Out of the box: Time for bloggers and football players alike to bang off the rust, Curly R produces a game preview for the first time in seven months as the Redskins travel up the road to play the Ravens, 7:30pm on NBC and Comcast SportsNet, it's a preseason game hon.
The story so far: If ever there was a game meant for messaging the true meaning of preseason, it is this one. A struggling offensive line, non serious but worrisome injuries, position battles and a general inability to tell whether Washington's defense is that good or Washington's offense is that bad, hey great to hear offensive line coach Joe Bugel is still having fun at age 69, hey Buges how bout you coach em up one more time because right now the offense looks terrible.
Curly R aside: it is true I thought Justin Tryon was a good pick in the 2008 draft, with Shawn Springs' time in Washington coming to an end and Fred Smoot's actual efficacy in question, I thought Justin would be a good guy to get in queue at the cornerback position. Instead he came in and had a stinker of a training camp and was brealy seen on the field his rookie season. I acknowledge good cornerbacks can take some time to develop and I am very happy to hear Justin has glommed on to former Redskins cornerback and Hall of Famer Darrell Green, though Justin may or may not ever be an NFL caliber starter, there is no way some of Darrell's character rubbing off on Justin will not be a good thing the young man will carry for life.
Curly R aside continues: pretty cool that safety LaRon and his brother Dawan Landry are both in the NFL and get to play so close to each other. Dawan missed most of last season with a serious neck injury, good to see him back on the field.
Oppo research: it is a preseason game so the opposition research is more about your own team than your opponent. This Ravens team is very much like last season's team, young quarterback, questionable targets for him to throw at and a great defense. For a more in depth look at the Ravens, check out my Five Questions exchange with Balto-blog Right Off Russell.
Trainer's table: barely one week into camp and the injuries are mounting, there have been no catastrophic injuries, unlike last season when defensive ends Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee went down in the first practice of camp, nonetheless the list of nagging and potentially problematic injuries mounts:
Receviers Santana Moss, Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly are all harboring hamstring problems. Devin and Malcolm are being heavily hyped in their second year, possibly dangerously so, and as ever the passing game still runs through Santana. Devin and Malcolm will play tonight... a lot (op. cit.). Santana, probably not so much.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers, in a contract year, is just back in pads after nursing a sore calf for a week (op. cit.). Right guard Randy Thomas has sore knees, not too surprising as he is 33 years old, what is to me somewhat surprising is that the team is admitting privately that they do not expect Randy to make it through the entire season. Too bad, the guy makes a lot of money, is signed through 2013 and there is no established backup for him.
Tailback Clinton Portis and right guard Randy Thomas will not play, neither will Albert Haynesworth (also link here). Reserve guard/tackle Jeremy Bridges, supposably signed to add depth along the line, is nursing a sprained ankle from the intrasquad scrimmage the previous Saturday 8 August (op. cit.). He may play.
Gameplan: like all early preseason games, go out there, see how easily you can execute the basic stuff so far in camp and for the starters and core players for gods sake men do not get hurt.
Check out your backup quarterbacks and see what they've got, 37 year old Todd Collins is presumed to be the principal backup again with 26 year old Colt Brennan again falling into number three. Undrafted rookie Chase Daniel has little chance of making the roster, coach Zorn loves quarterbacks so much if Chase can keep his composure he may be retained and get a shot at the practice squad, unlike the last trainwreck the Redskins tried at number four quarterback.
Evaluate your other position battles, Chris Horton versus Reed Doughty for strong safety and Devin Thomas versus Malcolm Kelly for second receiver both seem like competitions in name only, the former of each pair seeming to me to the be front runner.
My take in 60 words or less: let's put on our colors for the first time this year and see what we can learn.
This is a gameday open thread.
NFL helmet logos from here.
Thursday, August 13, 2009