Today's a cut day for the Redskins, one that requires they whittle their 80-man roster down to 75 by 4 p.m. Then, on Saturday, they've got to cut it down to 53.
Why Mike Shanahan doesn't just go ahead and eliminate everyone from the Cerrato-Zorn era -- you know he wants to! -- is anyone's guess, and here's ours: he enjoys prolonging the discomfort, at the end of which he'll burp up a pearl and begin counting in lipstick hatchmarks the number of days until he gets to do it all over again.
Other people will tell you it's because of Thursday night's last pre-season game, for which the Redskins won't want to play many starters. They might be on to something...
Whom might this group include? More than a few familiar names.
Willie Parker, RB
Clinton Portis counts for one on the field, and signs say he'll be backed up by Larry Johnson. Parker would make the third "old" guy in the unit, and unless two of them are Ricky Williams that's one too many. With younger legs in Keiland Williams and Ryan Torain, there's not much point to hanging on to Parker.
Malcolm Kelly, WR
Fellow question mark Devin Thomas will probably be allowed Thursday night to make a garbage time point before he's cut -- Shanahan indicated he'd play "a lot," but yesterday Kelly suffered what Shanny called "a pretty good pull" to the left hamstring injury that's kept him out for a month. In his first day back. After he appeared in only five games last year, and missed three the year before that as a rookie.
They could put him on injured reserve, if the feeling is that he could eventually be worth the wait, or waive him altogether.
(UPDATE: Kelly has been placed on IR, according to NBC4's Dan Hellie.)
As for the rest of the receiving corps, Roydell Williams, Bobby Wade, and Shay Hodge might as well start folding T-shirts.
Brandon Banks, our tiny new sometimes-dropsy favorite? Fingers crossed: He revealed special teams coach Danny Smith "said, ‘you can’t make it in this league turning over the ball.'...I worry a lot, but I’m not going to dwell on it. Just go out there and continue to try to catch the coach’s eye.”
Justin Tryon, CB
Well, he's not beating out DeAngelo Hall, Carlos Rogers, and Phillip Buchanon, that's for sure. It's probably just a question of whether or not he exits now or Saturday, and if Ramzee Robinson and Kevin Barnes share the cab.
Dennis Morris, TE
The team has Chris Cooley and Fred Davis, with Morris struggling in competition against Logan Paulsen and Lee Vickers. Alas, poor Morris; we knew him briefly.
Who else could go? Nose tackles Darrion Scott and Howard Green; defensive lineman Anthony Bryant; linebackers Rob Jackson, Robert Henson and Curtis Gatewood; safeties Anderson Russell and Lendy Holmes.