Thoughts from Preseason Week 2: Redskins vs Steelers Offense
I’m going to break this down by offense and defense with a far heavier focus on starters and top back-ups.
-Cousins started out well completing his first two passes (though one was off target) for 19 yards. His next two drop-backs though Cousins threw the ball over Santana Moss‘s head and took a sack. On his final two drop-backs Cousins scrambled for a total of 14 yards, but got injured on the 2nd scramble. It was a small sample, but Cousins clearly wasn’t as good as he was a week ago against Tennessee. His one completed downfield pass was behind the receiver, and his other completion was a screen. The Steelers play good defense, so this was a tougher match-up, but you’d still like to see Cousins have more success. Now maybe Cousins would have picked it up had he not gotten injured, but he just didn’t look as comfortable.
-Grossman had a really nice game coming in for Cousins in relief, he was 7-9 for 101 yards and a TD in the first half against the Steelers starters. He finished 10 for 16 for 133 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT, but the interception wasn’t really his fault as rookie TE Jordan Reed ran the wrong route. Overall it was a good game for Grossman and shows why he’s making this football team.
-White ran well late in the game as a read option QB, but his passing wasn’t that impressive. Granted he did have one ball dropped, but it is clear that White is in 4th place in this QB battle.
-Morris got the start, but really didn’t get much done versus the Steelers first team offense, finishing for 12 yards on 4 carries. He did have a nice 11 yard run that was called back, due to holding, but had the penalty not occurred Morris may have been stopped for a loss.
-Williams got a good amount of work and did have a couple of impressive runs for the Redskins. His pass blocking was a mixed bag has he took on a couple blitzers and stopped them, another time he lost his guy and it led to a sack. He did fail to catch a pitch that led to a turnover, but the failure on that play seemed to be more on the line for allowing so much penetration.
-Thompson had a nice first run, but he fumbled on his second run and got a little banged up.
-Jamison got his first preseason action and had some solid runs. He didn’t wow on any plays, but showed decent vision. He still has a long way to go, but he could fight for a practice squad spot.
-Hankerson was targeted three times and caught two of them. All three balls were off target, but he still had a chance to make all three catches. The drop was poor, but the other two catches did help make up for it. The fact that he gained so much separation is promising and his one-handed TD catch shows the type of threat he can be in the red zone.
-Robinson showed really well on his catch before getting injured and in an earlier play where he drew a pass interference penalty. He definitely showed his value, hopefully the injury isn’t serious and he can play a bigger role this year for the Redskins.
-It was Reed’s NFL debut, and it was one he’d like to have back. He did have one catch for 8 yards, but otherwise really struggled. He dropped an easy reception from Pat White, and earlier in the game ran the wrong route, resulting in an interception by Grossman. Reed’s blocking was also an issue. While that was expected, it makes it harder for him to get on the field if he’s not playing perfectly in the passing game.
-I’ll get deeper into some of the offensive line later, but Polumbus really struggled for the Redskins. He gave up a bad sack and committed a holding penalty, and a couple other times allowed too much penetration. This is going to be an area where the Redskins need to give him help more often.