The Redskins will get back to work tomorrow after their 7-6 win over the Bills in their preseason opener and their to-do list will be long.There were some positives, the most notable being the impressive performance of Robert Griffin III in his pro debut. But there were issues as well.After Griffin left the game after leading the game's only touchdown drive, the offense came to a grinding stop. Rex Grossman completed just two of 10 passes for 22 yards and Kirk Cousins was nine of 22 for 74 yards with an interception. For the game the Redskins rushed 32 times for 87 yards, an average of just 2.7 yards a carry.They did not get close enough for either Neil Rackers or Graham Gano to try a field goal. The in-game aspect of their battle for the kicking job, the part that Danny Smith said was the most critical, is now on hold until their game next Saturday in Chicago.The Redskins played better defensively. They allowed the Bills to net just 219 yards of offense. Three Buffalo quarterbacks combined to complete just 14 of 34 passes. And 37 of the 100 yards rushing the Bills picked up came on Vince Young scrambles.Perhaps the biggest issue on defense was some missed opportunities. Rookie Richard Crawford did intercept a pass with a nice, over the shoulder catch but at least three other Redskins dropped easier chances at picks. Buffalo fumbled twice and Washington could not recover either one.Some individuals are going to have to get back to work to improve on their performances. Cornerback Cedric Griffin allowed receivers to get free multiple times, even after the Bills put in their second string offense. Brandon Banks had looked good as a receiver in practice but he had just two catches for seven yards despite being targeted a team-high nine times. Those two along with a number of other players ay have cost themselves position on the depth chart or may have jeopardized their roster spots with their play on Thursday.The good thing for those players and for the team as a whole is that there are many more practices and three more preseason games before the final cuts on Aug. 31 and the Sept. 9 season opener.
Rookie running back Keith Marshall is expected to miss three weeks after suffering a strained elbow in Friday's preseason game.
Marshall was scheduled to have an MRI exam on Saturday. While there has been no official word from the team as to the severity of Marshall's injury, CSN's Chick Hernandez is reporting he will be re-evaluated in three weeks.
Redskins team source tells me Redskins RB Keith Marshall (elbow) will be out roughly 3 weeks then re-evaluate him. #RedskinsTalk— Chick Hernandez (@CHICKatCSN) August 29, 2016
Judging by the small sample size that the NFL preseason has become it looks like the Redskins’ starting defense is ready to go for the start of the NFL season.
The Redskins’ opponents had six possessions with their staring quarterbacks in the lineup, which usually means that those teams had all of their healthy starters in the game. In those six possessions the Redskins’ opponents mustered 53 yards of total offense.
As far as the starting quarterbacks, the Redskins didn’t face anyone who is bound for Canton five years after retirement. But there wasn’t a Case Keenum in the group either. Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Matt Ryan combined to complete six of 18 passes for 46 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns. That comes to a combined passer rating of 42.4.
This is a major improvement over the 2015 preseason when starting quarterbacks were much sharper against the Redskins’ defense. Josh McCown, Matthew Stafford, and Joe Flacco completed 19 of 26 passes for 248 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a stellar passer rating of 128.4.
This year the other teams apparently wanted to get the QBs some work and didn’t run a lot. The Redskins gave up 36 rushing yards on eight attempts. That’s an average of 4.5 yards per attempt. Over a year that would be an improvement over last year (4.8 per carry) but still well above the league average (4.1).
It’s hard to overemphasize the small sample sizes involved here. It would be a mistake to draw any sweeping conclusions from a few dozen snaps. But among the goals of the preseason are to look competent and, as Jay Gruden said, create some “positive vibrations”. The Redskins defense can check the boxes next to both of those.
After days of speculation if Bryan Stork would actually end up in Washington, the former Patriots center clarified his next move via Twitter.
Redskins GM Scot McCloughan traded for Stork earlier this week after it became apparent New England intended to release the 2014 draft pick out of Florida State. It was unclear, however, if Stork would accept the trade to the 'Skins as he mulled retirement options.
Stork has dealt with a number of concussions in his two-year NFL career. After playing in a Super Bowl as a rookie, his 2015 season was limited by head injuries.
Coming to the Redskins, Stork may have an opportunity to compete for playing time. Kory Lichtensteiger is installed as the starting center, but he struggled in the third preseason game against the Bills and was lost for much of the 2015 season to injury.
McCloughan has openly said he wants big, tough guys up front on the offensive line. Stork - at 6-foot-4 and 310 lbs. - with a documented nasty streak definitely fits that bill.
Whether or not Stork pushes Lichtensteiger for the starting spot - or even competes for the No. 2 center job with Spencer Long - the price for Stork is tough to argue. McCloughan gave up just a conditional seventh round pick to acquire the former New England starter.