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ESPN.com: Observation deck: Redskins-Steelers


Califan007

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http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/29528/observation-deck-redskins-steelers

We knew earlier in the week that Rex Grossman was a confident quarterback, when he said he expected the Washington Redskins to win the NFC East this season. Friday night, in Washington's 16-7 preseason victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Grossman played like a confident quarterback. He looked cool and in control, playing the first half behind a surprisingly sound offensive line and going 19-for-26 for 207 yards and a touchdown.

A few more observations from Washington's surprisingly impressive effort in its first preseason game:

1. Ryan Kerrigan can contribute right away. The first-round draft pick is still getting up to speed, as a leg injury cost him several early training-camp practices. And he will need to continue to work on his coverages and get used to playing on two feet as a linebacker rather than out of the three-point stance in which he played as a defensive end at Purdue. But Kerrigan can rush a passer. He showed that several times, making his way swiftly into the backfield from the side opposite Brian Orakpo and getting hits on Steelers running backs and quarterbacks. He may not be a fully finished NFL product by Week 1, but the Redskins can start him at outside linebacker if they want to and just send him after quarterbacks all night, and they'll get plenty of value out of that.

2. Tim Hightower will be the starting running back as long as he holds onto the football. Mike Shanahan thought he got a steal when he acquired Hightower in a trade with Arizona during training camp's first week. You saw Hightower look good running the ball, but what really jumps out to Shanahan is the help Hightower can provide in the passing game -- as a receiver and as a blocker. Ryan Torain will still get a long look once he gets back from his hand injury, but Hightower is the clear leader to be the starting running back in Week 1....

...All in all, if you hadn't been following any of the preseason coverage, you'd have tuned in Friday night and thought the Redskins looked pretty sharp. Keep in mind: This is a rebuilding team. So good signs from Friday night can be good signs for the future even if they don't end up portending anything great for 2011. As for 2011 ... One thing they'll almost certainly be able to do is beat outside expectations. Remains to be seen, of course, if they have any chance of living up to Grossman's.

Lots more at the link...

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I didn't catch any of the starters, but as a team, we definitely looked sharp tonight. Looks like guys are really responding to the coaching. A lot of things can change between now and September 11th, but as of right now, I really like what I see.

We also looked a lot faster tonight. That was also very refreshing to see.

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2. Tim Hightower will be the starting running back as long as he holds onto the football. Mike Shanahan thought he got a steal when he acquired Hightower in a trade with Arizona during training camp's first week. You saw Hightower look good running the ball, but what really jumps out to Shanahan is the help Hightower can provide in the passing game -- as a receiver and as a blocker. Ryan Torain will still get a long look once he gets back from his hand injury, but Hightower is the clear leader to be the starting running back in Week 1....

Interesting comment regarding Hightower. When the trade first happened, I didn't think much of it. But tonight, I think he may very well have the inside track to the #1 spot. He did it all tonight running with conviction and vision, pass pro, and recieving. Very good all around perfomance.

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Interesting comment regarding Hightower. When the trade first happened, I didn't think much of it. But tonight, I think he may very well have the inside track to the #1 spot. He did it all tonight running with conviction and vision, pass pro, and recieving. Very good all around perfomance.

Hightower did look impressive. Waddaya know... A runningback who can actually run *AND* block. I wonder what Portis was thinking as he watched from home. :ols:

Helu may take longer to develop than I thought but I still believe he will eventually be the lightning to Hightower's thunder. I'll have to wait till tomorrow night to watch the whole game but I'm assuming he was not running behind the first string O line? Still, the game stats were showing a few 0 yard runs and that makes me think he may need to develop a little more power for the NFL. And if he wants more PT he's gong to need to improve his blocking according to the coach.

With few exceptions, it was an impressive job by the whole team. I think their performance raised a few eyebrows in the media and around the league.

