Saturday, August 18, 2012
What I'll be watching: Redskins-Bears
By Dan Graziano
The Washington Redskins will play their second preseason game of the year Saturday night in Chicago against the Bears at 8 pm ET. Here's a look at what I'll be watching...
Most closely: The protection for Robert Griffin III, and how he handles it if he sees more pressure than he did in the first game against Buffalo. In that game, the Redskins ran an offensive scheme whose sole priority seemed to be the protection of Griffin. They ran quick, short routes, and he made quick decisions and throws. Against the Bears' Cover 2, Griffin might have to go deeper into his progressions and reads, which could expose him to pressure of the still-banged-up line in front of him doesn't hold up long enough. That's fine, as long as he doesn't get hurt, because he's going to see pressure in the regular season and needs to practice handling it. Saturday night could offer a look at some things we didn't get to see Griffin do last week. I'm also interested to see if the line blocks for the run better than it did last week, when it couldn't open holes for Evan Royster and Roy Helu early in the game.
On the other side of the ball: The secondary. Brandon Meriweather was a washout in Chicago, but the Redskins believe he's a better fit for their coverage schemes and have him listed as their starting strong safety. Will he be fired up to play well against his old team, even in a meaningless game? And who's the starter at free safety? Madieu Williams or Tanard Jackson? At cornerback, it looks as though they like DeAngelo Hall on the inside, but that leaves Cedric Griffin or Kevin Barnes as a starter on the outside opposite Josh Wilson. Can rookie Richard Crawford build on his strong first preseason game and make himself a threat to those veterans' playing time?
If I think of it: Sure, I'm as curious as you are to find out whether Royster or rookie Alfred Morris starts at running back with Helu and Tim Hightower hurt, but I expect that they'll both play plenty. Also watching to see if we can spot Santana Moss this time, whether Fred Davis is a passing-game target at all and how the defensive line rotation works.