Skip to content

Need to Know: Redskins-Ravens notes–Defense delivers some good (mostly legal) hits

Aug 24, 2014, 5:55 AM EDT

Brandon-Meriweather-rehab AP

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, August 24, four days before the Redskins wrap up the preseason against the Bucs.

Nickel coverage

Some notes, quotes, and numbers from Saturday’s preseason game in Baltimore.

—There really is no way to put lipstick on the pig that was performance of the first-team offense. The worst number generated was five. That was their net passing yardage in the first half. Robert Griffin III passed for 20 yards on five of seven passing but they lost 15 yards on three sacks. Just plain ugly.

—The Redskins’ front line defense, on the other hand, was not bad. They sacked Joe Flacco twice and held the Ravens to just 17 yards rushing. After going almost three quarters without allowing a touchdown in the preseason, they finally gave on up a touchdown on a nice catch by Steve Smith in the last minute of the first half.

—Jason Hatcher got one of those sacks in his firs game in a Redskins uniform. “It was good to see himout there in a first game experience with us and it looks like he got a sack,” said Jay Gruden. “As for a negative he has to get in playing shape. I could see that he was a little winded out there.” They might have to work Hatcher in gradually over the first few games.

—The Redskins defense got in some jarring hits. All were legal except for one delivered by Brandon Meriweather on Ravens receiver Torrey Smith. That drew a flurry of flags, a 15-yard penalty, and a likely fine for Meriweather. “I’m trying to do what the NFL has me [doing],” said Meriweather, who has been fined and suspended for such hits in the past. “The first chance I get, it seems like I failed.”

—If you can base anything on preseason play it’s very possible that Keenan Robinson will represent an upgrade over London Fletcher, the 2013 version of him anyway. Robinson had four tackles, two of them for losses, knocked away a pass, and forced a fumble. He has a long way to go but so far, so good.

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I’ll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Follow Real Redskins on Instagram @RichTandler


Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability

—It’s been 238 days since the Redskins played a game; in 14 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Final cuts 6; Home opener vs. Jaguars 21; Redskins @ Eagles 28

In case you missed it

  1. Danny - Aug 24, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    Rich you are my favorite writer so I really want to get your perspective. The way RG3 played last night on top of last year finally hasr my mind convinced that there is a better than 50-50 chance we saw the best of Griffin in 2012. He does not look like an NFL quaterback during live action, he actually looks scared to let the ball go and still seems very unsure of his knee. Even his tosses and simple bootlegs off of handoffs look tenative and gimpy. What is this half jump hitch he does during handoffs to avoid planting his leg into the ground? Im scared Rich, can you talk me down?

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:03 AM

      It’s preseason. I don’t see what you see in the handoffs or in how he looks “different” from other QBs so I really can’t help you there.

      If you want to be scared, be scared. I assume you’ve been watching football for more than 10 minutes and know that preseason is meaningless. If you still think it’s worth behind scared over I can’t help you.

      Griffin is a third-year QB learning a new offense and, more importantly, playing for a coach trying to instill a pocket passer mentality into him. If you think that this should happen instantaneously, well, I can’t help you.

      Look, I know what we have seen from the offense so far has not been good. I don’t know for sure that it will get better. But I do know it’s way too early to draw any conclusions that it will or that it won’t.

      • Danny - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:21 AM

        Thanks Rich.

        That helped a smidge, it is possible this is overreaction to a game that doesnt affect the stanings.

        Ive been watching football since before I can remember and have only missed a few dozen Redskin snaps since 1990. That is whats concerning… I dont remember Gibran Hamdan or Colt Brennan ever looking like they were as inept as RG3 did last night. And last night was not all that different from last year.

        The preseason is meaningless, but I think we can strive for slightly better than totally inept. The line clearly bears some blame as well. And I know we cant know for sure what the offense will look like, but if last night was not rock bottom this is going to get very ugly.

        The hitch Im reffering to happens on handoffs and bootlegs going in one direction… I believe when RG3 is going to his right. Literally both his feet are off the ground at the same time and very often. Ive never seen this on any level.

