ES Coverage: 2012 Redskins vs Bills
Redskins 7 - Bills 6
It's my pleasure to be given the assignment to carry the first preseason game for the Redskins on the year, and furthermore, get the opportunity to see Robert Griffin III live in his very first game. Last year was my first year covering the team and I was given the unique honor of being a fan put in the press box to document our team. It really is a pinch me moment every time I step into a NFL press box and take a look around at the media that surrounds me. It's almost surreal. Extremeskins has been extremely good to me, and because of my involvement through posting on a message board, I was trusted by Murf to pull through and do a good job with these threads. Don't let anyone tell you that posting on a message board won't get you anywhere in life . I take the job extremely seriously, simply because I don't want to let him or any of you down. I want to provide each of you with a view from not only a high school football coach, but primarily from a fan's perspective, which is something you don't really get from the media (which isn't a knock towards them, but they're generally not supposed to show any kind of bias). As always, it's an honor. If you're a tweeter, feel free to follow me for updates or check this thread. My twitter addy is: @KDawg_ES
KDAWG'S PREGAME ADVENTURES
6:30 AM - I'm awake. Kind of. Going to be a long day, but it's definitely going to be worth it. Going to hit up the gym soon, considering I can't sleep anyways. Did you guys know it was football season?
8:45 AM - Home from the gym and making sure I have everything sorted. Just went on a search for the USB connector for my audio recorder for about 10 minutes. Then I realized that I was holding it in my hand. Good job. #bumblingidiot
KDAWG PREGAME ROSTER BREAKDOWN
Ladies and germs, boys and girls, children of all ages… WELCOME BACK TO REDSKIN FOOTBALL! We've had quite the offseason/camp year thus far. Kentwan Balmer disappeared from camp, much like he did in 2010 when he was with the 49ers. Isn't that what everyone wanted to talk about? No? Well then, let's talk about things that matter, such as the addition of quarterback Robert Griffin III. RG3 is slated to take 12-20 snaps in the game tonight, but those 12-20 snaps are going to be highly scrutinized within the DC and national media. With reports coming out of camp that Griffin is struggling, we as fans should surely be in panic mode, right? Wrong. The spotlight is so intense, that "struggling" could mean anything from looking like Tom Brady reincarnated but missing a single read all the way to looking like JaMarcus Russell. The truth is, he probably just looks like a rookie quarterback adjusting to a new speed and new system. Temper your expectations, but I'm sure at some point in those snaps you're going to get a glimpse of what RG3 brings to the table, whether in the form of a long dash down the sideline, a beautifully thrown long ball, or simply the ability to evade pressure. While the spotlight and scrutiny will be on RG3, I won't be concerned either way, even if his 12-20 snaps are a total dud. Why? Because he's a rookie and he has plenty of time to improve his game. That said, I doubt he duds it up, he'll at the very least do something to make us giddy. So what else can we expect from the quarterback position besides, as Osi calls him, Bob Griffin? We have the return of Rex Grossman. Who, while I feel isn't a starting caliber quarterback, I think he's an extremely good guy to have around for back up duty. He knows the psychology of the game and is extremely familiar with the system. Grossman was brought back for two reasons, the first of which is to be an insurance policy to Griffin. The second, is to tutor RG3 and fellow rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins was admittedly baffled when he was selected by the club in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, specifically because of the selection of Griffin. But he's been a good teammate in camp and is working hard and waiting for an opportunity. He'll get four to prove that he can be an integral part of the plans for this team in the future. And the last quarterback on the roster is none other than Jonathan "Straight Outta" Crompton. I like him. Simply because of his name. Ground breaking analysis, I know.
