NFC East: D.J. Hackett
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
I don't think it's time to panic about Jason Campbell going 1-of-7 for 10 yards in a 17-13 preseason win over the Steelers. But it's important that Campbell finds a rhythm in the third preseason game -- and he knows that.
Campbell missed Malcolm Kelly on a deep ball and he was high on a throw to Santana Moss. I think he was pressing a bit because he knew he was only going to play three series. The good news is that Washington's running game looked strong throughout the game. OK, here are a few things that caught my eye:
- Brian Orakpo has been sensational through two preseason games. I enjoyed watching him playing with the backups in the second quarter. At that point, he was obviously the best player on the field and he even looked solid in coverage. Orakpo embarrassed his former college teammate at Texas, Tony Hills, in the second quarter. Orakpo used a bull rush to push Hills back in the pocket. He knocked Hills about 3 feet into the air.
- Jim Zorn made it sound like Campbell had a nice evening. Zorn praised Campbell for his decision making and thought he managed the team well. Obviously Zorn want to make sure Campbell's confidence level remains high. Campbell put on a brave face for reporters after the game, but I assure you he's beating himself up over the six incompletions.
- How can you keep Marcus Mason or Marko Mitchell off this roster? Mason's one of the best preseason backs this organization has had. On Saturday, he showed the speed we've grown accustomed to seeing, but he also mixed in some power. He sent a Steelers safety flying at the end of one play. Mitchell made the nice touchdown catch from Chase Daniel. He hesitated at first in order to give Daniel some space to throw the ball. Then Mitchell simply won a jump ball. The former Nevada receiver might end up being the fifth receiver.
- I still think Devin Thomas will make some mental errors, but he's capable of making big plays. I liked the twisting catch he made Saturday night. He has all the tools, but he needs every rep in the preseason he can get.
- Scary moment in the first half when fullback Mike Sellers was writhing in pain with a knee injury. The good news is that Sellers only has a bruised knee. He's such a vital part of the Redskins' running game. They would really struggle without him.
- Reed Doughty was everywhere . I pretty much wrote the guy off last season, but he's actually had a solid camp. He made a couple of open-field tackles that were very impressive and he looked confident in the secondary.
- Is it too early to start worrying about the Skins' awful coverage units? They looked especially bad in punt coverage. They didn't have anything close to containment on the edges.
- I used to watch Redskins safety Lendy Holmes when he was in high school. The former Oklahoma Sooner was one of the surest tacklers on the field Saturday. A lot of rookies look a little wide-eyed at this point. That's not the way Holmes operates.
- I love the fact that safety Kareem Moore is a high-energy guy, but he needs to play under control. It seems like Moore's constantly going for the interception. Moore and another '08 draft pick, Rob Jackson, have a tendency to overrun plays.
- I'd cut D.J. Hackett the first chance I had. It's not that I think he's a bad player, but right now, he's simply taking up space. I'd much rather see Mitchell, Thomas and Kelly getting the majority of the reps.
- Daniel had a really effective outing. I think he has the edge on Colt Brennan at this point. And yes, I know that hurts at lot of you guys.
- On the interception that Todd Collins threw, Thomas needs to come back for the ball. He sort of froze on his comeback route, and that allowed former Colts cornerback Keiwan Ratliff to make a really nice play on the ball.
- If you're Brennan, you can't throw the ball into traffic in the red zone. I'm sure Zorn was incensed with that turnover. Just an awful decision by Brennan.
- Kelly does a really nice job of catching the ball away from his body. He did some nice things in Saturday's game, but the best thing he does is catch the ball consistently. Thomas might have the most upside, but Kelly's showing the most maturity right now.
- Former CFL star Dominique Dorsey has to make this team as a return specialist. And he's halfway home. He had some outstanding returns. The Skins need to reserve a spot on the roster for him. He's that good as a return guy -- and he runs with a little power.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
You got the feeling that Redskins coach Jim Zorn was just waiting for the right time to sign former Seahawks wide receiver D.J. Hackett, and that time arrived when Roydell Williams went down with a broken finger in training camp.
Hackett was a fourth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2004 and he's spent significant time working with Zorn in the past. He's certainly not a guy who will challenge for a starting job, but he had his moments with Seattle. In fact, I seem to recall him giving the Cowboys fits at one point.
As Gary Fitzgerald of Redskins.com points out, there's no guarantee that Williams was going to make the team. He was trying to figure out a new offense and the injury would've kept him out for a least a month. That's why the Skins went ahead and released him. Hackett's familiar with the Redskins' offense, so it shouldn't take him too long to catch up.
The Skins also signed defensive lineman Michael Marquardt. At 6-foot-3 and 302 pounds, Marquardt has bounced around the league since being signed by the Bengals as a rookie free agent out of Arizona State. He spent last season on the Eagles' practice squad. I think the Skins just want to make sure that players such as Albert Haynesworth don't have to take too many reps in camp. I'd be surprised if Marquardt made the final roster. With Hackett, you could certainly see it happening. He could play the role that James Thrash was in.