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2010 Preseason

  • When: Thurs. 9/2 10:00 pm ET

  • Televised: Thurs. Sept. 2, 10 pm NFL Network ("live")

Usually, preseason Game #4's are considered "irrelevent contests" where you leave your starters in for a couple of series, pray that no one important gets injured and then watch the bubble players at the bottom quartile of your roster fight for roster spots.

This game figures to be different, because Wiz hasn't made a final decision on who his starting QB will be (and probably won't until he absolutely has to). Which means that "Game #4: Leinart vs. Andersion in the Desert" figures to be a doozie. Add to thid a Cardinal squad deep in talent and the final roster battles figure to make this game a Double Doozie.

We face the Redskins - think of them as "the Denver Broncos" only with mostly Redskin personnel. Mike Shanahan (and GM Allen) bring an entirely new attitude to the "Richie Rich's." But don't expect to see Donovan McNabb (he's even questionable for the season opener). Instead, expect to see a plethora of talented veteran RB's doing one-cut running within a zone blocking scheme. This will be a challenge for a Cardinal offense which sometimes borders on the overaggressive.

Previous Redskin Game:
They beat the Jets 16 to 11. Redskins kicked 3 field goals and scored one TD in the 4th quarter on a scoring pass from Bartel (who?) to Larry Johnson. They held the Jets to a field goal, a safety (Grossman fumbled out of bounds in the end zone) and a 4th quarter TD (10 yard pass from Sanchez to his TE). I watched some of the game off and on, coming away with the impression that neither offense was really clicking. Other high or low lights:

  • McNabb didn't play. Grossman went 8 for 16 and 111 yards, with no TD's or interceptions. He got sacked once. Beck was his major backup. He went 7 for 11 and 76 yards, got picked off once and threw for no TD's.

  • Main receivers were T Austin (3 of 3 for 34), Joey Galloway (3 of 6 for 29)and  Santana Moss (2 of 6 for 42). Their fourth receiving option was Banks (who caught 2 of 4 passes for 35 yards).

  • In the running game, Larry Johnson carried 9 times (42 yards).  Willie Parker carried 8 times for 16 yards. K Williams (4 times for 11 yards) and R Torain (5 times for 8 yards). Clinton Portis only carried once for 3 yards. Redskin ballcarriers fumbled 3 times (losing just one)

  • Defensively, Hall had the only Redskin interception.

  • Washington pass rushers racked up 4 sacks.(Wilson, Carriker, Jarmon and Scott each had one).

  • Neither team was penalized much.

Meet the Redskins
They're 1 & 2 (Wailed over Bills but lost to Baltimore and the Jets).  Like we said earlier, they're making the transition from Gibbs/Zorn to Shanahan's system (which is notorious for being very friendly to running backs - both famous and unknown). The zone blocking scheme is supposed to be what makes the running game go. There are still some remnants on the roster of the old free-wheeling spend-a-lot Dan Snyder Redskins; complete with Albert Haynesworth, his hefty salary and assortment of nagging problems. (No doubt about it, though; when Albert is motivated, you're not going to slice through the interior of the Redskin front-seven like butter.

Notes - Some of the Redskin players are whining about having to make the long trip west to play the Cardinals in the Valley ("Why couldn't they come here?") Indicative of funky team chemistry? Shanahan is known for resting his players for the 4th preseason game. According to Grossman: "It's kind of like a bye week." (We hope the Cardinals don't look at it that way - Jobs are on the freakin' line).

"The Redskins cut LB Hall Davis, LS James Dearth, S Lendy Holmes and OL Edwin Williams in the first round of cuts to get the roster down to 75. Davis lasted only one practice after being acquired in a trade from the St. Louis Rams for a conditional draft pick that the Redskins will likely get back. Dearth's release shows the coaches are content to go with inexperienced Nick Sundberg at long snapper, despite his struggles early in training camp." - washington times

A word of caution, however: (1) No McNabb. (2) Meaningless contest - at least for them.

