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OF: Redskins vs Bills Stream-of-Consciousness Review


Om

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August 14, 2010

By now, with almost 24 hours to digest last night's epic 42-17 pasting of hapless Buffalo in Mike Shanahan's Redskins debut, you have probably read a dozen "game impressions" blog posts from around the web. And I bet some of them were pretty damn good.

So rather than go all serious on you, here's something a little different. An experiment. What follow are raw real-time notes jotted down during the game. They weren't intended for publishing, just as reminders of what I wanted to comment on and hopefully capture the vibe to flesh out later.

I have only polished it up for some grammar, punctuation and spelling. The content was written "hot" while also juggling a cold beverage (or two) and simultaneously working on a "formal" article I believe you will be seeing ... well, soon. I'd tell you more but then I'd have to kill you. And who wants that? Especially while we're basking in the afterglow of a burgundy and gold woodshed job?

Not sure if we'll reprise the post format or not, but what the heck.

It's preseason.

*

8/13/10, 7:20 pm

- Almost gametime. So, is it normal to have butterflies before the first preseason game? Weird.

- Never have quite understood why offensive players are allowed to facemask and defensive players are not. See it every week. Weirder.

- Haslett's new defense isn't exactly starting well. Definitely isn't aggressive like we saw in camp last week. Not a lot of presnap movement, hardly any blitzing. It will look different in September. Hopefully.

- No disrespect, but NBC's coverage sucks. No down and distance half the time, silly commentary by Joe Theismann; Donovan fooling camera man so bad on a simple playfake he's STILL trying to figure out how the hell the ball ended up 40 yards downfield on the other side of the field.

- Torain looked like Ladell Betts reincarnated there. Good strong tackle break on first carry turns 3 yard loss into 5 yard gain. Good first impression.

- Starting to get offensive rythim on 2nd drive. Did you notice? In and out of huddle quickly, snapping ball on quick count ... love it. Campbell's offenses always seemed to operate methodically ... lingering mental image is JC standing over center, scanning field, standing over center, scanning field, standing over center scanning ... JASON CALL HUT ALREADY. I wrote earlier this offseason that younger Redskins fans were going to know "offensive rhythm" when they finally saw it. First official taste came on 2nd drive of the first preseason game...

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At 35-17 I was a bit concerned with both lines of scrimmage with the second teamers in the game. The Bills scored two quick touchdowns and the Redskins' line gave up some pretty devastating penetrations that caused sacks on Beck and for Keiland Williams to get nailed before he even reached the LOS.

It all got swept away with that last Redskins' TD and the Bills' lack of playmaking from the qb position.

Chad Rinehart looked awful to me. I don't know why he caught my notice as others appeared to be beaten as well. I suppose it was the fact he was a #3 pick and is down to his last position change at RG to make it in the NFL.

On defense, Howard Green didn't look as if he had been through ANY OTAs, minicamps or offseason work. He was like watching molasses drip out of a bottle on the DL.

Yell at Haynesworth all you will, Green for my money is easily the most out of shape guy on this roster.

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I enjoyed reading that OM. I had similar thoughts throughout the game especially your comment about the offense with rhythm (Jason Campbell). I know it's preseason but right now even 24 hours after the game it's still hard to stay medium :) The Skins just played so well - sure there are a lot of mistakes to correct but I'm certain that this coaching staff will be able to work it out.

I loved the Special teams play - punt return for a TD. No more Randel El back there calling for a fair catch EVERY single punt.

I loved the Interception caused by pressure on the QB.

The offense really seemed to click. The best part I think is I actually have confidence in our backup QB. I don't expect McNabb to get hurt this year because I'm fairly sure the offensive line is improved. That and the Redskins will run the ball much more than 30% (or whatever the average was in Philly). However, if he should get injured Rex didn't seem all that bad. There were 2 throws he'd like to have back but outside of that?

I loved how all of the players on this team seemed genuinely happy after the game.

Trent Williams seemed like a kid out there. Nervous, excited, but played exceptionally well. If he got butterflies before this game imagine how he is going to feel on Sunday night against Dallas with 98,000 + screaming on opening night?

On that note, I really need tickets for that game even if it's the only one I attend all season.

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BTW, that was some pretty niffty note taking OM.

The few negative things that I saw looking down from cloud nine were little irritating things. Bad habits like Landry doing his o-lay routine a couple of times again. Portis lowering his head and tripping over his own man (Sellers) when there's daylight in front of him. Stuff like that.

I was happy as a clam otherwise.

