When I was on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 Monday, Redskins coach Jim Zorn told us he was planning on playing his starters Thursday night in the final preseason game against Jacksonville — an unusual move.
Starters rarely get much playing time in the final preseason game — particularly when it is the fifth exhibition game. But Zorn wants to get the bad taste out of the beating they took from Carolina last Saturday night.
The best way to do that, though, may be not to place so much importance on it that you need to prove something again Thursday night. What happened against the Panthers should be no indication of what can be expected once the regular season starts. At least it better not be. If it is, the starters can play 100 quarters against Jacksonville and it won’t matter.
Preseason football is an abomination. It is closer to professional wrestling in its legitmacy and validity than NFL football, and the best thing the league can do is cut the number of games down to two at the most. If it comes down to money, then increase the regular season schedule to 18 games.
If the past has taught outside observers anything, it is that preseason football cannot be used as an indicator of expectations for the regular season. And whatever Zorn expects to learn or get out of Thursday, the negatives — more poor performance, more injuries — are not worth seeing his team play one or two series of good football.