It feels weird to be looking ahead toward something after spending all of Tuesday doing the exact opposite-- reflecting. Even weirder will be watching a Redskins team take the field this evening without Chris Cooley on their roster for the first time in eight years. Nevertheless, the season will be here sooner than we know it, and the team will move on for better or for worse. With that said, it's appropriate to at least attempt something along the lines of a normal post pertaining to a Redskins team that feels just a bit abnormal at the moment. Let's take a look at some storylines as the remaining 75 go into their final preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that closed out their preseason versus the Redskins a season ago as well.
Storyline 1: Final push
If last week was a dress rehearsal for the starting 22, then Wednesday’s game is a one-night only show for several players, unfortunately. Expect the majority of reps to go to players with the smallest chance of making the roster so they can make one last push for consideration. Positions to especially keep an eye on are wide receiver and the secondary. Speaking of which…
Storyline 2: Dezmon Briscoe
He’s another player on the roster bubble, although he has done nothing but produce when he’s been on the field this preseason. Briscoe remains one of the more impressive receivers on the team despite joining the roster halfway through the summer, and he will get his first crack at special teams in an attempt to lock a roster spot. The coaches know he can be an asset in the red zone and elsewhere, but it’s clear they want versatility throughout the receiver position. Briscoe will get his chance to further prove his worth.
Storyline 3: Clusterf*ck at Safety
It’s entirely possible that the Redskins keep as many as five safeties with Brandon Meriweather, Madieu Williams, Tanard Jackson, Reed Doughty and DeJon Gomes all in the mix. But with Meriweather ailing, the starting job at either position is still very much up for grabs. Because of this, I expect all but Meriweather to get an extended look on Wednesday while they defend the legendary Dan Orlovsky, who you may know best as the quarterback who allowed Jared Allen to record a safety simply by being pointed at.
Storyline 4: John Beck
Not really. Well, sort of. (Yikes, that sounded quasi-Peter-King-esque-ish)
One of the better qualities of RG3 hype train is that it’s left a trail of smoke so thick in its wake that it clouds a few awful memories of past quarterbacks. I apologize in advance for revisiting one of those.
Just a year ago, John Beck could have cemented the starting quarterback role with a strong performance against Tampa Bay’s reserves. Instead, we got an awful performance exposing his inaccuracy and cowardice in the pocket that the world would eventually get a better look later in the regular season. I’m curious to see how Kirk Cousins’ performance under similar circumstances compares to what Beck showed last season. He’s obviously not in the mix to start, but Beck’s game a year ago could be a good measuring stick to determine where Cousins is in his development.