During a few games last year, I experimented with the GameBlog, a running commentary throughout the game that I updated at least every quarter or so. It was fun to do and some of you seemed to like it, so it's back again this preseason for another trial run. As to whether or not GameBlog makes the final cut and is around for the regular season depends largely on you, the reader. Please send me your comments at email@example.com
Fourth Quarter and Wrapup:
Rookie Rich Parson just made a fair catch of a punt. It was the smart play, the only thing to do, but you've got to know that it kills an undrafted rookie free agent to have to do that. You want to be able to show your stuff.
Jason Campbell threw off of his back foot on his first pro pass and it was short. On his second play, there was a poor exchange with RB Brock Forsey and the Panthers recovered the fumble deep in Washington territory. Not sure if it was the QB's fault or Forsey's, but it could cost the Redskins a score.
Stephen LeFors made his first pro pass for Carolina and he short-hopped a hitch pattern. He did manage to successfully execute the handoff on the next play.
The Redskins have been flagged for a pair of questionable penalties, both on third down to give Carolina new life inside the Washington 10. A roughing the passer on Jarred Newberry gave Carolina one first down and a pass interference on Rufus Brown gave them another. Newberry was certainly late, but I've seen much worse not called. And Brown was holding his ground at the goal line and the receiver ran into him and drew a flag. The second call was worse than the first. I don't think that Marcus Washington gets flagged for the first and Shawn Springs gets away with the second "infraction".
The turnover did cost the Redskins a TD as LeFores lobbed a nice TD to a receiver in the end zone. You can't hold them out forever.
Andy Grooms gave a classic example of outkicking his coverage as he boomed one high a long that was fielded at the 10 and returned near midfield. He showed a good leg, though.
Some sloppy tackling here in the late going with Eric Joyce missing one.
I commented about Jonathan Combs a few days ago, how he had to take advantage of every chance. He just made a few nice plays but then fumbled inside the Carolina three and the Panthers recovered.
Recapping it at 28-10 in the last few minutes: If you're one of those who wants to see the playmakers shine, this wasn't the game for you. Portis barely played, Ramsey wasn't sharp, the receivers didn't catch anything deep, Marcus Washington barely played, Sean Taylor made is presence known but he was more cold than hot. The offense never got rolling, even though most of the first team played up until the final series of the first half.
A fan of the play in the trenches, however, can take a lot out of this game. The offensive line, both the first and second units, kept the quarterbacks safe all night long. Had more talented backs than Rock Cartwright and Broughton been playing all night, there would have been some long gainers.
Combs just dropped a pass. Sorry, kid.
And the defensive line was active and generally played well. There was some good penetration and solid tackling all night long. Given that Griffin didn't play at all and Daniels and Wynn played little
Textbook sideline catch by Kevin Dyson, keeping his toes in bounds for a first down. It took him a while to get into the game, but he's made a couple of nice catches.
Ouch, the last play of the game, a Campbell pass bounced off of Combs' hands and was intercepted. Heck, Betts' job would be in jeopardy if he had a fumble and two drops in five minutes. A rookie free agent out of Texas College just can't do that.
Chris Clemons has a pair of costly penalties with an illegal contact in the second quarter and a pass interference on the Panther's third snap of the second half.
Warrick Holdman is playing in the first series of the third quarter and he missed a tackle that almost cost the Redskins a first down.
Antonio Brown picked up a little over 20 yards on a punt return doing a good job just picking a few spots to run towards. He took what he could get and stayed in bounds, picked up an extra 10 when others may have stepped out.
Nehemiah Broughton is in at halfback and showed some nice running after catching a little swing pass from Brunell for a first down.
Brown kept the drive he starting going with a good catch for a first down at the Carolina 25. Good throw by Brunell, too, almost sidearming it in there to the diminutive Brown.
Jeff Chandler, thank you for participating in the Redskins 2005 roster competition. Your wide-left miss of a 42-yard field goal has just eliminated you from consideration. John Hall, we'll be hauling in the cement soon to secure your roster spot. Jeff, please pick up your parting gifts on the way out the door.
Zak Keasey just got the Redskins' first big play on defense, a third-down sack of Roderick Rutherford. There was some buzz about the undrafted rookie free agent in the first week of camp, but it died down somewhat last week. He's an extreme long shot, but plays like that will help him stick around.
Another third-down conversion for Brown on a good deep in pattern. Nice throw by Brunell, too.
Broughton is fighting for some tough inside yards. He looks like a keeper.
From the shotgun, Brunell beats the blitz (no coincidence there?) and converts another third-down to Mike Sellers. The pass protection has been excellent all night long and, in some cases, the shotgun is helping as neither Ramsey nor Brunell are particularly quick in getting back from center.
