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First Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 1, 2011 – 8:24 pm

A pretty shaky start for the boys in Burgundy and Gold, as Brandon Banks was bottled up inside of the 20 on the opening kickoff.  Things got worse on the third play of the drive,when running back Evan Royster was dropped for a six yard loss and coughed up the football.

Turns out they just needed a mulligan.

It took the defense setting the tone with a goal line stand to wake up the offense–and the crowd.  On fourth-and-goal from the 1 yard line,the defense penetrated the backfield and turned Bucs running back Kregg Lumpkin into a pumpkin.

First down, Washington.

A rookie on offense that did a lot to help his cause in the first quarter was rookie receiver Niles Paul.  Getting the starting nod in place of a resting Jabar Gaffney, he was targeted twice and hauled in two passes for 27 yards.  He came in as a late-round pick in a crowded field at receiver.  No question, that in this game and throughout the preseason, he has shown the ability to be a go-to guy in the Redskins offense.

A rookie on defense that did a lot to help his cause in the first quarter was outside linebacker Markus White.  When fellow outside linebacker Rob Jackson rocked Bucs quarterback Rudy Carpenter for a sack and fumble, White alertly scooped it up and raced down the sidelines.  White was supposed to be a project pick, selected in the late rounds as a defensive end.  He has held his own throughout the preseason and really opened some eyes.

One intriguing rookie on defense is defensive back DeJon Gomes.  While he has shown the ability to play solid coverage as a safety and rush the passer, he also got flagged for a big penalty for a hit on a defenseless receiver.  Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has singled Gomes out as a player in the past that he really likes, and the ability is apparent.  He just needs to play smart all the time.

The Redskins managed to shut out the opposing offenses in the first quarter the entire preseason.  For the first three games, it said a lot about the character and composition of the starting defense.  Tonight, it says a lot about the depth of resiliency in the whole defensive unit, especially on that goal line stand.

Redskins out to an early lead, 7-0.

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