The shocker talk has been at tailback, with Evan Royster listed ahead of incumbent starter (by virtue of injury to Tim Hightower) Roy Helu. This news doesn't shock me nearly as much as it seems to surprise others. Royster isn't anywhere near as explosive as Helu, and he definitely doesn't have Helu's big play potential, but he's a solid zone scheme back. He's patient, has excellent vision, and I really like his body lean in and out of cuts and through the hole. He has a very good knack of planting his foot and making the cut upfield. But all in all, I don't think you're ever going to see one back dominate on the carries, even if we wind up carrying four backs this year. I think all four will see action, with Tim Hightower, Evan Royster and Roy Helu each getting a decent number of reps. That should upset any fantasy owners looking to capitalize in the Shanahan zone run game numbers, but that's always the case with his style. Sorry. Also something to keep an eye on is fullback. A familiar face will be starting for us in the absence of Darrell Young… Good ol' #47, the lightning rod for controversy that he is, will be called upon to get starter reps. New acquisition and total long shot to make the roster, Dorson Bryce will take the remainder of the repetitions. Other running backs on the roster include rookie Alfred Morris who comes to us via Florida Atlantic. He was expected to be asked to take on fullback duties while Young was out, but as of now it looks like he is only going to be taking fourth tailback reps. He's the guy that could be battling for a roster spot with some of the receivers, tight ends and other offensive fringe players that want to be a part of the club. The only other name from this position group that has even been slightly talked about thus far in camp is Tristan Davis. Tristan is an extremely long shot to make the final 53, however, he reportedly looked good so far this summer and as a receiver out of the backfield this past week.
Wide receiver is an interesting conversation piece as well. The depth chart has our starters listed as Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss, which shouldn't be surprising. The interesting tidbit is who Garcon's immediate backup is, at least according to the depth chart that the Redskins released earlier in the week. With the injury to Anthony Armstrong, who was listed as the #2 man behind Pierre, Brandon Banks now steps up in his spot. Banks will be paired with Leonard Hankerson on the second team and according to the depth chart, Aldrick Robinson is the #3 behind Garcon. Josh Morgan will join Robinson on the third unit. Morgan was our second prized receiver addition via free agency and has just recently begun practicing. He might be a little behind the 8-ball, so I wouldn't expect too much from him. The rest of the names on the chart are returning Redskin 53-man roster player Terrence Austin and newcomers Lance Lewis, Darius Hanks, and Dezmon Briscoe who all reside behind Moss on the depth chart. The only other backup listed for Garcon is Samuel Kirkland. This position has the potential to have the most controversy for who makes the team and who doesn't. Brandon Banks has has sparkling reviews coming out of Redskin Park during camp, but it remains to be seen if he can do it while in-game. He'll get his opportunity. The general consensus among media and fans is that Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, and Josh Morgan have roster spots all but locked up. That leaves an entire crop of receivers to compete for two spots (possibly three, depending on Shanahan's whim). One of those spots will likely go to either Aldrick Robinson or Brandon Banks due to their kick return potential. Knowing that Aldrick can be put back on the practice squad this season, and with how impressive Banks has been, one has to think that Banks may have a leg up on that competition, barring any real dud performances in preseason. Banks shortcoming (pardon the pun) is most notably his size. He's listed at 5'7", but having stood next to him with my massive 5'8" frame, I'd say he stands closer to 5'5" than 5'7" and his listed weight is a whopping 153 pounds. Due to that, and lazy hands (words from WR coach Ike Hilliard, and something I have noticed while watching him in games) he struggles getting off the line of scrimmage. To my delight, Hilliard also made a statement that Banks has improved in that department. That leaves Terrence Austin, Anthony Armstrong, Lance Lewis, Darius Hanks, Dezmon Briscoe and Samuel Kirkland all competing for the final spot. Look for the fireworks throughout the preseason with this logjam. This is probably one of the more compelling story lines we have this preseason.
