Several receivers made positive impressions. Santana Moss is so crisp getting in and out of his breaks. What else is new? He helped get the Redskins off their 1-yard line on their first play by escaping press coverage. His 16-yard reception in the second quarter resulted from a sharp pivot to the sideline.
Anthony Armstrong made an excellent adjustment to Rex Grossman‘s throw to convert 4th-and-1 in the second quarter. Grossman put it low to Armstrong’s outside, and he made a terrific sliding catch. Second-year receiver Terrence Austin is so shifty that he consistently gets free on crossing routes. He might force coaches to find a roster spot for him this year.
Rookies Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson are among the receivers who didn’t have a good night. Hankerson botched a potential big gain when he dropped a pass over the middle. He let the ball get into his body instead of catching it with his hands. Robinson muffed two punts, one of which he shouldn’t have attempted to field because he was too close to his end zone.
My grade of rookie RB Evan Royster‘s play is a bit lower after having re-watched the game. He wasn’t nearly as aggressive hitting cutback lanes as Tim Hightower was. Royster, however, seemed to get a better feel for the fluidity required as the game progressed, and he wasn’t as tentative. He also didn’t have as much space to attack behind Washington’s second-string offensive line.
Royster wasn’t perfect in pass protection, lunging and missing one blitzer late. However, he was better than fellow rookie RB Roy Helu, who showed a tendency to duck his head and lead with one shoulder.
Helu‘s quick feet were evident when he juked a defensive back on an 18-yard 4th-quarter run. His burst is more explosive than Royster‘s, and it will be interesting to see what Helu does behind the second-string line. He ran behind the third-string unit Friday, with Erik Cook at right guard instead of center and seventh-round rookie Maurice Hurt at left tackle instead of left guard. Cook and Hurt were better at center and guard, respectively.
QB Rex Grossman overthrew a possible long touchdown to WR Donte’ Stallworth in the second quarter when the ball came out of his hands “funky.” That’s how he described it in the locker room after the game. Grossman rolled to his left and had to throw against his body, and he said he didn’t get his back hip through properly. He vowed to practice that throw 25 times on Sunday to get it right.
Give FB Keiland Williams and LB Lorenzo Alexander credit for key blocks on PR/KR Brandon Banks’ 58-yard kickoff return. Oh, and credit Banks’ excellent speed, too.
Banks’ long return was a highlight, but he also cost the Redskins 13 yards when he let a punt bounce instead of fielding it.View Entire Story
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