05 McNabb, Donovan QB 6-2 240 11 Syracuse 11-25-1976
08 Grossman, Rex QB 6-1 236 7 Florida 08-23-1980
10 Bartel, Richard QB 6-3 230 1 Tarleton State 02-03-1983
03 Beck, John QB 6-2 215 3 Brigham Young 08-21-1981
McNabb is nicked and won't play. Grossman is expected to start. He certainly can manage a game (and had his supporters when in Chicago) but doesn't really strike fear into the hearts of opposing DC's. So far this preseason, Grossman's completed 33 of 55 passes (60%) for 2 TD's. He's been picked off once and sacked 4 times. Beck is 9 for 18 (50%); no TD's, no picks and was sacked 3 times.

 Running Backs

26 Portis, Clinton RB 5-11 219 8 Miami (Fla.) 09-01-1981
27 Johnson, Larry RB 6-1 231 7 Penn State 11-19-1979
39 Parker, Willie RB 5-10 210 6 North Carolina 11-11-1980
46 Torain, Ryan RB 6-1 212 1 Arizona State 08-10-1986
35 Williams, Keiland RB 5-11 223 R LSU 08-14-1986
45 Sellers, Mike FB 6-3 268 10 Walla Walla CC 07-21-1975
36 Young, Darrel FB 5-11 245 1 Villanova 04-08-1987
41 Davis, Carey FB 5-10 225 3 Illinois 03-27-1981
They have a Trifecta of quality runners in Portis, Johnson and Parker. Portis and Parker have home run speed. Johnson can thump it. Portis is expected to be the starter. Johnson appears to have earned the #2 spot. Willie hasn't wowed. Backups Torain (72 yards on 23 carries - 3.1 average) leads Redskin runners followed by Williams (68 yards on 17 carries for 4.0). But quite possibly, neither will make the active roster.

Wide Receivers
84 Galloway, Joey WR 5-11 197 15 Ohio State 11-20-1971
13 Armstrong, Anthony WR 5-11 182 1 West Texas A&M 03-29-1983
11 Thomas, Devin WR 6-2 223 2 Michigan State 11-15-1986
80 Hodge, Shay WR 6-2 207 R Mississippi 10-18-1987
16 Banks, Brandon WR 5-7 150 R Kansas State 12-21-1987
89 Moss, Santana WR 5-10 209 9 Miami (Fla.) 06-01-1979
19 Wade, Bobby WR 5-10 195 7 Arizona 02-25-1981
12 Kelly, Malcolm WR 6-4 226 2 Oklahoma 12-30-1986
18 Austin, Terrence WR 5-11 172 R UCLA 08-25-1988
87 Williams, Roydell WR 6-0 178 3 Tulane 03-14-1981

Galloway and Moss are still excellent breakaway threats (but will have to get old sometime). Thomas had a good preseason, but was disappointed and puzzled he didn't get more playing time vs. Jets. The Skins love Armstrong (who leads all receivers with 7 catches for 101 yards and a TD). Moss is second (with 6 grabs for 121 yards - no TD's). Austin's caught 5 passes for 52 yards - no TD's). No Redskin receiver is credited with more than one TD.

Tight Ends
47 Cooley, Chris  TE 6-3 250 6 Utah State 07-11-1982
86 Davis, Fred  TE 6-4 255 2 USC 01-15-1986
88 Vickers, Lee  TE 6-6 272 2 North Alabama 03-13-1981
82 Paulsen, Logan  TE 6-5 264 R UCLA 02-26-1987
Cooley is one of the best receiving TE's in pro football. He's the 3rd best Redskin receiver this preseason with 6 catches for 74 yards - no TD's). Davis is no slouch (4 catches, 60 yards and one TD).

Offensive Line
72 Williams, Trent LT 6-5 315 R Oklahoma 08-19-1988
73 Robinson, William OT 6-6 295 2 San Diego State 12-20-1984
60 Capers, Selvish OT 6-4 308 R West Virginia 12-13-1985
Dockery, Derrick LG 6-6 325 7 Texas 09-07-1980
50 Williams, Edwin C/G 6-3 313 1 Maryland 12-10-1986
Rabach, Casey C 6-4 288 8 Wisconsin 09-24-1977
78 Lichtensteiger, Kory G 6-3 290 2 Bowling Green 03-22-1985
58 Cook, Erik C/G 6-6 318 R New Mexico 07-05-1987
75 Hicks, Artis RG/T 6-4 314 8 Memphis 11-28-1978
Rinehart, Chad G/T 6-5 307 2 Northern Iowa 05-04-1985
63 Montgomery, Will C/G 6-3 307 4 Virginia Tech 02-13-1983
69 Brown, Jammal RT 6-6 313 5 Oklahoma 03-30-1981
74 Heyer, Stephon OT 6-6 332 3 Maryland 01-16-1984
68 Oldenburg, Clint OT 6-5 310 1 Colorado State 09-09-