Again, it's Broughton fighting inside for some tough yards near the goal line. On first and goal at the three he gets it inside the one and the next play he's over the goal line. He's looking like more than a third-down and short back. I'm not getting carried away here with him playing against Carolina's third-and-higher string defense, either. Broughton is running North-South with conviction and power. He was a big factor in the 14-play, 82-yard Redskins touchdown drive.
First team offense, for the most part, still in with two and a half minutes gone in the first quarter. They'd like for Ramsey to get something going, even if it is against the Carolina second-string D.
Nope, he throws it well over Patten's head on third and short. At least it would have been a first down if Patten had caught it.
Now, if both cornerbacks have a shot at the quarterback and that QB is, say, Donovan McNabb, it's OK if they miss him. But both CB's had a shot at Chris Weinke and they both missed him and he scrambled for three yards. On the next play, the corners both blitz again and linebacker Clifton Smith ends up on a receiver and it goes for a gain down to the ten. It was Jimoh who missed the tackle on Weinke on the first play and he was tentative in going after him the second time.
That sets up a TD pass to Carolina's third-string TE Michael Gaines, who beat Khary Campbell on the play. Campbell is on the bubble and can't afford many plays like that.
Patrick Ramsey is still in the game halfway through the second quarter with most of the other offensive starters still in. He finally connects with Patten for 11 yards on first down.
Rock Cartwright is gaining some yards, but if Portis or Betts had the holes he has there would be some long gainers in there.
I'm not sure why you leave your first-team offense in the game if you're going to throw a five-yard pattern on third and seven, but that's how that series ended. I wouldn't be surprised to see the starters in for the final series of the half.
Despite his solid performance in practices, Joe Gibbs is still letting it be known that it wasn't OK for Sean Taylor to miss all of the team's offseason workouts. Taylor has just made his first appearance of the game with about three minutes left in the first half. He was overaggressive and got trapped inside on a long run by Rod Smart.
Campbell just put another nail in his coffin, although the play was harmless. He lat Smart get by him on a pass, but Weinke overthrew the former XFL back.
In all of the laterals after the blocked field goal, the fact that Nic Clemons was the one who blocked the kick was overlooked. After that one, you'll hear plenty of Danny Smith's shrill voice around the locker room at halftime, that's for sure. You do that when there's zero time on the clock, not with half a minute left.
Wow, Mark Brunell showed some zip in the old arm on that first pass to Cartwright. Maybe he can. . .naaaaah!
All too often last year, the Redskins would get the ball late in the first half and just sit on it and not score. It was good to see some aggressiveness and a 43-yard field goal by Hall to steal three points.
That was a bad INT by Ramsey, not that any are good. He was just very tentative in throwing that ball up for Moss, a pick on an overthrow would have been much better.
I'm sure that Rod Gardner was very familiar with Ade Jimoh, having faced the Redskins backup CB on the scout team for the last two years. I have to think that Springs stays with Gardner on that play. Still, a nice play to cap off a nice drive by the Panthers.
On third and seven, Jimoh did manage to stay with Ricky Prohl and force Dellhome to throw the ball away. Of course, Prohl is about 15 years older than Ade is, so that should be a routine play for him. It's not.
Going into the third series, still no continuity on offense for the Redskins.
Nice leaping catch by Betts to snag a Ramsey pass to get the Redskins out of a hole deep in Carolina territory. He's going to be the third-down back and catches like that will help out a lot.
Are the Redskins learning how to sell the screen? Rock Cartwright just picked up a first off of one that actually worked the way it's supposed to. They haven't done much with the screen since, well, Gibbs left in 1992.
Pregame, 18:50 EDT 08.13.05
What I'll be watching:
- Nic Clemons: I can't see Renaldo Wynn and Phillip Daniels going for very long tonight and the coaches will be able to give the kid a good, long look. After two years on the practice squad, he either has to make it or not. This game will go a long way in determining whether he makes it or not.
punters: Joe Gibbs told me the other day that the decision as to which
punter made the team would be mostly up to special teams coach Danny
Smith. Andy Groom has been booming the heck out of the ball at camp and he
has a slim but real shot at unseating Tom
Tupa if he can get off to a strong start tonight. Groom has very little rope, however. One shank or one boomed through the end zone from midfield could spell doom for his chances.
- Patrick Ramsey: Yeah, this is obvious, but it's critical that he comes out and shows some command. I think that Gibbs will give him one or two deep shots in the three or four series that Ramsey will play and the QB has to take advantage of them.
- Sean Taylor:
I mentioned this in my game preview, but I think that
is ready to take his aggressions out on the field tonight. Look for a couple of big plays in what I think might be some extended playing time. Taylor