The Bubble Bunch


As the rounds of cuts start coming, in it’s time to start evaluating the “Bubble Guys”. These are the guys who’s life literally hangs in the balance going in to tomorrow night’s game against Tampa Bay.

I know that we expect to see the starters get some work tomorrow night but, for the most part the roster is already set. Rick Snider said it best on Twitter to day when he said “For all the talk of Redskins using the last game to decide roster slots, they’re talking last positions, least impact players.” Rich Tandler followed up with “Exactly, most of the guys who make the roster tomorrow will be inactive vs. Giants on 9/11”

The point here being this. To the average fan, the guys on this list are of little or no consequence. BUT to guys like me… and the guys on this list for that matter. It’s pretty huge. Last year Brandon Banks was a bubble guy (spoiler alert…he’s one this year too) but when he got his chance he made an immediate impact on Special Teams.

The fact is every player on this roster should be capable of making an impact when their name is called. So these Bubble Guys could end up being pretty important.

Brandon Banks:
There is no denying it when Banks gets the ball in his hands, the man is absolutely ELECTRIC. On kickoff and punt returns the man is an absolute threat to at worst flip the field and at best take it to the house… when he is healthy.

The Banks problem here is two-fold.

First the guy is just absolutely tiny. Like Umpa Lump little. Listed at 5-7 (generously) and weighing in at 155 lbs (soaking wet with rocks in his shoes… that are made of lead). The constant worry is will he get hurt. It’s a risk, every time the guy gets hit a little part of me dies because I constantly feel like he is one return away from lights out. Banks has also been slowed this training camp by a knee injury, costing him the entire preseason, save the opener against Pittsburgh (where by the way he showed why he is on this team in the first place).

Problem two is the stupid new kickoff rules. I could rant on this all day long, and I won’t…but it’s stupid and I hate it. The fact that over 80% of the kickoffs this preseason have been touchbacks KILLS Banks’ value. I don’t honestly know that I can justify a roster spot for a guy that is going to get that few opportunities to make a difference. If he could actually play WR he would have a shot but as literally just a punt returner I’m not sold that he’s worthy of a roster spot.

Outlook: Hold off on ordering that Burgundy Banks Jersey, just for a few more days.

Reggie Jones:
This one, is where people will start to hate me so I do want to say I am a Reggie Jones fan. But to be honest the guy is not having a solid preseason at all. We talk about the game looking to fast or too big for guys and there have been moments where that was the case. Last week in Baltimore was just an absolute nightmare. Reggie had two very costly penalties, and looked lost at times. It makes it hard to crack the roster with nights like that. Again I love the guy and as a person he is the kind of guy every coach wants on their team. I just don’t know if you can carry a guy who’s struggling that bad even when he has the hearts of literally everyone.

Outlook: Long shot to make this team

Donte Stallworth:
There are quite a few WR’s on this list. That is because we actually look to have significant depth at the position this year. No one was shocked when Malcolm was let go yesterday not even Malcolm, hard to make a team when you have put in more training time for the Tour de France than football.

Donte is definitely not a lock to make this team. When he has been utilized in the game he has looked pretty good. The pass from Beck in the Colts game was nice… but they aren’t using him a lot and that is what makes me wonder what is going on.

Maybe, being the sneaky genius that he is Mike Shanahan is not playing much of Donte because he wants to see how the other guys do?
More probably there isn’t really a spot for Donte. I mean he seems like a guy who needs reps to get going in a game and I just don’t know if those exist considering the commitment to running the ball that we look to have this year. Not to mention being behind Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Armstrong, and possibly Terrence Austin.

Maybe he can contribute on teams??

Outlook: Flip a coin….literally

Terrence Austin:
Let’s stop the gloom and doom. Terrence Austin is making this team. He has looked good at receiver he has shown flashes as a returner (which is why Banks could be in trouble), and Mike Shanahan seems to love the guy. He looks to be a constant type of player, meaning that he probably won’t have a 3 TD 165 yard game then disappear for weeks on end. I expect him to have consistent stats and contribute.

