While the majority of the starters are sitting out this game, that rule doesn’t apply to this years rookies, who whether they are a starter or still fighting for a roster spot will get plenty of opportunities tonight. Here is a breakdown on what to watch for with each rookie:
-Amerson will get a shot to intercept his former college quarterback as Bucs rookie Mike Glennon is expected to play most of tonight’s game. The best news with that is that Glennon is a big arm quarterback, who won’t be afraid to throw more deeper and intermediate routes. Thus far Amerson has had a mixed bag of success in preseason. He’s done really well defending shorter routes, but has at times given up some plays in the intermediate and deep areas. The problem is there have been very few of those opportunities to see if this is a more serious problem or more of a fluke. Hopefully tonight Amerson will get a few times to give him some good work and the Redskins a better chance to evaluate how much playing time he should get early on.
-Reed missed the first preseason game, struggled in the 2nd game and had a nice bounce back in the 3rd game. This should be a key night for the rookie 3rd rounder. He missed so much time during OTA’s and training camp, that he needs the extra work. Even if he’s not getting targeted, how he runs his routes and performs as a blocker will be key to see how much of an impact he can have this season. If he’s not able to separate versus back-ups or have success blocking them, it could make it hard for him to see the field much this season.
-While most eyes will be on Thompson in the punt return battle, how he fares on offense is probably more important. He’s already fumbled twice in limited touches and really has been bottled up so far while running. For Thompson to make this team, he needs to show he’s at least close to being able to contribute on offense. Hopefully he’ll get some chances in the open field to showcase some of that big play ability, but the most important thing is he can’t put the ball on the ground again.
-Jenkins has looked well so far in the preseason in limited work, but it will be nice to see him get an expanded role tonight. Hopefully he can work on his run defense and maybe even drop into coverage some tonight. Though he won’t really be expected to handle that role as a rookie, it doesn’t hurt to further his development in those areas for the future.
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-This is a big game for Rambo. He really improved his run defense from week’s one and two, this past game but it would be nice if he could do it twice in a row. Given that he won’t be seeing much in the way of talented runners, Rambo needs to show well in his pursuit (even if he’s not the one actually making the tackle). It would be nice to see Rambo tested on some passes as well as that is something we really haven’t seen this preseason. The other important part of this game is the fact it will be the first time this preseason and the first time since the beginning of camp that he’ll be working with his starting SS Brandon Meriweather. They need to get on the same page with their communication so it will be valuable to have them working together tonight.
-Jamison has his work cut out for him as he’s gotten very little preseason time and even without Morris and Helu Jr. in the mix he’ll be splitting carries with Thompson, Evan Royster and Keiland Williams in this game. Hopefully he’ll get 5-10 carries and maybe a target or two to prove his worth. Right now he has basically no shot at a roster spot, but is fighting for a practice squad role. He needs a big game to prove he belongs, especially since he will obviously be going up against mainly 2nd and 3rd string guys.