Saturday, August 14, 2010

Initial Thoughts on Redskins vs. Bills (Pre-Season)

(Click Picture for better resolution. Photo by Walking Deadman)

Hey everybody, I just got back from the game about 45 minutes ago (around 1 AM) and I want to re-watch the game before I make any real big comments about the team and players (I'm with coach Shanahan that I need to look at the game before I can make some judgments). That said, here are some brief and inital thoughts about the game.

- Thank you Dan Snyder for the HD boards.
I've been closely following the stories about the new "punter proof" HD boards that the Redskins were adding to FedEx and I have to say they are better than I thought they would be. Sure, Redskins Nation and Matt Terl have shown some videos of the boards and they looked promising but you really have to see them live to get a full understanding of what they can do. Here's some more pictures to try to show what they're like.
(the board closest to me in section 108 Photo:WD)

(this is from the board on the other side of the stadium Photo:WD)
(Photo: WD)
See the smaller screens above the Budweiser and Bank of America ads? Well, those screens provide the score, time clock, down and distance and remaining timeouts. The main screen (the big one) can also be split into a smaller screen that provides stats of the game or scores for the other games being played (and they're readable!!!!). The only problems seemed to be with some of the audio (garbled) and bringing up player pictures during the staring defense's introduction. There were lots of replays tonight. I love it. FedEx has become a legitimate football stadium and the gameday experience has been vastly improved. You really have to see it for yourself to see how cool these boards will be during the season.

-When was the last time the Redskins scored 42 points in a game?
The Skins broke 30 points twice in 2009 (Saints, Raiders) but never came close to 40 points since 2005. Yes, I know the Bills are a bad team and I also know that some of the scores came late in the game. That said, the 1st two TDs came from (or were set up by) the 1st team units. Also, Banks' punt return was with the starters on special teams. Look at it this way, the Redskins have scored 6 TDs in the pre-season. In two pre-season games, Dallas has yet to score a TD.

-Remember Osaka Redux?
(-Ed Note: "Remember Osaka" refers to the 2002 American Bowl in Osaka, Japan. In that pre-season game, the Steve Spurrier led Redskins walloped the 49ers 38-7. Many Skins fans thought that the Skins were headed back to NFL dominance but instead were given a 7-9 season and then a 5-11 season in 2003 full of misery. It basically is a warning to Skins fans about being overly optimistic on a season based on a new coach, player or scheme.)
I don't think so. Shanahan just runs things better than Spurrier and knows what it takes to win in the NFL. But, I will remain cautiously optimistic about this team at least for the next few weeks.

-This team is good but needs to get better.
They looked good tonight. Players stepped up and at times the Skins dominated. They still have a great deal of work ahead of them. The run defense struggled. The tackling was so-so with some serious whiffs. The good thing about all of this is that Mike Shanahan will find those mistakes and get them corrected.

-The fans needed this kind of win tonight.
Since the hiring of Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan, there has been a positive vibe coming off of Redskins fans. Sure, a proven coach and GM help but there is a deep feeling of relief that the past decade of failure is over and that the Skins are entering a new age of success. Had the Skins lost, I'm sure many fans would come up with an explanation of "it's only the pre-season" but I'm sure doubt would start to creep in. With this win it gives the fans more hope that the Skins are on the right track and are starting to turn this franchise around.

Game recap. hopefully will be up tomorrow.

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