The good, bad, and more from the Redskins 24-23 win over Cleveland.
1. Tackling. The tackling was again impressive as it was in the preseason opener against the Pats. Baushaud Breeland in particular stood out. He’s physical and a very good tackler. Amerson had a nice tackle early as well. This was a major team weakness last year. It’s nice to see this area improving even if it is just the preseason.
2. Griffin’s athleticsm is back. Even though a few of those first half scrambles ended awkwardly if not dangerously, Griffin’s ability to escape and sprint past pass rushers looked much different than it did last year. He struggled to outrun linebackers last year….not so tonight. Whether it was the brace or just the affects of knee surgery, he wasn’t anywhere near as athletic last year as he was tonight. It was exciting to see.
3. Evan Royster. I’ve always been a huge Royster fan and he showed again tonight why he still has a chance to make the final roster. I’ve thought for 2 years that he’s the best pure runner on the team (although Morris’ power still makes him the best overall back on the team). I really think he’s the type of back that would’ve produced similarly to Morris if he had gotten the same opportunity the last 2 years. He’s a very good runner but can catch it too. He has very good vision and feel as a runner but can also power his way through when needed as he did on his touchdown run.
4. Weapons on offense. I think it’s obvious that the Redskins have legit weapons on offense. Jackson looked good. His 11-yard catch and run for the first down to the sideline is an example of what I think we’ll see a lot of this year. They can’t press cover him so the Skins will take advantage of that by throwing it to him quickly and letting him sprint for 8-12 yards. If they double him then Garcon and Reed will benefit. Reed looks like an elite pass catching tight end in the making. We know how good Garcon can be. Andre Roberts is a threat, Ryan Grant is a solid if not spectacular rout runner and Moss can still be effective in spots. Morris leads a deep backfield of good to very good runners. This offense can be great if Griffin plays well.
1. Turnovers. Too many whether preseason or regular season. Morris has had problems with fumbling including previous issues handling pitches like the one he botched tonight. Griffin’s pick was the type that will cost the team games. He can’t make that throw….period. Cousins threw a bad pick and so did McCoy.
2. Not enough from the starters on offense. Three series and done early in the 2nd quarter. It seems to me they could use more work. Hopefully we’ll see a full half at least in Baltimore on Saturday night.
3. Griffin’s risk-taking and awkwardness as a scrambler. He just doesn’t seem to have the ability to slide smoothly and he takes unnecessary hits on pass-play scrambles. He didn’t like it when the Shanahans talked about the need for him to learn how to slide and protect himself but they were right. It’s the same thing Gruden said after the game.
1. I thought the Morris TD run on 4th and goal shouldn’t have been overturned by replay. It wasn’t conclusive either way but it was called TD on the field so it should’ve stood.
2. This defensive holding emphasis in the preseason is ridiculous. There’s no way the league can enforce this in the regular season the way they’ve done it in the preseason. Games will take 4 hours to play and teams will need no less than 50 pts to win.
3. Griffin’s false start penalties won’t be an issue when the season starts. It’s another “referree preseason emphasis” that won’t be enforced the same way in the regular season.
4. I think it was Hazlett who got the 15-yard unsportsmanlike called on the bench.
5. Offensive plays look identical to the base offense run by the Shanahans.
6. Darrel Young is very important to this team, especially in the run-game but it wouldn’t shock me if he caught 20 passes this year too.