Two young talented outside linebackers, Houston Bates and Jackson Jeffcoat stood out during the preseason. Now they must wait to see if they're work will result in a roster spot.
Cut down day is the opposite of draft day, as not getting a call is actually a good sign. It means the team wants you to stick around on the 53-man roster.
Jackson Jeffcoat and Houston Bates never received a call during draft day, as both entered the NFL the free agent route.
This time, though, they're hoping to once again not hear their phone ring by Saturday's 4 p.m. cutdown deadline.
"I'm just going to hang out with my mom and she's going to hopefully keep me comfortable," Bates said of his plan over the next 24 hours. "It's just a waiting game now, but the hay's in the barn, and whatever happens will happen because it's in God's hands now."
Jeffcoat, meanwhile, is already turning his attention to the team's season opener against the Miami Dolphins, confident he's done enough in the preseason to once again warrant a spot on the active roster.
"Right now I feel like I'm going to be on the team, so that's what I have to do is start getting ready for this Miami game," he said.
Jeffcoat was perhaps the biggest defensive standout during the preseason among those on the second and third units, recording four sacks – one in each game – along with an interception recorded against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday.
"I think I've put some good body of work in," he told reporters. "Obviously I'm not where I want to be, so there are a lot of things I'm going to go back and improve on. But as far as the tape and the preseason, I think it was good enough to make a roster spot now. We'll see if the numbers work out well, but I want to play here."
Bates also flashed promise in his reps throughout the preseason, recording three sacks including a back-to-back quarterback takedowns in the opener against the Cleveland Browns.
He's also made some stops in the run game and believes he can make an impact in both pass and rush situations.
"They asked me to cover and rush so I have been comfortable with both of them," Bates said. "Yeah, the coverage aspect of my game is okay, but I can get better at it obviously. But I think I'm up to par with that."
With Ryan Kerrigan a central figure on the defense and rookie Preston Smith along with Trent Murphy expected to rotate in and out, the fourth outside linebacker spot could be one that gets significant action on special teams.
Both Jeffcoat and Bates feel they can contribute on that unit, as well.
"Guys think they're better then special teams and don't think they deserve to play them. I'm all about them," Bates said. "So if that gets my foot in the door that's what I'll do. …I have no problem playing all four spaces on special teams any given Sunday. I don't care if I get a snap at defense."
Jeffcoat says it's all about tilting the needle in the Redskins' favor.
"When they see someone that's willing to go down and make plays on special teams it helps, because if I'm a backup then it's what I'm going to be doing," he said. "I'm going to have to help out on special teams because the starters are going to be out there doing their thing. They'll need me to rotate in, but I need to do well on special teams as well."