Redskins Stock Report
The blue chip stock of the week is NT Barry Cofield. He fractured a finger on Monday night and will be carrying around a cast on that hand for a few week — plus, we won’t see him again in the preseason — but Cofield has had a great training camp and a great preseason. Against the Steelers on Monday night Cofield was virtually unblockable, stuffing the run, registering a sack and drawing two penalties for his evening ended early thanks to the injury. If Steelers lineman Maurkice Pouncey never sees Cofield again it’ll be too soon. The Redskins have been waiting for Cofield to become the elite nose tackle they said he would be when they signed him as a free agent from the NY Giants back in 2011. Cofield has been good, but not great his first two years in Washington, but it looks as if now, in his third year at the position, Cofield is poised to become of the best nose tackles in the NFL. The entire defense will be much better for it if he does.
Redskins backup RB Roy Helu continues to have a fine training camp and preseason. After leading the Redskins in rushing as a rookie in 2011, Helu missed most of 2012 with an injury and came into this camp trying to prove he can stay healthy and be the perfect backup complement to starter/workhorse Alfred Morris. Helu has had a very good training camp and after a solid performance in the preseason week one win over the Tennessee Titans, Helu came back with a 30-yard TD run up the middle that perfectly illustrated how useful his burst and acceleration can be for this Redskins offense. With the Redskins effectively using the read-option several times on that scoring drive, the defense over-compensated to stop it and Helu took advantage of Pittsburgh’s bad positioning to race right up the middle for the yards and the touchdown. Helu didn’t get a lot of time in the second game because it wasn’t his turn, but when he did get in there, he made the most of it. That’s all any player can hope for in the preseason. Stock up, Roy Helu!
The Redskins rookies had a tough night Monday against the Steelers. David Amerson got beaten deep, as did Chase Minnifield, who is miscast as a man-off defender and struggled in that role against Pittsburgh. [I know Minnifield isn't a rookie just out of college, but in terms of playing time in the NFL, he's a rookie.] Meanwhile Bacarri Rambo looks tentative on the field, hesitating to close on offensive players as if he’s afraid of getting juked out of his cleats again [see Johnson, Chris]. Rambo needs to regain his confidence and his tackling ability quickly if he’s going to be the starting free safety for the Redskins come week one of this season.
On the offensive side of the ball, TE Jordan Reed cut off an end zone route too quickly and the result was a Rex Grossman interception. Grossman, as usual, got the blame for the pick, but it wasn’t his fault. Later in the game Reed also dropped a pass thrown right in his hands. I like Reed’s potential as a move tight end [or joker tight end] a lot, but we need to see more work and better concentration for him or I predict a lot of time in 2013 that will NOT be spent on the active roster come game day.
I continue to be worried about RT Tyler Polumbus. It’s not that he had no good plays against the Steelers — he did — but he gave up a sack and earned a holding penalty on another play. And he wasn’t in the game all that long. Polumbus just doesn’t look like a starting-caliber NFL left tackle to me, but right now it appears he’s going to get another year at that position because the Redskins have repeatedly failed to address the position properly.