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Last Chance, Long-Shots: Who Impressed?

Last Saturday, the Redskins' young players and roster hopefuls did not have a chance to show coaches their skills. The storm-shortened Redskins-Ravens preseason game robbed them of an opportunity.

Those players who survived the first round of cuts got a second chance on Thursday night in Jacksonville.

"You would like to have had a second half the other night [against Baltimore], but we weren't able to do that," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "It was nobody's fault. We tried to get those guys in the game and let them play as much as we could."

For the most part, coaches have made their decision on the final roster. But there's always room to reconsider: the cut-down date is this Saturday, Sept. 1, at 4 p.m. ET.

Two rookies who appear to have earned a roster spot are middle linebacker H.B. Blades and left tackle Stephon Heyer. Blades started and had a team-high eight tackles and a special teams tackle, while Heyer started in place of Chris Samuels and has become a training camp success story.

Which other players on the roster bubble made an impression on Thursday night?

-- Marcus Mason, RB

Mason has made the most of his opportunities this preseason. The undrafted rookie turned in his best performance on Thursday night, leading the offense with 12 rushes for 54 yards, a solid 4.5 yards-per-carry average.

Mason also had two kickoff returns for a 24-yard average.

Was it enough? With Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright ahead of him on the depth chart, Mason was a true roster long-shot. He could earn himself a spot on the practice squad, though.

-- Ryan Hoag, WR

Hoag has made several nice catches this preseason. He had two grabs for a team-high 21 yards in Thursday's preseason game, including a 14-yard touchdown pass from Mark Brunell.

Combined with his 36-yard catch in the Redskins' second preseason game against Pittsburgh, Hoag has certainly opened eyes. He is a first-year player who was in NFL Europa last spring.

The Redskins have a need for a fifth wide receiver, and Hoag should be in the mix for that job.

-- Leigh Torrence, CB

On the Redskins' first defensive series of Thursday's game, Torrence came up to take down Jaguars running back LaBrandon Toefield, who had caught a short pass in the right flat on a 3rd-and-7 play. Toefield ended uptwo yards short of the first down, and Torrence forced a punt.

In the fourth quarter, Torrence blitzed through blockers to take down Toefield again for a 2-yard loss.

Gregg Williams' cornerbacks are all physical and excel in run defense as well as pass coverage. Torrence showed he could do both, finishing Thursday's game with three tackles.

Torrence, a first-year player competing with Ade Jimoh and John Eubanks for the fifth cornerback job, also logged a special teams tackle.

-- Alex Buzbee, DE

Buzbee had buzz early in camp, but since then he has quietly gone about his business.

On Thursday in Jacksonville, Buzbee saw extensive action in the second half and recorded three tackles and a pass defended.

A top pass-rusher at Georgetown the last four years, Buzbee needed to work on his run defense. In the third quarter, he limited LaBrandon Toefield to a 4-yard gain and then stuffed running back Alvin Pearman for a 1-yard gain.

Buzbee is competing with Chris Wilson for a backup job at defensive end. He could be a candidate for the practice squad.

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