reach his ceiling of production. Rock had to replace someone several years ago and maybe that guy had the same arguments about keeping his job but time is not kind to everyone who play the game. Your Body can't respond to plays and performance at age 30 compared to 24. Experience will fight off competition for a good stretch but soon you can't cut as fast as before, you can't get up field as fast, your body is taking longer periods to recover from last weeks bumps. Age will be become your competition along with the guy you are competing against. Rock and Betts are in that stage of their careers and playing running back for that long made them rich and lucky at the same time. Can they still play? YES. Can they still contribute at quality level? Yes, in certain phases of the game. If the Redskins were a PLAYER AWAY FROM MAKING A SERIOUS RUN then RB would not be a position of concern but they are not making a run this year. You go young this year and draft a young 22 year old in the draft that is a stud next year and you develop that player behind Portis and Marcus until he is ready to take over. Portis is hitting the 10k mark which is a huge accomplishment for any RB in this league and over the next 4 years he will slow down and go the route of Edgrin James and Warrick Dunn. In Four years Marcus will be that experience back that will be fighting to keep his job because a young buck will come in and do everything right. It's the circle of life in the NFL on every team.

So let up on the arguments and pay tribute to Rock and Betts for putting up the fight for so many years and playing with their hearts. I respect what they contributed over the years and I hope they still can provide some form of football in the near furture with the team but it's time to give Mason his chance to help contribute to the New Skins.....

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I hate WRs returning punts/kicks, the injury factor is too much. I think it hurt ARE as a WR last year. Moss yanked his hammy shortly after his return vs DET. My guess is desean doesn't do much returning for much longer.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 31, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"We tried out some new things with the wedge. For the most part, I think he did what he needed to do. But that was his first time back there. As he gets more time back there, I think he'll get a better feel for it."

First, isn't the 'wedge' now outlawed on kickoffs?

Second, if 26.3 yards (done without the great kickoff blocker Cartwright having DT's back) is simply 'what he needed to do', does that mean when DT gets a better feel for it and Rock has his back, we should expect he will be approaching 30 yds/ret? Or perhaps some other guy can get DTs back and he could still be effective? All this assuming DT would be used for kickoffs.

It seems like conventional wisdom is that starters don't do returns. However, I never understood why a guy could not be a returner and a starting receiver or RB (if their returns merited it). I have heard Gibbs say injuries. But other than Daryl Green on the fluke injury (against the Bears in the playoffs?), returners seem durable. Mike Nelms, BMitch, Rock all seemed to survive consistently. Too much to focus on? Maybe for a new guy but how much is there really to learn with KO returns, especially if you did it in college? If DT can be (really) effective at returns and is the Skins best option, why not put him there?

Posted by: amaranthpa | August 31, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

In Rock's defense, he has an intangible value that won't show up in the stats.

He's been a steady leader on this team for some time, and hasn't done anything overtly negative to merit being cut.

Listening to Danny Smith, and the high regard in which Coach Zen places his opinion, and the myriad manner in which Rock is utilized on the team, Rock is a lock to make the 53.

Case closed.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Zceszcest,
I think there is an ideal/unique body type and set of skills for a return man and its a weird mix of WR/RB but with a limited roster size they need to be able to be backups at other spots and then you see them come in as "3rd RB 3-5 WR 4th CB" I mean if there was no limit on the size of the squad then you would probably get guys who could come in as a unique position player of pure returner.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Any discussion of DT11 getting cut seems academic to me... He's a 2nd round pick by Vinny to start with, so he's already a sacred cow right there, plus it takes time for WR's to develop (and he got almost no action his 1st year) and he's shown he can be a beast (physical, speed, great hands), if/when he acquires discipline (and stops pushing off). I definitely hope he stays, same with Marko the Magnificent.

Posted by: chasgiffen | August 31, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

z, how is returning a kick anymore injury inducing than catching a pass in traffic.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 31, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Things are starting to get brutal over the Rock over Mason, Mason over Betts, Mason over Rock, and the flat out Betts should be gone argument.