I'm dying to hear fat ass Jamie Dukes comments after the dismissive crap he's been talking about the skins. The dude reminds me of every idiot on-line poster I have ever seen. Uninformed, obnoxious, opinionated, and loud. As if I didn't want the Skins to win bad enough, I hope we are so good he *HAS* to eat his words.

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Graziano was spot on with his observations/assesments of the game. He must have watch it twice.:)

As Redskins fans we have to all be excited about what we witnessed last night at the RB position. We now have choices, good choices.

Also, Kerrigan looks like he is out to make a name for himself immediately.

---------- Post added August-13th-2011 at 02:19 AM ----------

2 knocks about tonights game. Rex threw way too many times off his back foot
Good catch, I noticed that myself.

However, Rexy was way more poised and accurate than I ever expected him to be. So I don't know what the back foot thing was all about, but I'm sure that the Shanahan's will catch it and work with him on it. No worries.

and we still need oline depth. When the second team came out the running game didn't look nearly as sharp even against second teamers for the steelers
That's why they are on the second team.:)
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Good catch, I noticed that myself.

However, Rexy was way more poised and accurate than I ever expected him to be. So I don't know what the back foot thing was all about, but I'm sure that the Shanahan's will catch it and work with him on it. No worries.

I haven't had had a chance to catch the game yet but I hope to catch the replay on NFLN. I'll try and keep an eye out for that. I have to think that its beneficial that KS & RexGod are good friends when it comes to them tweaking mechanics such as this. I would think maybe it makes it easier for the coaching staff to point out these sorts of things to the players and receive cooperation in return. I would at least presume KS will run into less opposition in trying to point this out to RG than what he ran up against in #5. :2cents:

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0 sacks. 0 Turnovers. 0 penalties through 3 quarters of the first preseason game after a lockout and with only one week of practice for some of these guys. That's really the most compelling line to me. Step 1 of the rebuild: DON'T BEAT YOURSELF.

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Pretty dead on observations

If Hightower plus Helu/Royster/Torrain can keep rushing at a 4.5 ypc average, this offense will be very productive.

I still think Grossman doesn't move well enough to consistently execute the bootleg portion of the offense, but he was very competent and comfortable last night.

The defense certainly is much improved. It was nice to see the front 7 get consistent pressure

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Fix the O line and Rex can eliminate a lot of the brainfarts, it's that simple to me. When given time Grossman can be a better than average QB, but he freaks too easily. He had a lot of time last night, thought the O line exceeded expectations, and if that continues Rex can settle down and do even better with things like stepping into throws, making better reads, etc.

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I think the coaching staff deserves some praise here. We often praise coaching staffs like the Steelers and, tonight, it was pretty clear that our guys (even with much more player turnover than Pitt) looked farther along. Given the abbreviated camp, I would expect teams like Pitt with hardly any player movement and a number of veterans to be able to pick up where they left off much faster than a team full of new faces like ours (see Patriots Thursday night). However, the opposite appeared to be true last night.

By week 1 of the regular season, our "newness" may show...however, I'm willing to give the staff a high-five for last night. We looked much more polished as a unit than I would have expected.

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I think the coaching staff deserves some praise here. We often praise coaching staffs like the Steelers and, tonight, it was pretty clear that our guys (even with much more player turnover than Pitt) looked farther along. Given the abbreviated camp, I would expect teams like Pitt with hardly any player movement and a number of veterans to be able to pick up where they left off much faster than a team full of new faces like ours (see Patriots Thursday night). However, the opposite appeared to be true last night.

By week 1 of the regular season, our "newness" may show...however, I'm willing to give the staff a high-five for last night. We looked much more polished as a unit than I would have expected.

I don't buy this. They are the most consistent team of the last 4 seasons. This was their first preseason game with no legit practice time. If big ben didn't miss that pass to wallace, we'd be singing a different story. The steelers are built for the playoffs, they weren't that interested in gameplanning or doing anything to stop the redskins. They were seeing if their players could pass (eh) run (8.4avg by redman...) and tackle (some did)

Preseason is always about paying attention to your own team, not the others

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Interesting comment regarding Hightower. When the trade first happened, I didn't think much of it. But tonight, I think he may very well have the inside track to the #1 spot. He did it all tonight running with conviction and vision, pass pro, and recieving. Very good all around perfomance.