The last real "skill" position conversation to have offensively is at tight end (I put "skill" in parenthesis simply because it's a common term used for the guys who get to touch the football. I dislike the term, simply because linemen have to be some of the smartest most technically sound people on the field, but they aren't a glory position, so they aren't "skilled" according to people that are better football experts than me. But I digress. End rant. Sorry.). Fred Davis is the starter, and coming off a four game suspension for toking the marijuana at the end of the season, he's anxious to prove that he's over that phase of his life and he's a team player. Freddy D has the opportunity to be Griffin's top target. Keep in mind, Fred totaled 796 yards in 12 games last year and showed the potential to be a breakout player. One thing that Fred needs to improve this year is his ability to get in the end zone. Fred only tallied three touchdowns last season, which is a number that needs to be improved. It's almost guaranteed that Davis will be one of Griffin's top three targets this year, and I'd keep an eye on him to be the go-to guy. Chris Cooley is listed as the second tight end, so he will likely be playing a little bit of double duty, probably for a few reasons. Not the least of which is to test the knee that has plagued him and see how he really feels. Taking reps at fullback and tight end will show the Redskins if he still has the ability to be a full time asset to the team, and if he proves he can be throughout preseason, you'll likely see him take a bit of a pay cut in order to stay with the team. Current third stringer Niles Paul, who many are very high on, will take on third tight end duty in this game. He is playing his first game as a tight end after transitioning from wide receiver, so it should be an intriguing storyline. With the ability to split him wide and motion him in as a blocker, or keep him out there and use him as a receiver, he could pose as a match up problem for opposing defenses. I like the change from receiver to TE, its going to be great to see if it works out.
Now, let's talk about our MASH unit we call the offensive line. Two of the players listed on our current inactive list are two penciled-in starters on the offensive line (Kory Lichtensteiger and Jammal Brown). They will be replaced, respectively, by Maurice Hurt and Tyler Polumbus. Hurt is a guy who improved significantly last year as the season went on, and quite frankly he's a guy I'm rooting for. His footwork looked like it got better each week, as well as his awareness. He started to recognize defensive looks a bit more as his experience increased, and from when I've talked to him he seems to have a strong desire to improve every single day. Polumbus has a good punch and has decent feet, but he's not really a starting quality right tackle, but he'll get to prove me and the rest of the skeptics wrong beginning tonight. In my honest assessment, he did better in the games he started at right tackle than Jammal Brown did last season, looking much more spry and getting a good punch. I don't know if that's really fair to say, given Brown's injuries, but it's certainly something that I noticed while evaluating their play. Starting at center is returning starter Will Montgomery, who isn't exactly a world beater, but he's such an upgrade to Casey Rabach from a few years ago that he's more than tolerable. He's reliable, healthy and consistent. You know what you get with him and he's been the one guy on our line that has remained healthy or out of trouble. Our starting right guard, Chris Chester, got banged up in camp the other day with a "mild" ankle sprain, so if he has difficulties or is held out we'll see rookie Adam Gettis out of Iowa get some action sooner rather than later. Gettis has very quick feet, but if you look at him his upper body isn't what a typical NFL linemen would look like. He needs to add some strength. However, it's worth being noted that Shanahan's zone blocking scheme (or any ZBS in general) will allow for smaller quicker linemen to excel. But there is a basic level of strength necessary and we'll see how Gettis matches up against Buffalo. Other players that will see action are fellow rookie Tom Compton out of South Dakota who was the Redskins 6th round selection. In college, one of Compton's weaknesses was his ability to get out on quick pass rushers, that will be tested against the Bills, as even their reserves can bring some pressure. A third offensive line rookie, and our biggest draftee, Josh LeRibeus is second on the left guard depth chart behind Maurice Hurt. People are expecting to see the former SMU Mustang come out and perform worthy of a third round selection. I think it's fairly clear that there will be a bit of pressure on LeRibeus to perform, simply due to the injury situation on the line. That leads the conversation to our starting left tackle, Trent Williams. Trent was also suspended at the end of the year last year for marijuana, much like TE Fred Davis. And again, a lot like Davis, Williams has come into camp with something to prove. Starting Outside Linebacker Brian Orakpo even said this, " He looks a lot better to me. He is really leading that offensive line. He is playing at a very elite level. I told him personally that he is top three for sure in the league right now. There are only two people probably better but he is top three for sure.”
