Hello, Hogshaven. I'm new here and this is my first post. I'm a life-long Washington Redskin fan who's old enough to remember seeing Doug Williams destroy the Bronco's in the superbowl, which is a way of saying that I've seen some of the best and worst of times with this franchise. As a child I was fortunate enough to get to see the Redskins play at RFK thanks to my grandfather's season tickets and I've been hooked since. Below are thoughts that I had during and after the Colts game that I decided to share. I'd love to read yours in turn. Cheers!
How about the opening play call? I love the fact that we can expect to see a few passes that travel more than 25 yards in the air. If I'm not mistaken, the third deep ball thrown traveled 60 yards while not at all resembling any of the ducks thrown last season. The fact that they were overthrown almost seemed like a bonus. Of course, completions are preferred but they will come.
Did Jarvis Jenkins play? I never heard his name.
Completely irrelevant to the game, but the Verizon commercials with Orakpo... Way better than the Geico caveman commercials. The man can see that on television and still have his dignity. I can't wait until he never has to do another Geico ad. Coat-Rak-Po? For God's sake, stop it!
Alfred Morris, welcome to Washington. I don't think there was one play he went down on initial contact. Sure, Indy isn't exactly known for their run defense and they were missing starters. But ask yourself what other back on our roster can run that hard, with that consistency, and make defenders miss in space. Based on this preseason, I don't think anyone else on our roster brings to the table what Morris does. Helu and Royster can't seem to get on the field with regularity and Hightower of course just saw his first action since the middle of last season due to injury. Morris' center of gravity seems to always be lower than the defender's, and he seems to move like fluid in that he is highly efficient at utilizing balance combined with momentum. Somehow, he just flows. Added to that, it looked to me as though he was able to use the defender's balance and momentum to his advantage as well, if that makes sense. And to my untrained eye, his forward lean is rare. Somebody give this man a nickname already.
Trevor Matich mentioned post-game that the average 3rd down distance to go when Morris was in the game was 2.8 yards (maybe 2.3, not sure) and that his shortest carry (aside from the 2 yard td run) was for 3 yards. I've heard more than a few times how important it is in this offense to limit negative plays to a minimum and Morris did not have one negative run. In my opinion, the worst part of Morris' game is that one of either Royster or Helu may not make the final 53. Part of me hopes there's room for all, but 5 RB's including Young seems a bit much with the OL deficiencies and the situation at TE.
Lastly on Morris, I'd love to see one of those awesome “UK” breakdowns on the first half run game for Washington. I'll admit that I focus on skill positions more than offensive lineman simply because I don't understand what constitutes good blocking unless it's obvious, so posts that I get to read like his I find highly informative. I know, I'm the new guy and I'm already making requests! But I'm curious to see what more enlightened folks thought of this performance, how much should be attributed to the OL, and how much should be attributed to Indy's defense.
We may be waiting for a true number one receiver to step up, but how long has it been since we cut decent, hard working, dedicated players with potential at wide receiver? That will happen this season. Armstrong, Briscoe, Austin, Banks, and Robinson have all worked hard to make the cut, but no less than two of those guys will be gone in a week. I've never been much a fan of Banks, but he's made the effort and he wants to be here. Remember when we had starting wide receivers that were more interested in doing music videos? Yeah, I don't either. If/when Garcon or Hank prove to be that number one, this may well be a solid group. Not 1991 posse solid, but solid nonetheless. Devin Thomas, go kick rocks and good luck modeling.
What was up with the Indy MLB planting Griffin? I know it's football, but something about that hit seemed a bit “low” for preseason. For an idea of what I think should have happened here look no further than London Fletcher's pressure of Luck later in the game. Fletcher came free on a well disguised blitz right up the middle and could've done the same. Sure, Fletcher hit him and knocked Luck to the ground, but he obviously let up. That's because Fletcher is the epitome of class, and classy players tend to not try and lay the wood on another team's top draft pick/QB in the preseason.
MLB for Indy (forgive me, I'm afraid that I have no idea what your name is), I certainly do not expect you to be as classy as LFB because, well, LFB is one of the best both on and off of the field to ever play the game. Where he has set the bar, you have yet to approach. One day soon you should take LFB out for lunch and pick his brain about how to be a better person and a better football player. You'll pick up the tab, of course, but it'll be worth it.
Cult of Cousins, you should be made aware that Rex Grossman's stats were quite impressive. 8 for 8, 127 yards, and 2 touchdowns for a perfect QB rating of 158.3. I mean, 25% of his throws were touchdowns! RG3 is starting over this guy? Unleash the dragon!
Obvious sarcasm aside, Kirk Cousins has less reason to be the starter (and thus less reason to be the backup) than Grossman and that point was solidified Saturday night. Grossman is a vet that has been in the offense for years. Cousins is a rook, albeit a talented rook, that I hope doesn't start this season unless we're resting starters for the... well you get the idea. It's not that I don't believe in Cousins, it's that I believe in RG3 even more. Cousins starting is the worst-case scenario, even if it works out. That was the beauty in drafting him in the first place. Best case scenario is a few high draft picks sent our way for his services while RG3 begins to make his case for Canton, and the Cult of Cousins should be rooting for that. I know that I am.
I don't want to think about the secondary. Jackson, you played well. Crawford, you've been a pleasant surprise. Barnes...
Finally, some attention to the zebras. A personal foul for going shoulder to shoulder with a receiver in the air, or for grazing the QB's helmet? Really? And I always complain about these, but holding and blocks in the back seemed to be rampant without repercussion, such as Colefield being turned 180 degrees while bearing down on Luck. How do you miss that? It's right in the middle of the pocket with no obstruction. Not that I would know, but I got the feeling that this was one of the biggest preseason games on any networks schedule given the hype and as such I think it's fair to assume that these were the “A game” refs. In other words, that crew or some part of it might be the crew that officiates the postseason. Yikes.
All around it didn't seem absolutely terrible, I mean it's not like they called a ball downed by a punt coverage team at the 4 yard line a touchback, but could we please get the pros back? The main thing that refs do in any sport is keep things safe and fair. I thought that the NFL was all about safety these days. Sure, the guys in there are doing their best but it simply isn't fair to them, the fans, and mostly the players.
That's all that I've got. All around I'm pleased with the teams performance, though to keep it in perspective, the team that we played did in fact earn the first pick in the draft last year while playing in a weaker division, so yeah there's that, too. My hopes are high while my expectations are moderated. Hail!