1. I don't know how else to say it than, "I felt transported back to last season." There is no better way for me to sum up how it felt to watch the initial drives of that preseason game against the Detroit Lions last Thursday. The hits Robert Griffin III took were shockingly similar to the kind he seemed to absorb in the not-so-distant past. It hurt all over again to see open receivers on the television that the quarterback did not seem to be able to find. More than anything else, it hurt to see that same look on RG3's face as he came off the field at the end of fruitless—and quick—offensive drives.
2. We have all rifled through the litany of excuses—no Trent Williams, no DeSean Jackson, etc.—so let's not make this about trying to explain away what we saw...in fact what we have been seeing. I am familiar with the one step forward, two steps back dance we seem to be experts at in training camp. In some ways, I felt like I was watching the public defender in "My Cousin Vinny." It was...shocking. Let's stay in that place for a second...
3. A lot of people don't know that #3 is often the landing place for one of my patented conspiracy theories. I would not categorize what follows as a conspiracy theory, but it likely should be read with the same kind of mindset (perhaps everything I write should be read that way...but I digress). Let's assume for a second that Griffin was concussed (an easy assumption, no?) and that he should not be available for the Baltimore game on Saturday to properly protect him. Given that, the coaching staff—in my humble opinion—should and will give Kirk Cousins the floor. IF Cousins starts and IF he plays admirably, would anyone else out there besides me find it unsurprising if they use it as an excuse to open the season with Captain Kirk under center?
4. The option they picked up on Griffin is guaranteed for injury. If you are at home ranking "sure things," it would go: #1 Ken Meringolo on prom night; #2 RG3 doesn't make it through a season without injury. If Donald Trump were to weigh in on this, it might go something like, "I like Robert. I know Robert. He calls me all the time. I give him investment advice. I tell him how to wear his hair. He listens to Trump. But that knee of his...total loser, okay? Never going to make it. It's nothing personal, but Trump can't bank on that knee, and if Trump can't take it to the bank, it's a loser." (I feel richer just channeling that guy.) In all seriousness, if things don't change MARKEDLY on a number of fronts, the likelihood of a Griffin injury is way higher than anyone should be willing to accept. If that is true, we are as good as out the $16 million bucks on that fifth year. I understand that is a risk you take in the NFL, but it would appear we have needs that require salary cap space to address in the next couple of offseasons. Paying a guy $16 million to not play quarterback for us in 2016 is a fear of mine, because it is SOOOOOOOOOO what we do.
5. McLovin' made a deal to bring in a tight end named Derek Carrier, sending what appears to be a 2017 fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers to acquire the young, athletic prospect. Here is a link to the offseason breakdown on him from Niners Nation. The foot injury that was mentioned in that piece is no longer an issue. There was a real logjam of tight ends out in San Fran (hold it together people), so the fact they moved him out is not necessarily anything more than just thinning the numbers. His contract (breakdown from NN here) is also reasonable, with Washington now controlling this player through the 2017 season. My feelings on this move are not mixed—I like this move a lot. Carrier was an athletic standout in Division III in both football and basketball. He is raw to be sure, and needs some very real tight end tutelage (keep it together), which he likely did not get from Eric Mangini last season. He is 6'4", over 240 pounds and can move. He's exactly the kind of player you want to give a chance to in training camp, but the truth is he has a lot of work to do. He is not a lock to make our roster, but if McLovin' took a chance on him with a trade like this, it would stand to reason that he has been eyeing this tight end for some time (seriously...lock it up y'all). I have him making our final 53 at this point.
6. I always intended to end this on a high note. There were parts of the game last week that made me excited. The run game is looking good. By that, I mostly mean that both the reliance on it as well as the dedication to it are in midseason form. I suppose nobody runs more in the regular season than the preseason, but part of me hopes we at least try. Matt Jones looks like he is for real. There is no need to start worrying about Alfred Morris' future and whether or not Matt Jones is going to "steal" anyone's job. Today, we need them both. Morris is going to do his thing, and it will be likely be as professional and effective as it always has been. What I am most excited about is when Morris takes a breather and Jones comes in and beats down on some defenders. He won't just be punishing people either. He will be getting important yards. I might not be the second coming of Bill Walsh, but I know what I see when I watch Matt Jones run with the ball. He has the tools to be great, and he is already using some of them to make us better. We are not used to seeing such production out of a third round draft pick (low blow...) but this season we will be treated to what McLovin' sees when he pulls the trigger on a talented kid on the second day of the draft.