Friday, August 31, 2007

Mason Nation

This run went for 25 yards. The Redskins should keep this guy.

The Redskins lose big to the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-14. It wasn't as bad as it sounds, in fact they were the obvious 'winners.'

The Redskins finish the preseason 2-2 but they really should be 3-1 because even though the Redskins lost big tonight the first team looked good even without Clinton Portis or Ladell Betts and the second string defense held the Jaguars to a field goal in the firts half but then would be 2-2 because the Titans outplayed the Redskins with the starters in the first half then the Redskins won with 3rd string and a botched snap but then it should be 3-1 because the Redskins outplayed the Steelers in the first half and the Redskins lost with third string but if you do that you have to make them 2-1-1 because the Ravens game was not only called for weather, it was a pretty middling showing by the offense.

The Jaguars started with the ball and there were no Redskins starters on the field. And the defense forced a three and out. The Redskins look good on the defensive side of the ball (correction, Ryan O'Halloran at the WashTimes tells me Kedric Golston, a bona fide starter, was in there for a drive).

Jason Campbell was outstanding, 5 for 5. He played one series and looked ready. Mark Brunell played the rest of the first half and looked pretty durn good. I think there we may seem some variation of the bullshit, one guy as an in-game reliever (Todd Collins) and one as a planned starter (Mark) if Jason goes down. Unless that is if the Redskins were to deal him to the Seattle Seahawks, I don't know what the market for Mark is, a sixth rounder?

The story of the game was my preseason adoptee Marcus Mason. 12 carries for 54 yards, a 4.5 average. He came in after Rock Cartwright and played most of the game, being spelled only by Dee Brown who looks more like a third-down back than a feature runner.

With Clinton and Ladell not playing and the running game not looking great so far I have some real concerns. Why did Clinton not play in a game, not even a snap? He can't be in game shape and Marcus Mason gives the team a spark. He makes this team, I'm calling it.

A few injuries to guys trying to make it, notably John Eubanks, Leigh Torrence and Eric Edwards. Leigh and Eric cramped up but John had to be carted off with a hamstring injury. I am not sure I can evaluate the reserve corners adequately but I know it would be a bummer if John would up getting cut because he did everything he could to make the team, playing cornerback and returning kicks and all it got him was injured on a hot night. David Macklin is looking like the top reserve CB at this point.

Hard to evaluate the safeties either. I saw Reed Doughty and Pierson Prioleau out there early and Vernon Fox and Omar Soutmire got a lot of action in the second half.


Dillweed has not published the line charts yet and this makes me very very unhappy, like a hungry baby in a poopy diaper.

Ryan O'Halloran at the WashTimes echoes concerns (op. cit.) about Clinton Portis and Chris Samuels being out. Again, Clinton has not played a preseason snap and neither has Chris Samuels. Now we are supposed to think Clinton and Chris and new guy Pete Kendall can just come in and pick up where last season's outstanding offensive line play (Redskins runners, a total of more than 2200 yards in 2006) left off? I have concerns. Beeg juans. He also says the Redskins are not interested in dealing Mark Brunell to the Seahawks or anyone else after seeing Jordan Palmer, which is exactly what I said late last night long after I should have been in bed and not writing about the Redskins.

Here's Jason Campbell's total preseason numbers, munged all together they look like one good game's worth of stats. Important stat: no interceptions.

Tom Boswell at the WaPo gets picked for the annual 'Joe Gibbs is as inscrutable as Alan Greenspan' piece. Do we believe he has a team that can win, or is he merely obliged to say that? Answer: both of the above. Joe Gibbs has always believed in his teams and has always been sunnyside up and has always tempered expectations. Yes, it's all on him. I'll come on out and say right here at the end of the preseason, if the Redskins aren't 9-7 I don't think Joe Gibbs will be back next season.

Covering the Redskins, Bram Weinstein is in depth as usual and here's the nugget:

A couple quick observations: RB Marcus Mason appears like he is a keeper showing great natural running ability using his quick cutback moves to gain 55 yards on 9 first half carries.. He likely won’t make this team but appears like a string candidate for the practice squad..
We'll see about that, I'm still hoping for the regualr roster but we'll see. I would think there is a possibility that if he is released Saturday another team may sign him before the Redskins can re-sign him to the practice squad.

Speaking of practice squad, Bram clarifies (op. cit.) the rules of the practice squad for me and I appreciate that. Teams have to get down to 53 players by Saturday and can sign up to eight players to the practice squad starting Sunday. So all those players will be on the open market for 24 hours and anyone can sign them. Also, players with nine or more regular season games of NFL experience, you are not eligible for the practice squad and players can only be on the practice squad a maximum of two seasons before becoming ineligible for return there. In this way, the league keeps turning over those positions to youngters, as it should be. I would not want to see 35 year old quarterbacks stashed there for a rainy day.

NFL box, recap, full play by play. Washington Post box, recap.

Other coverage: The Redskins Report, Hog Heaven. Florida Times-Union has good photos.

Next up, it's for real kids as the Redskins open the 2007 season at home against Trent Green and the Miami Dolphins. We love Trent Green.

Marcus Mason plowing for 25 yards on first and 10, 11:34 left 2nd quarter: Peter Lockley or Michael Connor / Washington Times from here. Trent Green at his introductory press conference in Miami: Uncredited image from here.