Neither QB showed any improvement from the first preseason game. In fact, Hoyer and Manziel seemed to regress; Manziel looked as if he were running scared.
|Sack time! Washington Redskins outside LB Ryan Kerrigan takes Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer to the ground during the Browns' first possession. (John Kuntz/The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer)|
I don't have much more to offer on the Browns except to say there were plenty of catchable balls thrown by both QBs that the Browns wide receivers simply dropped. Football analysts and fans need to keep that in mind. Yes, Hoyer and Manziel threw some off-target passes, but there were plenty of dropped balls.
Being a lifelong 'Skins fan, I'm pleased to see my Boyz squeak out an ugly 24-23 win. Here are some things that drew my attention Monday:
|(Evan Vucci/Associated Press)|
His leg took an awkward turn as he began to slide — and Griffin got up limping. Granted, he shook it off and it didn't seem to affect him later in the game, but another awkward move like that and my man could be injured. Again. (Check out this WASHINGTON POST story about how Redskins coach Jay Gruden plans to talk to RGIII about protecting himself.)
So here's my recommendation: Track down Joe Theismann and get some tips from him; Theismann was a master of sliding at the end of a scramble.
• RGIII has to get out of bounds sooner when he runs. Sure, he made some nice yardage on a run to the sideline, but there was no need for him to get the extra yards. Griffin had the opportunity to step out of bonds just before the first Browns defender. Instead, as RGIII told ESPN, the three Cleveland defenders delivered a series of "ping-pong" hits before he went to the sideline.
|Redskins QB Robert Griffin III drops back for a pass.|
(Brad Mills/USA Today Sports)
• Why didn't coach Jay Gruden call an end-around run for running back Alfred Morris before fourth down? Heck, Coach Ashby here called that before it happened! Having the 'Skins run Morris on the outside at the goal line on second or third downs would have kept the Browns' defense a bit more honest and possibly meant the Redskins had more options to punch it into the endzone.
• Morris needs to learn to handle pitch-offs. I had a bad memory of last year's season opener against the Beagles — I mean, the Eagles — when he fumbled during the first drive. 'Nuff said.
|Redskins QB Colt McCoy greets Browns QB Johnny Manziel after Monday's game.|
(John Kuntz/The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer)
• Even more important, the 'Skins have a dangerous set of wide receivers. Washington has a wealth of talent in its receiving corps: Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Santana Moss and and Jordan Reed.
Given Griffin's arm strength, talented and speedy running, Morris being such a beast and the 2014 version of the 'Posse, there's no reason the 'Skins can't do quite well during the regular season. Here's hoping the offense will click and the Redskins' defense can shut down their opponents. So what else can I say but "Hail to the Redskins!"