Let’s start with a happy — albeit non-football — note from the game. The couple pictured above was sitting in Section 129. At the start of the fourth quarter, the gentleman asked the lady if she’d like to spend the rest of her life with him in wedded bliss. She, as the scoreboards like to say, said yes. And the very next play, Terrence Austin took a pass from Richard Bartel 21 yards for a touchdown. Hopefully that’s an auspicious beginning to their relationship.
It was certainly auspicious for Austin, who finished the game as the Redskins’ leading receiver, with 5 catches for 94 yards and that touchdown. He made as strong a case for a roster spot as he could’ve, and — I think — outperformed Brandon Banks. The questions with Banks are going to be simple to ask and tough to answer: are the moments of blinding speed and electricity worth the risks? And can a player his size survive in the NFL? If you made me guess at this moment, I’d say that Austin, Banks, AND Devin Thomas make the team, but it wouldn’t take much to convince me otherwise on any of the three of them.
Just one reason that cut-down Saturday will be interesting. Onward to discuss your checklist for the rest of the guys:
- @CMKeen_4: want to see Torain. Skins really need a young strong RB to protect against elders & injuries. Hail to the Redskins!
- @RedskinsRT: Keiland Williams, Ryan Torain, Terrence Austin
Ryan Torain carried the ball 5 times late in the game for 22 yards. He had a tackle or two on special teams, but I don’t get the sense that he did much to cement his spot on the roster. Then again, neither did Keiland Williams, who carried the ball twice for minus-1 yard, and caught two passes for 9 yards. I feel better with Williams coming out of the backfield than Torain, but better with Torain running the ball. Not really sure what the solution is there, as merging them both into KeiRyan Tor-Williams seems unlikely in the extreme.
- @U2tigger: Oh! And I know it’s more obscure, but Paulson/Vickers battle at TE. A certain blog post upped the stakes for me… sigh.
It looked to me like Logan Paulsen — who caught a couple of passes for nineteen yards, made a couple of tackles, and got very enthusiastic on Austin’s touchdown catch — had the stronger performance this game, but his value seems to be mainly as a pass catcher. This is another one that could go either way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the team tried to keep Paulsen on the practice squad if he doesn’t make the final roster.
- @superskin1: John Beck, without a doubt, Matt. Only Skins QB committed contractually past this season
Statistically, Richard Bartel had a much stronger game than Beck, finishing 12 of 14 for 125 yards and a touchdown while John Beck went 11 of 21 for 132 and an interception. Beck did flash his arm strength a couple of times, which reminded me that when he arrived in town, players were commenting that he really threw a live ball — something that had faded in the weeks since.
There was also a question about “AH and his reaction” — well, Haynesworth played in more than 90% of the defensive snaps, well into the fourth quarter, and his reaction was “I have no comment.” So that’s probably a success. And a few people mentioned Jeremy Jarmon, who didn’t make much of an impression on either me OR the stat sheet. I’m pretty sure that’s everyone that was asked about, and most of the bubble guys. I’m going to go make sure I don’t miss the bus to the airport, because this really isn’t the kind of game where I want to try to find an alternate ride home.
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