Enough said. Sounds fantastic to me. Help protect RG3 and he'll be my hero forever.
And that's all for the pre game tal-- wait - what? There's a defense? Sorry. Almost forgot. People have been so focused on our offense all offseason that I almost forgot there's three facets to a football game. (tongue in cheek sarcasm there, folks, of course I didn't forget!)
The first name I mention defensively? Easy. My current favorite defensive player on the roster, our defensive captain, #59 London Fletcher. London returns to play middle linebacker for us at the ripe age of 57 years old. Okay, so he's only 37, but I'm not sure this guy's play is going to be all that different at age 57, either. He's the ageless wonder and the leader of our football team. The offseason campaign on Twitter (again, you can follow me at @KDawg_ES) for him to re-sign with the team, entitled #resign59, seemed to help a bit (or maybe it was the money and the situation that swayed him?) and we got our middle backer back. For what it's worth, Washington is the first team he's actually resigned with as far as I know. He left St. Louis and Buffalo without resigning. This guy is quickly becoming Mr. Redskin. So while we're on the subject of inside linebacker, let's talk about our other starter, #56 Perry Riley. Riley is a guy who broke out at the end of the year. He had 68 tackles. a sack and two fumble recoveries in essentially eight games. Projecting stats is always a flawed basis of logic, but I'm going to do it anyways. Over a full season, Mr. Riley would have posted 136 tackles, 2 sacks and four fumble recoveries. For comparison, London Fletcher had 166 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 INT and 3 forced fumbles last year. Fairly comparable statistics. I believe our starting inside backer corps in this 3-4 defense is extremely strong. These guys flat out ball and they could prove to be the best position group on the team if they both remain healthy all year long. Yeah. I said it. The best position group on the team. London Fletcher's current backup is Lorenzo Alexander, the team's resident do it all guy. Lorenzo is a guy that Redskin fans have really taken to, almost always knowing that he'll be around no matter what. I think he's played every position but QB, kicker and punter on the team since he arrived. Keenan Robinson, listed as third behind Riley, is the guy that the Redskins hope to blossom into London Fletcher's replacement. He was drafted this year out of Texas, so the rookie has some expectations on him already. Also relevant to the discussion is free agent signing Bryan Kehl who started one game for the St. Louis Rams last year. Donnell Holt, another rookie linebacker who played for Cal last year, is the last inside backer on the roster. He was picked up from the Undrafted Free Agent market and has been relatively quiet in camp thus far. But he's definitely someone to keep an eye on as he battles with Kehl for a potential roster spot. Safe bet, though, is that Holt winds up on our practice squad for 2012.
As long as we're talking about linebackers, let's take a look at our outside linebackers. Starters Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan tallied 16.5 sacks for the team last year and look to up the pace. Rak admittedly isn't much of a technician on the football field, but he brings it each and every play. In my opinion, he's a little bit worse than Kerrigan versus run, but Rak has an uncanny ability to draw uncalled holding penalties and drawing double teams, helping to free up his teammate on the other side (Kerrigan) to make plays. This is one of the more boring positions to watch on the team, as backups Chris Wilson and Rob Jackson return. The only other outside backers on the roster are Markus White, Monte Lewis and Brian McNally (who is a cool story out of D1AA [I still call it that] New Hampshire). White played for the 'Skins on special teams a bit last year, but he's probably more known for his 2012 camp scuffle with TE Niles Paul.
