Redskins vs Bills: Observations From Preseason Week 3


Redskins vs Bills: Observations From Preseason Week 3

The Washington Redskins won their third preseason game Saturday against the Buffalo Bills, 30-7.  With both starting quarterback Robert Griffin III and backup quarterback Kirk Cousins watching from the sidelines, Rex Grossman and Pat White alternated in and out throughout the game. Mike Shanahan said after the game, “We wanted to give Pat [White] a chance to play with the starters, and Rex [Grossman] started the game, and I was pleased with both guys and how they played.”

– Roy Helu continues to look impressive in his return from injury this preseason as he rushed 13 times for 70 yards. Helu now has rushed the ball 27 times for 157 yards and one touchdown and has all but solidified his spot as the number two running-back behind Alfred Morris. Helu gives the offense the option to throw the ball to the running-back more often (he caught one pass tonight for 21 yards) then with Alfred Morris, although word is Morris has been working on his pass catching skills this past offseason. Coach Mike Shanahan had this to say about Helu being back out there, “You always hope guys come back. Roy had a good first year then he had that setback. I thought the first preseason game he played I thought he looked good, but today I thought he looked even better. You could tell he looked a lot more comfortable being out there the second time than the first time and that’s a good sign.”

– Robert Griffin III didn’t play again of course but did get some action in pregame warmups.

– The Redskins defense came into the game with seven sacks in preseason and added two more as Brandon Jenkins and Darryl Tapp both got their first sacks as Redskins. Jenkins has been spending a lot of time working in and out with the first team defense as Jim Haslett has been giving multiple looks in preseason. Tapp has been progressing well in a short amount of time both with the team and at his current position after switching to linebacker from defensive end.Most of the starters didn’t see playing time and the ones who did didn’t see much. Shanahan had this to say about Tapp’s progression after the game, “I can’t say it surprises me, that’s one of the reasons we went out and got him. We thought he had the athletic ability to be an outside linebacker, I always liked the way he rushed the quarterback. He’s a very powerful guy, a smart guy, a very intelligent guy, and so he’s made the transition fairly quickly. You just hope these guys keep getting better but when a guy is that smart and he’s that dedicated you can tell he’s a great guy and gives everything that he has to this football team and this organization. He’s going to help you win.”

– David Amerson had a couple of bad plays that stood out. On the first one Amerson didn’t fully account for C.J. Spiller’s speed and just plain missed him on an outside run that almost went for a touchdown. On the second one Amerson got beat on the outside and didn’t pay attention to where the ball was as he tried to recover, he ran into the back of the receiver and was called for pass interference. It’s clear Amerson, and fellow rookie free safety Bacarri Rambo both still need to adjust to the speed of the NFL. Rambo in particular needs to work on the angles he takes when he is in pursuit of the ball.

– Rex Grossman went 11-for-21 for 171 yards and a touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon. Pat White looked good in the read-option offense, he finished 7-for-14 for 96 yards and also rushed three times for 26 yards and a touchdown. Both quarterbacks looked good, and Pat White keeps showing that he is a fit for the read option. Some fans have made their opinions known that they believe Grossman should be cut and White should be kept since he fits the read-option offense. I don’t agree with that thought process, you have to remember that you don’t keep a third-string quarterback to develop when you are already developing the first two strings already.

That is why Rex Grossman has the edge in the battle for third quarterback of the Washington Redskins, he knows the offense completely and will only have to hold a clipboard all season at any rate. White still needs to learn multiple parts of the offense and is still trying to shake the cobwebs associated with missing three years of football.

– Richard Crawford injured his knee on a return and was carted off the sidelines after limping back to the team’s side of the field. Shanahan told reporters later that Crawford is likely out for the season with a torn LCL, and possibly ACL. Shanahan said more tests were to come on the ACL. Horrible news for a player in Crawford who looked to have so much promise at the end of last season and going forward as the starting punt returner. The injury opens the door for someone to claim a spot, Chris Thompson and Skye Dawson returned punts after the injury. Mike Shanahan had this to say about the cornerback position now that Crawford is out, “Well obviously anytime a guy goes down, another guy gets the opportunity to show us he can do. And we had a lot of guys play today, and I’m looking forward to taking a look at the film and see who really played well. And then we have next week, we’ll have the chance to evaluate a lot more players as I mentioned to pick the best 53.”

– Evan Royster didn’t play against the Bills because of an injured ankle he suffered in practice on Tuesday. Chris Thompson rushed for 15 times for 44 yards (he fumbled again, second straight game) and Keiland Williams rushed eight times for 52 yards and a touchdown. Shanahan had this to say about ball security and Thompson, “That’s something you have to improve on. When he came over to the side, and we were fortunate enough to get the fumble recovery, I just emphasized to him no matter how good you are if you fumble you can’t play and he understands that. He’s getting used to the NFL, and I was really impressed on his punt return after he did fumble the ball that he had no fear catching that punt return and almost broke it for a touchdown and got us good field position taking the ball out to the 30-yard-line. A lot of guys after they fumble, they’re concentrating so much on their mistake they can’t focus on catching the punt return, so that was very impressive. So he’s a young guy with a lot of ability.”

– Logan Paulsen continues to make an impression on me. He gives 100 percent and plays above his skill set on just about every down he is a part of. Yes, he’s not the fastest guy, but he has decent hands and is a much better blocker than Fred Davis, Niles Paul or Jordan Reed, the other options at tight end.

– Tonight was the last you will see any Washington Redskins player who is expected to start this year. Shanahan is well known for not playing many starters in the last preseason game and this year will not be any different.

– Below is the Mike Shanahan press conference, some of the end gets cut off due to technical difficulties (via

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