Redskins whip Falcons

On Atlanta's first play from scrimmage, the Redskins did something they hadn't shown all summer, something they probably haven't shown in years. They blitzed both cornerbacks, with Shawn Springs knocking into quarterback Michael Vick. He couldn't sack him, but he did cause an errant throw that safety Matt Bowen intercepted.

Meanwhile, the Redskins' offense was running reverses, using more motion than in the previous preseason games.

This is vanilla?

Imagine what will happen when the Redskins unveil the rest of their playbook.

And don't worry about them tipping their hand. The 27-0 win over Atlanta was also about giving the rest of the league, especially Tampa Bay, a little taste of what was to come. Now they have to prepare for a little bit more than they did after watching the previous four games (though the defense has shown a lot already).

The Redskins may not run any of these plays against the Bucs, but the fact that Tampa knows they might is enough to cause headaches. Besides, as Gregg Williams said earlier in the week, the Redskins can run the same things out of different packages. That's why versatility among the back seven is important.

One thing that we need to see more of is the front seven working together. Linebacker LaVar Arrington looked a bit rusty working in unison with the line, once bumping into a teammate while rushing the passer. Blame it on two weeks off. When unimpeded, however, he had no problems getting to quarterback Michael Vick and he was dangerous, rushing off the edge and rushing through the middle. That's how he caused the fumble that Antonio Pierce scooped up and returned for a score.

''We got whooped today,'' Vick said.

Granted, the Falcons were probably stunned by what the Redskins saw. Had this been the regular season they would have prepared more for the blitzes. Clearly, they had no clue as to what they were doing.

Still, the Redskins looked good. One former scout in attendance said he liked the tempo at which the Redskins played. They played fast, got in and out of the huddle quickly and Atlanta didn't.


First offense. Looked excellent, particularly the skill players.

CB Ade Jimoh. He appears to have a lead over Garnell Wilds and Rufus Brown in the race for the No. 5 cornerback job, if they keep that many. Wilds and Brown are not considered game ready and one likely will be assigned to the practice squad. And Jimoh made more plays vs. Atlanta than the other two. Hard as it may be for many to believe, Jimoh has a chance to make the roster.

OT Jim Molinaro. The Redskins have something to work with in this kid. Though he allowed a pressure and received lots of help, there's a reason they started him at left tackle instead of the other rookie. His footwork is just better.

RB Ladell Betts. Ran hard and was decisive. Also showed excellent vision, knowing when the holes were plugged and cutting back, yet showing enough patience not to tip his hand too quickly. If he can stay healthy, the Redskins will have nice depth at this position.

DE Ron Warner. Had a sack and drew a couple double teams on other occasions. He's shown a lot more than Regan Upshaw. If the Redskins are serious that production matters in the preseason, then Warner makes the team.

RB Sultan McCullough. Still not sure if I'd keep him over Rock Cartwright or John Simon. To me, he's not a Joe Gibbs type player. And dropping a pass in the flat didn't help. That said, he got outside and showed some speed and made some nice runs and caught four more passes. He received a good chance because Simon and Cartwright couldn't play and he made the most of his opportunities.

C Lennie Friedman. Won the job over Cory Raymer with a solid showing all summer. He showed some quickness when he was able to come off a double team and clip a blitzing linebacker. Opened a couple holes that way.

H-back Chris Cooley. How many guys his size can jump and catch passes. Cooley did that in the first quarter. He also had a strong run, breaking two tackles and bulling forward over a third defender after one catch. A nice, nice pick.

DT Joe Salave'a. Made his second start and might have clinched the starting job with a strong showing. Showed excellent leverage. He's healthy and it shows in his play.

QB Mark Brunell. Showed veteran savvy. On a first and 10 from the 15 on the opening series, the Falcons blitzed. With the blitzer charging at him, Brunell calmly waited for h-back Chris Cooley to clear, then flung a pass sidearmed past the blitzer for an 11-yard gain.

S Ryan Clark. The guy we tried to cut had a nice night, recovering a fumble and making a couple nice hits.

DE Phillip Daniels. He played and didn't get hurt. That's all the Redskins needed.


OT Mark Wilson. Not sure if the Redskins have seen much in him, but I know I haven't. He's too often off-balance and gets knocked backwards quite easily. On one play, Wilson set to pass block, but had no one in front of him. However, he stumbled when a teammate bmped into him. Why? Because he was off-balance. Again. I don't consider him much more than a practice squader. We'll see what the Redskins think.

LB Clifton Smith. Didn't see him do much against the run. Did not run well in coverage. Will they keep him over Khary Campbell? At least he recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter.

WR Gari Scott. Nice story. It ends Sunday. Just didn't make the most of his many opportunities.

CB Garnell Wilds. Showed he couldn't handle Michael Jenkins. Though Jenkins might start for Atlanta, or at least play a lot, Wilds needed to show he could play a little better to earn a roster spot.

WR Jafar Williams. Had a drop and a penalty. Not a good night.

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