Now taking a look behind them, let's take a look at our secondary, which has potential to be vastly different this year. Reports from camp are that DeAngelo Hall has taken over slot duties. I love him there. It gives him a receiver that is generally (unless its someone like New England Wide Out Wes Welker) isn't quite as good as their outside counterparts and it also allows him to use his speed and shiftiness to blitz the quarterback and make more plays. Hall, despite people's reservations on him, is the best playmaker on our defense. He simply makes things happen. He's not the best coverage guy on the team, but playing him in the slot alleviates some of his weaknesses and utilizes his strengths. Returning starting corner Josh Wilson is back, and he's had a full offseason to really digest the system. Keep in mind, after an injury last year and the NFL lockout, he had limited time to learn what we do defensively, and he was still a very solid cover corner for us. Look for him to up his game even more this year and lockdown opposing receivers. Cedric Griffin, a key free agent pick up, should see solid time this year, but the concern on him is that he has torn both of his ACLs since 2010. With health being an uncertainty, the 'Skins are hopeful that the new corner can stay healthy and help to improve our poor pass defense. I would guess that Ced Griff would take over corner duties on the outside when Hall moves to the slot, but that remains to be seen. The other guy that could be in contention for that role is Kevin Barnes, who is entering his fourth year with the team. Barnes has seen his playing time increase each season that he's been here and has also seen his interception total increase with each season. This season is key in Barnes' future with the team, but given his consistent ability to improve, I wouldn't count Kevin Barnes out. Another rookie (seems like we have a lot of them this year, doesn't it? YOUTH MOVEMENT!!!!) Richard Crawford is slated to take third string reps at corner. At SMU, he started 26 games and tallied 6 interceptions with 106 tackles throughout his career, but his 2011 senior campaign was by his best individual year, tallying 47 tackles, two picks, and a forced fumble. The other corner that will be taking third team reps is Brandyn Thompson, who completed his rookie year with the Redskins in 2011 without much fan faire. He will be competing with Crawford, Morgan Trent, David Jones and Travon Bellamy for the last spot (or two) on the 53 man roster.
Our safety position is going to be pretty much an entirely different group. The departure of last year's starters, FS OJ Atogwe and SS LaRon Landry, opened up competition at safety. Enter former University of Miami standout SS Brandon Meriweather and FS Madieu Williams. Meriweather was jettisoned from the Patriots allegedly due to an array of issues which included off the field legal matters and a head first hit on Baltimore Ravens' tight end Todd Heap. Meriweather played quite well for New England, and when the 'Skins signed him they were looking for him to return to form without the off-field AND on-field issues. On July 19 this year, he pleaded no contest to DWI charges. Not a good start, but, Meriweather exhibited a ton of maturity and leadership when he pulled WR Brandon Banks aside after kicking a ball into the crowd during a training camp practice saying, "Control your emotions. That's 15 yards." I believe Meriweather will actually be a significant upgrade to our secondary, and I truly believe he's going to be a leader on the field for this football team. Madieu Williams is looking to get back to the way he played while with the Bengals early on his career. In four years with Cincinatti, he totaled nine interceptions and four sacks. Things get interesting while looking at the guys currently behind them on the depth chart. Last year, DeJon Gomes saw playing time in his first year in the league, and at times he looked like a rookie. But other times, he looked like he more than belonged out there on the field, which is quite the accomplishment for a guy just learning the speed of the NFL and getting accustomed to it during a lockout shortened offseason. Reed Doughty also returns after significant playing time last year. Doughty isn't the best coverage guy on the planet, but he certainly isn't afraid to stick his nose into the fray with the intent on making a play. Other safeties on the current roster include rookie Jordan Bernstine (Iowa) and free agent signee Tanard Jackson, who was just cleared on July 30th from the active/Physically Unable to Perform list. Jackson is someone, that once he gets up to speed, could absolutely compete for solid playing time, if not starting duties. Look for him to get off to a slow start and begin to make more of an impact as his amount of practices begin to increase. But he has football instincts, so if he sees any significant playing time against Buffalo's backups, we may be in for a nice little show from the 5th year safety.
