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Five observations from Redskins' lackluster preseason loss to Ravens

Five observations from Redskins' lackluster preseason loss to Ravens

BALTIMORE — The first game of the Redskins' 2017 preseason is in the books and things did not exactly go according to plan.

Here are five takeaways from the Redskins' 23-3 preseason loss to the Ravens.

1. It’s possible to raise some concerns even in a very small sample size.

Offense is going to be the team’s calling card this season as it has been in the past two years. It is not encouraging to see the offensive starters go three and out twice before taking their shoulder pads off for the night.

In particular, the vaunted offensive line looked lost, allowing a sack, a pressure, and a tackle for a loss on third and one.

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS-RAVENS WEEK 1

2. Nate Sudfeld has a long way to go and he may never get there.

The second-year quarterback relies too much on his arm too often instead of stepping into throws. He had one good throw, a 31-yard strike to rookie receiver Robert Davis. Other than that he was 4 for 11 for 37 yards (3.4 yards per attempt).

3. The Redskins just might have a good one in Jonathan Allen.

His sack for zero yards was his only tackle but he made a smart play there in containing the quarterback as he scrambled. He cut upfield but he had Allen waiting for him and the defender dragged him down.

Allen could be fun to watch in extended playing time.

RELATED: HARD TO ANALYZE COUSINS WITH SUCH POROUS OFFENSIVE LINE PERFORMANCE

4. Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins both said that they had not prepared for some of the pressure that the Ravens put on them.

And not scouting and preparing for your opponent in the preseason is standard operating procedure. But perhaps Gruden should rethink the way he scripts the preseason games offensively and have some wrinkles to throw at the other team. You don’t want to give away too much in the preseason but if the other team is going to get exotic, you have to counter with some surprises of your own to try to keep your offense on the field.

5. Samaje Perine is not going to be your Week 1 starting running back.

He removed all doubt tonight even though he did lead the team in rushing with 15 yards on six carries. But he also fumbled once (he recovered), dropped a pass, and didn’t have a good sense for where to run much of the time.

He will learn but he is not going to push Rob Kelley out of the starting lineup anytime soon.

RELATED: NICO MARLEY BROUGHT IT WHEN OTHERS DIDN'T

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Top 5: Redskins players and positions to watch vs. Packers

Top 5: Redskins players and positions to watch vs. Packers

The Redskins stumbled out of the gate in their preseason opener after falling to the Baltimore Ravens 23-3. Washington showed very little offense as they struggled to move the ball for most of the game, while the defense suffered some key injuries.

Kirk Cousins and company look to rebound in their second preseason game as they host the Green Bay Packers this Saturday at 7:30 PM. 

CSN's Julie Donaldson and former NFL GM Charley Casserly give their top five players and positions to keep an eye on in the Redskins second preseason game.

RELATED: FOSTER, BROWN TO START VS. PACKERS, GRUDEN SAYS.

Charley Casserly Top 5:

5. Matt Ioannidis: "I like Ioannidis. I thought he played the best of the rest of the defensive lineman. He's a high motor guy, he gives you effort, he's quick."

4. Deshazor Everett: "I thought he played well the other night. I thought he covered well, I thought he was aggressive against the run, he made good tackles."

3. Outside Linebackers: "Hey Preston Smith, this is your opportunity. This is a big year for him because hey, we drafted a guy. Anytime we draft a guy, the pressure is on."

2. Kirk Cousins: "He's got an advantage here. Green Bay is down, two of their top three corners aren't playing. This passing game should be in sync this week."

1. Offensive Line: "This offensive line did not play last week...you got to come out, dominate the line of scrimmage, control the line of scrimmage, and set the tone for the game."

Julie Donaldson's Top 5:

5. Nico Marley: "He has a lot of heart. He's making a name for himself... this guy has more to show for us than just being Bob's grandson, but I want to see can he do it again..."

4. Deshazor Everett: Cc'd: Casserly's comments

3. Samaje Perine: "There were so many expectations for him, he looked a little bit lost. I'm kinda hoping those are just nerves..."

2. Offensive Line: "If Kirk Cousins is going to have any success, or anybody that goes behind him, if that run game is going to have any success then we need to get that o-line in sync."

1. Colt McCoy: "We are one injury away from Coly McCoy taking over this team."

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Josh Doctson looks good to go, new starters at LB and other practice notes

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AP

Josh Doctson looks good to go, new starters at LB and other practice notes

Josh Doctson looked like a first-round pick in Richmond, at least, until a hamstring injury knocked him off the Richmond practice fields for a few days. On Thursday, back in Ashburn, Doctson again showed his considerable talents.

Taking the field for 11v11 drills for the first time since he injured his hamstring. Doctson made three catches from QB Kirk Cousins. He showed the same fluidity and smoothness in his routes that he flahes in Richmond. 

Leaving the field, Doctson said he felt good. After practice, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Doctson "looked good." Gruden added the plan is to see how Doctson looks in warmups before the Packers game Saturday (6:30, CSN) night and then the team will decide if the second year wideout will play or not. 

Other notes and observations:

  • In season, the media gets to watch very little of NFL practices, especially in the time leading up to a game. Since Thursday's practice was still technically a training camp session, reporters got to stay and watch as the Redskins prepared for the Packers by running their scout team offense and defense. Cousins and the starting Redskins offense went up against the faux-Packers squad, complete with Dashaun Phillips dressed in a yellow penny playing the role of Ha-Ha Clinton Dix. It was very interesting to watch, and shows that the Redskins will be better prepared for Green Bay this week than they were for Baltimore last week. 
  • Thursday's practice also went much shorter than many of the recent sessions, another sign that the Redskins were treating the Packers game like a normal week. The team skipped the bulk of individual drills, 7v7 and cut down on special teams work. 
  • Deshazor Everett missed the practice session with a personal issue, per Gruden. The coach added that Everett is "okay."
  • Working in drills near the goal line - against the scout team - Cousins looked dialed in. He fired touchdowns to Vernon Davis and Terrelle Pryor.
  • Kendall Fuller has locked up the nickel cornerback role. It also looks like the four down linemen in nickel will start with Jon Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan. There will be plenty of changes and rotations among that group though.
  • Gruden announced after practice that Zach Brown and Mason Foster will start at the linebacker spots vs Green Bay. The team showed that duo in drills, which meant Will Compton got pushed to the second team. When that group was on the field, rookie Montae Nicholson tipped a pass at the goal line. Compton came up with it for the INT. 

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