Friday was a fretful day for the 30 or so Washington Redskins considered to be on the bubble.
"Time to wait....and wait...oh...and wait!" came the tweet from quarterback Chase Daniel.
The final audition for jobs had come the night before, when the Redskins lost 24-17 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team's brain trust spent Friday huddled in meetings, trying to decide which 22 players to cut before the Saturday afternoon deadline, when the 53-man regular season roster is set.
"I tried to make the team tonight, I left it all out there. Hope it was enough I love the DMV area!!" was the Twitter message from sixth-round draft pick Robert Henson, apparently referring to D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
The starters barely played against the Jaguars, so the game offered limited insight as to how the Redskins will look when the season opens Sept. 13 against the New York Giants. There were, however, some interesting developments in the final battles for some roster and position spots.
_ Kicker. Was Shaun Suisham's 48-yard field goal enough to keep him in the fold for another season? It was the only attempt the Redskins had, and it helped make amends for his 52-yard miss a week earlier.
The job has always appeared to be Suisham's to lose, with challenger Dave Rayner getting the nod from special teams coach Danny Smith only if Suisham struggled mightily. Rayner attempted only one field goal in preseason, a simple 25-yarder in Week 2.
"I'm going to lean heavily on Danny, and Danny's going to lean heavily on me," coach Jim Zorn said. "And I think we'll come up with the right choice here."
_ No. 3 quarterback. Daniel struggled early, with some of his snaps coming against the Jaguars' first-team defense, but the rookie returned to throw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter after Colt Brennan went down with a bruised knee and tight hamstring. Second-year player Brennan had his best game of preseason, ending a run of three straight games with an interception, and his injuries are minor.
As with the kicker battle, the No. 3 QB competition always seemed to be the incumbent's to lose, but will Brennan's three interceptions cost him the job?
"That's another heavily discussed item on the docket," Zorn said.
_ No. 2 receiver. Malcolm Kelly, Devin Thomas and Antwaan Randle El will all make the team, but which will be the starter opposite Santana Moss? Randle El had a drop against the Jaguars, while Kelly and Thomas fought to a virtual dead heat: Kelly finished the preseason with seven catches for 69 yards, while Thomas had seven receptions for 67.
_ The Mike Williams experiment. The former first-round draft pick who lost more than 100 pounds to make an NFL comeback finally was healthy enough to show what he can and can't do. What he can't do is block a first-team defensive linemen. He did look better after the Jaguars put in their second unit, enough for Zorn to offer a curiously upbeat assessment: "He made it compelling for him to be a part of this football team."
Otherwise, the coach wasn't dropping many hints. After all, it's the front office _ not the coaches _ that wields the ultimate say-so in the make-up of the roster. There always seems to be a surprise or two in the final 53, and this year should be no different.
"It's a very difficult puzzle to complete," Zorn said.