Feeling the Heat

Robert McCune is feeling heat well before August

We're still nearly three months away from the August, but a number of Redskins from last year are have begun to feel some heat. The draft and subsequent signings of over a dozen undrafted free agent players has made life very uncomfortable for some marginal players.

The Redskins drafted two defensive tackles and signed two more yesterday so Ryan Boschetti and Cedric Killings have to be more than a bit concerned. It doesn't appear that the team was happy with the depth at their positions. When Cornelius Griffin missed several games with an injury last year the coaches chose to start end Demetric Evans in his place rather than Boschetti. Killings was also suffering some injury woes during that time so he missed a chance to step up and shine.

Linebacker was another position where the Redskins have loaded up. They drafted Rocky McIntosh and Kevin Simon and signed one of the top undrafted players at the position in Spencer Havner. Veteran Warrick Holdman didn't impress Dale Lindsey or anyone else when he started in the weak side spot for the first part of last year. On top of that he doesn't play on special teams and Joe Gibbs likes having a good supply of young linebacker types to cover kicks. Robert McCune was a fifth-round pick last year. He's big and fast and strong but he also failed to make the 53-man roster last year and spent most of the season either on the practice squad or the inactive list. Due to military service he was an old rookie—he turned 27 in March—and a plus for maturity can turn in to a minus for getting old in a hurry.

Jim Molinaro is another former fifth-round selection who will be in a dogfight to stay employed. Since being drafted in 2004 he has failed to establish himself as a legitimate option to back up Chris Samuels or Jon Jansen. He managed to appear in just three games in 2005. The fact the he was active for six other games but didn't play in them is stark evidence of a lack of special teams ability. He'll have to step up his game to fight off a challenge from sixth-round pick Kili Lefotu.

Speaking of special teams, Derrick Frost seems to have a legitimate challenger in Australian David Lonie. The Redskins want a punter who can kick off and Lonie did that while at Cal. And while Lonie is a rookie in football terms, he played pro soccer in his native land so he's familiar with the pressure of having to produce.

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