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 2:48 PM |

Not "brutal" -- boring.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

So if Mason gets cut, do you think he comes back to camp next year?

Posted by: RlTCA | August 31, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

PA--
Thanks. I went with Wynn getting cut because I figured they didn't expect to be getting Jarmon when they resigned Wynn. And with Orakpo/Wilson both pitching he seemed unnecessary. I put Alridge AND Cartwright because I felt like management went out of their way to find that speedy back/PR weapon by getting both Alridge and Dorsey in the offseason to try them out. I think Cerrato/Zorn really want to be able to keep one of them. And I sure hope they do because the Redskins need more speed. But, with that said, I think you might be right (Alridge cut, wynn onboard)

Posted by: Sheriff_Gonna_Getcha | August 31, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm fine with Rock doing what he has done. He's been effective and is a leader -- and I do count that. But, if someone is genuinely better or brings significantly more to the table, then he goes.

My thing is that you don't give up on an effective, useful leader unless the replacement clearly beats him.

If its a split decision, I think Rock stays.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 31, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Trade Rock to New Orleans for Leigh Torrence.....problem solved.

Speaking of NO, they're gonna have a GREAT offense, they absolutely DEMOLISHED the Raiders the other night. I'm glad we're going to be playing them when their starting DE's, will be suspended.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

So if Mason gets cut, do you think he comes back to camp next year?

Posted by: RlTCA | August 31, 2009 2:58 PM

If he's cut his NFL career, or non-career, is over.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

OK T_E just for you:

Wynn vs. Jackson/Buzbee

Who do we keep? Same argument as Rock vs Mason. Do we keep experience (even though his production has peaked) or do we keep youth and potential?

Posted by: RlTCA | August 31, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"I hate WRs returning punts/kicks, the injury factor is too much. I think it hurt ARE as a WR last year. Moss yanked his hammy shortly after his return vs DET. My guess is desean doesn't do much returning for much longer.

Posted by: zcezcest1"

ARE did receiving, KO rets and punt rets for the Steelers for 4 years and seemed to be injury free. Moss gets hammies the last couple years walking from the locker room to the field. I fail to see how those injuries are due to the KO return - is being a returner so much more injury prone than the rest of football?

Posted by: amaranthpa | August 31, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Not "brutal" -- boring.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 2:58 PM

And you had the nerve to say I act pompous. You do realize you are free to start a new discussion that I have no doubt would hold everyone's interest?

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 31, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I saw this on another thread, but is anyone else worried about Portis? He looked, for lack of a better word, fat against the Patriots. And slow.

Anyway, could be reading too much into it, but I hope this isn't the year he hits the wall...

Posted by: mattylight | August 31, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Watching Aldridge carry the ball, I had faint recollections of Larry Brown. I'm not sure if it was his build, his effort, the way he carried himself or what.

He may have looked good because he was playing third string defensive players, so he may be cut, but I enjoyed watching him carry the ball.

Posted by: _Stumped_ | August 31, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

And let's not forget the local connection with Buzbee (ala Mason)

Posted by: RlTCA | August 31, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

last thing I'm gonna say about keeping Alridge...

It was our OFFENSE that needed the most help this offseason, not our defense. We improved the D anyway with Haynesworth/Orakpo/Daniels. Our offense went mostly unchanged (besides Dock) in hopes that our 2nd year pass-catchers could step up (looks like they will). But don't you think our 16pts/gm offense from last year could use all the weapons it can get?? Add ONE game-changing, speed RB. Alridge is the fastest (4.26 forty). And he averaged over 10yards/carry his Junior year at Houston so you know he's not just a sprinter. He's a legitimate Running back.

Posted by: Sheriff_Gonna_Getcha | August 31, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

matty, portis is the least of the teams worries....and fat, I'm pretty certain he's not fat...Wilfork is a great NT, so there wasn't much room to run...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: McMetal | August 31, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: RlTCA | August 31, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

jeep, jeep

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

No, I'm just saying he looked heavier than I remember him being -- maybe it was extra padding for the ribs, who knows...

