Saturday, August 18, 2012

8/18/12 Morning Links and What to Watch Tonight

(Nothing else to do I guess I'll watch that RGIII guy or something.)
Oh yeah, there's a pre-season game featuring the Redskins tonight. And we get to see our old friend Jason Campbell as he backs up "THE MOPE". There's a little bit of QB history here don't you think? Campbell is playing his former team, Rex Grossman returns to Chicago to play his former team (which went to the Superbowl- yes, Rex played in a Super Bowl). Mike Shanahan faces his former high draft pick, franchise QB in Jay Cutler and Cutler watches Shanny with his new high draft pick, franchise QB. The DRAMA!!!! Where's ESPN when you need them to run this story into the ground? Oh wait, they're talking about Tebow...... never mind.

Morning Links:

More or less here's what some of the beat writers/analysts are keeping an eye on for tonight's game.
Keim: RGIII and Cover-2, rookie OL, A. Morris, kickers, b/u WRs. Redskins Confidential
Tandler: RGIII, N. Paul, L. Hankerson, J. Jenkins, T. Jackson, C. Griffin. Real Redskins
Matt Bowen: Cutler/Marshall, RGIII/Bears D, Bears OL, 'Skins S, DE McClellin. NFP
Jones: RGIII, A. Morris, kickers, TEs, Richard Crawford. The Insider
Rich Campbell looks at Sav Rocca's new punting addition. Redskins Watch
Zac Boyer: Jammal Brown and his hips "no comment". Redskins Journal

Ok, so with that out of the way here's a few things that I'm also going to be watching.

1. RGIII. This for the same reasons as the above. At this point if you don't mention Mr. Griffin there's probably something wrong with you.

2. Who's the RB? Evan Royster will probably start tonight but with no Roy Helu Jr. (injured) or Tim Hightower (recovering from ACL injury) we will see a lot of Alfred Morris and the other back up RBs (Lennon Creer would be nice) trying to put together some game footage. Who knows a few of these guys could be on the final 53 man roster or the practice squad. Why? Helu and Hightower haven't shown that they can stay healthy. Right now, see both of them out is giving me flashbacks to last season.

3. Jordan Black. Why isn't anybody mentioning this guy? The good news is that Trent Williams will probably play tonight although not 100% after suffering a bone bruise last week against the Bills. The truth is that Black right now is our #2 LT ahead of Willie Smith, Tom Compton and James Lee. That scares me to no end for a few reasons. To me, Black didn't look great last week. I know he had to shake off some rust from being out of football last year. I also know that Rick "Doc" Walker thought he was great. Now the D-O-C knows more football than I ever will but again I thought Black struggled as a RT. I don't even want know what he'd look like on the left side. What I hope is that we see significant improvement from him. If not be afraid because I'm not fully convinced Trent Williams can make it through a full 16 game season.

4. Tight End. Will we see more of Fred Davis? He struggled on blocks early but seemed to do better later in the game but was mostly a non-factor. I think the development of Niles Paul has been one of the most interesting stories in camp, so obviously I'll be looking for progression from week 1 to week 2. Logan Paulsen at this point is battling with Chris Cooley for a roster spot. If Paulsen can continue to block well he has a good chance of being the #3 TE. There have been rumors swirling of a Cooley cut for months now and I'm starting to think that it may happen. I just don't see where Cooley fits on Shanahan's O at this point.

5. Backup WR. Spots #5-#6 are still open in my opinion and at this point it looks like a 5 player race between Terrence Austin, Anthony Armstrong, Aldrick Robinson, Dezmon Briscoe and Brandon Banks. I really don't see anybody else in the running. With game 3 being most about the starters, this game will be the one to make the biggest impact with the coaches. Presonally I think Briscoe and Armstrong have the best odds because you could put Robinson back on the PS if you don't think he's ready or if Crawford becomes the team KR/PR.

There's more to watch like the backup corners, the safeties, the kicker duel and the rookie Oline but I'll stick to those five.

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