Now, let's take a look at what's in front of our strong linebacking corps. Defensive End Adam Carriker resigned with the team, much to the fans delight, to help keep our defensive front deep and extremely formidable. Carriker and fellow starting defensive end Stephen Bowen combined for 11.5 sacks, and they look to improve on that number with Jarvis Jenkins joining the rotation coming off of a major injury in last year's preseason. Obviously, everyone knows Jenkins story. He dominated last year in camp and then went down and his season was cut short. Throughout the beginning of camp this year, he looked like just another linemen out there for quite some time according to pretty much everyone in the twitterverse and the media. However, Jim Haslett said on August 8th, "To me, the last three days he [Jenkins] has looked like himself last year. He really sprung off the ball. He is pushing off his leg and he is athletic. When you miss a year it is hard but I think he has worked through that. He has worked hard in the weight room and he has worked hard on the field. The last three days have been outstanding.” That can only be viewed as good news. Speaking of good news, nose tackle Barry Cofield continues to say all the right things. In a chat with our very own Murf, Cofield said, "I don't feel like we're a rebuilding team. I don't feel like we're a team that's a year away." To me, that oozes of confidence and a desire to win. And where there's a will… there's a way. Chris Neild returns as the backup nose tackle. Last year, as a rook, Neild tallied 1.5 sacks in his very first game against the New York Giants, but only recorded .5 sacks the rest of the way. Typically, it's not a nose tackle's job to acquire high sack totals, they are more of a meat shield in the 3-4 defense and are the personal protector of our inside linebackers. But, because of his quick start, there were many people that were slightly disappointed with Neild's performance. Neild will be pushed for a roster spot/playing time by Chris Baker, who has had a good camp. He absolutely needs to have a great camp in order to make the roster, and that sense of urgency seems to be on display with Baker who is pushing hard to make a good impression. Also returning on the defensive line and competing for a spot in the rotation are DE Kedric Golston, DE Doug Worthington and DE Darrion Scott.
To be honest, I don't have much to say on the special teams front. Sundberg is a good long snapper, and Neil Rackers and Graham Gano are going to compete for kicking duties. My gut tells me Gano wins that competition, and he's getting the first field goal attempt/kick off opportunity against Buffalo according to reports. The big Aussie punter, Sav Rocca, was a major pickup for the team last year and I look forward to seeing the Tazmanian Devil continue to help us win the field position battle. A good punter and kicker go a LONG way in winning football games.
There has been plenty of talk within this very pre game post about the depth chart, but there's one thing to keep in mind when dealing with a Mike Shanahan coached team: Never trust a depth chart. You may see guys come in earlier or later than they were supposed to, and it's probably worth seeing who they leave in for a longer period of time to evaluate and who they take out quickly. The longer a guy is in, it's likely they are currently on the edge of being kept off the roster for one reason or another. But the one thing that I guarantee, there will be plenty of buzz after tonight's game one way or the other, so sit back and enjoy the show. This season has the potential to be special, the atmosphere is different, the cast of characters is new and upgraded and the team seems eager to prove that we not only belong in the toughest division in football, but we can compete. If you're not on the bandwagon, I'd hop on now, but buckle up… It's almost time for this team to electrify.
Feel free to send any questions or comments to me on twitter at @KDawg_ES and I'll do my best to answer them and get you all the information you want and need.
REDSKINS (This is a list of guys we know will not be playing… so far)
RB - Tim Hightower
OG - Kory Lichtensteiger
OT - Jammal Brown
FB - Darrell Young
DE - Kentwan Balmer (AWOL)
WR - Anthony Armstrong
Lineup change sheet:
-Leonard Hankerson gets the start instead of Moss. Speculation from the press box, and in particular Grant Paulsen, is that Moss will start in the slot.
-Maurice Hurt starting at LG
-Adam Gettis is starting at RG (The sheet they just handed me says center. That's wrong. It specifically says "No. 73 Adam Gettis will start at center (for No. 66 Chris Chester". Chester plays RG)
-Tyler Polumbus is starting at RT
-Chris Cooley starting at FB
-Evan Royster starting at tail
- Gold pants!
-Antwaan Randel El and Joe Theismann just walked by me in the press box. Theismann nodded. I didn't give him the time of day. Actually, it was more because I was in awe... But still.
- Griffin jogging around the field with White Beats By Dre. Dude's stylin'. Headphones off now as he stretches.