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There were definitely things that caught my attention I'd rather not have seen ... like the clear lull in line play (both sides of the ball) at 35-3. The Skins looked like they got bored to be honest. Hard to keep your edge fopr 60 minutes in the first preseason game when you're up 35-3 and the other team is playing with doilies on the sideline.

Buffalo got going just enough to wake the Skins up and paid the price for it with that nasty Riggo Drill drive down their gullets at the end. :)

Big picture, in a game where the overall product in all three phrases plus coaching is as solid as we saw last night, I'm okay letting a couple of the trees in the forest get away with a little more than I might otherwise.

flexx, I take notes pretty much like a running commentary in my head. Helps me when I go to write them up formally later. But it's not a place I'd normally invite other people because, well, I'm not that mean. Figured I'd make an exception. Sorry. ;)

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Excellent, as always, Om.

And SO true about the "secure" feeling. Been missing for longer than I care to remember.

I felt it too ... I actually didn't get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when we approached the end zone.

Hallelujah! :)

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Good job OM.

One of the "standouts" for me was they seemed well prepared, a product of good coaching.

For example, Torrain picking up that possible backwards pass and running down field even though it was eventually blown back. Or, the punt return team using each other to keep the ball out of the endzone and pinnng it inside the 5yd line.

As simple as this stuff seems, its been lacking in past years.

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I agreed with Theismann about going for it on that 4th down. They have nothing to lose, a veteran punter, and I believe they already punted a few times before that. So why not just run a play on 4th and very short?

BTW, I'm sure someone's mentioned this already, but was London Fletcher picking his nose when he ran away from the camera on the sidelines?

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There were definitely things that caught my attention I'd rather not have seen ... like the clear lull in line play (both sides of the ball) at 35-3.

Personally I think a preseason game is exactly the time to reteach the lesson about playing 60 minutes and keeping focused. The 2nd stringers and wanna-make-the-teamers need the mental discipline that starters have, don't tell yourself for a second that Shanny isn't thrilled to have that letdown to point to and tell them all not to get too full of themselves.

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I vaguely remember reading something a while back about how opposing defenders said Jason's cadence was so consistent from snap to snap that they were able to use it to time their rush on virtually every play.
I remember reading that as well. He was not doing his offensive line any favors by telegraphing when the ball would be snapped, that's for sure.

Good read, OM!

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Im still wondering what the Bills organization saw in Chan Gailey as HC(lol).

Better yet! what in the h@ll was Chan thinking in taking this first pre-season game at Fed-Ex..:D.

Look! good thinking coaches get lame duck teams like this for first games to build confidence and that's what Shanny did. Well atleast that's what it looked like from the look on Chan Gailey's face on the sidelines.

No way Chan Gailey had any business bringing the Bills to a grand opening on the gridiron. This was Shanny's welcome back party, the new beginning for the Redskins organization. The "I still got it" mentality for Donovan Mcnabb and the "we are better then 4-12" attitude from the holdovers.

The one thing the Redskins team have in they're favor right now is leadership. And leader's have to instill confidence first and foremost, and that's exactly what Shanny did by scheduling this game. You don't bring in a team like New England, the Colts or the likes. You bring in a lame duck team with a lame duck coach and the Bills were the perfect fit. "Mission Accomplished" .

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The one thing the Redskins team have in they're favor right now is leadership. And leader's have to instill confidence first and foremost, and that's exactly what Shanny did by scheduling this game. You don't bring in a team like New England, the Colts or the likes. You bring in a lame duck team with a lame duck coach and the Bills were the perfect fit. "Mission Accomplished" .

WTF!!!! Shanny scheduled this preseason game?

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If I had a single gripe about this pre-season game it would be that I saw a lot of "I'm going to take a diving shoulder sort of towards the ball carrier's thigh and hope to up-end him which would look really cool" tackle attempts. They may look sweet when they work, but more often than not you either whiff or bounce off the guy you want to tackle. Drive, wrap-up, and TACKLE, people. Especially on the first defensive series I had several occasions to throw my hands up and yell "TACKLE! WITH YOUR ARMS!"

Minor issue that I'm sure will be pointed out on film. Aside from that I was really, really happy. I'm more excited for the season now than ever.

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Better yet! what in the h@ll was Chan thinking in taking this first pre-season game at Fed-Ex..:D.

Look! good thinking coaches get lame duck teams like this for first games to build confidence and that's what Shanny did. Well atleast that's what it looked like from the look on Chan Gailey's face on the sidelines.

I don't think the teams have any say in who they play. Maybe they do as far as scrimmages are concerned, but the NFL handles all scheduling. Chan just has to suck on that lemon of a team & like it.

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