After five years of waiting and waiting (more like not feeling the need to go to a game) I attended a Redskins game, albeit their preseason opener against the New England Patriots August 7.
To my disappointment I didn’t get to see Tom Brady in action against a rejuvenated Redskins defense and Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson run with Robert Griffin III and the Redskins’ first team offense.
Nonetheless there was a lot to take from this game, a 23-6 victory for the Redskins.
1. RG3 a work in progress on pocket awareness
For his strong words this offseason about how he became famous because of his arm instead of his legs, Robert Griffin III still looked like a young, uncomfortable quarterback under center. On the second play of the game, he had newcomer Andre Roberts running unguarded across the middle of the field but decided to check it down to tight end Logan Paulsen for a four yard play. He never really looked past his first read, mainly running back Roy Helu Jr., the other times he threw on the 12 play drive, which ended in a Kai Forbath field goal. Hopefully having Garcon and Jackson back for the next game will give RG3 a little peace of mind.
2. Defense looks strong-for now
Having said that, it’s a little different playing against Ryan Mallett than it is a three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback. Mallett was erratic at times and made some ill-advised throws. Those were issues mostly brought upon by the Redskins front four, along with linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo. Kerrigan was a force in the run game and on his sack of Mallett, Orakpo absolutely bull dozed left tackle Nate Solder. Both players already are benefiting from defense coordinator Jim Haslett’s freer scheme. The secondary didn’t give up a ton of big plays, but it’s still early. More impressed with the line pressure than coverage play.
3. Ryan Grant can get open
All that was said about rookie wide receiver Ryan Grant (Tulane) leading up to this game was true. Guy looked smooth coming out of routes and almost every pass play that I saw, he was open or had considerable separation on a defensive back. Can see that he is still building a rapport with backup quarterback Kirk Cousins in particular. Cousins had two consecutive opportunities to hit Grant for a touchdown on the Redskins’ last possession of the first half but failed to even get the ball near him. As the weeks progress, look for Grant to get more opportunities (hopefully) with the first team.
4. Third running back spot competition getting very interesting early on
We all know that Helu Jr. is the backup to started Alfred Morris and judging by his performance against the Pats, his job is safe for now. Coming in, all eyes were on second year man Chris Thompson and his versatility. He didn’t disappoint as he had some nice runs in between the tackles and showed his catching ability outside the backfield. Undrafted free agent Silas Redd was strong as well, breaking off some nice runs in between the tackles and showing a bit of shiftiness as he broke upfield on a couple of runs. The guy who impressed me the most though was Lache Seastrunk. So much burst goes into his runs. Didn’t really bust it inside the tackles that much but his ability to juke defenders on the outside and still gain positive yardage made up for that. Reminded my friend Matt of LeSean “Shady” McCoy. Can’t say I don’t agree with him. Stay tuned.
5. I’m only drinking water during games
I’m sorry, $9.50 for a beer and $12 for a fries and chicken tender combo?? C’mon FedEx, we know you can do better than that. Luckily I wasn’t really craving a Coors or a Miller Light.