- Griffin warming up. Missed high on two out routes in a row to the left. Seems accurate with reports he's been struggling to the left. And no, that doesn't mean he's a bust. It means he missed on two out routes in warm ups.
- Kenny Albert got up from the table after eating as ARE sat down. ARE waved. I know the truth. That was a fair catch signal. #returnit!
- I just witnessed Joe Theismann get asked for an interview in the bathroom, I proceeded to have him spray hair spray in my eye. #lifecomplete
- The Bills have a marching band on the field. Biting off our style. #oursisbetter
- Bruce Allen just walked by, he'll be sitting in the press box just a few seats away. I'm available for a front office job, Bruce.
- Skins had Alexander, Moss, Fletcher and Alexander as captains
-Fantastic three step drop and release from Griffin on pass to Garcon. Excellent, quick release as well. Garcon couldnt come down with it. Good sign for 'Skins offense.
-OL not getting to the second level in the zone scheme early on. They NEED to get past the DL. The right side of the OL, Gettis and Polumbus, are getting beat up pretty bad in running game.
-Defense was relentless in their pass rush. Kerrigan was out in man to man coverage on a split out TE once.
-Royster has NO where to go on carries. The entire OL seems to be getting pushed around. They ran a trap play there where the backside guard, Gettis, came around to hit first color (football term for first guy in another jersey). Didn't look like he hit a soul. Doesn't matter who's running the ball if we can't open a single lane.
- The defense is playing anything BUT vanilla defense. Rak was up and roaming around next to Fletcher and Riley, at snap, Rak blitzed inside and Fletcher delayed and attacked the same hole. Interesting wrinkle there.
- Interesting pistol formation alignment with Griffin aligned ahead of the tailback in an I-Formation. It's a shorter shotgun, hence the term pistol. Pierre Garcon is doing a good job of getting separation, and he's not afraid of contact. He flies around and is extremely athletic. He certainly looks like he may be worth the money. The guy is a football player. Real good routes. He baits the defender then breaks.
- In this possession, the offensive line is doing a much better job of getting to the second level (second level means linebackers) and they're opening attack lanes for Royster to hit. Will Montgomery and Adam Gettis just put a Bills defender flat on his stomach. Great play on this drive. Much different from the previous one. The offense seems to be clicking a bit more. And they seem to be trying to sell Griffin on the run fake early and often. He seems to boot after each zone run handoff. It's also HIGHLY apparent that Pierre Garcon is going to be an integral part of the offense this year.
-Ryan Kerrigan is blowing up Erik Pears, Buffalo's RT. It's a man versus a child. For that matter, our entire defensive front seems to be dominating the Bills offensive line. They are doing an excellent job getting extension on the offensive line. The basic idea is the defensive lineman wants separation from the blocker so they can make a move towards the football. Obviously, the OL wants the opposite. The 'Skins front is winning that battle.Fitzpatrick is doing an EXCELLENT job getting rid of the ball, or he'd probably be getting beaten up pretty bad. The Redskins starting unit appears to be playing a ton of man defense, which is interesting because it's certainly not DeAngelo Hall's forte.
- Josh LeRibeus got an excellent punch on his man playing from right guard. He and Compton look fairly good on the left side of the second line. Compton just kicked out perfect to an edge speed rusher aligned outside the TE. He got 7 yards deep until the pocket was cleanly formed and then turned and forced the edge rusher away from Grossman. they look fairly solid so far, especially considering it looks like Buffalo's starters were still in the game.
- Our second team defense didn't get to the quarterback quite as well as our first team, as the Bills starting offensive line seemed to control their blitzes well. Rob Jackson looks like he has a good burst off the edge and Neild looked like a savvy veteran flying off the movement of a Buffalo offensive lineman and drawing a false start penalty. That's great for a second year player.
- Second drive, LeRibeus looks like more of a rookie, completely whiffing on a block, but Grossman was able to rifle a ball down field to Josh Morgan for a bobbled reception. Morgan pulled his eyes up entirely too soon and caused the bobble.
