Continued from page 2

***

The Redskins‘ fifth series was a lousy one for TE Fred Davis. On second down, Baltimore OLB Jarret Johnson drove him behind the line of scrimmage and set the edge, holding RB Tim Hightower to no gain. On the next play, third-and-10, Davis focused on the blitzing inside linebacker and didn’t recognize the blitzing slot cornerback was a greater threat. Hightower couldn’t slide over in time to clean up the mess and prevent the sack. After blocking exceptionally well against Pittsburgh in the preseason opener, Davis hasn’t been consistent.

***

WR Terrence Austin’s feet and patience are two reasons he’ll be on the final roster next Saturday. He juked out CB Lardarius Webb with a quick outside jab step, freeing himself inside for a 28-yard catch-and-run.

On his 13-yard touchdown, he caught QB John Beck‘s screen pass and hesitated just long enough to suck Webb toward him and set up RT Sean Locklear’s block.

***

Mike Sellers’ return to fullback in the second half could have been better. He was unconvincing as a lead blocker on the two plays I noted. On a 4-yard run by RB Roy Helu, Sellers was too high and a bit off-balance when he took on LB Jameel McClain in the hole. On another run left, he didn’t block anyone.

That said, I still think Sellers makes the 53-man roster. He’s insurance at both the fullback and tight end positions.

***

Offensive line depth is a huge problem. Players just aren’t consistent enough with their technique. For example, swing tackle Sean Locklear, who’s known for his quality pass blocking, gave up a sack to DE Pernell McPhee because he was slow on his initial punch. McPhee got into Locklear’s body and easily went around him.

Players such as guards Artis Hicks and Big Mo Hurt and T Willie Smith haven’t been sharp enough. The negative plays outnumber the good.

The Redskins might be able to cover for one second-stringer who’s forced to play during the regular season, but it could get really ugly if two ever have to play at the same time. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Redskins fill the bottom of their final offensive line depth chart with a player or two who’s cut from another team.

***

I’m struggling to see rookie fifth-round WR Niles Paul on the final 53-man roster at this point. He hasn’t flashed enough as a receiver through three preseason games; only one reception for 16 yards.

Paul is a capable blocker and can contribute on special teams — although his lack of awareness on a punt he failed to down inside the 10 didn’t help his cause. I believe the Redskins will try to stash him on the practice squad, and if he gets claimed by another team, they can draft someone similar next year.

Story Continues →