Shaahin Bahmani/HAIL! Magazine
The third game of the preseason is usually considered the “final tune-up” for the first teamers to get their final reps in before the games really count. But for some young players who are fighting to earn a spot on the final 53-man roster, it is an opportunity to solidify their position on the team’s roster. Here’s a look at four players who made a loud statement for why they should be one of the chosen 53:
Alfred Morris – If there was ever a player who stamped his name on the 53-man roster after a preseason game, it was Morris. Consider him to be etched in stone for the Redskins’ roster going into the regular season. Just two weeks ago, we were discussing whether he could find his place in the already-crowded backfield. After his 14 carry, 107 yard and 1 rushing td performance, the conversation has quickly turned into, will he be the starting running back Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints. Coach Shanahan’s insistence that “the best player will play” has to be a positive sign for Morris, but one thing is for certain, only the amount of his playing time is a question, not whether or not he’ll make the team. If he continues to improve his blocking, as he did in the 1st quarter when he crushed the blitzing linebacker, Morris will be pushing the coaches for more playing time.
Dezmon Briscoe – A cast-off in Tampa Bay under newly hired head coach Greg Schiano, Briscoe quickly found himself out of favor with the new, disciplined approach in Tampa. That seems to be a blessing in disguise for Briscoe who almost immediately signed with the Redskins. With ties to his former head coach, Raheem Morris, Briscoe seems to have landed in the perfect scenario, on a team in dire need of young playmakers at the wide receiver position. He led the Buccaneers with 6 touchdown receptions last year, so he has already proven his big play ability. His skills have been on full display the past two-preseason games. Following up his 2-touchdown performance in Chicago in Week 2, Briscoe again displayed his big play ability with an acrobatic 37-yard reception on a severely underthrown ball and another 12-yard touchdown reception. At 6’3” and 210 lbs, Briscoe has the physical ability the Redskins need and are looking for. But in order to solidify his position on the team as the 5th wide receiver, Briscoe MUST show that he is willing and able to perform on special teams. Coach Shanahan has already came out and said that Briscoe will get his opportunity to do so in the teams final preseason game against Tampa. A good showing on Wednesday night could stamp Briscoe’s place onto the 53-man roster.
Chris Wilson – A former Washington Redskin, Wilson spent most of 2010 and all of 2011 out of football. Back this year, Wilson has seemed to rededicate his life back to football. After a consistently positive training camp, Wilson’s abilities were on full display in place of the injured starter, Brian Orakpo. About midway through the 1st quarter, he completely blew passed the left tackle and forced Colts quarterback Andrew Luck to step-up right into the hands of London Fletcher and Ryan Kerrigan. Early on in the third quarter, Wilson was again able to get to the quarterback, this time sacking him 2 yards deep in the end zone for a safety. Wilson consistently pressured the quarterback all night and was credited with 3 quarterback hits. Along with pressuring the opposing team’s quarterback, Wilson also showed the ability to play in coverage. Already a standout on special teams, Wilson made a strong push for his spot on the roster.
Markus White – Coincidentally White could be competing with the aforementioned Chris Wilson for a roster spot. On Saturday, White did everything he could to make the decision has difficult as possible for the Redskins’ coaches. Leading the team with 7 tackles, White seemed to end up everywhere the football was. He has already shown the ability to play special teams and on Saturday flashed the ability to pressure the quarterback with 1 official pressure. On one play in the 4th quarter, he ran straight into the backfield and knocked down the pass attempt.
The 4th and final preseason game on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will decide who makes the final 53-man roster. We will have our final 53 man roster after tonights game.