5 Keys to Redskins vs. Bills Preseason Game
August 23, 2013 in Washington Redskins Keys to the Game
Here are 5 things I'm looking for in the Redskins' 3rd Preseason Game against the Bills:
1. Keep everyone healthy.
The Redskins cannot afford any more injuries to players who will make the 53 man roster. So far it has been tough and the Steelers game didn't help. I don't expect Mike Shanahan to play his starters anywhere near as much as the usual third preseason game. I have this feeling the Shanahan's are at a level that the offense will be ready week one to make noise. The defense not so much, but keeping everyone on the field should outweigh finding better chemistry.
As I mentioned the Shanahan’s know how to run an offense. They also know how to adapt to the talent they have. My only spot of concern (having faith in the QB's health) is still right tackle. Tyler Polumbus has not improved and most of the first two preseason games has struggled. Saturday is a huge opportunity for a Tony Pashos, Jeremy Trueblood or a Mo Elewonibi to step up and take the right tackle spot. I was joking on Mo.
3. Washington needs to figure out what they are doing at safety this week.
All signs seem to be pointing at Baccari Rambo and Reed Doughty week one, but that is far from a lock. Philip Thomas is out, DeJon Gomes has struggled worse than Polumbus, and most importantly no one knows what is going on with Brandon Merriweather and his knee. I think it’s time to have as much faith in Merriweather being a factor as Tanard Jackson.
4. Stop the penalties. And especially the big ones.
It’s bad when even London Fletcher is picking up the 15 yarders. Washington is starting to look like the Raiders or the Lions. The game has changed due to the commisioner's move to a safer game so the coaches need to get through to the Redskin players. What bothers me is these penalties are happening early when the first two strings are in.
5. Find out who will make up the special teams.
The coverage teams have looked shaky so they need to find who can step up for Lorenzo Alexander. Reed Doughty and Niles Paul need some help. One way to help would be to keep John Potter on kickoffs but I am not sure that is worth the 53rd spot. I am fine with Niles Paul on kickoffs and Richard Crawford on punt returns. Crawford could be battling for a roster spot but I feel his return skills make him a lock.