Redskins Dominate Bills In First Preseason Contest:
Now overall I take preseason performances with a grain of salt, but I do think the Redskins saw some individual and unit positives and negatives. Here is a quick run down of what I saw and what I was hoping to see:
Albert Haynesworth Is Pretty Good: Haynesworth didn’t record a single tackle or pass defense, but he had by far the best night of any player. Haynesworth might have been playing with the 2nd team defense, but he was playing against the majority of the 1st team Bills offense, and while his time was limited, he made a major impact. Haynesworth showed that if he is in a defense where he is ‘turned loose’ he is well worth his price tag. Haynesworth will also be his most effective when he is playing next to starting NT Kemoeatu and the rest of the first team defense (imagine how happy the linebackers will be with Haynesworth on that line).
Brandon Banks Is Pretty Fast: Banks is a little guy you got to like, and as a fan you like him a lot more after he broke that punt return for a touchdown. It might be early but I think the Redskins found their returner, and will need to create a spot for Banks on the roster. Banks is a threat to take the ball to the house every time he touches the ball. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see Banks catch any passes last night, but if he shows any offensive potential he has to be a lock for a roster spot.
Young Running Backs Shine: So much was made this offseason of the Redskins veteran running back trio, but the only veteran running back we saw was starter Clinton Portis. Instead of Larry Johnson and Willie Parker, we saw 3rd year back Ryan Torain and rookie free agent Keiland Williams, and I don’t think any Redskin fan minded seeing the young guys. Torain and Williams combined for 113 yards and Williams added two touchdowns. Both players ran hard and did a lot of little things well. And both showed they at least deserve consideration for roster spots. It might be impractical for them to both make the roster over Johnson and Parker, but you have to consider the possibility. Torain and Williams have a lot of upside and also showed some ability blocking and catching the football as well. They are also cheaper and under team control for longer than Johnson and Parker. It is possible the Skins keep four backs, but that means another position would be weaker.
The Starting Offensive Line Looked Really Good: What’s most surprising is last night that good performance included RT Stephon Heyer (shocking I know). Heyer performed pretty well last night, especially in pass protection. Heyer also didn’t commit penalties which he was always notorious for. As surprising as it is, Heyer might now be a valuable backup offensive lineman. As for the rest of the starting o-line, Trent Williams looked really good as well and Washington might have a quality unit.
The Backup O-Line Is Struggling: It’s a good thing the starting unit was good, because depth could be a serious issue along the offensive line. Third string quarterback John Beck didn’t have a chance last night, as he was constantly under pressure. This unit will have to show more consistency if they want to have futures in the NFL.
All in all it was a good day for Redskin football and some young guys really stepped up for them. It is one game, but hopefully it is a sign of things to come.