Friday, August 14, 2015

Redskins vs. Browns: Initial Thoughts

RGIII and Alfred Morris hope to pound the ball down the Brown's throat. Photo: David Richard AP
 I wanted to watch the game a second time before I did my first big write up on the year for the 'Skins. But unfortunately, I started watching the game 1-2 hours after it started (thanks to the real job and that I actually watched Redskins Kickoff on CSN before starting the game). So, it made it hard to get to a second viewing last night.

So instead, here's some initial thoughts on the game with a write up that should come later tonight.

1. RGIII - So (as always), the top story will be about how RGIII did last night. I thought he was good, not great, but not terrible. More or less what you expect for a player playing his first "real" game this season. I thought Robert did an excellent job with the bootleg pass to Ryan Grant and the bomb to Garcon was very close to where it should have been. I also didn't mind him running for a 1st down despite getting tackled and taking a hit.

Did he miss a few passes and open players last night? Yes.
Did he throw a couple of passes behind a couple of receivers? Yes.
Was it his fault that Garcon dropped his long pass? No.

Robert looks much more comfortable in the pocket than he did in 2013 and 2014 so far. I also didn't see the "happy feet" (QB looks like he's running in place while trying to find an open receiver) that he showed plenty of times last year when he was confused trying to reading defenses and finding an open guy.

Robert still has a lot of work to do, but so far so good. He did what was asked of him for the most part.

2. Niles Paul/Silas Redd injuries - I hate to see guys get injured in pre-season games and training camp. I feel real bad about Paul in particular because I met him back in 2012 and got to hang out with him for a few hours during a CSA show in Chantilly, VA. Great guy. Paul had earned the starting TE spot this year. He had added 30 lbs to his frame and focused on his blocking to help the team get better. It's a huge loss for the run game and on special teams with him gone. Plus, the Redskins are going to have to sign a free agent TE to replace him and Logan Paulsen. The TE unit has no veteran leadership currently (sorry, Jordan Reed doesn't count, he's never on the field) and will have to rely on inexperienced young guys to fill in.

Redd was on the bubble to make the team with Alfred Morris and Matt Jones already as locks for the final 53. He was in the hunt with Chris Thompson and Trey Williams for those 1-2 final RB spots. Williams and Thompson fit what the 'Skins are looking for as a 3rd down back, but Redd would have made Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan make a tough choice on whom to cut.

3. Young Guys stepping up - Good to see some solid performances from the following Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ryan Grant, Chris Thompson, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith and Akeem Davis. I missed a few players out there, so I'll have to go back and look more. That said, the young players are starting to step up and play well.

4. Special Teams still have issues - I'll put my punt return thoughts on hold since Jamison Crowder did not play last night. That said, the team still has issues on kick off and punts. Kai Forbath still struggles on kickoffs, which led to a huge return by Cleveland last night. It's something worth watching.

5. Curious to watch the D more - With certain situations in last night's game, it was hard to gauge the starting defense. Hopefully will get a few better looks in the next couple of games.

Keep your eyes peeled on Twitter for more comments on last night's game and stay tuned to IIWII. Later tonight/tomorrow morning should have a full GBU report on the game.

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