What to watch for in the Skins game tonight?
Rex Grossman: Grossman needs to have a strong game working with the starters. Not only to show that he can be a capable backup to McNabb, but it is important he gets this offense in sync so they can be ready for week 1. In addition a few receivers are counting on Grossman to get them the ball so they can earn a job.
Brandon Banks: Banks has shown a lot of promise so far, he needs to keep it up to earn a spot on the final roster. Another big game returning punts or making plays on offense will seal the deal for him.
Running back situation: This is Willie Parker’s week to shine, and the good news for him is he can’t be much worse than Larry Johnson last week. The young running backs might not get too many carries tonight but they need to continue to show something as I think both Torain and Williams have a legit shot at making it.
Anthony Armstrong: Armstrong has been impressive thus far in camp and preseason and if he continues to preform he could end up with a starting spot when the Redskins start the season. Armstrong seems to have a good grasp of this offense and I’d expect another strong performance from him.
Chris Horton and Reed Doughty: With Kareem Moore’s injury the backup safeties need to step up. Free safety isn’t a strength to begin with and now even less so without Moore starting. One of these guys will end up a starter when the season begins, but hopefully they will have earned it and not just because the Redskins don’t have any other options.
Darrel Young: Mike Sellers like Moore went down with an injury last week. While the team signed Carey Davis, Young will still start this week. A converted linebacker, Young has shown a lot of promise this year in camp and preseason. He will need to have a big game if he wants to keep a job and a spot on the 53 man roster. He likely won’t be judged in carries and catches, but in being a valuable lead blocker and protector of Grossman.
The Defense: So much of the story defensively is the Albert Haynesworth saga, which has some merit considering their most talented defensive player isn’t starting, but what has been ignored is the play of the defense. So far it has been a mixed bag, some solid stops and few points against the first team defense, put it hasn’t shown the killer instinct we are hoping for this year. The first team defense hasn’t generated a ton of pressure (now that is without Haynesworth) and that is a bit worrisome since they have gone against a weak Bills offensive line and pretty much the Ravens entire backup unit (since most of the starters were injured). I know people will say it is preseason and all vanilla, but plenty of other teams are getting more pressure on QB’s this preseason. This defense needs to step up and become a dominate force, if the Redskins hope to succeed this year.