Redskins Thumbs Up – Thumbs Down: Preseason Week One
Just as the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL has a pre-season, so do DCPSR feature articles. So we kickoff full blown Redskins coverage with the first preseason game with the Tennessee Titans now int he books. As you know, the Redskins upended the Titans 22-21 on a late fourth quarter TD by QB Pat White and a two point conversion. So who gets recognition in our weekly Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down? Find out now. (Please remember, we limit each category to two or three, others may be worthy. You can tell us by commenting on our Facebook Page, right here.)
QB Kirk Cousins: Listen, we all know by now that QB Robert Griffin III will be ready for the first week of the regular season. However, like we found out last season, a backup quarterback is absolutely critical. That is why Mike Shanahan drafted Kirk Cousins in the fourth round of the same draft in which he selected Griffin with the second overall pick. Cousins was impressive last night, looking in complete command of the offense, against the Titans starting defense. Cousins was a near perfect 6 for 6 for 52 yards and a TD pass to Fred Davis. Cousins also had some real pretty play action completions and avoided the rush quite nicely. Cousins showed poise, command, and leadership, exactly what the Redskins wanted. If last night is any indication, should the need arise for Cousins to play, he will be ready. His near perfect performance deserves a Thumbs Up.
QB Pat White: Perhaps the best scenario with White is that he ends the Rex Grossman era in DC. Listen, White is the kind of backup you need in the system the Redskins want to run, one that includes the read option. I certainly don’t expect top performances from White like last night, but his grasp of the read option offense should end the Grossman era. Let’s face it, without White on the field last night, the chances of a Redskins win was problematic. White created the opportunity by effectively running the offense. White was 5 for 8 for 31 yards passing. It was his legs that put the Redskins in position to win. He ran for 33 yards on 5 carriers which included an 18 yard scamper and a 9 yard TD run that pulled Washington to within 1 point of Tennessee. White’s 18 yard dash drove the Redskins to midfield with just under 6 minutes to go in the game. After rushing 9 yards for the TD, White followed through with a success two point conversion on a pass to Emmanuel Ogbuehi for the win. A stellar night for White, an even more stellar night for those fans that want to see the Grossman era in the past.
RB Roy Helu: After missing all of last season after a promising rookie campaign Helu showed last night that he is back to reclaim his mantle as the top backup running back. Helu ran the ball effectively, showing the similar burst that we saw his rookie year. Early in the game, Helu was hitting running lanes a bit early, but slowed down to let the holes develop and put together a nice performance again the Titans starting defense. Lats year, Evan Royster was the main backup to starter Alfred Morris. Royster ran for 62 yards on 14 carries last night, while Helu produced 57 yards on 13 carries against the Titans starters. Folks, Helu just made backup running back a battle to watch in the final three preseason games. Enjoy.
OL Josh LiRibeus: Lets face it, as a third round draft pick, LiRibeus should be way further along than he is now. He was awful last night. LiRibeus committed two penalties and missed blocks, allowing for quarterback pressure. You just don;t expect this for a third round pick now in his second year. Now ready to claim the word “bust” yet, but we are getting close.
WR Aldrick Robinson: Robinson has had a terrific camp and many out there wondered if he could challenge Leonard Hankerson for playing time this season. Well, he has to produce much better than last night. Robinson was targeted 6 times and caught just 2 passes. One of his drops was dead on in the numbers. Just not acceptable for a veteran. Not ready to be completely down on Robinson, but he needs a recovery game next week if he wants to remain in the conversation for regular season playing time. Meanwhile, Hankerson had a pretty good night, grabbing 5 catches for 38 yard. Hankerson spent the extra effort on one catch, grabbing a critical first down. He also added a TD reception. That kind of performance combined with the lack of performance from Robinson is not what Aldrick needed.
Rush Defense: Listen, I don’t need to go into depth here if you watched, heard, or read about the game last night. The Redskins rush defense was horrible. The defense allowed 126 yards on 25 carries, getting pushed around for an average of 5 yards per carry. They also allowed two rushing TDs, including the 58 yard dash by Titans’ starting tailback Chris Johnson. Hopefully this is not a sign of a weakness for 2013.
In addition, don’t forget to VOTE for your Player of the Game in our poll to your right.