        • maxpower65 - Aug 24, 2014 at 10:39 AM

          The handoffs you are talking about seem to be quick pitches on which RG3 is just trying to get the ball to his RB as quickly as possible and in doing so he leaves his feet as he pitches the ball. I’m pretty sure he has been coached to do this as it is the most efficient way of achieving this goal and I’ve never seen him do it before. If Gruden is concerned he’ll alter the way this play is run.

          As to him supposedly favoring his leg, I really don’t see it. I think he just has a lot more to think about in this new offense and at the moment he is thinking before he does something. This should change as he gets more comfortable learning his new responsibilities by heart, then he can act more instictively. We just need to be patient until he gets comfortable enough to be effective; which could take until well into the season. After all, you shouldn’t really expect anyone to be instantly proficient in doing something that is both very complicated and new. He just needs repetitions and time.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    I didn’t see the game (I just had ESPN game-cast).

    How did Moses look before he got hurt?

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 24, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      No big issues but only played 19 snaps.

      > >

  3. gasngo14 - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    Rich is it true Belichick said Cousins was the best QB during the week of practice together, and yes I understand it was early in preseason ? RG3 game so far has not looked very sharp and it does have a lot of people raising questions… I hope he somehow snaps out of this funk, with the weapons he now has on this O and they have yet to score a TD…. 2 INT and a lost fumble….Hmmm

    Now for a positive note I really like the aggressive attack on the D … D line looks like it’s for real and our young guys in the secondary are looking much better, also STs has played like a unit.

    Lets all hope our O makes a U-turn week one. HTTR!

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:33 AM

      Do you really think Belichick would say that?

      No, an ESPN writer who was in Richmond for two days came to that conclusion. Nobody who was there for all of training camp and saw every RG and KC snap came to that conclusion.


      > >

      • gasngo14 - Aug 24, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        Thanks Rich …that’s why I asked, I couldn’t believe Belichick would say such but I guess you never know these days who says what.

  4. thankslittlebrandonbanks - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    I’ll take a penalty from merriweather now and then as he looks great out there. Clark looked average last night. I’m pretty excited about Keenan Robinson. D line definitely gives me hope also. I can’t even talk about the offense. Any word on Orakpo?

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 24, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      Gruden said Rak’s ankle was “minor”. Possibly would have gone back in for a regular season game.

      > >

  5. maxpower65 - Aug 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Hi Rich,

    When you slow motion the hit that Meriweather did on Torrey Smith, IMO it was a marginal call: it lookes like it was pretty much shoulder-to-shoulder with possible incidental secendary contact to the face mask. When you consider the closing speed and that he was aiming at a moving target it seemed the officials don’t give the defender any benefit of the doubt. Have you had a chance to look at it in closer detail?

    I seem to recall a Ravens defender leveling Vernon Davis in the Super Bowl and the slow motion replay showed it was a legal hit. Don’t you think there is a case for this type of personal foul being automatically reviewed in the future?

  6. colmac69 - Aug 24, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    For what its worth I thot merriweather hit was border line which in real time looks helmet to helmet (altho why not drill the guy in chest like he did on earlier play when he cemented pierce?)……defense was great until last two mins of half…pressure our front seven created for nearly a half on qb was outstanding (when was last time we could say that bout our front seven?)…….least said bout starting offense the better………we can also forget bout poss change in qb….when u give up three first rounders and a second rounder for a qb he is the man now and the future……but he was very poor last night just like o-line who looked again completely overwhemed…..

    • Bruce Ware - Aug 24, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      They didn’t give up three first rounders for the hundredth time

      • Rich Tandler - Aug 25, 2014 at 4:47 AM

        Yes they did. They gave up two to move up and then spent another one on Griffin. The cost of acquiring Griffin was three firsts. And a second.

  7. Caveman Cooking - Aug 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Sure looked to me like Meriweather’s hit was a legal shoulder contact tackle. Yes it was hard and devastating, but it sure looked legal under current rules. Archives

Follow Us On Twitter