Sorry for the slow wrap-up. Undoubtedly you went elsewhere for one while I was at the beach with my family. So rather than describe the game, I’ll just hit you with some random thoughts:
– Another big mo game. I’ll keep saying it every time even if we go 5-0 in the preseason, pre-season means nothing. The old Gibbs teams almost never had a good year in preseason the years we won the Super Bowl. But for this team, this coach, this offense, winning is way better than losing. I haven’t heard anyone on TV say, “Zorn hasn’t even called plays before. There is no reason to assume he’s ready for this,” since the HoF game. Zorn has proven to be remarkably organized, energetic, and intelligent. He’s great with the media. The momentum we get from winning these games is media momentum and player confidence momentum. It won’t help us beat the Giants in the opener (but we’ll do that anyway), but it will help Coach Zorn and the players relax and that will help the organization as a whole.
– Clinton Portis looks primed for a great year. He looks a little bigger, but with no loss of speed or acceleration. His numbers were artificially lowered by the goal line series where he ran the ball 4 times for 2 yards. Mike Patrick made an astute comment about the first run on that series. You might remember Portis took the ball over LT and burst into the hole. The Bills filled that gap and stopped Portis at the one. Patrick mentioned that Portis clearly wasn’t interested in giving himself up on that play and instead protected himself and allowed himself to be tackled. In the regular season, he’s have twisted or pushed or made some sort of move and made the TD. Portis did exactly what he should have done, and that’s great. I’m getting ready to predict that Portis might break the Skins single season TD record. Oh, and how about that block on the blitz pickup that allowed Randle El to break free on that drag route that went for 20? He absolutely stoned the LB he was blocking and then ran to the sidelines pumping his fist. He’s ready.
-Todd Collins looked a little more comfortable, but I still didn’t like what he looked like throwing on the run. It is too early to tell for sure, but it seems one of the wrinkles that Zorn is throwing into the West Coast offense, is a series of short waggles. Colt Brennan ran a lot of plays where he’d move the pocket a few feet left or right to open up the short pass to TEs or RBs and Collins seemed to run two that went badly. I can’t recall Campbell doing it though, so it is possible this is happy feet rather than a wrinkle. If it is happy feet, I’d like to lobby to Zorn that we start making it a real wrinkle. I think it has worked well.
-Again, we came out relatively injury free. I feel bad for Anthony Mix who hurt his ribs because it probably means he’s back on the practice squad with Billy McMullen playing so well and Thrash being so key on special teams. Randle El’s arm injury is minor as well.
-And let’s give the Fed Ex crowd some serious props. They were in regular season form on Saturday. They were so loud they were the obvious cause of one (if not two) false starts and a TO being wasted by the Bills in the 1st quarter alone. Let’s keep that up all season people. Let’s make Fed Ex feel like RFK used to. Can we make it sway and move like RFK did? I think we can!
-This seems nitpicky considering his numbers so far in preseason, but it should be pointed out that in 2 out of 3 of Campbell’s incomplete passes, they were his fault. He double clutched and threw behind the receiver. I don’t bring this out as a knock on Campbell. He is clearly a more confident and accurate QB than ever. I point this out to show how excellent Jim Zorn’s play calling is. One of the misses for Campbell was a 3rd and 4 slant to Moss where Moss was open for the first down. This team easily could have scored again on the first drive when Campbell works out the timing and confidence the few times it falters.
– Jon Jansen had his second relatively poor game. I’m not trying to get on the guy. He’s been great for us for nearly a decade and he has to be rustier than the Tin Man. But it might be time for this team and our fans to consider that the accumulated effect of injuries over the last two years might be finally taking their toll. Given how good a game Chad Rhinehart played at tackle, I hope the Skins are willing to make the tough choice there if it comes to it. Obviously, the next three games should be for Jansen to get back into game shape. I don’t want to take anything away from a true Redskin, but I’d hate to see him struggle if he’s not right either.
OK, plenty for now. Come back later today for my post on the first annual Fan-Sided blogs fantasy draft. You’ll get a chance to mock me terribly for my picks. Who doesn’t want to do that? Hail Skins!