Sunday, August 19, 2012

Initial Thoughts- Redskins/Bears 8/18/12

(Even when a DL tackled the QB he gained 6 yards! Photo AP via)
Yikes, what an awful first half. RGIII looked pedestrian with happy feet and fumblitis. The defense made Jay Cutler look like Joe Montana and Brandon Marshall like Jerry Rice. Nobody could tackle or block and the Redskins looked like they were beaten at every level of play. Not only that but Brian Orakpo re-injured his pectoral muscle and Brandon Merriweather strained his knee.

Despite all of this, I don't think I screamed a single curse word (well, maybe very few) or had the least amount of panic about this team last night. It's the pre-season, it's a learning experience (even for the veterans) and it was needed. Last week, against the Bills, the Redskins played a safe, scripted game and with the exception of not putting enough points on the board you could call the game practically perfect in week 1 of the pre-season.

Yes, the Redskins need some adversity in order to grow and they got some from the Bears last night. The injuries (at least for today) seem to be minor so that's good news. The backups also played well with the Redskins coming back from a 27-10 deficit  to take the lead with less than 2 minutes left 31-30. They couldn't hold onto the lead and lost 33-31 but the fact that the backups fought and you could tell that the team wanted to win this game despite it not mattering in a few weeks. What I'm going to have to do is rewatch this game.....not looking forward to watching it. But I do want to looks at a few players on the bubble and see where they may be heading.

Until then here are some initial (albeit late) thoughts on the game:

- The O-line struggled. Polumbus, Gettis and Hurt in particular.

- Alfred Morris had some really nice runs and I loved his smash mouth style. The problem though is that he struggles with pass protection. He's a rookie so I think he'll be okay but let's quit talking about him making the roster and being a starter shall we? There is a clear cut reason why the Redskins like Tim Hightower. He's a complete package. He's a decent RB. Good in pass pro. and can catch passes. Helu, Royster, Morris etc. can't seems to be able to do all three. This is why if Hightower is healthy, he'll be the starter in week one (although I still think Royster will wind up with the most carries in 2012).

- The defense really struggled without London Fletcher on the field. Poor tackling, blown assignments and blowing containment really hurt the Redskins.

- Ryan Kerrigan struggled with the run.

- Lorenzo Alexander looked good filling in for Fletcher but has his bad moments as well.

- I'm expecting a breakout season for Leonard Hankerson. He looks so much better than he did in 2011. Looks more comfortable and confident in running routes.

- Brandon Banks made the play of the game with a punt return TD but did not take a single snap at WR. I don't think he makes the team unless he does something to prove he can play WR.

- Cedric Griffin has been a liability at corner for the past two games. Nothing I've seen makes him the #3 CB on this team. At this point, I would rather take my chances with Barnes, Thompson, Crawford or Jones.

- Why is it that every defensive player has Carlos Rogers disease when a ball hits them in the hands. I can count 4-5 times the ball should have been intercepted in two games and only Richard Crawford has been able to reel one in.

- Nice to see Aldrick Robinson and Dezmon Briscoe make an impact.

- Niles Paul has struggled with the 1st team unit but recovered late to make some nice catches with the backups.

- Kirk Cousins had a great game. Clearly the Redskins made a wise investment for the future in drafting him. That said, he did this against backups and players who will be lucky if they wind up playing in the AFL, UFL or CFL so before we crown him as a starter and calling him the next Gus Ferotte, let's see what he can do against real NFL starters.

- RGIII learned a lot about what QBs can and can't do at the next level. That's great. What I like from Griffin so far is that he understands he'll need to adapt and improve at the next level. He seems willing to learn from his coaches and to improve upon his mistakes. This game will make him a much better QB in the regular season that what he did in the Bills game.

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