We continue the training camp battles series with the Washington Redskins. All 32 teams will eventually be broken down as we go down the list.
The order goes off my way too early NFL power rankings.
#31 Oakland Raiders
#30 Houston Texans
One thing was certain last year, Robert Griffin III was not 100 percent. It was evident in his play as he went 3-10 as a starter and a QB rating of just 82.2, putting him in the bottom third of the league. The Redskins decided to sit him the final three games so they would not risk further injury. Things weren't much better for the team as a whole, giving up the second most points in the league (478) and ranked in the bottom 10 in scoring per game. Mike Shanahan was shown the door, and Jay Gruden comes in to take over the coaching ranks. The Skins made a splash in free agency, which is pretty much the their M.O., by bringing in division rival DeSean Jackson from the Eagles after they cut him. They also brought in veteran free agents Tracy Porter, Akeem Jackson and Jason Hatcher to help mold the defense.
Training camp position battles to watch: LB, RT, RG, PR, K
Right Inside Linebacker: Keenan Robinson vs Akeem Jordan vs Darryl Sharpton
Probably the most wide open position battle in camp. Robinson was fairly impressive in OTA's but can't seem to stay on the field as he's missed 21 games the past two seasons. Jordan and Sharpton were brought in via free agency to compete for the job. Both come from 3-4 schemes, just don't possess as much athleticism as Robinson. This is a three headed race and will be an interesting one to watch.
Right Tackle: Tyler Polumbus vs Morgan Moses
Moses was taken in the third round of this year's draft to compete for the job. Polumbus struggles against premier pass rushers. Moses needs to fine tune his technique, but his physical attributes are there at 6'6" 314lbs.
Right Guard: Chris Chester vs Spencer Long
Long was also selected in the third round of this year's draft to compete with Chester. Chester has the experience on Long, but the Redskins are high on the third round draft pick. If he can pick up things quickly, wouldn't be shocked to see him as the starter Week 1.
Punt Returner: Santana Moss vs DaSean Jackson vs Andre Roberts
Moss handled the duties for the most part last year and is sure handed. It's hard to deny Jackson's explosiveness here though. If he gets space on a return, it can be taken to the house at any given time. Jackson has had his return roles minimized the past few years, so he may see spot duty here. Roberts could also be thrown in there, if Moss can't create anything and the Skins are trying to preserve Jackson. He was behind Patrick Peterson in Arizona, who may be the most explosive punt returner in the game.
Kicker: Kai Forbath vs Zach Hocker
Anytime you draft a kicker, it means they will be in serious contention for the job. That's what the Redskins did in the 7th round with Hocker out of Arkansas. Forbath had a solid year last year, making 18 of 22 kicks, so it should make for an interesting competition. Forbath struggled with kickoffs, as he lacks consistent touchbacks, having just 14 in 13 games.
Next up, the Cleveland Browns.