1. OFFENSIVE RHYTHM
Coach Joe Gibbs and play-caller Al Saunders both said this week that when the first-team offense is on the field, they will be showing more “stuff” than they did during last year”s awful preseason. Expect Jason Campbell and the rest of the starters to play three to four possessions and expect the Redskins to use pre-snap shifting and motion — something they didn”t do last year. The limited action will be a chance for Campbell and Co. to develop some rhythm.
2. REVAMPED LINEBACKING CORPS
Only Marcus Washington was a starting linebacker for the Redskins last year at this time. London Fletcher was in Buffalo and Rocky McIntosh was on the Redskins” bench. Tonight is the trio”s first chance to show what they”ve accomplished in the first two weeks of camp. Specifically, it will be interesting to see where Washington lines up on a passing down (DE or OLB) and how McIntosh plays in coverage.
3. WHO”S THE SECOND CORNER?
Who”s the No. 2 corner, Carlos Rogers or Fred Smoot? On one hand, this isn”t a big issue considering how many teams have three corners on the field a majority of the time. On the other hand, it”s an issue because both players struggled last season. If Smoot starts ahead of Rogers, what does that say about Rogers” development? If Rogers starts, is that a sign the coaches are confident he has put the sophomore slump behind him?
4. THE KICKING GAME
The Redskins are taking a leap of faith on special teams by not having any on-roster competition for kicker Shaun Suisham and punter Derrick Frost. Tonight will be the first time for both players to reward that confidence. Suisham is on the team because of his long kickoffs so that bears monitoring. Frost had a strong performance against Baltimore last week, but consistency is the key for him. If both players have rough games, the questions will start to swirl.
5. O-LINE DEPTH
Left tackle Chris Samuels” bum knee will keep him out. Right guard Randy Thomas might not play because of a bad knee. That leaves rookie Stephon Heyer and journeyman Mike Pucillo to fill in. The Redskins have tried to address line depth the last two offseasons because Ray Brown couldn”t play forever. Jason Fabini, Ross Tucker and Taylor Whitney will be tested once they replace the starters.
— Ryan O”Halloran