- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 22, 2013

Five questions Redskins beat writer Brian McNally has heading into Washington’s Saturday preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

1. What’s up with Bacarri Rambo’s tackling issues?

Some players are natural tacklers, according to Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Others need work. Rambo, a sixth-round draft pick, clearly falls into the latter category after two weeks struggling to make plays in space. The free safety worked on his angles against teammates during post-practice drills this week.

2. Can the Redskins limit their undisciplined penalties?

The Redskins took three unnecessary roughness penalties in Monday’s win over Pittsburgh. The week before against Tennessee there was an unsportsmanlike call on tight end Fred Davis, another unnecessary roughness penalty and a roughing the passer. They need to be better in that area before the games count.

3. Will the rookies rebound from shaky performances?

Tight end Jordan Reed, a third-round draft pick, admitted to several missed assignments and dropped a pass against Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, running back Chris Thompson, a fifth-round pick, fumbled on his second carry of the game and had his left shoulder pop out of place. Both need to show more against Buffalo.

4. Which veterans will return to the field?

Wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who aggravated a hamstring strain in the first preseason game against Tennessee on Aug. 8, has rested his nagging hamstring. Now it’s time to show if he’s healthy enough to contribute. He said Thursday he expects to play against the Bills. The same goes for linebacker Nick Barnett, who just finished his second full week of practice.

5. Is playing Buffalo good preparation for the opener against Philadelphia?

The Redskins aren’t exactly game-planning for Buffalo’s up-tempo attack so the coaches aren’t so sure. No one knows what to expect from Chip Kelly’s offense except it will be run at a breakneck pace in the season opener. But it can’t exactly hurt, either.