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    • By JimmiJo in ES Coverage
         1

       
      And we are back!
       
      Hello boys and girls, welcome to another year of Washington Redskins football, home-team style.
       
      My name is JimmiJo and I am joined by my shuttered compatriot, Spaceman Spiff. Together we bring you the sights and sounds of Redskins preseason football. Tonight represents the first home installment for Washington. I will be looking for fan enthusiasm, tho it is difficult to gauge interest-level from the preseason. These are the games that the season ticket holders give to their siblings and coworkers.
       
      Tonight may be different as we expect Alex Smith to play. The pundits keep telling me he is Kirk Cousins only better. That will be awesome if so. 
       
      We are quickly filling the list with season-ending injuries, with Washington losing three projected contributors in the first week of preseason. This wince-producing stat is made worse when we consider the projected contributions of Derrius Guice, now lost for the year.
       
      All he was brought here to do was resurrect the Redskins' rushing game. 
       
      This for me is the biggest area of concern for me. The running game has got to get better for this team to have any reason success this year.
       
      Stand by for Inactives...
       
      An hour later I remember they don't do inactives in the preseason. Hey, it's preseason for us too!
       
      Not much to report. Very sparse crowd so far. But given it is a work-night and rush hour is just wrapping up on the beltway I am not surprised we are not overflowing with people yet.
       
      The Redskins appear to be wearing burgundy tops and mustard bottoms, for those keeping score at home. The Jets meanwhile, are sporting white tops and green bottoms.
       
      So far just the kickers and long snappers are warming up from both teams. 
       
      The hot, sunny day is giving way to a warm, breezy evening. Should be fairly pleasant viewing conditions for those coming out.
       
      Kickoff

      It is about that time. Follow along in-game on Twitter @Skinscast
       
      Half
       
      Alex Smith looked sharp, going 4-6 for 48-yards and a 91 passer-rating. 
       
      But that's not the story of this game.
       
      The story is the injuries that continue to mount to running backs. Samaje Perine had an impressive 30-yard run. Then limped off to be evaluated for an ankle sprain. Next was Byron Marshall.  A lower leg injury they say.
       
      The Redskins are suffering the worst run of injuries this early maybe ever. 
       
      JimmiJo
       
      I am not sure how much we learned tonight. I take that back.
       
      Kevin Hogan, whom I had taken to calling ‘Nogan,’ somehow produced a lovely comeback victory with no time to spare. Way to send them home happy.
       
      Beyond the excitement at the end I am not sure we learned much.
       
      Alex Smith is exactly who we thought he was. Smith went 4-for-6 for 48-yards and a passer rating of 91. There was some excitement on his first call from scrimmage, when Smith play actioned the handoff and kept the ball on a bootleg, he turned to setup to hit Paul Richardson and instead received a face-full of Jets’ linebacker Jordan Jenkins. Smith completed the pass to Richardson and Jenkins was handed a 15- roughing call.
       
      The offense are exactly who we thought they are. Feckless in the redzone; unable to produce anything but field goals. Even when the stars did align, with Colt McCoy connecting Cam Sims, area spectacular touchdown catch; cruel fate intervened with a chickenscratch procedure call.
       
      The injuries are exactly what we feared they could be. Why is it every running back who goes for 30-yards on a single play comes up limping? Samaje Perine ran for 30-yards on his one carry on the night.
       
      The next time he was seen was on the way to the locker room to have an ankle looked at.
       
      Then there was Byron Marshall. He barely got into the game before coming out with a leg injury.
       
      After the first few drives Washington did very little offensively until they had to at the very end.
       
      And as little as this preseason game meant, it was nice to see the valiant stop at the goal line. It was even nicer to see Mr. Hogan lead the team down the field and to victory.
       
      Oh yea, we learned one more thing - Dustin Hopkins can kick field goals.
       
      Hail!

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MRMADD

Defense Next Year

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Defensive Depth Chart:

DT Gardner, ___, Powell, Cowsette

DE ___, Wynn, ___, Smith, Jackson (if healthy?)

LB Arrington, Armstead, Trotter, Mitchell, Pierce, Marshall, Mason

CB Bailey, Smoot, Bauman, ___

S ___, Ohalete, ___, Lott

So we'd need a DT, two DEs, a CB, and a couple of safeties. What am I missing? Is Mitchell gone?

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What about Terrel at the fourth CB spot. Being able to play both S and CB is a big bonus on the depth at the positions.

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I want to upgrade David Terrell as much as the next guy, but to say he can't serve even as a backup FS/CB after doing OK in a starting role the past two years is ridiculous.

