GLENDALE AZ - SEPTEMBER 02: Wide receiver Brandon Banks #16 of the Washington Redskins runs with the ball after a reception past Matt Ware #22 of the Arizona Cardinals during preseason NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2 2010 in Glendale Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Redskins Release Brandon Banks And Larry Johnson, Promote Ryan Torain

The Larry Johnson experiment is over, as the Redskins have decided to release the former 1,700-yard rusher. They have promoted Ryan Torain from the practice squad.

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Report: Redskins To Release Wide Receiver Brandon Banks

It's rare enough for a team to make a major move on offense in week three that isn't related to injuries. Now the Redskins have made two.

According to a report by Rick Maese of the Washington Post, speedy wide receiver Brandon Banks will be released tomorrow to make room for Ryan Torain on the 53-man roster.

Banks's agent James Gould, would not comment about the expected move, but did comment on Banks's situation in Washington.

"I believe that Brandon has found a home with the Washington Redskins," he said. "They stepped up and gave him an opportunity when no one else would. Fans and management see what Brandon is about and that he can help the team. We are optimistic about the long-term."

Banks had a fairly impressive preseason, including a punt return touchdown in Washington's opening game against Buffalo, but also had two fumbles during the preseason, and was not active for either regular season game. Banks was often viewed as more of a project, and the team has apparently decided that the cost of keeping him on the roster may not be worth the possible payoff.

Banks is eligible to take Torain's place on the Redskins' practice squad if he clears waivers.

With today's moves, newcomer Chad Simpson becomes a candidate for the inactive list on Sunday. The Redskins may also choose to list wide receiver Anthony Armstrong as inactive against the Rams if he is not able to fully recover from his groin injury.

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Report: Redskins Promote Ryan Torain From Practice Squad

In need of another running back on the active roster after releasing Larry Johnson, the Redskins have promoted Ryan Torain from the practice squad, according to 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen.

According to a source, RB Ryan Torain has been promoted from the practice squad and added to the #Redskins 53 man roster.

Torain was beaten out for a roster spot by Keiland Williams in training camp, but is a decent prospect.

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LaVar Arrington Questions The Cutting Of Larry Johnson

Cutting Larry Johnson was bound to raise eyebrows in Washington sports media. Recently anointed WaPo columnist and former Redskin LaVar Arrington is one of the first into the fray as his column calls into question the decision making policy of Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen. Arrington questions whether the new regime had the proper foresight when they brought both Johnson and Willie Parker into camp:

Look, I'm trying to understand how all these so-called football geniuses weren't able to see that he didn't fit before now, that's all. I have a very difficult time believing that five carries over two games were enough to conclude that Mr Johnson didn't fit in the scheme

I think the obvious answer is the one that Jason Reid of WaPo posited in his column earlier today, Johnson couldn't play special teams and wasn't much of a receiver, so they brought in a player who could play special teams, and promoted Keilan Williams who can also catch the ball. This isn't something new and crazy with Mike Shanahan. He has been playing running back roulette for YEARS. There is a reason that during his tenure with Denver Shanahan was know as fantasy football kryptonite, as you never knew which of the 5 running backs on the roster was going to get the majority of carries from week to week. Shanahan has always juggled/cut running backs, and this is only making news because the running back in question is "Larry Johnson former 1,700 yard rusher" and not Joe Blow from the practice squad.

However, as much as I disagree with Arrington's assessment of the cut, it is his next piece of analysis which completely fries my brain. Evidently, cutting Johnson is proof that Mike Shahahan doesn't want to be in this job for the long term, and is merely keeping the seat warm for his son Kyle Shanahan:

This move makes me wonder if we really brought in the engineer of those Super Bowls in Denver or another ticket-seller like Steve Spurier or, you guessed it, Joe Gibbs his second time around? I'm just asking, does this guy still have it or is he just another on a long list of coaches who came back to make a couple dollars and position his son to be a head coach?

Actually, I think cutting a guy who isn't producing is a demonstration that you are actively involved in the team, and that you care about improving it on a daily basis. It demonstrates a level of micro-management that we haven't seen at Redskins Park in years. It also sends a clear message to a veteran Redskins team that if you don't produce, then you can find employment elsewhere.  Its the move of someone who wants to win. Something the Redskins didn't do much of during LaVar's time with the Redskins.

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Will Cutting Larry Johnson Help The Redskins?

Larry Johnson's release came after two games in which he was mostly ineffective on the ground. Jason Reid questions why, if the Redskins were so willing to get rid of Larry Johnson, they didn't just cut him during the offseason.

But if the Redskins apparently thought so little of Johnson to release him after two games and only five rushes (he gained two yards), why include him on the opening 53-man roster in the first place? After Johnson struggled in his first preseason appearance, we wrote that there was concern within the organization about the running back position, and that it would not have been surprising if neither Willie Parker nor Johnson made the roster out of the preseason.

Reid also wonders if jettisoning Johnson, and replacing him with a younger, quicker running back in Chad Simpson, will actually help the running game.

Also, Johnson's release does not address the core problem with Washington's ineffective running game: the offensive line. Top back Clinton Portis has a 3.1-yard average on 31 rushes, and the Redskins produced 18 yards on 17 carries (a 1.1-yard average) in the 30-27 loss in overtime to the Houston Texans.

The offensive line's poor play has been a growing concern internally for some time, according to team sources who have watched as the first-team group has struggled during practice. With three new starters, the line already was in a state of flux to start the preseason. And that was before left guard Derrick Dockery was in danger of losing his starting job to Kory Lichtensteiger, who was out of football last season after being waived by the Minnesota Vikings in late September.

Reid is right. Clinton Portis hasn't been very effective behind this offensive line either. But Johnson is the back up running back, and his skill set doesn't fit that of a third down back, the role he is being asked to fill. The Redskins really need someone who is a better receiver out of the backfield as the backup. Releasing Johnson might not actually help the running game, but it might allow the Redskins to bring in a player who is a better fit in that role.

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Larry Johnson On His Release

The Redskins cut Maryland native Larry Johnson yesterday. John Keim of the Washington Examiner has that comments Johnson released through his agent about his release.

"I'm very upset, I didn't see this coming," Johnson said through his agent, Peter Shaffer. "Most importantly, this is where I wanted to end my career, a place where I was born and raised most of my life.

"I understand it's a business and I have nothing but love for the Redskins. They gave me a chance when I didn't know where I was gonna end up."

It wasn't a very productive relationship, but at least it ended on good terms.
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Redskins Release Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson didn't exactly endear himself well to Redskins fans last week, running backwards for 10 yards on a key run play late in the game against the Texans and admitting that being a backup "is all new to me." It appears Johnson's poor performance was be the last straw for the Redskins.

According to longtime NFL writer Howard Balzer, the Redskins have decided to release Johnson. ESPN's Adam Schefter has confirmed the report, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports the Redskins have signed former Bills running back Chad Simpson to replace Johnson.

The Redskins have confirmed the move in a team press release. General Manager Bruce Allen had this to say:

"We appreciate Larry's attitude and contributions to the Redskins. However, we needed to make a roster move in preparation for this week's game against the Rams."

Johnson was one of the standouts in mini-camp, but his inability to catch the ball out of the backfield and his struggles getting into a rhythm in a reserve role probably had a lot to do with the team's decision to release him.

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