 "While A work in progress and making the transition to Shanahan's zone-blocking offense. Williams is the high draft pick; Brown is the talented but underachieving dude from the Saints. The other three starters are holdovers from the previous regime. Opposing pass rushers have sacked Redskin QB's 8 times in 2 games (to provide context, Redskin pass rushers have racked up 6 sacks).

Defensive Line

94 Carriker, Adam LDE 6-6 311 3 Nebraska 05-06-1984

93 Daniels, Phillip DE 6-5 302 14 Georgia 03-04-1973
75 Scott, Darrion DE 6-3 289 4 Ohio State 10-25-1981
96 Kemoeatu, Ma'ake NT 6-5 364 8 Utah 01-10-1979
92 Haynesworth, Albert DT 6-6 335 8 Tennessee 06-17-1981
76 Bryant, Anthony NT 6-3 376 3 Alabama 11-16-1981
72 Green, Howard NT 6-2 365 6 LSU 01-12-1979
64 Golston, Kedric DT 6-4 300 4 Georgia 05-30-1983
79 Holliday, Vonnie DL 6-5 285 12 North Carolina 12-11-1975
90 Jarmon, Jeremy DE 6-3 286 1 Kentucky 11-20-1987
They play a 3-4 base defense. Carriker was a top pick from StL. Kemoeatu is top-notch in themiddle. Cards tried to sign Holliday as a FA a few years back. Daniels is solid. We all know about Haynesworth and his "issues", but when his mind is on playing football, he can bring it. The top Redskin tackler in this group is Scott (who ranks 10th. Next most prolific tackler among Redskin linemen is Golston (who ranks 20th overall). Which suggests that Skin linemen are fiilling the traditional 3-4 role of occupying blockers rather than making tackles. (Still, 10th and 20th-ranked tacklers???) No Redskin has more than one sack, but 4 were by defensive linemen.


99 Carter, Andre LB 6-4 257 9 California 05-12-1979
97 Alexander, Lorenzo LB 6-1 272 3 California 05-31-1983
91 Jackson, Rob LB/DE 6-4 247 2 Kansas State 11-03-1985
59 Fletcher, London LB 5-10 245 12 John Carroll 05-19-1975
54 Blades, H.B. LB 5-10 242 3 Pittsburgh 09-30-1984
51 Henson, Robert LB 6-0 247 1 TCU 01-27-1986
52 McIntosh, Rocky LB 6-2 239 4 Miami (Fla.) 11-15-1982
53 Riley, Perry LB 6-0 238 R LSU 05-03-1988
xx Chris Draft
98 Orakpo, Brian LB 6-4 255 1 Texas 07-31-1986
95 Wilson, Chris LB 6-4 247 3 Northwood 07-10-1982
56 Gatewood, Curtis LB 6-3 240 2 Vanderbilt 05-18-1985
50 Davis, Hall LB 6-5 272 R Louisiana-Lafayette 03-02-1987
Good starting 4 from previous regime - Orapko will be a Pro Bowl player for many years. Draft was listed on the depth chart but not the roster (we're not sure about his status). Henson is tied with Rileyfor most tackles on the defense this preseason with 12. Fletcher is next with 10. McIntosh has 8. The 6 Redskin sacks were spread around to 6 defenders but only one LB.

