Preseason schedule was released at the Official Site. It is:
Aug. 7-10* Buffalo Bills 8 p.m. ET
Aug. 14-17* @ New York Jets 8 p.m. ET
Aug. 21-24* @ Carolina Panthers 8 p.m. ET
Aug. 28 Jacksonville Jaguars 7 p.m. ET
* Dates to be determined at a later time
** Hall of Fame Game, played in Canton, Ohio
We return a lot of obvious starters so the preseason does not entail any truly fascinating positional battles that only a, for instance, quarterback controversy can generate. Cruising down the roster, which is sure to change, here are the guys I want to see the most out of this pretend football season:
- Byron Westbrook (CB) - He's a bit of a fan favorite because there's a presumption that his mere name association with another famous Westbrook necessarily means he's a star. I like his chances of making the team this year better than last because of injuries at that position.
- Chris Wilson (DE) - Came on fire at the end of last season as a reliable pass rusher, but I'd like to see more of a complete game out of him if I'm willing to claim him the heir apparent to Phillip Daniels. He will see substantial time against players who didn't perform nearly as well last year as he did.
- Lorenzo Alexander (DT by day, crime fighting superhero by night) - I just want to see what this guy will (or won't) do. Labels have thus far proven incapable of limiting Lorenzo as he's both willing and able to play any number of positions.
- Pete Schmitt (FB) - I have ulterior motives. I love Mike Sellers, and I had high hopes for Nemo to be the backup FB, but injuries have made me wonder whether he can be that guy. In comes Pete Schmitt, a potentially unlikely hero from Wisconsin-Whitewater, undrafted. If not for a shoulder injury he may still have been on the roster last year and wouldn't have needed re-signing to the team under new management. Also, I found a pretty rad Professional Football Simulator called Goal Line Blitz, wanted to make a fullback, and named him after Pete Schmitt (Mike Sellers was obviously taken). /Full Disclosure. You'll still be hearing me ranting about this guy throughout the offseason and preseason. Please succeed, Pete.
- HB Blades (LB) - The Hamburglar played well enough in reserves last year and I still think he's going to end up a steal from last year's draft. All the guy ever did in college was tackle people and I have every confidence he'll continue. With a year under his belt (and London Fletcher a year older though somehow totally resistent to the effects of aging) he'll see plenty of snaps in the preseason.
- Tyler Ecker (TE) - Injury kept him out of the spotlight last year but he'll have another chance in 2008. Pleasently surprised I was by the production of Todd Yoder, hrumm? Yea, but I'd like to see young Ecker get his chance as well. Worse case scenario he pushes Yoder to be even better. I'd include Chris Cooley in there as well, but he can't possibly get any better.
- Anthony Mix (WR) - The future according some, among them me. He has the physical size that makes Redskins fans demanding a possession receiver believe in him based on yet-seen expectations of success. Regardless, the time is now for Mix to earn his way up the depth chart, now that we've jettisoned Brandon Lloyd, failed to re-sign Reche Caldwell, and have left him alone to compete with Burt Toler and Billy McMullan.