During a few games last year, I experimented with the GameBlog, a running commentary throughout the game that I
updated at least every quarter or so. It was fun to do and some of you seemed
to like it, so it’s back again this preseason for another trial run. As to
whether or not GameBlog makes the final cut and is
around for the regular season depends largely on you, the reader. Please send
me your comments at email@example.com
Fourth Quarter and Wrapup:
Rookie Rich Parson just made a fair catch of a punt. It was
the smart play, the only thing to do, but you’ve got to know that it kills an
undrafted rookie free agent to have to do that. You want to be able to show
Jason Campbell threw off of his back foot on his first pro
pass and it was short. On his second play, there was a poor exchange with RB
Brock Forsey and the Panthers recovered the fumble deep in Washington
territory. Not sure if it was the QB’s fault or Forsey’s, but it could cost the
Redskins a score.
Stephen LeFors made his first pro pass for Carolina and he
short-hopped a hitch pattern. He did manage to successfully execute the handoff
on the next play.
The Redskins have been flagged for a pair of questionable
penalties, both on third down to give Carolina new life inside the Washington
10. A roughing the passer on Jarred Newberry gave Carolina one first down and a
pass interference on Rufus Brown gave them another. Newberry was certainly
late, but I’ve seen much worse not called. And Brown was holding his ground at
the goal line and the receiver ran into him and drew a flag. The second call
was worse than the first. I don’t think that Marcus Washington gets flagged for
the first and Shawn Springs gets away with the second “infraction”.
The turnover did cost the Redskins a TD as LeFores lobbed a
nice TD to a receiver in the end zone. You can’t hold them out forever.
Andy Grooms gave a classic example of outkicking his
coverage as he boomed one high a long that was fielded at the 10 and returned
near midfield. He showed a good leg, though.
Some sloppy tackling here in the late going with Eric Joyce
I commented about Jonathan Combs a few days ago, how he had
to take advantage of every chance. He just made a few nice plays but then
fumbled inside the Carolina three and the Panthers recovered.
Recapping it at 28-10 in the last few minutes: If you’re one
of those who wants to see the playmakers shine, this wasn’t the game for you. Portis
barely played, Ramsey wasn’t sharp, the receivers didn’t catch anything deep, Marcus
Washington barely played, Sean Taylor made is presence known but he was more
cold than hot. The offense never got rolling, even though most of the first
team played up until the final series of the first half.
A fan of the play in the trenches, however, can take a lot
out of this game. The offensive line, both the first and second units, kept the
quarterbacks safe all night long. Had more talented backs than Rock Cartwright
and Broughton been playing all night, there would have been some long gainers.
Combs just dropped a pass. Sorry, kid.
And the defensive line was active and generally played well.
There was some good penetration and solid tackling all night long. Given that
Griffin didn’t play at all and Daniels and Wynn played little
Textbook sideline catch by Kevin Dyson, keeping his toes in
bounds for a first down. It took him a while to get into the game, but he’s
made a couple of nice catches.
Ouch, the last play of the game, a Campbell pass bounced off
of Combs’ hands and was intercepted. Heck, Betts’ job would be in jeopardy if he
had a fumble and two drops in five minutes. A rookie free agent out of Texas
College just can’t do that.
Chris Clemons has a pair of costly penalties with an illegal
contact in the second quarter and a pass interference on the Panther’s third
snap of the second half.
Warrick Holdman is playing in the first series of the third
quarter and he missed a tackle that almost cost the Redskins a first down.
Antonio Brown picked up a little over 20 yards on a punt
return doing a good job just picking a few spots to run towards. He took what he
could get and stayed in bounds, picked up an extra 10 when others may have
Nehemiah Broughton is in at halfback and showed some nice
running after catching a little swing pass from Brunell for a first down.
Brown kept the drive he starting going with a good catch for
a first down at the Carolina 25. Good throw by Brunell, too, almost sidearming
it in there to the diminutive Brown.
Jeff Chandler, thank you for participating in the Redskins
2005 roster competition. Your wide-left miss of a 42-yard field goal has just
eliminated you from consideration. John Hall, we’ll be hauling in the cement
soon to secure your roster spot. Jeff, please pick up your parting gifts on the
way out the door.
Zak Keasey just got the Redskins’ first big play on defense,
a third-down sack of Roderick Rutherford. There was some buzz about the
undrafted rookie free agent in the first week of camp, but it died down
somewhat last week. He’s an extreme long shot, but plays like that will help
him stick around.
Another third-down conversion for Brown on a good deep in
pattern. Nice throw by Brunell, too.
Broughton is fighting for some tough inside yards. He looks
like a keeper.
From the shotgun, Brunell beats the blitz (no coincidence
there?) and converts another third-down to Mike Sellers. The pass protection
has been excellent all night long and, in some cases, the shotgun is helping as
neither Ramsey nor Brunell are particularly quick in getting back from center.
