- Hamas cleric tells Jews: ‘We will exterminate you’
- San Diego Costco, Target shoppers shocked by plane crash in parking lot
- George W. Bush penning biography of father
- Israel vows to destroy Hamas tunnels
- Spain evacuates staff from embassy in Libya
- Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola fears; 2 volunteers isolated
- House overwhelmingly approves $16 billion cash infusion for VA overhaul
- Obama admin to blame for HealthCare.gov woes, $840M cost: GAO
- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
Redskins building a solid foundation
Stats don’t matter, but learning how to win starts in preseason
Question of the Day
The Washington Redskins are 2-0. No team’s offense in the entire NFL has averaged more yards per game, and no team’s defense has allowed fewer. Is this a dream? Is it fantasy land?
Nah, just the 2011 preseason. That’s not stopping Redskins players from enjoying it, though.
They realize they’re not making any headway in the NFC East standings during August, but they believe playing well in wins over Pittsburgh and Indianapolis will help them reach their goals.
“Obviously, we all know it’s the preseason,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “We know the Colts are really not as good without Peyton Manning, but it’s still building points. You always want to win around here and create a winning atmosphere and always have a good showing.
“You don’t want to go out there and lay a dud and then people are really talking bad about you. So I’d rather be good and win in the preseason any day over losing.”
Exactly what the Redskins‘ strong preseason start means is uncertain. Teams experiment with different lineups during exhibition games, and injured players err on the side of caution in deciding whether to play.
Teams also game plan differently than they do for regular-season games, and some teams prepare more for their opponent than others.
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark, a former Redskin, believes Washington cared more about the outcome of Washington’s 16-7 victory Aug. 12 than his team.
“We were playing a preseason game them the Super Bowl,” he wrote on his Twitter account last week.
One Redskins first-stringer said Washington used approximately 60 percent of its offensive playbook against Pittsburgh, a bit more than a normal preseason game.
Then again, all NFL teams are playing catch-up because offseason programs were canceled and players who signed free agent contracts after the lockout couldn’t practice until a week into training camp.
Most of the Redskins‘ first-stringers played the first half of both games. On the other side, Pittsburgh took its defensive starters out after 20 plays, while the Colts staggered how they took starters out of the game, beginning in the second quarter. And Indianapolis did not have All-Pro quarterback Manning, who is recovering from a neck injury.
“I think everybody is adjusting to what happened with the lockout,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “I think every team is a little bit different. You have to look at your positions and make some decisions relative to your rookies and the evaluation process, so a lot of things go into the mix with playing time and exactly who you’re trying to evaluate.”
Despite some murky context, some stats indicate the Redskins are much improved.
Their first-string offense gained 119 yards on 20 plays against Pittsburgh’s starters. Tim Hightower’s 58-yard run was against Indianapolis’ first string, and the Redskins finished Friday’s first half with 277 yards on 41 plays (6.8 yards per play).
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- REDSKINS 2013: Washington seeks staying power among NFL's elite
- REDSKINS 2013: Breaking down the schedule, game by game
- NFL 2013: Ranking all 32 teams in terms of staying power
- With no blueprint, Redskin Hankerson seeks success as dad
- Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson learning to manage family life with football career
Latest Blog Entries
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- EDITORIAL: The real Lois Lerner exposed in newly released emails
- Star witness in Bob McDonnell corruption trial refutes 'crush' defense
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world