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Mitchell's Status Changes, Locker Doesn't

As the Redskins reported to work Monday morning -- with only six days to prepare for the season opener against the Giants -- rookie receiver Marko Mitchell found his familiar spot in the locker room. Even though Mitchell impressed coaches and earned his way onto the 53-man roster, his locker was still on the island in the middle of the giant room, amid the practice squad players and not among the spacious lockers that line the perimeter of the room.

"They still got me in the ghetto right now ..... . I really don't care," said Mitchell. "As long as I get up out of here, I'm good."

Chances are, he'll be given a regular locker within the next few days. He's earned that much. And he says he's not done working his way up. On the depth chart, Mitchell will likely be considered the No. 5 receiver, despite wowing coaches, teammates and fans with his hands and his speed. But that's not good enough for Mitchell.

"If you ain't first, you're last. So right now I'm last," Mitchell said. "I'm trying to get up there to No. 1 hopefully. ..... I can't just stop right there. I need to elevate myself in the regular season."

Players reported to Redskins Park on Monday morning and for some, the fact that they got through the door without being met by security was a relief. Offensive lineman Edwin Williams received the news Saturday that he had made the 53-man roster but needed to actually visit his locker Monday for confirmation.

"This is my favorite team. Growing up with them ..... dream come true. Dream come true," said Williams, the lone undrafted rookie to earn a roster spot. "Words can't even express how I feel right now."

Williams knew how the numbers would break down; he knew that most teams keep just eight or nine linemen -- not the 10 that the Redskins opted to keep. "I was being optimistic, but at the same time being realistic," he said. "But the positive thing did happen, so I'm happy and just so excited."

He said Saturday was "nerve-racking."

"Butterflies about to come out of my mouth," he said.

Vinny Cerrato, the team's vice president of football operations, acknowledged that Williams likely benefited from the extra spot created by waiving Chase Daniel and carrying just two quarterbacks on the roster. Coaches like Williams' versatility -- he can line up at center and either guard position -- and his work ethic.

"He's a talented rookie, he's a tough guy," said veteran tackle Chris Samuels. "Coach [Joe Bugel] rides the young guys every day, kind of hard on them. It never really seemed to phase him. He just kept working hard."

There was a lot more space in the locker room than the last time the full team gathered there last week. With 22 cuts Saturday, those who showed up to work this morning ranged from veterans eager to begin the regular season to those just grateful to be gainfully employed in the NFL.

Rookie Robert Henson, a sixth-round pick who beat out guys like Darrel Young and Cody Glenn for the final linebacker job, had an emotional preseason in which his performance and his mood were up and down. "It didn't look good for a minute, I got to be honest," he said.

So he didn't really know what to expect as the team began making phone calls to notify players they'd be hitting the waiver wire.

"Saturday was very stressful," Henson said. "My wife did a good job of getting me out of the house. She said, 'You know what, baby, you played a good game. Don't worry about it.' She put my mind on some other things."

And now, from the bubble players to the veterans, everyone's mind is on just one thing: the Giants.

By Rick Maese  |  September 7, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
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Next: Re-Evaluating Marcus Mason


"Get up on out of here" it is Mr. MITCHELL. I predict a star-studded future for you barring injury, of course.

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 7, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

If Lanky ain't starting but the end of the year, the coaches aren't coachin.

Posted by: donsilvester | September 7, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

If Lanky ain't starting but the end of the year, the coaches aren't coachin.

Posted by: donsilvester | September 7, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"faze," not "phase"

Posted by: farstriker | September 7, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

So as Woodson helps Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache prepare for the Giants and Kevin Gilbride's offense on Sunday, Broughton can fill in new Giants defensive boss Bill Sheridan about Jim Zorn's scheme.

-- David Elfin

Posted by: 4thFloor

Hmm. Too bad they didn't hire him as a tutor for Devin Thomas

Posted by: TheCork | September 7, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

And it had BETTER be. The jints looked totally awesome against the PATS in the first quarter. At home, they will be tough to beat. That offensive line made hamburger of the N.E. d-line, and the GIANTS sacks and hurries simply point out the fact that superior teams need both lines hummin' to be competative in the NFL. We have one. The other, big ???? Nothing wrong with the receivers a little seasoning won't take care of. Let's go MARKO. GO 'SKINS!!!!

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 7, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Marko should be the #1 option in the redzone though...seriously. He is a redzone specialist...

Posted by: ATLredskin | September 7, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse


I guess SAMUELS spelled it out for MR. MAESE.

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 7, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I like Robert Henson.

He was the team captain on the top rated defense in FCS last season (TCU). Outside of Rocky, I'm not too confident with our young LBs.

HB Blades is just a guy. Cody Glenn was a project. Orakpo will be a full time DE quite soon.

Posted by: elfreako | September 7, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: RedCherokee | September 7, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The Jints O-line is obviously very good but [1] our D-line is much better than it was, and [2] Eli has always been mediocre at best, and he no longer has the option of just lofting the ball in Plax's general vicinity. Eli will get smacked, and he will throw up ducks.

Which Los can't catch. But Hall, Landry and others can.

Posted by: chasgiffen | September 7, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Skins go 1-0 in a shocker - 27-16, Eli serves up 3 picks. Campbell throws 2 TDs to Kelly. Rock runs back the opening kickoff.

Posted by: coparker5 | September 7, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Why the Schedule makers put the Redskins in N.Y. to start the season two years in a row I just do not understand!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | September 7, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

This guy is the real deal. He wants to un-seat Moss already? Thats the drive we need in a WR! If Kelly and Mitchell started with Moss in the slot I wouldn't think twice.

Posted by: wewbank1 | September 7, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The dude just quoted Talladega Nights... Well played, Mr. Livingston.

Posted by: offbeatdude | September 7, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Edwin Williams and Byron Westbrook...........from...........DeMatha!

Posted by: GAU8A | September 7, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

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