Friday, September 3, 2010

Thoughts On Washington Redskins Preseason

The Washington Redskins got a huge performance out of QB Richard Bartel, and WR Terrence Austin last night. Devin Thomas shined on kick-returns, and did okay in the pass-game minus his broken route which led to an interception of QB John Beck. RB Willie Parker may have done just enough to earn a position on the team, while Ryan Torain may not have. Cornerbacks Byron Westbrook and Justin Tryon (barring his late interception) didn’t have good games at all, and LB Robert Henson was up and down prior to injuring his knee. Safety Chris Horton performed brilliantly, while Safety Tyrone Carter had a very questionable game.

Bartel did enough to secure a job on someone’s roster, but still given the fact that Beck got a contract extension, he probably doesn’t crack the roster here. If he intends to stay in Washington, he’s probably being locked in on the practice squad. I’d expect to see him backing up someone somewhere in the league, or maybe even getting that opportunity to play in Arizona.

Willie Parker should make the team. I expect Shanahan to carry four running backs, so Torain and Keiland Williams will likely be up for consideration. I personally enjoyed Keiland Williams’ performances a bit more, but we’ll see where we go from here.

Terrence Austin was spectacular last night. He was a sure-hand, displayed adequate route running, and made all of the right instinctive moves after catching the ball, showing great awareness of where he was on the field. All we need out of this kid is for Santana Moss to teach him how to catwalk the sideline, because he had an opportunity at a long TD prior to his 21-yarder. Brandon Banks did pretty well in the pass game, but his height displayed a weakness as opposed to not being a factor. He put the ball on the floor twice, and didn’t display a great effort in the return game. A real long-shot to make the team. Devin Thomas’ broken crossing route on the interception is a huge disappointment. Depending on what he saw and what Beck saw and what coaches have told each of them to do, he may not have been at fault… but he was under the ball, and looked back with enough time to reach up and make an attempt to grab it, and didn’t. He hustled to punch it out of the defender’s hand on the return, but Arizona quickly jumped back on it. Thomas did exceed in kickoff returns, which really helps his case to make the team in some form.

I wasn’t very impressed with the backup offensive line; they got abused on a few very basic stunts and moves. Efficient QB play prevented a pile-on of sacks, but the line-play was nowhere near sufficient. Do not like the depth of the big guys up front.

The corners were abused left and right all night. Even Buchanon looked lost at times trying to cover nobodies. Byron Westbrook looked as though he had nothing to offer the team, and I don’t expect to see him come Sunday. Kevin Barnes didn’t help or hurt his case, and could remain for his special teams coverage. Justin Tryon got beat routinely, although he did have a very solid interception in the endzone, which he brought out to the 25. He will probably make the team.

Chris Horton is definitely a lock to make the team. He was always on the ball, a sure-tackler, and didn’t make big mistakes. He isn’t looking at being a starter on opening day, but he definitely has a chance to see significant time. Tyrone Carter is more than likely gone. He underperformed big-time last night, and there were a couple penalties against him.

Jeremy Jarmon saw significant time, and wasn’t masterful, but didn’t make mistakes. He’ll definitely be in rotation on the roster come Sunday. NT competition I discussed yesterday definitely looks intriguing. There’s a case to put all in on the roster, but unfortunately someone has to go.

Then there’s Albert Haynesworth. He drew the start last night, and played the entire game. Shanahan has preached that he wants Albert in football shape, and Haynesworth’s opportunity to play vs. Dallas on opening night was in question. Haynesworth played 49 of the Redskins 55 defensive plays last night, and didn’t pull any of his breather stunts or act injured. He appeared frustrated at times that he wasn’t getting much of a break and had to play the entire game, but he kept trying, and kept going in. After the game, he refused to comment, which may be a part of a deal he’s got wit Shanahan to not be negative in the press. However, if there was ever a way to prove to coaches, teammates, and fans that you’ve “bought in” last night was it for Haynesworth. I think coaches will determine he’s not fully there yet, but should be ready to go vs. Dallas.

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