Posted by: mattylight | August 31, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Watching Aldridge carry the ball, I had faint recollections of Larry Brown. I'm not sure if it was his build, his effort, the way he carried himself or what.


Posted by: _Stumped_ | August 31, 2009 3:05 PM

----------

Innnnnnnteresting.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"They drafted him to become a No. 1-type receiver. He must try to accomplish that first."

How do you know that KR/PR is not his calling in the NFL?

The Redskins drafted Desmond Howard to be a #1 receiver but got an MVP for being a returner w/GB.

Look at Hester in Chicago. He'sa PR/KR guy first, receiver second.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 31, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

We have to trust the coaches to pick the best players
Posted by: pabrian2003 | August 31, 2009 1:32 PM


Wow, you must not be from around here……up here we all know way more than the coaches, the front office, and the beat writers. In fact, not only do we know more about football than the beat writers, but we know more about how they should be writing about the football, of which they know nothing about. “Trust the coaches”…..good one!

Posted by: dlhaze1 | August 31, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

And you had the nerve to say I act pompous. You do realize you are free to start a new discussion that I have no doubt would hold everyone's interest?

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 31, 2009 3:02 PM

You didn't see the little smiley? Sheesh. ;)

I've started several new convos. Last one was about McNabb peeing on Vick again. They go no where. Redirecting this group is like stopping a lynch mob in Dodge City by pointing out that what they're doing is illegal.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

BEEP beep

Posted by: GreatOne1 | August 31, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

You go young this year and draft a young 22 year old in the draft that is a stud next year and you develop that player behind Portis and Marcus until he is ready to take over.

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 2:48 PM

Wow...you think so highly of Mason that he's higher on the depth chart than a draft pick, regardless of round taken? If the Skins waste--I mean, use a 1st rounder on a RB you really think that guy is playing behind Marcus f-ing Mason? Get real.

The point is this: you're ready to blow up the RB depth chart for an undrafted slapdick who has never seen the light of regular season play. You'll excuse me if I'm not buying that brand of crazy.

A lot of other teams can take that risk. But you have to consider two very crucial things when discussing our precious burgundy and gold: 1) this team doesn't use draft picks. And when they do, they don't take RBs. Off the top of my head, I don't think they've drafted a RB since Rock in 2002. And 2) this team doesn't see itself as rebuilding. Just reloading for the day you can buy a Super Bowl. They always think they're only one player away, regardless of how bad they were the year before.

So you and I know shedding the old guys for the young ones is the right thing to do. But they won't do that until the wheels fall off their old guys. Period. Thrash played a couple years past the time he should have. Perhaps so did Jansen. But good teams have young guys already on the roster working towards taking over and the Redskins don't do that.

And Rock and Betts haven't had the wheels fall off yet. Underwhelming? Yes. Useless? No. And the day they're outplayed by Mason or Alridge or anyone else, I'll be the first in line to shake their hands and bid them goodbye. But that hasn't happened yet, and last time I checked, in football the best 53 make the team. Not the youngest.

I can't say it enough: the Ravens, who have a pretty good history with taking undrafted kids and building them up into serviceable starters, dropped this guy. As did the Jets. If he was such a great find, he would have at least played in a regular season game.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Rock would like a duo - because he may be out of a job. I'd like to cut some of the slower older rb's and get some speed back there. I cringe wiheniver I look at our 'turtles" trying to return kicks. No speed at all.

Posted by: 1of9000 | August 31, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Just because he's a 2nd round pick doesn't mean he has to be a top receiver - especially if he's not good enough. Marko Mitchell may turn out to be a better receiver than Thomas. If returning kicks is the best way for Thomas to contribute, than that's what he should do.

Posted by: nativedc | August 31, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I think returning kicks gets DT11 into the game to the point he plays better at WR. The catches he made this week looked like he learned from the week B4 when he came back for the ball while it was in the air. Plus JC missed him on a go route where he had some clear seperation. But I feel better with DT11 at KR just so he can get a feel for the game, and mix him into the WR mix.