Again, it’s Broughton fighting inside for some tough yards
near the goal line. On first and goal at the three he gets it inside the one
and the next play he’s over the goal line. He’s looking like more than a
third-down and short back. I’m not getting carried away here with him playing
against Carolina’s third-and-higher string defense, either. Broughton is
running North-South with conviction and power. He was a big factor in the
14-play, 82-yard Redskins touchdown drive.
First team offense, for the most part, still in with two and
a half minutes gone in the first quarter. They’d like for Ramsey to get
something going, even if it is against the Carolina second-string D.
Nope, he throws it well over Patten’s head on third and
short. At least it would have been a first down if Patten had caught it.
Now, if both cornerbacks have a shot at the quarterback and
that QB is, say, Donovan McNabb, it’s OK if they miss him. But both CB’s had a
shot at Chris Weinke and they both missed him and he scrambled for three yards.
On the next play, the corners both blitz again and linebacker Clifton Smith
ends up on a receiver and it goes for a gain down to the ten. It was Jimoh who
missed the tackle on Weinke on the first play and he was tentative in going
after him the second time.
That sets up a TD pass to Carolina’s third-string TE Michael
Gaines, who beat Khary Campbell on the play. Campbell is on the bubble and can’t
afford many plays like that.
Patrick Ramsey is still in the game halfway through the
second quarter with most of the other offensive starters still in. He finally
connects with Patten for 11 yards on first down.
Rock Cartwright is gaining some yards, but if Portis or
Betts had the holes he has there would be some long gainers in there.
I’m not sure why you leave your first-team offense in the
game if you’re going to throw a five-yard pattern on third and seven, but that’s
how that series ended. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the starters in for the
final series of the half.
Despite his solid performance in practices, Joe Gibbs is
still letting it be known that it wasn’t OK for Sean Taylor to miss all of the
team’s offseason workouts. Taylor has just made his first appearance of the
game with about three minutes left in the first half. He was overaggressive and
got trapped inside on a long run by Rod Smart.
Campbell just put another nail in his coffin, although the
play was harmless. He lat Smart get by him on a pass, but Weinke overthrew the
former XFL back.
In all of the laterals after the blocked field goal, the
fact that Nic Clemons was the one who blocked the kick was overlooked. After
that one, you’ll hear plenty of Danny Smith’s shrill voice around the locker room at halftime, that’s for sure.
You do that when there’s zero time on the clock, not with half a minute left.
Wow, Mark Brunell showed some zip in the old arm on that
first pass to Cartwright. Maybe he can. . .naaaaah!
All too often last year, the Redskins would get the ball
late in the first half and just sit on it and not score. It was good to see
some aggressiveness and a 43-yard field goal by Hall to steal three points.
That was a bad INT by Ramsey, not that any are good. He was
just very tentative in throwing that ball up for Moss, a pick on an overthrow
would have been much better.
I’m sure that Rod Gardner was very familiar with Ade Jimoh,
having faced the Redskins backup CB on the scout team for the last two years. I
have to think that Springs stays with Gardner on that play. Still, a nice play
to cap off a nice drive by the Panthers.
On third and seven, Jimoh did manage to stay with Ricky
Prohl and force Dellhome to throw the ball away. Of course, Prohl is about 15
years older than Ade is, so that should be a routine play for him. It’s not.
Going into the third series, still no continuity on offense
for the Redskins.
Nice leaping catch by Betts to snag a Ramsey pass to get the
Redskins out of a hole deep in Carolina territory. He’s going to be the
third-down back and catches like that will help out a lot.
Are the Redskins learning how to sell the screen? Rock
Cartwright just picked up a first off of one that actually worked the way it’s
supposed to. They haven’t done much with the screen since, well, Gibbs left in
Pregame, 18:50 EDT 08.13.05
What I’ll be watching:
- Nic Clemons: I can’t see Renaldo Wynn and Phillip Daniels going for very long tonight and the coaches will be able to give
the kid a good, long look. After two years on the practice squad, he either
has to make it or not. This game will go a long way in determining whether
he makes it or not.
punters: Joe Gibbs told me the other day that the decision as to which
punter made the team would be mostly up to special teams coach Danny
Smith. Andy Groom has been booming the heck out of the ball at camp and he
has a slim but real shot at unseating Tom
Tupa if he can get off to a strong start
tonight. Groom has very little rope, however. One shank or one boomed
through the end zone from midfield could spell doom for his chances.
- Patrick Ramsey: Yeah, this is obvious, but it’s critical that he comes out and
shows some command. I think that Gibbs will give him one or two deep shots
in the three or four series that Ramsey will play and the QB has to take
advantage of them.
- Sean Taylor:
I mentioned this in my game preview, but I think that Taylor
is ready to take his aggressions out on the field tonight. Look for a
couple of big plays in what I think might be some extended playing time.