Outlook: Lock. Seriously I would be shocked if he’s cut… like Luke Skywalker finding out Vader is his dad shocked.

Evan Royster:
Tomorrow night is a big night for Evan. Though he looked good against Pittsburg he has not even been seen since Helu started getting reps. The future of the former Penn State standout depends on a few things. Like if Torrain is considered to brittle to be here ( again I would not be shocked to see him not even make this roster). He needs to show up tomorrow night and make Mike and Kyle’s decision hard. He could force there hand in other areas of the roster as well… like perhaps only carrying two QB’s.

Outlook: Tough call especially because his future is tied to so many others.

Chris Horton:
Here is another guy who I absolutely love. He had an amazing rookie year, and generally is an awesome guy (check out our interview if you have any doubts about it). Sadly the NFL is a what have you done for me lately league, and Mike Shanahan didn’t draft the kid. There is no connection in regards to Shanahan being responsible so it’s not hard to see him gone. That said when I spoke to Chris earlier in the week he seemed very confident he would be on this team, and honestly as an athlete you really have to be. The fact that Kareem Moore (who was not too happy about bringing in Otogwe in February) is at best looking at PUP, and at worst going on IR.

Outlook: Get another year out of that 48 jersey…Moore’s injury virtually locks Horton to make the team.

Mike Sellers:
Sadly Mike is done here in DC. The writing has been on the wall since he started camp as a TE. I love Mike and I love the fact that he came up big for us under Gibbs. But you just get to a point where other guys take your spot, and it’s that time.

Outlook: Thanks for the memories…

Dejon Gomes:
I really like Gomes. Joining Roy Helu, and Niles Paul. Dejon is the third NebraSkin taken in this year’s draft. He seems like the kind of kid who can make plays, as demonstrated in his preseason interception in Indy. I haven’t seen enough of him to know if he is on his way to the practice squad, but he could really benefit from the Philip Buchanon suspension.

Outlook: Jury is out on this kid not enough evidence… but considering the suspension he could get his shot early.

Niles Paul:
As we mentioned before the WR battle is tough and I think Niles could be tied to Brandon Banks more than anyone. Nile was considered a dynamic return man at Nebraska, and at times during camp people in the know said he looked like our best draft pick. Surprisingly we have not seen much of him in the preseason games and again I am confused by the Shanahanagins. IF he can bring something to the table at WR and be a plus returner, he could be the end of Brandon Banks.

Outlook: Better show up tomorrow night…

Kellen Clemons:
Conventional wisdom says you keep three quarterbacks on your roster. Mike Shanahan could give a toss about conventional wisdom. For a guy who a few years ago was the penciled in as Rex Ryan’s starter. It’s been a long fall from grace for Clemens. The guy literally looked like a soccer player trying to be a QB last week in Baltimore, and he really has not showed anything at all. If Mike Shanahan wants 3 quarterbacks, and literally anyone else who’s name is not Donovan Mcnabb becomes available from cuts in the next few days I expect Clemens to be gone.

Outlook: Either way he’s gone… but don’t be shocked if Shanahan saves a roster spot by rolling with two Qb’s

So what do you think? Hit the comments!


About Ray Smith

Ray Smith is the Head Writer and Senior Editor of as well as the Host of the SonOfWashington Podcast. Follow Ray on Twitter @SonOfWashington

Posted on August 31, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I am thinking that’s ten players, about 3/4 you may expect to be gone, we just cut down to what 80? We have to cut at least ten more just to get down to 60 and then I think its going to be really hard.

  2. How dare you insult Soccer players… we can be QBs as long as we don’t wear pads, except on our shins… no one hits us… and we throw with our feet. Other than that it’s a piece of cake.

  3. what about the DT from W.V, Hows he jooked?

  4. If Niles Paul can make a significant return tomorrow night, then it may well spell the end of Banks stay.

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