So, yeah it's just the first Pre Season game which I've grown to call "Talent Evaluation". Even so, most fans weren't going into this game worried about the passing game. The two bigger issues were the run game as it became non existent early into last season & the Redskins struggled to put together a threatening ground campaign. The other issue was the pass rush without a true NT (which this scheme doesn't really use) & the run defense, especially up the middle.
Here, I decided to go back & re-watch just the run game for the First Half as the starters were done after that. Keeping in mind that the left side of the line was still backups. So, buckle up your chin straps because here we go.
On the first run the backup left guard is blown up & pushed back into the play and then into the RB.
Next run in the same series draw up the middle. Matt Jones is pretty much picked up by one leg as he's in stride & pushed/thrown down to the ground.
First string is now out
Left Guard 61 gets stood up. 76 stood up & pushed back. 85 gets a great leveraged push forward while 84 is manhandled backwards. Marshall gets clotheslined in the backfield.
Paul in at Fullback with Marshall at RB. Paul hits the hole 5 yards in front of Marshall & the hole closes behind him RG already out in space while RT is pushed back closing the hole. Marshall tries to bounce it out to the right & sheds the first one & brought down by the next two tackles.
Thompson in at RB. Hits the hole that gets opened between the RG & RT & brought down by a LB before he can make any progress forward.
Marshall in at RB. Run to the right & 13 is getting pushed back as McCoy is handing off to Marshall. The line had a lane to the right sealed off for a second or two. 82 & 13 are both on the outside right & pushed back which opens a hole for the LBs. Marshall has nowhere to go.
Kelly up the middle. Quick, instant opened lane against the the DL. Nearest LB is 3 yards from the line of scrimmage while Kelly is taking the handoff at five yards back. The difference is Marshall is already in motion, running to the handoff while the LB is still deciding where to go as at this freeze frame it could still be play action. Kelly is actually hit by a different LB on first contact & then immediately buried in a pile up. 19 called for unnecessary roughness for a negating 15 yard penalty.
Kelly in the backfield on 2nd & 20. RG & TE cross to the right side behind two WRs crossing to the left side. Pitch to Kelly to the right. 83 & 69 now in motion to hit the second level. The two WRs are now at the middle of the field blocking off pursuit from the left side. Kelly comes up behind the RG & TE who are outnumbered 2-3 by LBs. The two LBs simply split around 83 & hits a wall of two LBs as the third piles onto the gang tackle.
The biggest issues standing out to me (besides some unfriendly camera angles making it harder to identify a few jersey numbers) were Moses holds. A lot. The OL seemed to be simply getting out powered/muscled when it came to opening running lanes. All of this is fixable especially if use Paul more as a pass catching TE opposed to a blocking TE.
If I were to hand out an award for their performance, it'd go to Brandon Scherff. That guy is simply a mauler when he's out in space to open up the second level in the run game. He's showing why Scot McCloughan took him in the First Round last year.