Thursday, August 22, 2013
Redskins wake-up call
By John Keim
As the Redskins wrap up practice in a short week, here's what I'll be monitoring:
1. Jim Haslett’s day to talk. Two topics I’m sure that will come up: the pass rush and the secondary. The pass rush has been terrific in the first two preseason games and there’s a lot that the Redskins haven’t shown. It’s coming from all over. Ryan Kerrigan and Barry Cofield made the most noise the other night, but Stephen Bowen is doing his job as well. As for the secondary, Bacarri Rambo’s open-field tackling will be an issue. Yes, he can improve but he has to do so in a hurry. The good news for Rambo is that his coverage has been sound, as it was throughout training camp. But how much are the coaches concerned with Rambo’s tackling at this stage? You’d like to see Rambo win the job by his performance rather than by default. Perhaps suspended safety Tanard Jackson’s name will come up after CSNWashington’s Rob Carlin caught up with him Wednesday. Jackson told Carlin that when Haslett said in the spring that he would welcome back the safety with open arms it “gave me a more positive outlook on wanting to get back and working towards that.” I’m not convinced he would return if reinstated on Aug. 31.
2. Kyle Shanahan’s day to talk. Have a hunch that the quarterbacks will be a primary topic, starting, of course, with Robert Griffin III. We received a decent update Wednesday from Mike Shanahan and Griffin, but Kyle Shanahan is often good at filling in the gaps and expanding on what his father said. For which we say: thank you! He provides a lot of insight at times, making it better for all of us. Other topics? Perhaps the rookie running backs, both of whom finally played.
3. This is also our last chance to talk to Mike Shanahan before Saturday’s preseason game versus Buffalo. So we’ll get a better feel as to who might not play against the Bills. Will strong safety Brandon Meriweather finally play? Donte' Stallworth? The former needs to show he’s healthy enough to start; the latter needs to show he deserves a roster spot. There aren’t too many topics to discuss with Shanahan today, after delving more into the Griffin Plan on Wednesday.