The Buffalo Bills travel to Redskins Stadium for a preseason game tonight at 7pm ET, this is a rematch of sorts of the game that changed things, last season the Redskins faced the Bills in game 12, the first game after the death of Sean Taylor.
It was in this game that the Redskins defense opened in the missing man formation, that tribute to Sean that was so horribly twisted and used to pry former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams from the team, the bullshit story being that because Gregg had not told coach Joe Gibbs about the plan that Gregg was somehow disrespecting Joe.
The game was an up and down affair with the Redskins winning at points 9-2, 16-8, 16-11 and 16-14. Then with under a minute left in game in the rain Joe Gibbs called consecutive timeouts to try and ice Bills' kicker Rian Lindell, unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, Bills make the kick, win the game 17-16.
It is this game I still believe where Joe Gibbs made up his mind once and for all that he would be leaving the team after the season. Too much emotion, heartache, too much pressure and not enough return for his effort. The team went on to four straight wins and a playoff berth, I think after that game Joe was done.
It's a different ball game now, a preseason game with a smaller kind of drama. With his characteristic preseason bad attitude Clinton Portis will be making his first preseason appearance since he separated his shoulder in the first preseason game of 2006. I expect Jason Campbell and the first team offense out there another two drives.
Clinton actually playing may not be the big story though. After his great outing in the Hall of Fame Game, Jim Zorn is considering moving Colt Brennan from the number three slot to the number two for tonight, to get him up with better Redskins teammate, and also against a better quality opposing defense. Colt fans will delight, though this may simply be an experiment to test Colt's limits. It would be in Colt's best interests to minimize those limits. Colt's take on this move and what it means is here. And a quick note to Jason La Canfora at the Washington Post, and anyone else that is getting annoyed at steep trajectory liftoff of future Pro Bowl quarterback Colt Brennan, dude the more you write about how annoying it is to read about him, the more you are going to read about him. Colt Brennan.
Chad Rinehart, rookie third round draft pick offensive lineman with the shaved head has looked good in camp and with Todd Wade and Stephon Heyer a little gimpy could see some extended action. He's currently playing both guard and tackle. Not at the same time though.
Another player to watch is Bully McMullen (Wahoowa!), he is one of many receivers in the house, he is benefiting from Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly's injury outages. Billy is a large frame receiver touted out if UVA a few years ago and never played as well at the pro level as he did in college, I'd like to see him make the team but I know there is a logjam at receiver.
Ron Burgundy and Rich Tandler, what's with the Marcus Mason haterade? They really don't seem to think the guy belongs on the team. Jim Zorn liked his output in the HoF Game and thinks there could be a place on the team for him (going back to find the link). I hope he gets lots of work tonight. BTW, Rich will be live blogging the game at Real Redskins, as will be Greg Trippiedi at Hog Heaven. Hogs Haven also has a game thread.
Your Jim Zorn data points du jour from Ron Burgundy. I like what I've seen so far of the Jim Zorn identity. Jason La Canfora at the WaPo reports on the hilarious comparison by offensive coordinator Greg Blache between NFL rookie and strippers, also what to expect from Jason LaCa. David Wagner's Riggo's Rag game preview.
Matt Terl at the ORB (Official Redskins Blog) has four things he will be looking for tonight: fourth receiver, quarterbacks, punting, safeties; more from Matt, great pregame stuff, players wandering around an empty stadium, first look at the Bills' throwback uniforms, an almost certainly illicit and now public peek under the hood of the officials' replay contraption.
SkinsCast (a new Washington Post feature on their Capital Weather Gang blog) predicts nice weather for Jim Zorn's Redskins Stadium debut.
This is a gameday open thread.
Saturday, August 09, 2008