Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Redskins Have a Weak Johnson

Also this was bad and Albert Haynesworth is cancer

Takeaway Drill: Tough sledding as the starting offense struggles on first and second down; injuries arrive in preseason; the starting defense looks good, drops off from there; Albert Haynesworth puts it all out there.

Quick jump to

Monday Walkthrough :: Soapbox :: Chattering Class :: Omnibus Spotlights :: Recaps and Stats

Monday Sunday Walkthrough: Kind of a bad outing overall as the showcase tailback looks weak and the starting quarterback, left tackle, free safety and fullback all sustain injuries in a 23-3 home loss to the Baltimore Ravens to drop the Redskins to 1-1 in the preseason, football reality starts to set in, a reality that features an impossible situation on the defensive line.

Washington wins the toss and elects to receive to start the first quarter, the Redskins first drive is kept alive by a 13 yard dart from quarterback Donovan McNabb to receiver Santana Moss, tight end Chris Cooley does the same thing on third and fourteen, barely getting over the chains, this drive looks dead before Dono finds receiver Anthony Armstrong deep for 45 yards to the Baltimore seven, tight end Fred Davis drops a pass in the end zone, Dono throws behind Anthony Armstrong, kicker Graham Gano kicks a 25 yard field goal and the Redskins open a 3-0 lead. The Ravens get the ball for the first time, Joe Flacco under center, they open with a reverse then Ray Rice for a first down, after that a penalty and good Washington pass rush and the Ravens are punting. Washington's second drive, Larry Johnson still in the backfield, we also see Clinton Portis on this drive, actually twice and the Redskins punt. Why did Larry come out? Baltimore's second possession features more Ray Rice but goes six and out and the Ravens punt, they down this punt inside the Redskins five yard line. The Redskins get the ball for the third time, on first down Dono dodges a safety sack in the end zone, Larry Johnson bobbles it six times and drops it, Larry is not looking good, Chris Cooley bails the team out on second down, every play on this drive that went to Larry Johnson was a loss, every play that went to Clinton Portis was a gain, do the math as the Redskins punt. The Ravens get the ball for the third time, one first down pass to Ray Rice and that is the end of the quarter with the Redskins leading 3-0.

Baltimore continues its third possession into the second quarter, Joe Flacoo still in the game, a silly penalty then a big Anquan Boldin catch moves the Ravens, Baltimore stalls on the Washington four yard line and Billy Cundiff comes in for a 26 yard field goal, and it is tied 3-3. Washington gets the ball for the fourth time, Dono still in the game for the Redskins, not much for Larry Johnson on first down, after the Mike Sellers injury timeout Santana Moss catches a 23 yarded down the middle, on the next play Ravens defensive back Cary Williams intercepts a short pass on a long throw to Santana Moss, Baltimore ball. The Ravens fourth possession starts on the Redskins 37 after the interception, only two plays as LaRon strips Donte Stallworth and the Redskins recover the fumble. The Redskins fifth possession starts poorly with a hard rush on Donovan then the next pass is right into the hands of LaRon's brother Dawan Landry who cannot hold onto the interception, on third down Anthony Armstrong was wide open but the ball was long, Redskins punt. Baltimore's fifth possession, defensive starters still in the game, they move in chunks before stalling at midfield, this drive featured a good hit on Joe Flacco by London Fletcher, then the Ravens pull bullcrap fake punt and take the ball 47 yards to the Washington one yard line, on the next play Willis McGahee goes in for the touchdown and the game is now 10-3 Ravens. Washington's sixth possession starts with a bum rush through the middle of the line, Donovan is called for intentional grounding, loss of down and a thirteen yard loss, the Redskins get it all back on the next play as Dono finds Santana short near the goal line, Santana scoots 26 yards for a first down, then again to Santana for 17, then Larry nearly fumbles, two incomplete, including a third and long pass into Santana's shoulder pads, the Redskins are punting. The Ravens get the ball for the sixth time, Marc Bulger is in the game at quarterback for Baltimore, starters still in the game for Washington, Marc completes five passes in a row before stalling at the Washington 24 yard line, Billy Cundiff kicks a 42 yard field goal and the game is now 13-3 Ravens. The Redskins seventh possession, Donovan is still in the game, they move forty yards in four plays including a nice catch in traffic by Anthony Armstrong, kicker Graham Gano sets up for 47 yard field goal, it is wide right and the ball goes back to Baltimore. The Ravens seventh possession is a one play kneeldown ending the half with the Ravens leading 13-3.

