Out of the Box: Does it seem like the Redskins play the Ravens every year? That is because they, the team up the road a bit is coming down to Redskins Stadium for the second preseason game for both teams, get out the bourbon and take a seat, 7:00 pm on local media.
Quick jump to
The Story So Far: The Ravens and Redskins is a designated regional rivalry by the NFL and as such the Redskins will play the Ravens ever year; on the years Washington does not play Baltimore in the regular, you can bet there will be a preseason game. This was the case in the 2009 preseason opener when Ladell Betts took the field in a jersey that read BETTIS on the back, the game was a 23-0 shutout by the Ravens in Baltimore.
In 2008 it was a regular season match, the Ravens were part of the second half swoon, after losing 24-10 in Baltimore the Redskins were 7-6 and eliminated from the playoffs in all ways but mathematically. Terrell Suggs put left tackle both left tackle Chris Samuels and backup left tackle Justin Geisinger out for the season in the span of just a couple of plays.
In 2007 it was the preseason finale, at home for the Redskins a game was cut famously cut short by an incredibly violent storm, fans were ushered out of their seats twice, one of those times being told to seek shelter in cars in the parking lot which I guess is not as big a deal as if you are stuck in the storm of the season and took Metro. The main takeaway from this game was LaRon Landry looked like a grownup and Marcus Mason was the best Redskins ball carrier in preseason.
The 2006 game was, as you might expect, also the preseason finale, a 17-10 loss in which the Redskins took it easy, completing a winless preseason, this gamewrap finishes with an ominous excerpt from a Michael Wilbon piece about how the veteran core of this team and veteran coaches of that Redskins team were poised for a solid playoff run. I expressed some doubt at the time, even I could have had no idea how disastrous 2006 would be.
Meanwhile back in 2010, since a surprisingly easy win over a pretty hapless Bills team in the preseason opener, defensive nose end Albert Haynesworth decided he was down with this defense after all which is not as good as an apology or returning the check, it is something. Albert missed the final three practices of camp and thirteen of eighteen overall, because he felt sick or had dehydration or a headache something, bullshit detector going off (op. cit.).
The main story though seemed to be the receivers, it is quite a motley group of eleven, I have my ideas how this will shake out and a number of tastemakers got together at DC Pro Sports Report for a roundtable on it and even they were not in consensus. Suffice to say the Redskins do not have one solid gamechanger at the receiver position, a weakness the team will need to hide in the regular season with solid possession passing, good tight end play and a straight ahead running game.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers is supposedly having a good preseason, he may be another beneficiary of a fresh start with new head coach Mike Shanahan, Carlos is one of two Redskins players, linebacker Rocky McIntosh is the other along with former Redskin quarterback Jason Campbell, that would have been a free agent in the old collective bargaining agreement system, I read with humor that Carlos' resentment toward the team has been growing every year since his 2005 drafting, if that is in fact the case then his attitude toward the team exactly matches fan attitude toward Carlos. Do not expect Carlos suddenly to become an order of magnitude better in his sixth season.
We learned a little more of the journey of backup quarterback Rex Grossman, he played last season in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's system in Houston and looked pretty good in last week's game. He has had a couple of really serious football injuries and that Super Bowl 41 loss to Peyton Manning and the Colts must seem like a long time ago to Rex.
Monday former Eagles tailback Brian Westbrook signed with the 49ers, ending speculation that he might sign in Washington
Training camp officially broke Thursday after the morning practice (ibid.), the players are no longer required to stay in the team residence or suffer two a days, they will now assume a normal season practice schedule.
Friday linebacker London Fletcher was named Redskins Defensive Player of the Year for the third straight season, the guy is football immortal.
In its Training Camp Tracker series the Washington Post spotlighted 34 year old long snapper James Dearth, in camp to compete with 22 year old Nick Sundberg, both of whom are vying to replace 39 year old Ethan Albright who was mysteriously not re signed; fullback Darrel Young, a converted linebacker who likely will back up fullback Mike Sellers; tight end slash fullback Dennis Morris, a decorated college tight end who is apparently having a tough camp trying to make it as third tight end; and punter Josh Bidwell who missed all of last season with a hip injury, for the fifth year in a row I say I say, maybe we have a good solution at punter.
