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Clunking offense in scrimmage no surprise

Clunking offense in scrimmage no surprise

Casey Rabach will have to anchor a solid line

First, I have to say that I was wrong. My predictions of the fan appreciation day scrimmage turning into another overcrowded disaster did not come to pass. They were able to secure additional parking and there were more of Loudon Count's finest on duty to direct traffic so that things went much more smoothly.

The Redskins reported that 29,000 went out to the event, more than the 28,000 that created such traffic chaos last year. Many, like Jason Reid of the Post, were skeptical about the reported turnout numbers. Evidently, there were many fans who showed up disguised as blades of grass.

Those present were of the near-unanimous opinion that the Washington Redskins' offense was mediocre in its finer moments. Ryan O'Halloran at the Times pretty well summed it up in his report:

Anthony Alridge caught Jason Campbell's pass, turned upfield and showed his elusiveness by faking out a linebacker on his way to a first down. But then he fumbled and safety Kareem Moore recovered, one of two offensive turnovers in the Washington Redskins' intrasquad scrimmage Saturday afternoon.

The play epitomized the first 10 days of on-field training camp activity for the Redskins.

The offense does something good but then makes a mistake in the form of a fumble, a missed assignment up front, a deflected pass downfield or a botched handoff. And the opportunistic defense capitalizes.


I'm not about to make the case here that there isn't cause for concern regarding the Redskins offense but those concerns aren't necessarily new and based on yesterday's scrimmage. They need their offensive line to gel if they are going to have even a decent offense. Some combination of five players will have to come together and open up holes for Clinton Portis and give Campbell time to throw. They don't need to be the '82 Hogs or anything. Mere competence is called for.

So it really doesn't matter if Anthony Aldridge is fumbling away passes. And it's not surprising that the timing is far from where it needs to be. Timing takes time and we're just a week and a half into camp. And you can't get your timing down if the defense is spending a lot of time in your backfield.

Just as I would see no reason for celebration if the offense had clicked in the scrimmage I see no reason to view anything differently because the offense sputtered. I hate to break this to those of you who want instant answers but we're not really going to know much about this unit until they line it up for keeps against the Giants on Sept. 13. There may be a glimpse here and there during the preseason but until five guys play together for four quarters we really won't know what we have.

Certainly that doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with analyzing and discussing the evidence so far. But it's futile to try to draw any grand and meaningful conclusions from what we're seeing here in the second week of August.

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Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.

Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.

Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.

In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.

Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.

One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.

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Redskins vs. Cardinals inactives: Reed out as expected

Redskins vs. Cardinals inactives: Reed out as expected

GLENDALE, AZ—As expected, the Redskins will be without star tight end Jordan Reed today against the Cardinals.

He is inactive due to a third-degree AC joint sprain in his left shoulder.

Reed gutted it out and played the second half on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas after being injured in the first but during the week he didn’t practice at all couldn’t regain the range of motion needed to play today.

Coach Jay Gruden said on Friday that the team is planning on having Reed play next week against the Eagles.

For this week, Vernon Davis will step into the starting role.

Also inactive is reserve defensive lineman Anthony Lanier, who was kicked in the lower leg in Dallas. Gruden said that the swelling was still too severe for him to be able to play.

LIVE BLOG: WEEK 13 REDSKINS VS. CARDINALS

The Redskins’ other inactive players today:

  • QB Nate Sudfeld
  • DL AJ Francis
  • RB Matt Jones
  • WR Rashad Ross
  • DB Dashaun Phillips