Final Tuneup: Ravens Drop Skins in OT

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland 09.01.05--The preseason ended with a thud, after it looked like Washington would even its preseason record. Not that it would have mattered. And not that overtime losses in preseason mean a great deal. They don't.

Still, the Ravens won it on a 66-yard touchdown pass from Derek Anderson to Randy Hymes, who broke a tackle and galloped to the end zone.

Eight is enough: Backup Mark Brunell once again showed more poise, elusiveness and productivity than starter Patrick Ramsey. Brunell showed his legs on a second-quarter bootleg. He reversed field back to his right thanks to a linebacker who nearly tackled him. Then, with another linebacker about to drill him, he calmly zipped a pass to tight end Brian Kozlowski for a 12-yard gain on third and nine. Brunell also lofted a nice fade to receiver Jimmy Farris for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Yes, Brunell is playing against backups. But at some point it should be clear that Ramsey deserves the job ahead of him. So far that hasn't happened.

Going up: Linebacker LaVar Arrington had a couple nice tackles, flashing much more than Warrick Holdman has all summer. Not sure what the fascination is with Holdman. But Arrington stuffed Jamal Lewis for no gain and later stopped Justin Green for a two-yard run, coming from the backside. . . . Returner Rich Parson had two nice returns. . . . Linebacker Khary Campbell had a good night, defending one pass, staying with a tight end on a deep pass down the middle on another and blocking a field goal.

Big night: Don't know that receiver Jimmy Farris will make the final roster, but he did have a good night, catching touchdown passes of 22 and 37 yards. Farris is a special teams guy so if he makes the roster he would be unlikely to play from scrimmage.

Mohr not less: Veteran Chris Mohr started slow, with a 33-yard punt and a low-line drive 42-yarder. But he finished strong, with punts of 42, 42, 39 and 43 yards -- all with good hang time and for only 16 yards in returns. Andy Groom has a big leg, but the gut tells me the Redskins will go with 15 years over none.

Going down: Don't know if Antonio Brown is in any real trouble, but he should be. Put simply, the guy can't catch. He dropped three passes, including one that would have resulted in a long touchdown pass from Mark Brunell. Another pass zipped through his hands and it was hard to tell from our angle if he should have caught it. Brown has not impressed on returns, either, and often appears as dangerous to Washington as he is to opponents. . . .

Out: Rookie Manuel White suffered a broken leg and will be out for the season. It allows him to hang around and continue learning a new position, once he's healthy. White was unimpressive this summer in learning a new position.

Rookie: Jason Campbell had his moments, both good and bad. He drove the Redskins into field goal range but in the last 20 seconds was called for delay of game, looked confused at the line and threw a pass when beyond the line of scrimmage. But he also threw a 14-yard pass to get them into field goal range. John Hall then made a 46-yard field goal to tie the game.

Why, why, why?: Joe Gibbs annoyed many people with his decision to attempt a game-tying field goal with three seconds left in regulation, sending a meaningless preseason finale into overtime. The game had already taken 3 hours, 35 minutes. Please, Joe, next time end the madness while you have a chance.

Good note: Tight end Robert Royal was able to have 10 family members fly to Washington on owner Dan Snyder's plane. Royal's family is among the lucky: they live on the west bank of the lake, which was largely spared of the devastation. Their homes are safe, provided the levee's don't break.


Brunell on receiver Antonio Brown's tough night: ‘'You know what happens: you miss one and then you've missed two and pretty soon you start thinking about it and he admitted it. Every young guy goes through that. I went through it. At some time you start thinking too much, but he certainly is showing he can play, run routes. He's a big play maker and we still have a lot of confidence in Antonio.''

Wide receiver Jimmy Farris: ‘'I hate to sound like it was easy, but those were routine plays. I didn't have to make tough catches.''

More Farris: ‘'Special teams, that's my niche. That's the last time you'll see me at receiver for a while. I'm a special teamer.''

Cornelius Griffin: ‘'LaVar has all the tools. What more could you want in a linebacker?''

Joe Gibbs on Farris: ''I've got to tell you, for a little old guy fighting his guts out, we all really like him. We've got some tough decisions there to make and certainly he stood up tonight.''

Gibbs on the punters: ''That's going to be a big topic of discussions.''

More Gibbs on the sloppy play: ''It was definitely sloppy play. Anything out there today where we made mistakes today and we don't look good and don't play smart football, that really concerns me.''

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