Saturday, August 27, 2005

Are You Ready for Some Redskins Football??!!

I am.

I watched the broadcast of last night's Skins-Steelers game and I cannot wait for the opener. I know it's preseason and you can't get overly excited, but NFL aficionados know that the third preseason game provides the best preview of the regular season. Why? In the first two preseason games, coaches are evaluating all of their new players and trying new plays. By the third game, coaches want to know what their projected regular season starters look like executing regular season plays. Why isn't the fourth preseason game a good preview? Because coaches have figured it out by then and don't want any starters getting hurt before their next game, which is the first game that counts.

So Redskins fans, be happy. I will write a preview of the Redskins season here before the opener on 9/11. (As an aside, I also cannot wait to see what the NFL has in store to remember that day. League officials are usually right on top of those things.) For now, let me just say you should feel very good about this season. The Steelers were in the AFC Championship Game last year and lost a tough one to the eventual Super Bowl Champs. The Steelers did it with a rookie quarterback last year, who played with the poise of a ten-year veteran and who should be even better this year. The Steelers did it with a smash-mouth running game that was tough to stop. The Steelers did it with the number one defense in the NFL last year.

What did the Redskins do against that juggernaut? The Skins defense, led by Assistant Head Coach Greg Williams, shut the Steelers down. Do you want to know what happened to The Bus? It ran into the Griffin train all night and its wheels came off (Bettis: 4 rushes 8 yards before he left the game with an injury).

Do you want to know what happened to Rothslslis-whatever-burger? He was 6 for 15 with 57 yards and a pick with no touchdowns. The Steelers vaunted offense managed to score three points. That shouldn’t surprise Skins fans because they saw what Williams’s defense did last year. Yesterday that defense got LaVar Arrington back for the first time since September and he wreaked havoc despite only being on the field for a couple of plays.

On the other side of the ball, the Skins showed great improvement. Portis played for the first time this preseason, carried the ball 8 times for 48 yards (that’s 6 per pop) and looked unstoppable. Maybe those extra twenty pounds of muscle will help him in Gibbs’s between-the-tackles-system. Patrick Ramsey, who looked average earlier in the preseason, came through when it counted. He engineered a beautiful drive at the end of the first half to tie the game and he did it sans Portis.

Ramsey looks like he’s finally getting comfortable again and that might be because he knows he has the best offensive line in football. You don’t believe me about the O-line? Well, that was a quote from Troy Aikman last night and he’s correct. Besides Pro Bowlers Samuels and Thomas on the left side, they have made a major upgrade at Center by signing free agent Casey Rabach from the Ravens. Factor in that they get Jon Jansen back at right Tackle after missing all of last year, and they have Dockery at right Guard with a year of experience under his belt (and both could be playing in Hawaii in February), and that is the best O-line in football. And, don’t even get me started about how Boss Hog Bugel is the best O-line coach in the league.

More later.


At August 30, 2005 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

steak dinner on the fact the Skins won't make the playoffs?

At September 02, 2005 11:24 AM, Blogger Charlottesvillain said...

Impressive outing. I'm not so sure about Ramsey, but former Hawkeye Ladell Betts looked damn good, as did the Skins defense.


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