What To Watch For In Tonight’s Second Preseason Game

Steve O Speak

How will the starters do?: McNabb and the rest of the starters will play the majority of the 1st half (if not it’s entirety). While they might not be running their best plays, it will be a good indication of how good this Skins team is against the Raven’s first stringers. The Redskins offense in particular will be of interest since, the wide receiver battle is wide open right now behind Santana Moss.

Can the first team defense stop a real offense? Last week the first team defense sort of looked good because of a few highlights, but really didn’t get the kind of stops and pressure you’d expect against a weak Buffalo team. In fact the Redskins 2nd team defense played better and got more consistent penetration against the Bills same 1st team unit. The starters have a much tougher challenge this time against a Ravens offense that was pretty good last year, and looked to get a whole lot better this offseason.

How will Larry Johnson and Willy Parker do?: Last week the young running backs stole the show, but now is the time for the veterans to come in and show what they can do. Johnson gets the start to get additional reps and Parker (who is fighting for a roster spot will be in as relief). How they play today will go a long way as to sorting out the running back situation.

How will Albert Haynesworth do?: Last week Haynesworth was the most disruptive player on the football field and looked like he could have a major impact on defense this season. This week he remains with the 2nd team, but the Ravens 2nd team offense might be a tougher challenge than the 1st team Bills offense he went up against last week, so it should be an interesting match-up.

What can Brandon Banks do for an encore?: Rookie free agent WR/KR Brandon Banks stole the show with an electric 77 yard put return for a touchdown. In addition he had a couple of other nice returns (though one was called back) and looked to be the Redskins answer at punt returner they have been seeking for years. Hopefully he gets some opportunities as a kick returner as well, and maybe even on offense late in the game. As it stands now he is a fan favorite and an early lock to make the team.

How will the rookies and young guys look in week 2?: While some of the rookies and young players might not have as much chance to play this week, they can still make an impact and win (or lose) a roster spot with their play. The receivers and corner back spots are pretty wide open after the starters, and need some young guys to step up and take a roster spot. The young running backs might not get a chance in tonights game, but will need to show utility on special teams. One young guy I’m really looking to step up is Jeremy Jarmon he is pretty buried on the depth chart, but has the potential (not to mention the youth) to have a bright future in this league.

How will the second team offensive line hold up?: John Beck’s Redskin debut turned into a nightmare, because this unit couldn’t keep the pressure off of him. This unit needs to perform better in tonight’s game. Not only do they need to perform better for their job security, but also so the team can properly evaluate the backup running backs, tight ends, and receivers. Last week it was impossible to see how the 3rd string receivers were since they didn’t have the time to run their routes properly. A lot of key decisions will be made from this unit and Coach Shanahan needs a better week 2 performance.

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