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Washington coach Mike Shanahan says the competition is tough for the spots available.
Redskins wide receiver Skye Dawson (right) hauls in a long pass Monday in front of defender Chase Minnifield during the afternoon practice at training camp Monday.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
One position where the Redskins’ depth chart could be thrown into flux by training camp performances is wide receiver, where outstanding efforts have been the norm thus far.
Leading the charge is undrafted rookie Skye Dawson, who is making a play to be the long shot that catches on during camp.
To do so, he’ll have to unseat a veteran, and even then there may not even be enough roster space to go around. It promises to be one of the tightest competitions that coach Mike Shanahan will oversee in Richmond.
“We’ve got some quality competition there, and not everybody’s going to make the team,” Shanahan said. “We’ve got a lot to look at in the next four, five weeks.”
In addition to Dawson, third-year veteran Aldrick Robinson is making a case for more playing time, having shown off his speed during one-on-one drills.
Robinson got a publicity boost on Monday when quarterback Robert Griffin III said Robinson had turned in one of the top camp performances to date.
After spending his rookie year on the practice squad, Robinson saw sporadic game action last year. Having been selected for the full roster, he said he doesn’t feel as much pressure every time the coaches start watching.
“[On the practice squad], it’s nerve wracking at times,” he said. “You don’t make a play you should have made, and you’re thinking about it too much. Now if I don’t make a play, I try to shrug it off and get to the next play. I know I’ll get another chance.”
He’s been getting lots of chances during camp, and could be a deep threat when the season rolls around, although he’ll be behind veterans Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan on the depth chart.
Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss also have an inside track on roster spots, leaving only one to be claimed by the rest of the pack.
Veterans Devery Henderson and Donte Stallworth are working to keep their NFL careers rolling, though Stallworth has been hampered by a hamstring injury, and may be running out of time to make his case.
Third-year player Dez Briscoe is fighting to catch on, and while coaches like his playmaking ability, he may not be a consistent enough performer to get the nod when final cuts are made.
Then there’s Dawson, who seemed to be a long shot coming out of TCU.
Instead, he has impressed coaches and has been in the rotation for punt and kick returns as well.
Dawson’s mother was a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, but now his loyalties are with the burgundy and gold as he fights for a roster spot.
Moss said on Wednesday that Dawson has given one of the standout performances in training camp – the 13-year veteran has been working with the rookie.
“He’s been playing since I was in elementary school,” Dawson said. “So those are the type of guys I really look up to, and see what they do, and copy from there.”
Soon it may be other players copying his moves, as he continues to hold his own in one of the fiercest roster battles at this year’s camp.
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