SECOND QUARTER (7-3 'Skins)
-Thus far, throughout Helu's time in, he seems to be running primarily outside zone plays, while Royster was handling more of the inside zone plays. Their running styles fit those responsibilities as well.
- I can tell you this, Chris Baker's false start signal/dance is one of my favorite things I've seen on the field today. Get your dance on, big man!
- Haven't been impressed with Banks so far. I've seen him on the ground and not being able to get much in the way of separation thus far as a receiver. I still think he has value as a kick returner, but he is not living up to the glowing camp reviews thus far.
- The crowd just executed a nearly flawless wave. It keeps going around, too. I think it got 2.5 laps before it died out. Intense. Well played, Buffalo, well played.
- Haven't been impressed with our man to man coverage defensively thus far. Backups or starters. It hasn't been pretty.
- Backup goaline defense is looking great so far. That holding call on the defense was a bad call, but its to be expected with replacement refs. Tanard Jackson is definitley not afraid of contract. He brings it down inside the 5 and he brings it hard. Shut them down on 6 attempts inside the five. Outstanding defensive effort!
- Cousins looks very balanced as he drops back to pass in his three step drop. Weight looks evenly distributed and there's no panic whatsoever in his mannerisms. He made an inaccurate throw that was picked off, but he looks poised and calm. I like that.
- Jordan Black attempted a cut block just now that may have been the WORSE cut I've ever seen in my life. Looked like a tree falling in the forest.
THIRD QUARTER (7-3 'Skins)
-Crawford and Bernstine are making mistakes, but they're flying around the field. If you're going to make a mistake, that's how you do it.
- Alfred Morris is a bruising runner. He hits the hole hard and doesn't let arm tackles bring him down. He's an entirely different back than the other three currently on the roster. He might be a guy that steals a roster spot... And if THT can't get healthy it may be his place on the team.
- Jordan Black just did an excellent guy coming off of level one and carrying to level two, hooking a defender and allowing Morris to gain and extra yard. He hustled hard on that play. Love that style of football. Josh Morgan is putting in excellent work, but it's against 2nd and third teamers. Obviously, the 'Skins are trying to give him a little bit of an extra look because he's missed some practice time. It'll be interesting to see if he moves up the depth chart this week, he's clearly one of the better players out on the field right now. He's doing a very good job of finding the football.
- Chris Wilson moves EXTREMELY well sideline to sideline.
- Bernstine seems to be playing closer to the LOS than our other safeties. That could be perception, as he's had a larger sample size of plays. But he's up close and personal fairly often.
- And Kehl just proved why he only started one game for St. Louis. That ball hit him square in the hands. Watching him play, he seems to lack that killer instinct to take over football games.
FOURTH QUARTER (7-3 'Skins)
- Defensively I think I just saw ten guys on the line of scrimmage with Doughty being the only guy back. I hate that look. Personal preference, I know, but it leaves a lot of room to get beat. Good thing Buffalo got penalized again.
- Not a whole lot on display in the 4th quarter. Morris is still running extremely hard down hill.
- Kirk Cousins looks very poised in the pocket. I've said it a few times so far, but I really like that. His arm strength certainly isn't incredible, but he's not afraid to stand in, deliver a ball and take a hit.
-Compton has looked pretty good as a whole, but he had one horrendous series. A hold and got beaten off the edge.
To see ExtremeSkins game photos click HERE
To listen to comments from Lorenzo Alexander click HERE
To listen to comments from Chris Baker click HERE
To listen to comments from Stephen Bowen click HERE
To listen to comments from Kirk Cousins click HERE
To listen to comments from Richard Crawford click HERE
To listen to comments from Fred Davis click HERE
To listen to comments from Leonard Hankerson click HERE
To listen to comments from Jarvis Jenkins click HERE
To listen to comments from Ryan Kerrigan click HERE
To listen to comments from Joshua Morgan click HERE
To listen to comments from Alfred Morris click HERE
To listen to comments from Evan Royster click HERE
To listen to comments from Doug Worthington click HERE