Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

September 05, 2018 at 1:08 am.

–The Redskins signed former Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Caleb Brantley on Monday.

Brantley was cut by the Browns Saturday. He had two sacks as a rookie. A star in college at Florida, Brantley was supposed to be a first- or second-round pick in 2017 before a legal incident dropped him to the sixth round. Charges for simple assault against a woman in Gainesville, Fla., were dropped three weeks after the draft for lack of evidence, but Brantley never developed as a rookie like Cleveland hoped.

The Redskins waived defensive end Anthony Lanier, who had five sacks last season, to make room. Lanier (hip flexor) was designated injured.

“Control what you can control,” Brantley said. “Everybody’s not going to like you, everybody’s not going to believe you. Everybody’s not going to be with you. Control what you can control, what you work on and be the best you can be and everything else will come with it.”

–Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has seen the Cardinals plenty during his time in Washington, but a new coaching staff led by Steve Wilks and a season opener with no regular-season game film with current Arizona personnel makes things a little trickier.

“We have four games in the preseason, which everybody’s worried about, everybody’s hiding everything and not showing everything,” Gruden said. “But we also have to go back to when (Cardinals offensive coordinator) Coach (Mike) McCoy was an offensive coordinator last year (with the Denver Broncos) and you have to go back to when Coach (Steve) Wilks was a defensive coordinator last year at Carolina (Panthers). So we do have a lot of film to look at. Sometimes you have too much film to look at. You’re not sure how they’re going to make all the pieces fit.”

–The Redskins’ offensive line remains stable, but there is one change at center, where second-year pro Chase Roullier (6-foot-4, 310 pounds) takes over for Spencer Long. Otherwise Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses have been together since 2015 when healthy.

“Chase has got a great body for center,” Gruden said. “I think he’s steadily improving to be a good starting center for this organization for a long time.”

–Paul Richardson had 44 catches last year in Seattle during a breakthrough season with the Seahawks. The Redskins are banking on more of that production from the fastest receiver they’ve had on the roster since DeSean Jackson left two years ago via free agency. Richardson won’t provide that level of deep-threat production but his skill set is an added dimension Washington had to add in its receiving corps. The 6-foot, 180-pounder is dangerous on underneath routes, too.

“I feel great about the receiver room, Jamison (Crowder) being the veteran of that group, which is crazy,” Gruden said. “Josh (Doctson) and Paul (Richardson, Jr.) — he’s still feeling his way through, but Paul is a dimension we haven’t had here since DeSean (Jackson).

–Quarterback Alex Smith: The Redskins had hit the end of the road with Kirk Cousins. They weren’t willing to use the franchise tag on him again and he wanted to get paid as much guaranteed money as possible. Washington went with a backup plan that didn’t involve the draft. The trade with Kansas City for Smith gives them a veteran quarterback who should have no trouble stepping in and keeping this offense afloat.

–Defensive end Daron Payne: Another defensive lineman from Alabama drafted in the first round. Payne has the size and strength to be a factor in the run game. He isn’t likely to put up huge sack totals. That wasn’t really his game in college anyway. But just stopping the run — finally — will go a long way toward the Redskins improving on the defensive side and the hope is he can develop his pass-rush skills sooner than later. That would be enough for now.