23 Hall, DeAngelo CB 5-10 192 6 Virginia Tech 11-19-1983
25 Barnes, Kevin CB 6-1 185 1 Maryland 09-15-1986
38 Robinson, Ramzee CB 5-10 190 3 Alabama 02-20-1984
20 Tryon, Justin CB 5-9 179 2 Arizona State 05-29-1984
30 Landry, LaRon S 6-0 217 3 LSU 10-14-1984
48 Horton, Chris S 6-1 221 2 UCLA 12-29-1984
29 Holmes, Lendy S 6-1 212 1 Oklahoma 10-26-1985
41 Moore, Kareem S 5-11 217 2 Nicholls State 08-13-1984
37 Doughty, Reed S 6-1 206 4 Northern Colorado 11-04-1982
32 Russell, Anderson S 6-0 205 R Ohio State 05-30-1987
24 Carter, Tyrone S 5-9 195 10 Minnesota 03-31-1976
22 Rogers, Carlos CB 6-0 189 5 Auburn 07-02-1981
31 Buchanon, Phillip CB 5-11 186 8 Miami 09-19-1980
34 Westbrook, Byron CB 5-10 204 1 Salisbury University 12-26-1984
Skins have historically had one of the best secondaries in football. Hall is an interception machine (he has 2 of the team's 3 this preseason). Landry is a deluxe hitter (4th leading tackler on the defense this preseason). Moore is making his name at one of the safeties. Rogers was drafted just ahead of Antrel Rolle. Buchanon is a quality backup. Holmes has the other Washington preseason interception.

Special Teams

06 Bidwell, Josh P/H 6-3 228 11 Oregon 03-13-1976
04 Gano, Graham K 6-1 196 1 Florida State 04-09-1987
67 Dearth, James LS 6-4 265 10 Tarleton State 01-22-1976
57 Sundberg, Nick LS 6-0 246 1 California 07-29-1987
31 Buchanon, Phillip PR/CB 5-11 186 8 Miami 09-19-1980
11 Thomas, Devin KR/WR 6-2 223 2 Michigan State 11-15-1986
Bidwill can punt (42.8 avg.). Rookie Gano is doing a good job kicking (4 for 5 overall and  2 for 3 between the 40 and 50). Buchanon and Thomas are dangerous return men. They're the guys Shanahan lists on his depth chart, but most if not all the carries have been made by other guys: Brandon Banks has returned 6 punts (including one for 77 yards and a TD) for a 18.0 average. Terrance Austin returned 5 punts in preseason. KO returns have been spread among 5 players (including K Williams, Austin, Thomas, Banks and Torain). Williams has the best average - 23.7 yards per return for 3 carries.

Cardinal Roster (Nicked players in Olive).
Late Breaking - Cards got down to 75 players by moving Nehemiah Broughton (knee) to the IR. LB O’Brien Schofield (knee) was put on the injured/non-football list (similar to PUP   — he must sit the first six games). They waived/injured wide receiver Darren Mougey, (broken hand)

QB - 03 Anderson, 07 Leinart, 19 Skelton, 06 Hall
Late word is that Anderson will start again this Thursday, and Leinart isn't happy about it. Both played equally well against Chicago (with a TD pass apiece). But even here, the warts showed a little in both instances - Anderson's first pass from scrimmage bounced off a defender (in double coverage) and almost was intercepted . Most of Leinart's throws were underneath deals. Neither received totally buttoned up pass protection, and that didn't help keep the chains moving. Hall outplayed Skelton, but which winds up released or sneaks through to the practice squad (if the Cards decide not to keep all 4 QBs) is open to question.

RB - 34 Hightower, 26, Wells,  31 Wright, 36 Stephens-Howling  (KR/PR), 46 A.  Smith
Last Monday, Hightower ran with more authority, but also dropped a pass from Anderson early in the game. Beanie pretty much looked like Beanie - except that he dropped a pass and also fumbled just short of the end zone. Wright continues to be surprisingly steady (if you can surprise and look steady at the same time). LSH will probably make the Final 53. A. Smith has played well enough to make the roster as well, but there's not enough room.

FB -
45 Mauwia, 38 Scott
Scott was picked up in a trade with Philly for Calvin after Broughton got injured. He's described as more a tough-runner/pass catcher than as a pure lead-blocker. Mau'ia looked good blocking for THT and Beanie. We expect the Cards to keep one FB (Scott will have to do something spectacular to survive the Sept. 4 cut to 53.