Baltimore gets the ball to start the third quarter, the Ravens eighth possession, Marc Bulger still in the game for Baltimore, Albert Haynesworth now in the game with Chris Horton and the rest of the second defense, a three and out and the Ravens are punting. The Redskins get the ball for the eighth time, Rex Grossman in the game, a three and out, punt. The Ravens ninth possession starts on Baltimore's six yard line after a holding penalty, a fourteen play, 94 yard drive, consuming eight minutes, a regular season masterpiece of a drive, it ends with tailback Jalen Parmele going in for the score from three yards out and the Ravens are now leading 20-3. Washington gets the ball fro the ninth time, this drives gets off to a good start with a long pass from Rex Grossman to Brandon Banks, we see Willie Parker in the game, the Redskins move well, Keiland Williams gets in the game for a 24 yard catch, on fourth and four from the Baltimore eighteen Ravens linebacker Jason Phillips comes through the middle unblocked, his Rex, fumbles, Ravens ball. Troy Smith is in at quarterback for the Ravens for their tenth possession, two plays to midfield and the quarter ends 20-3 Ravens.

The Ravens continue their tenth possession into the fourth quarter, Chris Wilson comes in for a sack on first down, Troy tries to scramble on second down, the Ravens punt but down the ball at the Washington six. The Redskins start their tenth drive deep in their own territory, Keiland Williams figures early, lots of Baltimore pressure and it is a five and out punt. Baltimore gets the ball for the eleventh time, another good drive and the Redskins seem to be the takers not the givers, it ends with a Shane Graham 24 yard field goal to make the game 23-3 Ravens. Washington gets the ball for the eleventh time, the highlight of this drive appears to be a good catch and run by tight end Fred Davis, I admit I am having a hard time staying focused amidst mediocrity and my neighbors, this drive ends on the Baltimore ten yard line, Rex Grossman is chased out of the pocket to the right and throws an interception to former Cowboy Ken Hamlin, Ravens ball. The Ravens twelfth possession blah blah punt. Redskins twelfth possession yada yada Rex Grossman fumbles it away. Baltimore has a one play thirteenth drive, a Troy Smith kneeldown and the game is over, Ravens win 23-3 to drop the Redskins to 1-1 in the preseason.


Soapbox: If you look at this game, preseason or not, as a game the Redskins tried to win then this was a pretty bad night. The Redskins scored three points in the whole game, all in the first quarter and the Ravens went on a 23-0 run to close out the game. There were injuries after a training camp and first preseason game free of them. The showcase tailback was terrible and last though certainly not least was the Albert the Butthurt melting down after the game, just putting it all out there for all to see. Let us walk these results in the context of the preseason and break each one down:

The starting offense: Only able to perform on third down, on the first three third downs in the game quarterback Donovan McNabb connected on long passes to three different receivers. While this is heartening, that ability for Dono to hook up downfield and with a variety of pass catchers, the lack of productivity on first and second down was alarming. Donovan's interception in the second quarter was poorly thrown.

The showcase tailback: Head coach Mike Shanahan has indicated that each of his three stooges at tailback will get a night to show off, Clinton Portis was last week, Larry Johnson was this week and Willie Parker will be next week. Well Larry was terrible, so bad that I now fear for his roster spot. Statistics aside as we were watching the game it was just obvious that Larry had no pop through the hole, was not able to block well and dropped his only reception opportunity. As a runner he seemed to fall at first contact and not punch through the hole. When we saw Clinton Portis come in in the first quarter, something Larry did not do in Clinton's game, then saw Willie Parker come in in the third quarter we knew Larry was not only having a bad night but that he was being materially downgraded by the coaches.

Clinton Portis so far is your starting tailback in Washington, every play he was in there he seemed to hit the hole or make his block.

The starting defense: Played very well in the first half, forced to Ravens punts in the first quarter and a field goal to start the second. Later in the first half DeAngelo Hall would engage receiver Donte Stallworth long enough for LaRon Landry to deliver a jarring hit that knocked the ball loose, the Redskins swarming defense got the ball, was given right back by the offense on an interception on the ensuing drive. As for the touchdown, the bulk of those Baltimore yards came on the fake punt, the defensive unit took the field with the Ravens at the six yard line.

Injuries: Starting free safety Kareem Moore and starting fullback Mike Sellers both went out of the game with leg injuries in the second quarter, these were the most serious injuries, Kareem injured his right medial collateral ligament and could be out four to six weeks. Less was known about Mike's injury though the team signed former Steelers fullback Cary Davis to the roster, the Redskins other main fullback is Darrel Young, a converted linebacker, and rookie Dennis Morris has also played fullback though the team prefers Dennis at tight end. Rookie left tackle Trent Williams and quarterback Donovan McNabb both left the field fine with their units and appeared later in injury garb, Trent with a sling on a bruised elbow and Donovan with ice on his ankle.

