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⦁ After how often TE Niles Paul was used as a receiver during the preseason, and considering how Mike Shanahan converted Paul from receiver so he could create mismatches against linebackers in the passing game, it was fair to wonder whether Paul would have a big impact catching the football Sunday. But Paul was used as a blocker against the Saints.

His best work was on the opening drive. Paul split wide as a receiver and helped block on the perimeter as QB Robert Griffin III targeted other receivers with screen passes. Now that that look is on film, the Redskins could play off of that and use Paul to catch passes out of similar formations in upcoming games.

QB Robert Griffin III lamented a missed touchdown on his fumble on the opening drive. The Saints had 9 in the box when Griffin faked a handoff and dropped the ball. Meanwhile, WR Joshua Morgan ran a post from the right side, and he was open to the inside with no safety protecting the middle of the field. Morgan slipped out of his break, though, so it might not have been a touchdown if Griffin had been in position to throw, but the play-call was perfect for that defense.

WR Brandon Banks made a positive impact on offense with his shiftiness. He put the ball on the ground twice returning punts, but Mike Shanahan valued how elusive he was in converting third-and-5 with a 6-yard reception on the opening series. Banks caught a screen pass near the left sideline, and he dipped underneath CB Malcolm Jenkins’ arm tackle in space to dive for the necessary yardage.

QB Robert Griffin III’s 5-yard touchdown pass to WR Aldrick Robinson was possible because of two exceptional blitz pickups. RB Roy Helu Jr. blocked S Roman Harper’s interior run from the left (although he ducked his head at the point of attack) and RG Chris Chester read S Malcolm Jenkins’ blitz and stopped him without much trouble.

… That’s it for the offense. Let me know what I missed or whatever thoughts you might have. Leave a comment, email me at rcampbell@washingtontimes.com or hit me on Twitter @Rich_Campbell.