Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
Whirlwind Preseason Ends With Dezmon Briscoe Making Redskins
ASHBURN – It was only fitting that Dezmon Briscoe had to sweat out the final few minutes of the preseason. After all the uncertainty he faced, getting official word he made the Washington Redskins’ active roster was sure to take some time.
Briscoe, released by Tampa Bay the first week of training camp, didn’t find out he made the Redskins until minutes before teams had to finalize their rosters on Friday.
“I wasn’t gonna get too nervous about it,” Briscoe said. “Whether it was here or somewhere else, I felt like a blessing would come.”
Briscoe led the Buccaneers with six touchdown receptions last season, but he was released in July for a variety of reasons – the final straw a failed conditioning test put on by new head coach Greg Schiano.
He was claimed off waivers by the Redskins and spent much of the preseason working as a second- or third-team receiver, and the only indication he had a chance he would make the active roster came when Washington informed Anthony Armstrong it would try to either trade or release him.
Briscoe’s case to make the team wasn’t clear-cut. His best chance to do so would be if the Redskins kept seven receivers – one more than the coaches figured they’d take entering camp – and when he was held out of the first half in the final preseason game on Aug. 29, he assumed it wasn’t a good sign.
Head coach Mike Shanahan kept the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Briscoe because of his size and his strength, but whether or not he’s able to see the field or is inactive on game days still isn’t certain. Pierre Garçon, Santana Moss and Joshua Morgan are sure to dress, the team has high hopes for Leonard Hankerson and Brandon Banks will continue as the return specialist, leaving Briscoe and Aldrick Robinson in limbo.
To prove his worth, Briscoe, mostly limited to working with the scout team in practice, has tried to give a strong effort on every play.
“I’m not saying necessarily everybody, but some people take those reps for granted, and I’m not,” Briscoe said. “We ran scout punt return, and I was coming off the edge as hard as I can, giving the offense, the punt team, a good look, and maybe the coaches will see, ‘OK, he can rush off the edge, maybe I’ll put him in this position,’ and stuff like that.”