After an injury free training camp and preseason so far these injuries were a bit jarring and I can only hope they do not extend too far into the regular season; while I think the Redskins could easily do better at fullback the free safety, left tackle and quarterback are all critical positions of little depth. Cue Eagles fans hysterically screaming I told you so.

Albert the Butthurt: The game ended, I finished my Walkthrough and Omnibus notes, which are the only notes I take on a game in real time, and clamshelled my laptop, poured a drink and prepared to take in the post game as a fan with my neighbors, I suppose my surprise was as big as anyone watching defensive nose end Albert Haynesworth's puerile tantrum in the locker room following the game, accusing the Redskins of downplaying the medical condition that caused Albert to miss the final three days of practice in camp, all for the supposed purpose of humiliating him for missing the ENTIRE offseason program, in this tirade we also learned that Albert is already promising not to be here next year for the offseason program and that playing in either both the second string defense and or third quarter of a preseason game are below a veteran of his stature.

For those of us that thought all the drama was behind the team for the season this was a bit of a shock to hear that Albert still feels to put upon. It is clear that he really really really still thinks that head coach Mike Shanahan is singling him out for specific humiliation. That we will learn more about the medical condition that caused Albert to miss the final three days of camp practice is now inevitable, I look forward to Albert playing it all up for as much as he can, if anyone thought Albert and coach Shanahan could get along we now know that will not happen ever.

And what is this about the Redskins marching band playing Hail to the Redskins after the Ravens scored their first touchdown?


Chattering Class: Mike Wise at the Washington Post oddly had two columns posted today, the first was about positive progress in the face of a tough game, Dono can go deep, LaRon Landry is obviously happy back near the line of scrimmage, and Trent Williams had such a bad night against Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs that the matchup with DeMarcus Ware on opening night is all that much bigger of a deal. In this column Mike also mentions that former Redskins head coach Jim Zorn and owner Dan Snyder never managed to have their reunion, and that may be because someone wanted it that way.

The second Mike Wise column was a rhetorical piece asking whether head coach Mike Shanahan wants to win over Albert the Butthurt or win games. The essence of this piece is coach Shanahan needs to sue for peace and put Albert where he will be on opening day, that he should be playing with the first teamers since we all know that is where he will be. I disagree with this premise, I think Albert is playing in the third quarter with the second string because according to the team's practice time, practice performance and conditioning guidelines, Albert is only qualified to play that spot. And he may and maybe should open the season there.


Omnibus: Uniform watch: The preferred home combination of white jersey and burgundy pants, two for two so far.

Broadcasters: Mike Patrick and Joe Theismann, this will be a much better broadcast than last week's with Kenny Albert. Rick Doc Walker is the sideline reporter, love him, occasionally get a little tired of him, he has been working the market since sports radio was stood up around 1996.

Looks like I may done goofed again, I came to neighbor Bill's house and he had already started recording the game on NBC 4, the high def channel is once again broadcasting standard def. Should have taken reader LS's advice to set record to CSN.

Good pregame bumper with London Fletcher, he could be reciting the phone book or reading a Applebee's menu and he would sound like a leader.

As expected, Larry Johnson comes out at ball carrier, we will likely see him for most of the first half.

In the first drive we saw Clinton Portis in on third down, the first time as a blocker and the second as a receiver.

Three third downs in a row on the first drive and Dono comes through, to Santana, to Chris Cooley and to Anthony Armstrong.

WHIFF! Brian Orakpo totally missed Ray Rice on BAL's first possession, Ray dropped the pitch and Brian had him dead to rights and just missed, LaRon Landry cleared Ray out at the sideline though.

First BAL possession, the Washington pass rush looks pretty good, two plays in a row Joe Flacco was hurrying up.

Say what? I thought Larry Johnson was supposed to be the feature back tonight, Clinton Portis replaced Larry on second down of the Redskins second possession, first quarter.

Going ugly early: In the Redskins third possession, first quarter, Donovan McNabb was almost sacked in the end zone, Larry Johnson bobbled is six times SIX TIMES, then two plays later runs and falls at the line, so far the Larry-O-Meter is sucking. Clinton came in for one play, a first down, then on the next play Larry bumbles into the line and loses three yards on third and one.

Preseason for the refs as well, the delay of game call on London Fletcher in the Ravens third possession, second quarter, was totally bogus, he boomped it at the line by accident, the Ravens were not even in the down set yet.

Ouchie? LaRon Landry was fine fine fine in the Ravens third possession, second quarter, then fell down clutching his right leg. Turned out to be a cramp, Joe Theismann made what neighbor Scott thinks is an unintentional pun: "He even scared the cramp out of his leg!"

Whoa I had forgotten the Ravens traded for Anquan Boldin, that is their big receiver they tried to get as far back as 2004 with the failed Terrell Owens trade.

