The Flavor Vanilla
Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell both said that the Redskins haven't been showing anything close to their full playbook during the preseason. This, of course, brings up the dreaded "vanilla" offenses and schemes that were used to explain away some poor preseason performances during the Gibbs years.
I asked Campbell about balancing wanting to keep things under wraps against the need to run plays against a live defense in a different-colored uniform. He told me that things are plenty spirited when they run the plays against their first-team defense and that each unit takes a lot of pride when it bests the other.
That's all well and good, but there is no such thing as vanilla blocking and tackling. Those aspects of the game, regardless of the play call, need to be executed and the Redskins have been falling short of doing that.
To be clear, I didn't get the impression that Zorn and Campbell were using the play calls as an excuse for the poor performance of the offense. They were answering questions posed by reporters.
Some beat reports seem to think that he's on the bubble for making the roster and possibly on the wrong side of it. He certainly seems to be lost in pass coverage at times—most of the time, in fact. You don't see a whole lot of him in run support, either.
It seems that the fifth cornerback spot comes to a choice between Tryon, a fourth-round draft pick, and undrafted rookie Matteral Richardson. I haven't seen that Richardson has been noticeably superior to Tryon, although one reporter who has seen a lot more of practice than have I said that Richardson clearly has been better.
I think that the Redskins drafted Tryon based on potential and didn't necessarily expect a whole lot out of him this year. He probably makes it, but I wouldn't be totally shocked if he didn't.
He's been on the bubble all preseason; in fact, the bubble popped for him once already as he was released in May. The Redskins saw enough of Stu Schweigert after the first preseason game and Hamilton got another shot.
Last night he blitzed and nailed quarterback Todd Bauman, jarring the ball loose. In all, Hamilton got credit for six tackles and one assist in addition to the sack and forced fumble. He might have missed a tackle or two, but I don't recall seeing any whiffs.
Unlike some other blogs, this one doesn't formally adopt a favorite dark horse. But, looking back at what's been said about Justin Hamilton here, he has been mentioned a lot here for a longshot prospect. If that makes him the official bubble player of RealRedskins.com, so be it.
I still don't think he'll make it as it seems that the Skins are likely to keep just four at the safety position and those four are LaRon Landry, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton and Kareem Moore. Justin Hamilton, however, did not cheat himself out of his chance.
Rich Tandler blogs about the Skins at RealRedskins.com and he is the author of the upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle. You can reach Rich by email at email@example.com