Well Redskins Nation, we finally made it through the pre-season. And we’re less than a week away from the start of the much anticipated regular season so the Washington Redskins can defend their NFC East Championship and make a long playoff run. In year four of the Mike Shanahan Era I believe we have seen the talent level raised, the quality of depth revamped and improved and a better use of the draft. Those three keys have turned this franchise around and made the franchise back into a Super Bowl contender.
With the fourth preseason game you won’t see any starters generally, but you will get a good look at the backups and potential practice squad players. With that being said, Brandon Meriweather, Josh Wilson, and Bacarri Rambo who are presumed starters will see some limited action this game. For Josh and Brandon it’s more to shake the rust off and see how both have rebounded from offseason surgeries and rehab. ForRambo, it’s to get more live reps and to work on his tackling, which Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett had said earlier in the week that he and Bacarri have been working after practice on his open field tackling, wrapping up and taking better angles on the ball carrier.
In this game he showed the practice helped because he had his best game so far. I was extremely impressed how our backups manhandled Tampa Bay's backups in all three aspects of the game even with our fourth string QB running the offense. For some of these players this will be their last shot at an NFL career and for some it’s their last shot to impress the coaches or get some good stuff on film for the other 31 teams to see.
After this game, the team will get down to the 53 man roster and get ready to game plan for the Monday Night Football match-up with the new look Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9th. The Redskins look poised to defend their title and make a long playoff run as long as the team stays generally healthy, and either repeats or surpasses last year’s offensive numbers. Last but not least, the defense returning to the 2011 form and forgetting about the uneven 2012.
|(Celebrating Amerson's 1st INT)|
I guess everyone has heard the news that Robert Griffin III has been cleared to play in the season opener and this team can start its run to the Lombardi trophy. Let’s get to the final breakdown of the pre-season and start gearing up for the games that really count.
Series 1: Defense started out strong against the run and was tight in coverage but once again a 15 yard penalty (roughing the passer) extends a drive and prevents a 3 and out something a defense always wants. Bacarri Rambo started his impressive night by making a nice tackle on a speedy Tampa Bay running back on 2nd and 15 for a 10 yard gain when he surely would've gained the first down if Rambo didn't make the tackle. On the ensuing 3rd and 5, Darryl Tapp gets good pressure and forces a bad throw to force a 4th down and a punt.
Series 2: Nick Barnett with his first extended action of pre-season, makes a good tackle on 3rd and 2 to help force another punt on a 3 and out.
Series 3: The defense is just outplaying Tampa’s offense and it’s like 3 Redskins players around the ball whenever they do try to move the ball up the field. Once again the defense holds and forces another 3 and out.
Series 4: The Redskins defense is just all over the place with solid tackling, converging on the ball, playing aggressively and knowing their assignments. Once again force 3 and out.
Series 5: Jarvis Jenkins bulldozes the guard into the QB and forces a fumble in which Philip Merlin recovers and advances the ball a few yards. Another turnover for the defense.
Series 6: Tampa Bay starts moving the ball some while bringing in the bruising Peyton Hillis to run the ball. Darryl Tapp came untouched on a blitz but the QB got the ball off just in time. Nick Barnett wasn't quite in position and allowed a first down on the play. The two outside cornerbacks at this point of the
game are Chase Minnifield and David Amerson,
which could possibly be a future tandem for the Redskins. Chase closes quickly
to limit the WR to a minimal gain on a quick pass. On the next play David
Amerson gets his 1st NFL interception after snagging a bad throw but showed great
awareness and hands on the play. A return of 35 yards after the INT set up the
offense with a very short field.
Series 1: Defense had the first miss tackles of the game on Peyton Hillis. Tampa exposes the cutback lanes because of bad gap assignments and players not staying home. The defense started getting solid pressure on the QB on a 3rd down but the QB is able to get the ball away for a 30 plus yard gain. On a critical 3rd and 8 in the red zone the defense again brought the pressure and Will Compton with great coverage forced an incomplete. Which held Tampa to a FG attempt. 27-9
Series 2: Good pressure once again causes a bad throw on 1st down with solid coverage on 2nd down but on 3rd and 8 Chase Minnifield is called for a pass interference call (similar to Amerson’s call the week before). Jose Gumbs shows great closing speed when giving up a cushion by making a great pass breakup on the play. On 3rd and 5, the TE sat down in the zone perfectly to pick up an easy 1st down. The defense is still swarming to the ball, forcing a tackle for loss on 2nd and 3 to force a 3rd and 5. Another sure tackle on 3rd and 5 forces another FG attempt. 30-12.
Series 3: Defensive backups playing well, but gave up a 4 yard run on 3rd and 2 and are starting to get gashed in the running game. Brandon Jenkins is charged with a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty, but once the whistle is blown, the play is dead (rookie mistake) and the NFL is out to protect players from injury by throwing a flag. The defense is making Tampa Bay move down the field slowly chewing up clock to preserve the win. Defense held for another FG attempt. (Wide Right) 30-12
I know this is only pre-season football but these games show the formula for success by running the ball, playing sound defense, forcing turnovers, and not having turnovers. The cuts will be interesting and difficult but all in all the team has gotten better and when you have a hard time getting down to the 53 man roster that means your team’s talent is getting much better. It’s going be very intriguing to see the defensive starters and the packages that Haslett will employ with all his new toys and returning playmakers.(here's the Gif. of the Rob Jackson sack)
Hopefully we're seeing the start of a magical 2013 season. As always #HTTR. You can follow for all of your Redskins news and football news and information in general @TattooedScorpio and @SOWSkinsBlog. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog It Is What It Is... Another Redskins Blog. It’s easy just submit your email address and you will receive an email every time a new article is posted by me @TattooedScorpio or by @SOWSkinsBlog. Thanks for reading, sharing, and all the positive feedback. #RedskinsNation is truly the greatest #HTTR