Young players and roster hopefuls were at Redskins Park on Friday--some perhaps for the last time.
The Redskins must reduce their roster to a league-mandated 53 players by 6 p.m. on Saturday. Head coach Joe Gibbs said he expects to announce the Redskins cuts as late as possible so that other NFL teams don't get a jump on evaluating potential practice squad players.
The roster cut-down is always a difficult time of year for Gibbs and the Redskins coaches.
"It's always tough because you see everything they put into [making the team]," Gibbs said. "You have to make decisions on guys who have worked so hard and this is a goal of theirs. For us, most of the decisions we have to make are for the good of the team. That's the only way we can look at it."
Gibbs said the decision-making process at backup offensive line, where as many as eight players are vying for a handful of roster spots, would be most difficult.
The unit struggled in the preseason and yielded six sacks in Thursday night's preseason finale against Baltimore. Offensive linemen Jim Molinaro, Ikechuku Ndukwe, Tyson Waler, Spencer Folau Kili Lefotu, Jasper Harvey and Chris Pino hope to have done enough to warrant a roster spot.
Other players on the bubble?
- At backup running back, Rock Cartwright, Nehemiah Broughton and A.J. Harris appear to be battling for one spot. Cartwright would appear to have the edge, but Broughton logged a special teams tackle against the Ravens.
- At wide receiver, a group of young wide receivers in Steven Harris, Mike Espy and Richard Smith were hoping to unseat backups James Thrash and David Patten.
- At defensive tackle, Ryan Boschetti, Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery were competing for a backup job. Golston turned in a solid performance against the Ravens, logging a sack.
#### -- GIBBS: 'JOHN HALL IS OUR GUY'
Joe Gibbs said he would enter the 2006 regular season with John Hall serving as field goal kicker.
Meantime, Derrick Frost is expected to serve as punter, kickoff specialist and Hall's holder on field goals.
Ethan Albright is back as the long snapper.
Gibbs expressed no concerns with Hall, who has had injury-plagued seasons the last two years.
"In John, I think we have a seasoned veteran guy and that's what you want in a field goal kicker," Gibbs said.
Regarding Frost, who had an up-and-down preseason, Gibbs said: "For Derrick, I think you reach points in your life where you step up and say, 'Hey look, I'm the guy.' I think he had a disappointing outing against New England. But he punted for us last year and I thought he did a solid job for us.
"I think he's a talented, young guy and I think he stood up and competed."
Against the Ravens, Frost had six punts for a 47.2-yard average.