Last year, the Washington Redskins won their preseason opener, and coach Joe Gibbs said he felt "awful" afterward because right tackle Jon Jansen sustained a season-ending injury.
On Saturday, the Redskins lost their first preseason game to Carolina, and after spending four hours yesterday reviewing the 28-10 defeat, Gibbs described his chief feeling as "unhappy."
Unhappy because the first-team offense produced no points in five drives.
Unhappy because the Redskins had four turnovers.
And unhappy because the short-handed defense was just leaky enough to lose the field position battle.
Gibbs, though, was not devastated; unlike last year, there were no major injuries. Still, the offense made no major strides.
An early 14-point deficit forced Gibbs to junk the running game, and Redskins quarterbacks were a combined 29-for-50 for 330 yards and two interceptions.
Gibbs took a generally optimistic view about starter Patrick Ramsey, who was 8-for-12 for 77 yards and whose five drives ended in an interception and four punts.
"It was one of those outings where he did some good things; he made some really good movements in the pocket to get the ball to people," said Gibbs, who added that "some opportunities were missed."
Ramsey appeared jumpy in the pocket, but Gibbs liked his presence.
"As far as the pocket goes, he looked good," he said.
Ramsey's best drive started at the Redskins 7 late in the first quarter. He was 4-for-6 before two overthrows stalled the drive at the Carolina 37.
"We're definitely disappointed that we weren't able to sustain a drive all the way to the end zone and stick the ball in," he said.
Mark Brunell was next, and he arguably looked sharper in his decision making and throwing than he did all of last season. He was 11-for-19 for 121 yards.
"Mark was very aggressive, went after things and moved around extremely well," Gibbs said. "It highlights that last year, [after] getting hurt against the Giants, it was awfully hard for him to get back. Mark's game is what he did last night. He can go back and fire and can get out of the pocket if somebody has a free rush on him."
Gibbs was most perturbed by the turnovers.
"If you turn the ball over four times, your odds of winning are less than 5 percent," he said. "It's not smart football, and until we [correct] that, we'll have a tough time winning games."
On the plus side for the Redskins was pass protection. The offensive line allowed no sacks in 50 pass attempts. Gibbs also liked the five plays of 20-plus yards, although none was made by a starter.
"We have a long ways to go, and this game pointed that out," Gibbs said. "They had the upper hand and we didn't, so we have to get to work."
Count running back Clinton Portis in the not worried camp.
"There shouldn't be any concerns about the offense," he said. "After all, it's the preseason."
Notes -- Although television replays were inconclusive, Gibbs said the game tape showed Carolina receiver Rod Gardner interfered with Redskins cornerback Ade Jimoh on Gardner's 21-yard touchdown reception. Jimoh was called for pass interference, which was declined.
"I practiced against Rod for two years [with the Redskins], so I knew what he wanted to do," Jimoh said. ...
Gibbs on safety Sean Taylor's adventures returning a blocked field goal, which ended with an illegal forward pass: "To be quite truthful, if Sean Taylor gets his hands on the football, he shouldn't give it to anybody. We want him to be the guy that winds up with it." ...
The only injury from the game Gibbs reported was cornerback Walt Harris, who experienced calf swelling yesterday morning.
Staff writer David Elfin contributed to this article.
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