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Need to Know: Light workload for starters on Saturday

Aug 23, 2013, 5:10 AM EST

Redskins-ST-huddle

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 23, one day before the Redskins take on the Bills at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

Five items from Redskins Park:

1. The dress rehearsal will feature a lot of understudies. Mike Shanahan said that the starters will play about 20 snaps on Saturday. That’s considerably fewer than most teams around the league will have their front-line players in. And although he did leave himself some wiggle room, it looks like the starters will sit out the fourth preseason game as they usually do. That means that the starters will play a total of about a single game’s worth of football in practice games.

2. Maurice Hurt is still on the PUP list and it doesn’t look like he’ll be off of it anytime soon. “We’re just going to keep on working him,” said Shanahan. He’s got a knee. We’re trying to get him in football shape. I’m afraid if we put him in there too quick there will be a setback, especially with a short week, so we’re constantly evaluating him day-by-day.”

3. The annual Welcome Home Luncheon is today at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. It’s always a nice event with some alumni and all of the players there and some awards given out. I wonder who is the favorite to win offensive player of the year?

4. Nick Barnett has yet to play a down but he may have locked up the award for the best quote of the year: “If they let the lion off the chain, I’ll be out there roaming the jungle.” Jim Haslett said that he should be let off the chain, rather, that he should play, on Saturday.

5. It sounds like Robert Griffin III is doing more than he did last week in Richmond. “It has been a full practice for him,” said Shanahan. “He’s had two excellent days, same thing he would have during the regular season.

Stat of the day

The Redskins were the worst defense in the league on third down last year, allowing conversions 44.2 percent of the time. So far in the preseason they have allowed just five of 20 third downs to be converted, a rate of 25 percent. Of course there is huge caveat in the quality of the opposition. They faced Charlie Batch Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones for a good chunk of Monday’s game, not Big Ben. But it’s a step in the right direction if they can get into a habit of shutting teams down on third down.

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Timeline

One week from today the Redskins will be done with their preseason and a day away from having their 53-man roster finalized.

Days until: Bills @ Redskins 1; Final cuts 8; Eagles @ Redskins 17

Today’s schedule—No availability, Bills at Redskins tomorrow at 4:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet

Tandler and Tarik talk about the Bills game

In case you missed it

  1. udontknowjacku - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    REALLY??? They faced Charlie Batch and Landry Jones for a good chunk of Monday’s game, not Big Ben.??? wow did you watch the game?? Charlie Batch did not play and is not even on the roster..Bruce Gradkowski would be the other quarterback that played.. crazyyy and clueless

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Thank you for the correction. I trust that you never, ever make a mistake at your job.

      • udontknowjacku - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:06 AM

        lol well if my job was to write a story on the Redskins then I would not make a mistake..Id watch the game

        • Rich Tandler - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:11 AM

          Again, thanks for the feedback. I’m sure that being perfect is an awesome burden.

        • sonnyandsam - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:34 AM

          Rich is too much of a gentlemen. So I’ll respond.

          Grow up. An insulting post like yours was unnecessary. A good natured ribbing would have been fine. Insults shows you as the moron you are. Rich does watch and report on the Redskins and does an excellent job overall.

          Charlie Batch was Roethlisberger’s backup for 7 years. Easy mistake to make when writing on a deadline.

          Stop being a child.

  2. youputtheeinidiot - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    I’m not a math wiz, but I believe 5 out of 20 third downs is 25%. Not as good as 20%, but still a good improvement. I think the D will be greatly improved this year.

  3. udontknowjacku - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    you guys are right!! Rich I apologize for my comments…

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      No problem. Never have an issue with a reader pointing out an error of mine.

    • sonnyandsam - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Then you are a gentleman, too, for acknowledging you went too far. I also take back what I said. My apologies.

  4. polofourme - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Does this preseason seem to be uneven and kinda all over the place? What with this preseason game schedule? We play Aug 8th, 19rh, 24th and 29th…..short turn arounds nearly every week…the 3rd preseason game is supposed to a full dress rehearsal….most of the starter get only around 12 plays…we have so many injured starters…all the media attention with daily press conferences by either the hc or Griffin each contradicting each other…Andrews is now the guy who makes the decision when Griffin plays…or is now all three have to agree? I mean it seems like a circus. Is the team going to be ready when the season starts? I don’t think there will be a single preseason game when all the starters actually played together…even taking Griffin out of the equation. All the suspensions..the fine to Griffin…all the injured players who we are counting on cant even practice for a full weak…like I said, is this team going to be ready when they blow the whistle for real?

    • sonnyandsam - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      I can’t disagree with you. But I don’t think it is all that bad. Other than getting some time practicing tackling and dealing with contact, pre-season games are pretty much worthless. The Skins run a vanilla offense and defense in pre-season. Most of the serious practicing goes on in, well, practice. For the most part, pre-season games give the coaches an opportunity to evaluate the rookies. They pretty much know what the vets can do already.

      Skins will be fine. The bigger question is whether they can weather the injuries they already have had and the players coming back from injuries (pro and college) can perform well.

      Hail!

      • polofourme - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Have you heard the team or say the OL say…well we have to jell..isn’t the place to do that in preseason and TC…have we started the same OL or DL each week? I do agree these games are meaningless except for the rookies or FA competing for maybe five open roster spots..but the 1st team needs to work together, I am just not comfortable with the circus atmosphere going on during TC and all the distractions..we have a ton of injured players we are counting on to perform in the regular season some aren’t even practicing…its not the way I would have hoped the team would be preparing for the season. Do you disagree?

        • sonnyandsam - Aug 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

          The first string offensive line has practiced and played together all through training camp and the first two pre-season games. Plus they all played together all last season. They will all start on Saturday.

          The starting defensive line has also been healthy and playing together. Jarvis Jenkins does not serve his suspension until the first four regular season games. Golston and Baker just will have to step it up while he is out.

          Orakpo missed the last pre-season game but started in the first game. So the starting linebacker corp has also started mostly together through the first two games and will again on Saturday.

          The secondary is the only group that has been hit with injuries that prevent them from playing together. A concern; but not a major concern. The bigger issue is the production from rookies Rambo and Amerson. We never had Meriweather anyway last year; so if he can play it is a plus. If not, we are stuck with Reed Doughty again.

          I think most of the “distractions” you allude to are media manufactured distractions like is Robert Griffin feuding with Mike Shanahan. Will RG3 recover from his injury and start MNF against the pigeons. And the hoopla about having training camp in Richmond created a buzz. But I don’t think there was much distracting the players; more so the fans.

          Granted the NFL did us no favors with the screwy pre-season schedule. But most NFL coaches believe they need no more than two pre-season games in the first place. All the real work gets done in practice and training camp.

          Just my two cents. :-)

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