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Redskins @ Cardinals – Second Quarter Reactions (And Checklist)

Posted by Matt Terl on September 2, 2010 – 11:33 pm

Well, this turned into a hideously ugly preseason game pretty quickly. The main bright spot of this game so far has been linebacker Robert Henson. For the second straight year, he’s making a strong case for himself during the final preseason game — unofficially, he comes out of the second quarter with four tackles and one sack. I would feel totally comfortable with this version of Henson playing in a regular season game. He was out of position and blocked on the touchdown run, but he’s still improved his standing on the team.

Other than that, it was largely a sloppy showing for the Redskins — multiple penalties and a sluggish offense. Of course, when you’re rotating quarterbacks with every drive, trying to get a look at as many of your players as you can, and sitting more than half of your opening day roster, a little sloppiness is inevitable.

Let’s take a look at a few more of the guys that made your list:

@pauloscopa: Parker, for sure. But do you really think LJ is safe?

I was surprised to see Larry Johnson on the list of guys not playing, but it makes sense now that I think about it. Head coach Mike Shanahan has been very clear the entire preseason that he’d be basing his decisions on the accumulated work — minicamp, training camp, practices — and not just games, so it was probably kind of silly to put too much weight on his performance in one game. (And his performance in the Jets game didn’t hurt him either.)

Willie Parker, on the other hand, has the opposite problem. He’s shown more burst this game than at other point in the preseason and it’s paid off in the stat line — 5 carries, 27 yards, most of it coming on a 13 yard run — but the question is if he can overcome a lackluster start to his offseason work. Of course, if Kyle Shanahan was being accurate when he said that team wouldn’t be able to carry three running backs that don’t play special teams, we already have our answer just from the list of guys who aren’t playing. We shall see.

The rest of the your checklist, after the jump. Read more »

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Redskins @ Cardinals – First Quarter Reactions (And Checklist)

Posted by Matt Terl on September 2, 2010 – 10:40 pm

Well, I’m bringing back a version of last week’s checklist gimmick, because I liked it. But in response to popular demand, I’ll also be including my own reactions. As I said, this is a work in progress.

Although, to be fair, there aren’t a lot of reactions to have about this game. The Redskins have 29 starters not playing; the Cardinals played their first-teamers for one drive each on offense and defense. For all that football is a team sport, this is one contest that’s largely about the individual performances. (Although I’m pleased that the Redskins second-team offense put three points on the Cardinals ones, and the second-team defense held the Cards offense to three as well.)

But the individual performances, it so happens, is what I asked about on Twitter. Specifically, I asked what players — given the 29 non-participants — people were most curious to watch. And, again, I got a whole bunch of answers. The full list is after the jump, but one of the main guys who was mentioned was Brandon Banks.

And boy did Banks offer a confusing first quarter. After the 40 yard kick return to open the game, it felt like he had locked in his roster spot. Then he muffed a punt, his third mishandled return of the preseason, and it felt like he was a must-cut. Personally, I think he makes the team, but I’d really like to see him do something else to solidify that.

One other from the list that we can already respond to:

@DJ_6_6: #92 to see his effort and conditioning, #13 – make more plays on Spec teams and as a WR

Anthony Armstrong isn’t playing, so we can rule that one out right away. Albert Haynesworth played the entire first quarter and looked solid throughout. The real question is if he complains after the game; in-game he’s giving effort and not gasping for air.
Read more »

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That Is One Heck Of An Inactive List

Posted by Matt Terl on September 2, 2010 – 9:28 pm

That’s a picture of the Redskins starters doing some pregame conditioning. No, the starters don’t usually run sprints pregame, but that’s because the starters usually, you know, PLAY in the game. That doesn’t appear to be the case tonight, as the team has listed 29 guys as “Not Expected To Play”. It consists of nearly every expected starter on offense and defense, with the most notable exceptions being Jammal Brown, Trent Williams, and Albert Haynesworth.

And the most notable guys who are NOT playing — that is, who are presumed to have locked up their roster spots and who are being held back to avoid any risk of injury — are running back Larry Johnson and wide receiver Anthony Armstrong. Armstrong has come one heck of a long way since he showed up here last October, and it’s somewhat ironic that him NOT playing represents his ultimate triumph with regards to making the roster.

Anyhow, here’s the whole list: Read more »

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Announcing Redskins Kickoff Week

Posted by Matt Terl on September 2, 2010 – 5:30 pm

Tonight is the last Redskins preseason game of 2010. After this, it all starts building up to the first game that counts — which, oh by the way, happens to be a nationally televised contest against the hated Dallas Cowboys.

And the team is celebrating that game with the biggest pregame tailgate in Redskins history. The parking lots at FedExField will open at NOON on gameday. There will be five giant videoboards in the parking lots (and the Bud Light Pavilion) so folks can watch the 1:00 and 4:00 games. The Redskins Cheerleaders, Redskins Marching Band, and Redskins alumni will be on hand. And just in case the parking lot videoboards aren’t big enough, the lower bowl of the East End of the stadium will open at 4:00 so you can watch the late afternoon game on the new HD videoboard.

So, yeah, there’ll be plenty of ways to get fired up on gameday. “But wait,” you’re probably saying, “how am I going to get fired up FOR gameday?”

Well don’t you worry: he team announced that next week will be declared Redskins Kickoff Week, and will feature an entire slate of events leading up to Sunday’s tailgate.

These will include, but not be limited to: Read more »

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Larry Johnson And Willie Parker Know What's At Stake Tonight

Posted by Matt Terl on September 2, 2010 – 2:53 pm

It’s going to be tough — if not impossible — for this team to carry Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker on the roster together. We’ve all known this since training camp. But just because it’s become part of the conventional wisdom of the 2010 preseason doesn’t make it any less strange to hear Kyle Shanahan lay it out as plainly as he did earlier this week.

Kelli Johnson of Comcast SportsNet asked Shanahan the question frankly enough: “Can you really keep three backs, though, that aren’t gonna contribute on special teams?”

And Kyle Shanahan answered with equal frankness: “No,” he said. “That’s always tough. If you have three guys up, one of ’em’s gotta contribute on special teams.”

If the bluntness was surprising, though, the news wasn’t, even to Johnson and Parker themselves. Read more »

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A New Way To Read This Blog

Posted by Matt Terl on September 2, 2010 – 11:38 am

For those Redskins fans who are lucky enough to have iPads — which I, sadly, am not — this is a good day. The team has announced the release of the new Redskins Feedr iPad app, a real-time feed aggregating Redskins news from all over the internet in one handy place. And “all over the internet” most certainly includes this here blog, as demonstrated in this attractive screenshot:

Despite my pathetic lack of a tablet PC, I was able to mess around with the app a bit on a borrowed iPad, and it really is pretty cool — a great way to stay on top of things. (And I’d probably be saying that even if my blog wasn’t included. Probably.)

A few other features, from the official press release:

  • Fans can also use the Redskins Feedr application to get updates on the other sports teams they follow.
  • Redskins Feedr utilizes Facebook Connect so users do not have to go through multiple steps to register. Fans without a Facebook account can sign up for one from the app. Users can comment on stories, share on Facebook and Twitter, and share stories with friends directly in the application.

Those of us who don’t have iPads but do have iPhones or Androids will have our version of the app some time in the near future. The Redskins Feedr is available as a free download at the iTunes store. Read more »

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