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Gut Reaction: Surreal


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Before the light of day and endless breakdowns dilute the afterglow, a few gut-reactions, and quick thoughts:

- The Attitude. The smiles. The aggression. The – dare we say it – Team Chemistry. Can anyone watch this inaugural ball and not come away with the feeling these guys see themselves as a team?

- The Crispness. No Kurps (for those who don't know the term: wasted time outs early in a half when the O can't get its crap together before the play clock runs out). In and out of the huddle quickly. The right units on the field, on time. The sense that players and coaches were remarkably "on the same page" for the first preseason game.

- The Swagger. When's the last time you really got the sense the Redskins carried that air of "that's right, we bad" ONTO the field? Oh, we've talked a good game during the week for some time ... never more than in 2000 ... but it would melt like butter as soon as the game got hot and someone belted us in the mouth. Last night, when we took the occasional shot, we counterpunched. Hard. The last time I saw that kind of resolve in burgundy and gold was 1992.

- Del Coswette. Ladaruis Jackson. Robert Gillespie. Danny Wuerffel. Darell Royal. Chris Doering. Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new Washington Redskins. When you're a well-coached professional football team, guys like this become players, players who are put in position to succeed because said coaches know how to utilize their talents, and they accept the challenge to contribute in whatever way they are asked. All you have to do is think back a bit, to names like Reggie Branch, Rich Milot, Neal Olciewicz, Martin Mayhew, Otis Wonsley, Dean Hamel ... none of these guys will ever be confused with great NFL players, but in the hands of the right coaching staff, and knowing their roles, they helped the Gibbs' Redskins become multiple champions.

No, I'm not anointing SS/Lewis as Gibbs/Petitbone ... but watching last night, there was no way NOT to have a flashback or two.

- The Thinking Man: you know it's the first preseason game. You KNOW it. And you realize that the San Francisco we saw last night wasn't the same one we'll see in a few weeks when it counts. And you know that Mariucci's boyz didn't really know what to expect, and that they, and the rest of the league, now actually have a bit of game film to look at ... but still ... even the left side of the brain is a bit giddy this morning.

- I still have never seen an NFL team surrender as many QB scramble first downs as the Redskins. Geez. I really, really hate that.

- And you mean we get to add Daryl Gardener, Santana Dotson and Bruce Smith? Cool.

- Was that the Redskins I saw converting 3rd downs? And stopping them? Way cool. :)

The Surreality: Japan. The new threads. The icy Molsons. The gut-wrenching anticipation that has been building since February ... And then to see the team bust out beyond the wildest expectations of anyone save the wildest optimist.

I mean, I remember last year's preseason opener.

Barely. :)

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The crispness was eery. Well coached or not, SOS's Gator teams were penalty-laden. Perhaps the fact that he's now coaching professionals will help lessen the load, but don't give him all the credit for that one. DW did have to take one time-out to keep the play clock from expiring, but that's OK. I have a feeling the game was lightly called. I winced at a few what I thought were false starts that were never called.

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I certainly agree about the "intangables". This was a fun team to watch.

And, I'm a lot more confident about our depth than I was.

Can't reall say we saw much of the starters, but that's not what the first preseason game's about, anyway.

At least we won't be 0-4 when we start the season, this year. :)

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"- I still have never seen an NFL team surrender as many QB scramble first downs as the Redskins. Geez. I really, really hate that." - Om

While those can be frustrating, it is a testament to the strength of our defensive backfield. When QBs start to move out of the pocket they often buy time for a WR to get open. Even top CBs can't cover WRs more than a few seconds without giving up some ground. Last night (and for the last few years) even that extra time wasn't allowing the WRs to get open. One can only assume the coverage was excellent.

But, when that QB runs out of options and takes off he will often have enough green if front of him to make a first down. I think when we have our starters in there those opposing QBs will be sliding quickly, however. Seeing Arrington, Trotter or Armstead (and perhaps that little Lott fella) coming at you will make a first down seem less and less important. :)

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The 'Skins have had trouble stopping running QBs ever since the Gibbs era. That's changed since we acquired the hitmen, Jeremiah "big-chin" Trotter, LaVar "crowbar Joe" Arrington, and Jessie "Real Vicious" Armstead.

McNabb will be pissing himself come week 2. If he decides to come out of the pocket, LaVar will go for his head and Trotter for his knees.

Ah, what a great feeling it is. :cheers:

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The dissapointment: "Awww Sage. 3 and out?"

Frustration: "Son of *****! Now an int!"

(good thing I'm the calm one.... ;) )

Relief: "Thatta boy Sage. Lookin' little better.

Yessssssssss: "TOUCHDOWN"!

Sigh: Well, here comes Danny.

What the?: "Nice Pass. I thought he didn't have an arm. And what's this about Doering?"

What the? 2 : "Uh... he made that drive look easy."

Got a Feeling: 4th and one.........

Knew it!: "Touchdown!" :jump: (Again. Good thing I'm the calm one. ;) )

Frustration 2 : "Whadda ya mean too many people logging in!? Dammit! I'm happy and I want to join the party!"

Oh: "Right. Clean the cache..... :doh: :rolleyes:

Great Stuff Om my brother as always! :cheers: There was a preseason opener last year? :silly:

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One way college football prepares a coach for the pro is the timeframe for getting in a play. SOS had much more time last night because the pro rules give a team an extra five or so seconds.

As Pedi says do not be surprised to see some five yard penalties in the redzone due to play calling and personnel. The good news though is this offense does not make a five yard penalty a disaster. You just have more room to work on the DBs.

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I agree. I didn't know what to feel.

The beginning felt like every first preseason game for the past ten years. Redskins offense takes the field. Redskins QB heaves a bunch of bad balls and finally gets intercepted. Other team almost scores.

But then, our defense looked tight. And then suddenly, our offense started to click. Davis and Bailey were standing on the sideline, watching the game, into it, not sitting down.

We looked like a team. It is something that has been a long time in coming.

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Originally posted by Om

- I still have never seen an NFL team surrender as many QB scramble first downs as the Redskins. Geez. I really, really hate that.

Om, the boys tallied 7 sacks.....SEVEN...Have a cigar and enjoy it. Things are on the upswing.

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Mick, my brother, you don't really have to read between the lines of my initial post to see how I felt/feel about last night. Do you?

Just one play in particular I was referring to ... one on a 3rd and forever, in our end, in the 2nd half sometime I think (it was a blur, man, what can I say?) ... when the D had everyone covered, and pressured the poor schmo QB into a desparate scramble, AND THEN THE BLIRTHERING YAHOO SPRINTED RIGHT UP THE GUT FOR THE FIRST DOWN!!

I don't care if we're up 97-3, that play just kills me.

Happily, I'm over it now.

Cigars all around.


And for what it's worth ... the glow? Still there. :)

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I did not read this until just now as it had been sent to page 2. You however stated it much more eloquently than I did.

One cannot deny the refreshing team we saw.

And I too hate how we always give up the huge QB runs on those 3rd and 13s. We also gave up a couple of the 3rd down plays on the long outs where the defender seemed miles away. Hopefully we will get a grip on those as well.

Great observations and my sentiments to a tee.

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