Curly R Aside: Longtime readers will remember that I was a regular contributor to Sports Blog Nation Redskins entry Hogs Haven back in the day from 2006 to 2009, Hogs Haven and Curly R both started within a week of each other in August of 2006 and former Hogs Haven anchorblogger Will Allensworth became a good blogfriend. Well SBN reorganized about a year and a half ago, Will moved on to law school and Hogs Haven was passed to Kevin Ewoldt and Ken Meringolo, the former editors of Ahern Inquirer.
They went and got big, SBN is funded and they have become a legitimate news outlet, complete with exclusive interviews with Redskins owner Dan Snyder. They have gone off and done things Curly R cannot and maybe should not do.
Now Ken and Kevin have gone off the deep end, they have invited your author to pen a weekly Tuesday column, the first one will debut next week. The regular feature will be called The Folsom Point and it will be about, get this, they promised to let me write BOUT WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT TO.
Hope to see you there Tuesday.
Oppo Research: The only story you need to know for this week's preseason game is The Return of the Z-Man, Ravens quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn returns to Washington for the first time since being fired in January, as I wrote on Thursday, the Jim Zorn years will not be remembered in any way as a good period for the Redskins as a team, a business and a franchise.
I must say though, Mike Wise makes reference to people, likely inside the Redskins organization, thinking that coach Zorn got too big for his britches in the first year of 2008, a fast 6-2 start, bike rides with the president and the endorsements, media and money that come with being the head coach of the Washington Redskins.
This is of course complete bullshit, Jim Zorn held up his end, team management failed to build a team, a culture or a business around Jim Zorn. Too complicated an offense for quarterback Jason Campbell? Are you kidding me? How about undrafted free agents and morbidly obese men off the street on the offensive line. Too big for his britches? How about Machiavelli in a cheap vest Vinny Cerrato so desperate to protect himself that he wound up throwing the entire team and all the fans under the bus.
I never said Jim Zorn was a genius or the next Vince Lombardi, what I wrote Wednesday and what was consistent in my coverage of the Jim Zorn Years was this: Do not trust the guy, do not give the guy the tools and when he fails you think he takes the fall, we all know what happened there, amateurs in the front office. Look no further than the massive degrees of change in the Redskins this year to validate this position.
Trainer's Table: Right tackle Jammal Brown seems better from his hip injury and should play tonight, receiver Malcolm Kelly though struggled all week with his injured hamstring and has only a slim chance to play tonight. I still think Malcolm is out of here.
Defensive nose end Albert Haynesworth missed the final three days of practice, Tuesday not feeling well, Wednesday dehydration and Thursday heat exhaustion, with coach Shanahan giving a different reason each day, he is still scheduled to play tonight, will continue to line up with the second team.
Receiver Mike Furrey was placed on injured reserve and is gone for the season, Mike suffered a concussion on 2 August, just three days into camp, and has not recovered well enough to play, he was a long shot to make the roster and I cannot figure why the Redskins would not have given him an injury settlement and sent him on his way.
Gameplan: The starters are going to play a little longer in this game, maybe thirty snaps as opposed to the fifteen to eighteen in the last game, this is a standard progression for the second preseason game, and with the starters in the backfield we will see tailback Larry Johnson, last week was Clinton Portis turn and next week will be Willie Parker's turn, coach Shanahan wants to evaluate them each with as little prejudice toward the other as possible. Did you know Larry Johnson was more of less of a complete asshole in Kansas City? At least he fits right in with the social media morons on the Redskins.
My Take in 60 Words or Less: I liked the first taste, what else you got?
Washington Post preview. Broadcast coverage, a note to Redskins fans in the Washington DC area, I got burned by NBC in Washington, both standard definition channel 4 and high definition channel 504, on FIOS that is. Couple of tips came in from readers, go to Comcast SportsNet's high def feed, that one was on time and looked good last week.
Enjoy the game, once again I will be enjoying it with neighbors on Swarthmore Drive, ShedTV is how we (t)roll.
This is a gameday open thread.
NFL helmet logos from here.