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Saturday’s game vs. Bills—first look

Aug 7, 2008, 3:00 AM EDT

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The Washington Redskins have left behind the glow of Canton and the combined QB rating of 147.2 that Campbell, Collins, Brennan and Devine laid on the Colts’ scrubs. They now turn their attention to their Saturday night preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

As you are all sophisticated Redskins fans, you know that teams do not prepare for August games the way that they do for games played in September. There will be no endless film study to determine tendencies or to find a tell in a player’s stance. None of the backup quarterbacks will be running around with a scout team imitating Trent Edwards or (shudder) J. P. Losman (that could do permanent damage).

Instead, the Redskins will work on their plays and on their defensive alignments, paying scant attention to how Dick Jauron and his coaching staff do the same.

Part of the game planning is planning who will play and how much. There will be a few variations from what we saw on Sunday but since this really is the second playing of their first preseason game (like the 31 other NFL teams they have four to go), don’t expect a whole lot of difference.

It looks like the first team offense is on the same pattern as they were last Sunday. They’ll go one series, two if that first one is brief due to either ineffectiveness or, as happened against the Colts, exceptional efficiency (a three-play touchdown drive).

Todd Collins will then take the wheel for the rest of the first half. He hopes he can hold onto it given that he will be protected by an offensive line that is makeshift even by preseason standards. Injuries to Stephon Heyer (knee) and Todd Wade (ankle), the two primary backups at tackle, have forced the patchwork. Forming the wall for Collins with be, from left to right, Chad Reinhardt, Tavares Washington, Justin Geisinger, Jason Fabini, and Devin Clark.

The unit has a combined 145 games of NFL playing experience, all of them belonging to Fabini.

Collins likely will be doing a lot of handing off to Marcus Mason and Rock Cartwright, who again will carry the load all game long at running back.

On the defensive side of the ball, the crowd at FedEx Field should be treated to the sight of Jason Taylor making his Redskins debut. Don’t be in line getting a hot dog or beer, however; his workload will consist of about a half a dozen plays. London Fletcher will participate about the same number of snaps.

The biggest difference from the HOF game will be that punter Derrick Frost will get his turn to audition for his job. Durant Brooks handled all of the punting and holding duties against Indy and this is Frosty’s game.

Join me for a live blog of Saturday’s preseason game. Go here for details.

  1. Joe in Raleigh - Aug 7, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    It’s sort of refreshing that the most noteworthy player competition is at punter. So many years, we watch these games trying to figure out who the starting QB or RB will be. Ugh.

    For the record, I’m in Frost’s corner. He and his wife recently had a baby and I’d hate for a new dad to be looking for work. Sophisticated analysis of the position? No. But I’m pulling for Frosty anyway.

  2. Rich Tandler - Aug 7, 2008 at 7:29 PM

    I think that Joe, Mrs. Frost and Baby Frost are the only ones pulling for Derrick.

  3. LizKauai - Aug 7, 2008 at 10:52 PM

    Looks like Brennan will be the #2 this game. Hope he’s ready for it. Perhaps too much, to fast, but Coach is making the decisions.

  4. Rich Tandler - Aug 7, 2008 at 11:11 PM

    Thanks, Liz, just caught that myself. I’ll have an update coming later tonight or early tomorrow. Archives

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