I gotta tell you: even with all the melodrama, twists & turns, on-again & off-again labor talks that drove most passionate fans absolutely crazy, it’s really damn exciting to know that, after last night, we’re going to have NFL football every single week until the middle of February.
Now in reality, the Redskins preaseason opener versus the Steelers this evening (kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm, and the game will be broadcast on NBC4), is going to be nothing more than a glorified scrimmage. Neither team has really had time to install their full scheme, nor develop any chemistry or continuity. There’s going to be missed tackles, mental errors, and some sloppy play in general.
Still, it’s football. And after an offseason with filled with enough story lines and rumors, high profile departures, intelligent free-agent signings, and a bountiful draft class, we finally get to see some action on the field.
There’s three more preseason games that will take place after this one, giving us plenty of time to discuss the new-comers and position battles that will take place this August. But for this first preseason game, here are the 5 main things that i’m interested in seeing:
1. See Rex run (the offense)
Look, it’s no secret that Mike & Kyle Shanahan want John Beck to win this starting job. Even while fans spent the majority of the offseason debating whether the Redskins should try and fix the damage with Donovan McNabb, take a quarterback in the draft, or trade for someone like Kyle Orton, Mike & Kyle Shanahan have been resolute in their backing of Beck.
So when the first depth chart of 2011 was released last week, it definitely raised a couple of eyebrows that Rex Grossman’s name was listed as the starting quarterback. Now, in reality, this has more to do with the fact that the team wants to give John Beck a couple extra days to recover from the little nagging injuries he’s been dealing with – namely, a tweaked groin and a sore shoulder – but the coaching staff could have to change their plans of Beck starting the season if Grossman outperforms Beck during the preseason and in practices
But no matter which way you’re looking at it, Grossman is getting the first crack at solidifying himself as the starting quarterback. Yeah, he’s probably not going to play more than 15 or 20 snaps, but let’s see what he does with them.
2. Ryan Kerrigan’s debut
After missing nine straight days of practice due to a minor knee injury – already stunting his learning curve as he moves from defensive end to outside linebacker in the Redskins 3-4 defensive scheme – us fans will finally get to see what Ryan Kerrigan can do on the field.
Kerrigan will start on Friday night, but like the majority of the starters, he’s probably not going to see more than 15 or so snaps. And yes, it’s very likely that he’s going to make a mistake or take a misstep or two, given the time and reps he’s missed in practice. Still, every fan base is always excited for the debut of their team’s top draft pick, as they’re eager to see the team take it’s new “toy” out for a spin, and form their opinion about the guy after just a dozen or so ultimately meaningless snaps.
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