Redskins Rookie Report: First Preseason Game
OLB Trent Murphy:
-Murphy surprisingly played on just 25 snaps in Thursday’s game. Granted he is a lock to both make the team and in his role as the 3rd OLB/extra rusher, but it would have been a nice chance to get him some extra work and have him work on things. Murphy showed up nicely versus the run (for the most part) making 3 tackles. Murphy though didn’t do much as a pass rusher and was pretty routinely handled despite going up versus the 2nd and 3rd string RT. Murphy also struggled badly in coverage one time and was exposed on a nice gain. Murphy clearly has a ways to go to get up to the level of the starters, but it’s a long preseason and Redskins fans shouldn’t be too discouraged. One interesting thing of note is when the starters went out, Murphy played LOLB despite being listed as the back-up ROLB (behind Orakpo) and most people believing he’s set to replace Orakpo after this season. Granted it is just one game, but it was interesting that the Redskins chose to not get Murphy work against the Patriots starting LT Nate Solder who played the first half.
OT Morgan Moses:
-Moses tied for the most snaps played in the game, coming in on the 2nd drive to replace Trent Williams and playing the rest of the way. Moses’ play was a mixed bag, giving up a sack and a bad pressure as well as committing a holding penalty, but he also had a number of nice blocks, particularly in the running game. While the penalty was definitely on him, it’s probably not the type of penalty that the coaches will get on him about. It was a broken play and a bit of a ticky-tack call. Had the play been run normally, Moses had blocked his guy out of the play. Instead the QB had to scramble and Moses’ guy was there leading to a bit of a holding to protect the QB. On the sack and pressure (as well as a couple other snaps in which Moses was able to recover), his footwork was a bit slow and the defender was able to take advantage of it. While it’s troubling, it is worth noting that Moses is more naturally seen as a RT, where his footwork won’t be as much of an issue and his strong run blocking can be more valued. Though it wasn’t the best day for Moses, he looked better than back-up right tackles Tom Compton and Maurice Hurt, which should clearly give him the edge for the swing tackle position.
OG Spencer Long:
-Long didn’t play as much as Moses, but he did log in over 40 snaps. Long looked okay early on, but as the game wore on more and more mistakes popped up. There were times where he just flat out missed blocking his man on running plays, and on some passing downs he got pushed back into the pocket. There were some positives for Long, but overall it was probably a below average game.
CB Bashuad Breeland:
-Overall Breeland looked pretty good, there were a couple of times where it looked like he was a little out of position or maybe a bit grabby with the receiver, but overall his coverage and positioning was pretty good. He wasn’t targeted too often which is always a pretty good sign, and when he was targeted they were shorter passes, showing he wasn’t getting beat vertically. Breeland will probably be the 4th corner this year, but he’s got the potential to be much more in this defense.
WR Ryan Grant:
-Grant had a nice day, showing good route running and catching ability with his 3 catches for 37 yards. He got a fair amount of work in the game with 30+ snaps and looked really crisp as a route runner. He’s obviously a long term option for the Redskins, but right now it looks like the Redskins got a nice value pick in the 5th round in Grant.
RB Lache Seastrunk:
-Seastrunk showed off his impressive speed and big play ability on a number of runs, where he was able to get some space and turn on the afterburners. He had the longest run of the night at 21 yards, and added a 19 yard run on his first carry of the night. Though Seastrunk exploded for 50 yards on his first 4 carries, he ended with just 62 yards on 12 carries, showing that he’s not yet a complete back. If Seastrunk had a hole and could get past the first defender he could pick up a nice gain, if not and the first defender got him he was going down for a short gain or a loss. The other important thing to remember is all of his damage came in the 4th quarter when the Patriots were pretty much playing guys unlikely to make their roster. Still this was a good game for Seastrunk and he showed his big play potential which should earn him a roster spot this year.
TE Ted Bosler:
-The good news is that Ted Bosler caught a touchdown pass, the bad news is it was a simple route and that was probably the only positive play he made. Bosler racked up 30 snaps in the game (which is a lot considering how much rotation there is), but he was largely ineffective. His run blocking was particularly troubling and considering he was facing mainly defenders who won’t be making the Patriots 53 man roster, it was clear that he is not ready to contribute on offense. Bosler also committed a penalty, further hurting his stock.
K Zach Hocker:
-Hocker may have had the best day of every rookie on the Redskins roster. Showing nice accuracy on his kicks and good distance and hangtime on his kick-offs. With Kai Forbath struggling some in the game, it looks like Hocker has taken a lead in the kicking contest. There is still a long way to go before a decision is made, but Hocker had a nice showing and really helped himself in the game.