Posted by: bernard_thompson | August 31, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

...Plus DT11 is the biggest X-factor on the Skins offense. While you know where the Skins will lineup Kelly & Mitchell (outside), Moss and ARE (slot & outside), DT11 has the ability to lineup anywhere and do everything (deep fades, bubble screens, reverses, comebacks) from anywhere...

Posted by: bernard_thompson | August 31, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Lendi Holmes over Reed Doughty

Posted by: ryjufox3 | August 31, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"The Redskins did not draft Thomas to be a return specialist. They drafted him to become a No. 1-type receiver. He must try to accomplish that first."

I seem to remember a guy (Wolverine) we drafted with 2 #1s that sucked at WR but was a decent returner...

Posted by: oldnova | August 31, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"The Redskins did not draft Thomas to be a return specialist. They drafted him to become a No. 1-type receiver."

Devin Thomas = Desmond Howard

Another #1 wideout Redskins bust turned kick returner.

Take what you can get. Get Marco on the field and put the underachieving Thomas at kick returner.

Posted by: damn1 | August 31, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

marko Mitchell looked good, but did anyone check who was covering him? It may have been a guy who doesn't even make the roster. I think people need to settle down about Mitchell as Kelly looked awesome and Thomas out-produced Kelly

Posted by: pabrian2003 | August 31, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

We need to embrace change...

Change Devin Thomas to Marco Mitchell at WR

Change Rock to Devin Thomas at kick returner

Change Rock to Marcus Mason at RB.

We need to make these changes. More offensive threats if we do this. We scare no one anywhere currently, especially on kickoffs and punt returns...Randell-El, it may be time to go..

Posted by: damn1 | August 31, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Cut Mason. Thomas should return kicks.Cut Cartwright! The Redskins need some speed in that backfield! Someone that will not fumble and can pass block.

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | August 31, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

We need young legs and speed to put some fear in oppossing teams.

Devin T. at KR gives us more speed and elusiveness than Rock.

Mason or Aldridge gives us more speed, burst , and in Aldridge,s case more elusiveness than Betts.

If KR is where D.Thomas can contribute the most right now let him do it, and let him continue to develop and mature at receiver like Hester for Chicago.

Right now M.Mitchell looks like he's ready but like another poster says, can he do what he's done against first team defenses?

Posted by: 72Redskins | August 31, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Thomas is a very physical athlete. I think he had 2 or more offensive or flagrant fouls called on him because he was too "physical" on those "poor" little defensive cornerbacks. In fact, I think he thrive on the contact and he has the body to back it up. Why not put him in as a kick or punt returner or go "head hunting" as a special teamer. There is nothing wrong with doing anything to contribute to the team. Besides, Kelly and Mitchell are both currently more ahead of Thomas in terms of playing the receiver position and they are also both taller than Thomas. So why not let him develop the hunger and rage to be a great receiver on the special team.

Posted by: JohnWWW | August 31, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

So if Mason gets cut, do you think he comes back to camp next year?

Posted by: RlTCA | August 31, 2009 2:58 PM

If he's cut his NFL career, or non-career, is over.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how you figure this. The guy is only 24 with no "mileage on his tires", in his second stint in camp and is making a legit push to make a team that has a Pro Bowl RB and two fairly well entrenched backups. I hope he does make the team, and if he doesn't I disagree that his career is over.

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | August 31, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

"Cartwright broke the Redskins' single-season kickoff return yards record with 64 returns for 1,541 yards."

-Not a fluke. First year of his 3 year prime.

Posted by: BMACattack | September 1, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

It counted...And we still beat them...SO the non-call was unimportant......

The thing that still ticks me off is that the ref's DID call the penalty but picked it up after they saw Jackson go in for the TD. I certainly hope they sent that play in to the league office. That was corrupt...

Posted by: paulr40 | September 1, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Watching Aldridge carry the ball, I had faint recollections of Larry Brown. I'm not sure if it was his build, his effort, the way he carried himself or what.

I thought that was just me thinking that...

Posted by: paulr40 | September 1, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

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