And thats not even what he is really good at....in AZ they used him more in goal line situations which he excelled at.

He played at the University of Richmond in college and he has always looked impressive, like everyone else says if he can hold onto the ball he could be dangerous

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I don't buy this. They are the most consistent team of the last 4 seasons. This was their first preseason game with no legit practice time. If big ben didn't miss that pass to wallace, we'd be singing a different story. The steelers are built for the playoffs, they weren't that interested in gameplanning or doing anything to stop the redskins. They were seeing if their players could pass (eh) run (8.4avg by redman...) and tackle (some did)

Preseason is always about paying attention to your own team, not the others

Every preseason thread should have a "REMEMBER OSAKA!!!" watermark under each post.

I should probably also add that I think I've seen the Steelers not exactly mail it in, but treat the preseason more like practice qua Iverson practice than any other team. And I think that's smart.

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Maybe I'm the negative nancy but our first stringers did play an entire half against the Steelers second stringers after the first two drives(I may be off by a drive or two). And lets not forget that we still have to worry over our coverage issues that seem to have continued from last season. Josh Wilson showed us why he was primarily a nickel cb in Baltimore. Our cbs were beat several times last night off of double moves; i can't believe it is all because of our starting safeties being out of the game last night.

A few positives though that we should be excited about. Hightower looks exciting behind our o-line so long as he doesn't fumble. Overall the pass protection was good(however i'm not sure if it was because they're just better or Pitt didn't plan to blitz often). Our receiving depth looked good last night; and i still think Hankerson will be fine once he gets used to the game. Royster looked extremely solid, and Helu, who I thought would start this season showed he needs a little more work but has the ability to explode. Who knew that Sexy Rexy would actually resemble a starting caliber quarterback???

My biggest fear is that we still don't have a solid field goal kicker on the team. Gano was obviously better tonight but the clunker on the goal post reminded me why I cringed every time he lined up to kick last season.

Other than that, it was a solid performance overall and lets give credit where it's deserved, great job to the coaching staff for having the team ready to play!

HTTR and lets enjoy this win....as well as a two topping pizza on monday! :logo:

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I don't buy this. They are the most consistent team of the last 4 seasons. This was their first preseason game with no legit practice time. If big ben didn't miss that pass to wallace, we'd be singing a different story. The steelers are built for the playoffs, they weren't that interested in gameplanning or doing anything to stop the redskins. They were seeing if their players could pass (eh) run (8.4avg by redman...) and tackle (some did)

Preseason is always about paying attention to your own team, not the others

Wow, wasn't saying our coaching staff is now better than theirs or that we are somehow now better than the Steelers. But, in all fairness it was also our "first preseason game with no legit practice time." And, we've got a lot more new pieces. So, yeah, I don't think it's wrong to tip a hat to the coaching staff for preparing the guys to actually make some things work effectively and as Mike Tomlin described, outplaying them in every aspect of the game.

Forgot this, worstseat. Remember Osaka !!

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I don't buy this. They are the most consistent team of the last 4 seasons. This was their first preseason game with no legit practice time. If big ben didn't miss that pass to wallace, we'd be singing a different story. The steelers are built for the playoffs, they weren't that interested in gameplanning or doing anything to stop the redskins. They were seeing if their players could pass (eh) run (8.4avg by redman...) and tackle (some did)

Preseason is always about paying attention to your own team, not the others

Take the first part of your complaint and think on it. They are the most consistant team in the league. They have been a Superbowl threat almost every year for the last ten. We have had insane turnover and are a stinker of a team with almost no time together thanks to the lockout and we competed well against their chemistry and talent. Sure, it was vanilla and preseason, but no one plays to be embarrassed.

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