Boo-boo: In the Redskins fourth drive, second quarter, Mike Sellers went down, was rolled up his back in the pile, it looked really painful, Darrel Young replaced him. Later in the quarter the report was simply left leg injury.

Heads up defense: The Ravens fourth possession, second quarter was ended on a great defensive sequence, Joe Flacco tossed a ten yard buttonhook to Donte Stallworth who turned upfield, DeAngelo Hall engaged Donte, holding him up, LaRon came in and just creamed Donte from the left, the ball came out near the sideline and bounced off LaRon's leg to stay in bounds, three Redskins led by nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu jumped for the ball and missed, London Fletcher fell on it just as free safety Kareem Moore came in a whacked the shit out of London, who held the ball, good defensive play boys.

Kareemed: In the Ravens fifth possession, second quarter, in the bullcrap fake punt Kareem Moore got hurt, he was on the ground for a minute or two, London came over and told Kareem to buck the fuck up and Kareem got off the field on his own power. After the Ravens touchdown we saw him on the sideline, motionless on a trainer's table.

Special team proooobbbblems: The Ravens fake punt then confusion on the ensuing touchdown extra point, special teams coach Danny Smith will be all over them tomorrow.

Larry Johnson's struggles continue, in Washington's sixth possession, second quarter, Larry gets the ball at midfield for a two yard falling forward gain and almost fumbles, it was ruled down, Larry is not impressing in his audition.

Working titles for gamewrap: Redskins Have a Weak Johnson

The Redskins defense, still starters, looked pretty limp at the end of the first half as Marc Bulger carved them up on the way to a field goal.

Brandon Banks! Got a chance to shine on the punt return following the Ravens eighth possession, a holding penalty nullified a 27 yard return, the penalty was on Ryan Torain.

Is anybody here to play? The second string defense came in to start the second half and promptly gave up a 94 yard drive. Reed Doughty, Chris Horton, Albert Haynesworth, Adam Carriker, Lorenzo Alexander,

New rule: In the Ravens ninth possession, third quarter, Ravens tailback Jalen Parmele's helmet came off and the play was immediately blown dead, Joe Theismann and Mike Patrick alerted us to this new rule ending the play to protect the player. I think this is a good rule.

Not with the Papa Johns: Mike and Joe in the booth WHORING AGAIN with an empty pizza box. At least give us a used box so it looked like someone enjoyed the frigging pie.

Rotation be damned: Larry Johnson was inconsistent to be generous in his debut and was spelled by Clinton Portis, now in the second half we see Willie Parker in the game, I would have thought coach Shanahan was saving Willie for next game, this is not good for Larry.

Descent into madness: In the second half as the teams progressed through second and third strings, the Redskins seemed to lose all ability to be effective, the fourth quarter alone was two turnovers and a five and out.

Bad sign: Rookie left tackle Trent Williams on the sideline in the fourth quarter with pads off and right arm in a sling, they were calling it an elbow contusion. We will be keeping an eye on this.

Starting to get ragged here, that forward progress call in the fourth quarter was bullshit, it should have been a fumble, the player was still fighting for yardage.

All in all not a terrific not a great night out for the defense and some injuries to boot. Cannot wait to hear the excuses for this one.


The Mastermind: With the team not performing all that well there were plenty of shots of head coach Mike Shanahan pacing the sidelines in a formfitting athletic mock turtleneck that appeared to have a strange cut pattern on the back, like there was extra room for a second spine or a mind control device.

Number Five: Quarterback Donovan McNabb was less than fifty percent and tossed an interception, he had a tough night with the big exception being third down, Dono was three for three for 73 yards and three first downs on his first three third downs, but was oh for four on the next three third downs. He seemed to leave the game fine at the end of the first half, came back to the sideline in the second half with his left ankle wrapped in ice.

Silver and Back: Rookie left tackle Trent Williams had a tough night, Trent was pretty well abused by Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, no stranger to harassing Redskins, in 2008 Terrell put out two Redskins offensive linemen out for the season, left tackle Chris Samuels and backup left tackle Justin Geisinger. As a preseason learning experience it should have been good, as a practical experience it sucked because Trent bruised his right elbow at some point and was on the sideline in a sling.


Washington Post recap, photo gallery. NFL recap, box score, full play by play, Gamebook (PDF), photos, video highlights.

Next up, Washington heads out to New Jersey for preseason game three against the New York Jets, a team with Super Bowl aspirations and who may be getting two time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis back this week from a twenty four day hold out. Check out the bitch slap former Redskins and double boomerang Jets receiver Laveranues Coles has for Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

Donovan McNabb enduring a sack by Terrell Suggs, perhaps the one that hurt Dono's ankle: AP photo from here. Two time former and current Jets receiver Laveranues Coles: AP photo from here.