Tonight. Football is back.
In an attempt to put some much needed structure and regularity to my pregame posts for the coming season, here is me trying on a few typical commentary type sections. These are not set in stone and I encourage reader(s) to tell me what's up or not below. I'm listening. Obviously the structure will change a good bit once real season starts, as information regarding starters and injuries and etc. will be both more reliable and more interesting.
What I'll be watching closely: The offense, the offense, the offense. Offensive penalties (or privation thereof) will be a big indication of whether this team is ready to move forward under the new Zorn system. You don't want to get too worked up over what happens in a preseason game because a) it's fake football and b) the personnel you are using and going against is not typically indicative of the level of competition one will face in the real season. However, offensive penalties tell how poorly a team is playing against itself and if you can't keep your false starts to a minimum in the calm waters of Fawcett Stadium's 20 thousand someodd capacity, even against what could very well be the opposing team's 3rd string defense, you're in for a loooooooong season.
I would love to see the 1st team offense (sans more than a few of its stars due to injury) come out strong and score quickly, methodically, and appearing effortlessly. That won't send me singing to the hilltops predicting Super Bowl victory, yet, but would do much to allay my fears of a brand spanking new Head Coach with his very own brand spanking new West Coast Offense.
Injuries on both sides of the ball will demand much attention from me as well. I believe I'll be watching the game from home, providing me the valuable resource of internet to track down injury updates in real time. We simply cannot afford many more injuries at key positions such as, off the top of my head, linebacker, running back, cornerback, and defensive line. If there is a stoppage in play, there might likewise be on in my chest.
Rookies (like Colt Brennan cha ching!) have an excellent opportunity to prove themselves to their newest fan bases. Players on the #s fringes battling for a job need these games far more than established veterans and can make or break their 2008 seasons in the next week or so. Show us something.
Forgetting for a moment that there's a game on the field, the most important aspect of this game is actually what's happening behind the scenes. For years Redskins faithful waited patiently but not passively for Art Monk to get his, and finally it's happened: Two deserving Redskins are getting enshrined in Darrell Green and Art Monk. The owner says:
"This is a day we have long been waiting for and a great day for the Redskins," team owner Daniel Synder said moments before the ceremonies began, beaming under the blinding sun. "It's just a delightful moment and especially for Art and Darrell, who played together, to go in this Hall together, with both players and their families side by side."
Something to remember, our guys weren't just great football players, but great people too. That's been documented here to reader(s) enough not to bear repeating, but it should never be forgotten.
Jamie Mottram does good by the great Art Monk in his own way, honoring him through cardboard history. My favorite:
Check out those burns!
Hat tip to Chris Mottram for finding the next great Redskins Superfan's blog; we're talking now about The Mayor's FedEx Field Fuhrer, soon going on the blogroll. The Mayor may not be for everyone, but he's for the Redskins as fiercely as anyone I've ever seen. Unfortunately for the entire state of Ohio, he has landed to bring ill will to anyone who calls themself a foe of the 'Skins. Though not safe for work, his commentary is frequently to the point, which I appreciate:
Getting ready to head to Buffalo Wild Wings down the street, hopefully I will have some better material, as this town is pretty fucking boring.
Matt Terl at TORB (THE DESTROYER!) will also be live-blogging the event, so keep an eye over there for updates periodically throughout the day. I'm heading out the door shortly but will return in time to update this thing (hopefully) up until 8:00PM Eastern. I have an open thread scheduled to post at that time, so you should move there after kickoff. Game will be broadcast nationally on NBC. More to come...