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Terrell should be on this team. People are using him as a scape goat for our defensive problems. He is a decent player, especially as a 4th corner as we saw during the two previous seasons. You don't get rid of young, versatile, cheap players. He has also shown his value on special teams.

Since when does he miss many tackles? This is an unfair criticism of Terrell. He isnt a tackling machine, but he puts people on the ground when he has the chance.

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Terrell is a great player to keep around. He can backup safety and corner spots and he was a special teams stud. If he wouldn't mope about getting benched, he'd immediately be our best special teams player. You don't let players like Terrell go because they haven't proven to be dominating starting level players. He has a role and has starting experience.

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Argghh. I think we can get his production out of a lot of stiffs on the street. He's a restricted free agent -- let him go. If he's gotta stay, I hope he's deep on the depth chart, or just playing lots of special teams.

The bottom line is that Terrell is a mediocre player. Not terrible, but not very good. I'd like to see us find an above-average player back there.

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Terrel is a way below average starting FS, which is exploited even more in a system like M. Lewis', where the safeties play a vital role. However, he would make a very good dime CB, and a good backup safety. He's fast, and decently strong, but he lacks awareness, which is deadly for a FS.

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I'm glad nobody's penciled in Big Daddy. Our interior defense seems better....significantly better...without him. I like Powell's enthusiasm (anyone else expect a taunting flag on his somersault?).

I had hoped that Bruce Smith would retire. He's looked much better toward the end of the season, but he's so inconsistent. I hope he'll retire after he gets his 3-4 sacks.

Safety is where we need immediate help. I'd like to trade down in the first and look at Julian Battle out of Tennessee.

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I don't mind Powell starting next year. When he started this year he played well. Look what he did against Dallas. He led the team in tackles. He could be very good for us next year.

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Mitchell is gone. He will be an UFA. I don't think we have a chance to keep him b/c he will want starter $$ and will want to start on another team. He's proven that he is a starting level LB in this league. I'd like to keep him, but............................

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Re our "significantly better" interior line w/o Big Daddy, could it be due to the suck-job teams we've played since he went out with an injury?

I want him back. He is solid, and a true team player -- he's already re-negotiated his contract several times to help us out with the cap. Plus he's only 28 or 29 -- still young for a DT.

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I'd love to have Big Daddy back. Gardner and Wilkinson are huge in the middle -- and yes, Big Daddy does make us better. Don't judge your interior defensive line by their play against the Texans and Cowboys. Those are two of the worst offenses in the league.

That said, I don't think he'll be back.

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DW was there on Turkey Day when Dallas ***** slapped us right up the middle all second half when the game was on the line. The only difference between that game and yesterday was that Solomon Page was out yesterday along with DW.

So we can say that Carl Powell is better than their backup OG. But we should also be able to say that Page is better than DW. And Page, while a pretty decent player, is no Pro Bowler.

We need Pro Bowlers on our lines. DW was close a couple of years ago but is known league-wide for being a "bust." Gardner played at that level this year and is the best DT we've had since Dave Butz. Whatever the staff did for his back should be commended. The others are just OK.

DL and OL are the guts of the team. I was glad to see Carl Powell step up yesterday. But he's an OK player on an OK DL- and that's not getting it done.

Charles Mann was a 3rd rounder and Dexter Manley a 5th. They were the two best DLs we have drafted (in my memory). Dave Butz, the 5th pick in th 1973 draft, came from STL.

We can get Pro Bowlers in any round. Let's not settle for less ...

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I like Big Daddy, but we need some youth-get a FA or draft pick to put next to Gardner-keep Powell to rotate in/keep 'em fresh- keep Wynn on one end and 1st round draft pick(if not on DL) or young FA for other end. Bring in Ladarius in on third down. Put Bruce in 10 times a game to keep him fresh and give someone else a breather and get the sack record as a Redskin and retire as a Redskin.

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Mitchell is a wonderful backup player. We are lucky we had him when Trotter went down. But, by no stretch of the imagination did he outplay Trotter, be it significantly or even slightly. Mitchell managed a solid 19 total tackles (including assists) in his four starts. He certainly didn't and doesn't make the number of plays Trotter made in the defense. In Trotter's four full starts immediately preceeding his injury against Dallas he had 36 total tackles. Trotter was only just coming on in the defense and making an impact. Mitchell certainly didn't have the impact on the game that Trotter was starting to have, though he is well suited for his role and did a good job, in general, of making the proper read to feed the running back to the proper gap when he'd take on blockers. Trotter still had some trouble with that even as he started to lift his game.

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