WR - 15 Breaston, , 80 Doucet , 12 Roberts,  Komar
WR -11 Fitzgerald,  17 O Jones, 16 Gant, 18, 14 S Williams, 10 J Williams, xx M Jones
Fitz didn't play last week, and Doucet saw limited action. Breaston made the highlight spot of the week with his 3-point landing over the goal line of a Leinart pass. It looks more and more like Steven Williams has cinched the #4 WR spot, with fellow UDFA Komar making a strong run for #5. If the Cards keep 6 wideouts, the dual will probably be between Onrea Jones and Andre Roberts (with Roberts either being IR'd or be snuck through waivers in the hope of passing through to the PS.

TE - 89 Patrick, 84 Becht, 83 Spach,  81 Dray
Byrd was released. Patrick is beginning to feel better. I think Dray has played well enough to make this team.

LT- 75 L Brown,
73 Bridges
66 Faneca,  70 Hadnot, , 68 Pestock
63Sendlein, 62 Claxton, (70 Hadnot)
RG-74 Wells, 76 Lutui, 66 Palmer
72 Keith, 67 H Johnson
The first unit did OK last Monday, but the same rough edges were still on diisplay - Faneca whiffed on a pass block. Keith and L Brown dsiplayed lazy footwork and got abused by Peppers and Anderson. The backups by and large played well, with Lutui make a run to start. H Johnson gave up a cheap sack but recovered the fumble. Knips and the "Moose" got cut. Johnson, Palmer, Pestock and possibly Claxton (who may make the roster because he plays center - although so can Hadnot) must be considered on the bubble.

DE - 93 Campbell, 79 Iwebema, 71 Clark
NT - 97 B Robinson, 98 Watson, 92 D Williams
DT - 90 Dockett, 78 Branch, 62 Fletcher
The Campbell continues to play at a very high level, sacking QB's forcing fumbles, batting down passes etc. Dockett was his usual intense self vs. the Bears. Watson had a big game and even Branch flashed a little. Expect the Cards to keep 6 or 7 defensive linemen (with 4 guys who can play NT, assuming they keep the aging Robinson). Clark a' hed Fletcher are on the cusp of a bubble. Iwebema or Robinson could be 7th man out, but both have played well enough to stick.

OLB1 - 55 Porter, 52 C Brown,  57 Baggs
ILB  51 Lenon, 43 C Johnson , ,
ILB- 58 D Washington,   95 Togafau, 50 Beisel,
 56 Walker, 54 Hayes
OLB2 - 53 Haggans,  59 W Davis,  96 M Washington
Daryl Washington was elevated to starter and played well as did Porter, Lenon and Haggans. The Cardinal front seven flat out dominated the Bear starters. Lots of tough decisions regarding the backups. A whole bunch of them - including Cody Brown, Baggs, Togafau, Walker, W Davis and Mark Washington all rank somewhere in the 50 - 65 range in terms of absolute talent. While you can expect the Cards to keep 7 or so LB's, it will be a tough decision figuring out who stays and who goes.

RCB - 28 Toler, 37 McBride, 47 J Miller,
29 Rodgers-Cromartie, 27 Adams, 30 M Green, 20 Jefferson, 39 Ford,   
  24 Wilson,
 22 Ware, 41 Abdullah,
40 Tillman
FS- 25 Rhodes,  49 Rash Johnson
Toler was elevated to starter and sure played like a guy who deserves to be a starter. The backups continued to play well, but there were a couple of coverage breakdowns by both safeties and McBride. (Toler continued to outperform McBride, and we're waiting for him to be elevated to starter. We now have a lights-out "back 4." McBride, Adams, M Green, Ware & Abdullah have the best shot at making it to the Final 53. Rashad Johnson may not make it. We hear the Card coaches liked Jefferson well enough to trade Calvin. but there may not be enough room, and they might be tempted to sneak him thru waivers and onto the PS. Ford has showed he can tackle, but he's competing in tough company and is a longhshot to stick. Miller might stick because of his return skills, but he looks lost at CB.

K-04 Feely
P- 05 B Graham,

H - 05  B Graham
82 Leach
KR -
15 Breaston, 37. Stephens-Howling 47 J Miller
- 15 Breaston 47 J Miller
Feely and  Graham continue to perform at a high level (Graham is unreal the way he drops everything inside the enemy 15).  Breaston hasn't returned punts or KO's all preseason. That
's been the responsibility of J Miller (who's done OK) and LSH.

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