Redskins vs. Patriots: Observations From Preseason Game 1
Preseason games mean very little in terms of how good/bad a team is heading into a new season. What preseason games do inform us on is questions about depth, execution, system effectiveness and of course these games give rookies their first chance at being under the big lights of the NFL. The Washington Redskins played the New England Patriots Thursday night in the first game of the 2014 NFL Preseason, here are a few observations from the exhibition.
– Robert Griffin III had a small stat line; 2-4, 9 yards with Alfred Morris steering the way down the field on the only drive Griffin participated in.To be fair, the two passes Griffin didn’t complete; pass one was to Alfred Morris, Morris didn’t turn towards where the ball was placed quick enough, Griffin had to throw it outside to avoid an interception. Pass two was a well-thrown ball to Aldrick Robinson in the end zone over a Patriots defender. Robinson caught the ball, but only got one foot in before his hand touched out of bounds.
– Alfred Morris looked like the work-horse back we all have come to know despite the fact he didn’t see much playing time. Roy Helu Jr was also a factor as coach Gruden went run crazy (which I hope we see more of in the future). Lache Seastrunk, Chris Thompson, and Silas Redd all looked good, Seastrunk has some impressive speedy cuts, it’s going to be interesting how many running backs the Redskins end up keeping on the 53-man roster.
– With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon sitting with non-serious injuries, Aldrick Robinson and rookie Ryan Grant got good amounts of playing time in the process.
– Kai Forbath missed a 46-yard field goal, made a field goal and kicked the ball out of bounce on a kickoff. Forbath has rookie Zach Hocker breathing down his neck. If Kai doesn’t stay consistent and learn to eliminate mistakes from his game he could find himself in search of a job elsewhere.
– Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy looked solid albeit against second, third and fourth stringers on defense for the Patriots. Can’t look to far into this other than to say these two guys looked like they now the system good. Cousins made a few throws I thought he should not have (was almost intercepted twice) and was inaccurate on a couple as well.
– Brian Orakpo got a sack on a play where Ryan Kerrigan created pressure from the other side. Going into this season one of the things to pay attention to is how well do the Redskins get pressure on the quarterback. Granted, Tom Brady didn’t start the game (neither did Redskins starting safety Ryan Clark), but the Redskins dominated the line of scrimmage the entire night, those are positions Brady would have had nothing to do with. It’s only preseason so I won’t read too far into it, but those looking for more pressure on the quarterback from the linebackers got what they wanted to see from the first preseason game of the year.
– Linebacker Keenan Robinson looked sharp, if this kid can stay healthy he might be the real deal and have the ability to slide right into London Fletcher’s now vacant spot.
– Was happy to see defensive coordinator Jim Haslett back on the sidelines with his unit. Last year Haslett spent most of his time in the coach box far up in the stadium near where the media sits. It may make sense to send a coach up there to get a better view of the action, but the main defensive coach should be in the action and have the ability to get in a players face. A lot depends on this defense getting their act together, so seeing there leader leading them is a good thing. Many question Haslett still being around, but at least two coaches and several players have come out now and said former coach Mike Shanahan constantly undermined Haslett’s defensive approach. The pressure is on for Haslett this year, if that defense does not improve he will likely be replaced.