Redskins Lose In Overtime

Here's a question I hoped wouldn't come up again this preseason: why does the NFL need to play overtime games before the regular season? It makes no sense; there's nothing worse than an exhibition game that goes into an extra quarter.

The Redskins avoided overtime in their first game, but could not do so Saturday, losing to Carolina, 23-20. With injuries always a concern, why play another quarter and give players another opportunity to get hurt.

But a bigger question than that surrounds the Redskins. How vanilla are they playing? Those who played for Joe Gibbs in the past predicted they wouldn't show anything and no one figured that would change. Let's hope that's the case because the Redskins haven't looked all that good offensively with their first unit. And, as Steve Spurrier now knows, that's all that matters.

And it's troubling that no quarterback has firmly grabbed the No. 1 job just yet. Mark Brunell should take the lead, but that's based as much on Patrick Ramsey's inability to do anything. Brunell was better, but he hasn't exactly been stellar, either.

Winners

DE Ron Warner. He was active last week and he was active again Saturday night. Warner did a nice job getting off blocks fast. Showed good athleticism and lined up at both end spots. Caused a couple hurried passes because of his pressure.

KR/RB John Simon. He showed that he could handle returns and make a few plays at running back. He's a little like Kenny Watson. And he's more dependable than always-hurt Ladell Betts. I liked Simon's patience on kick returns, getting behind the wedge and waiting until he spotted an opening.

P Kevin Stemke. Had one bad punt, but otherwise got the job done, looking a lot like he has in practice. Someone should pick him up.

LB Khary Campbell. Made a few nice tackles in the second half. Also had a nice tackle on a kick return, equally important in his situation. Hard to say what kind of chance he has, but he had a good night.

LB Devin Lemons. Very active, had a pressure. Lined up at RE on one play, but dropped into coverage.

RB Sultan McCullough. Had a nice 14-yard touchdown run. Still have my doubts about him and he doesn't play special teams, unlike Rock Cartwright and John Simon. But he did pick up a couple blitzes.

QB Mark Brunell. This is a tough one because Brunell threw one interception and had another one dropped. He was not stellar by any means. But he threw a good long ball to Darnerien McCants for a touchdown -- Brunell had not throw that pass well during practice. Patrick Ramsey's spotty play elevated Brunell. And Brunell executes the rollouts better.

QB Tim Hasselbeck. The team responds to him. And the longer the other two quarterbacks struggle, the more he could creep into this race. Imagine that.

RB Rock Cartwright. Didn't always show a good burst, until his 34-yard dash in the fourth quarter. But he was good on special teams. Still think it'll be tough for him picking up blitzes at his size.

Losers

QB Patrick Ramsey. Has not looked comfortable at all during games, resembling a young player in a new system. Which is what he is -- and it's why he'll start the season on the bench. The Redskins don't run that half-rollout with him as much as they do with Mark Brunell and that's a play Joe Gibbs likes to use.

OT Kenyatta Jones. When left in solo situations, he did not fare well. More often than not he had help from a tight end or h-back. His holding penalty came when he was left one-on-one. He also got knocked off-balance on some bull rushes and didn't always use his arms well. We're judging him harshly because he's now a starter and the Redskins need him to do better.

OT Jim Molinaro. When he played left tackle, Molinaro did not do as well. But he was OK on the right side, which is where they seem to like him best, though he did get knocked to the ground on one play on the right side.

SS Ifeanyi Ohalete. Had a very rough night, coming up too hard on one play and getting beat by a double move. Also had a pass interference penalty. His special teams play remained excellent, however. PR/KR Gari Scott. Did not impress with numerous return opportunities. Seemed indecisive on punt returns. He did get open a few times on offense, including on a post in which a good pass would have resulted in a touchdown.

DE LaVar Arrington. Still don't see much in the way of moves from Arrington. Yes, it's the preseason, but Arrington seems easy to handle if a lineman gets his hands on him. Arrington still doesn't shed blockers well.

RT Daryl Terrell. Simply no good at tackle.

DE Regan Upshaw. Hasn't shown that he can play the run. With Phillip Daniels banged up, he needs to do that.


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