Cleaning out the notebook with the Redskins and Tampa Bay 26 hours from kickoff.
*It’s going to be interesting to see the field conditions. The U2 concert was Tuesday and on Friday night, the Redskins announced that FedEx Field would be completely re-sodded after Sunday’s game.
When U2 was in Chicago last month, there was an eight-day gap betweeen the concerts and the Bears home opener. One reporter told the field looked like a sand box. The stage used required nearly 175 semi-trucks to haul.
*Redskins offensive assistant Chris Meidt helped run the quarterback drills at the 2008 Scouting Combine. One of the participants was new Bucs starter Josh Johnson.
“Wonderful kid, very personable, very respectful,” Meidt said. “The kid can run and he can scramble. Quick release when we had him at the Combine. I remember how much I liked him. He has some great attributes as a kid. I think they’ll rally around him. I hope it’s not against us.”
*The Redskins could facing a Wildcat formation for the first time this year. Defensive coordinator Greg Blache said the term coaches use is “Zip Series” for the Wildcat. There isn’t much tape on Johnson so that’s a new challenge.
“It’s difficult particularly with the athleticism a guy like Josh has,” Blache said. “We knew in college he was effective running the football. We expect him to pull down the ball and run on third down. We expect to see him moving around a little bit.”
*Reed Doughty was surprised earlier this week when told he was no longer on the punt return. The good news — it was because he’s the new starting strong safety.
“I felt I had been playing well on punt return so I was kind of confused by that and then I saw Chris [was on the unit] and I put two and two together,” Doughty said.
*Special teams co-captain Rock Cartwright agreed with coach Jim Zorn that little things are causing big problems.
“Very much so — you see it on tape,” Cartwright said.”If you take care of the small things, the big things will take care of itself. Sometimes as a team, myself included, we overlook some of those small things that can be a key to your success.”
Said Zorn: “That’s one of the things as coaches we’re trying to address. We’re responsible for that. We’re trying to pay more and more attention to the little things – a hesistation, a jumping off sides, a low throw. Our players are working very hard. They’re giving tremendous effort. They did not go through the motions [in practice Wednesday]. That’s what I look for. We coached hard, too. We’re working hard together to get things corrected.”
*Receiver Antwaan Randle El made a decent point earlier this week. He acknowledged the problems but it could be worse — the Redskins could be 5-6 and running out of time.
“We’re finding our way,” Randle El said. “At the same time, we understand that we haven’t played well and haven’t put the best product out there. We also know we can play better. We know there’s a sense of urgency to run some wins off.”
*Zorn said despite changing defensive coordinators (Jim Bates in, Monte Kiffin to the University of Tennessee), the Bucs still play some Tampa Two — two safeties deep, middle linebacker dropping deep as well.
As for the Bucs blitz package, Zorn said: “They bring more secondary guys than linebackers. They’ll bring a linebacker but they bring safeties and corners.”
— Ryan O’Halloran