3-and-out: Redskins-Patriots post game quick hits

Photo credit Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
106.7 The Fan Redskins beat reporter Craig Hoffman was in the press box at Gilette Stadium as the Washington Redskins took on the New England Patriots for Game 1 of the NFL preseason. He combined his observations with post-game interviews to write his top-three takeaways from this week in football:
The Redskins lost in Foxboro Thursday night on the scoreboard, but the losses to key personnel are certainly the most important thing.

  1. Derrius Guice, Matt Ioannidis and to a lesser extent Trey Quinn all left early due to injury. Guice is the most concerning in terms of importance. He is supposed to be the key to the Redskins offense, non-Jordan Reed division. Losing him completely changes the ceiling for this team. The good news is he seemed to be in good spirits. He’ll get an MRI Friday and the team will surely be conservative with him going into the joint practices if there is anything to worry about.Ioannidis looked to be in serious pain with a knee injury, but Gruden said he’s fine. The third-year defensive lineman got rolled up on from behind, but there’s no injury. The Redskins came into the game thin on the defensive line after a late string of injuries and roster moves before leaving Richmond. That meant more of Ioannidis than was ideal and Gruden said as much after the game. Quinn took a shot to his ribs and was announced to have a stomach injury. More information on him after the team returns to Richmond as Gruden says he’s getting checked out. 
  2. The Redskins dominated the first half of the game behind Colt McCoy against at least some of the Patriots starters. Obviously, plenty of talent was not on the field for New England, but the Redskins offense moved the ball. Receivers Robert Davis and Maurice Harris both produced. I wouldn’t rule out either or even both from making the roster depending on how some other things (including Quinn’s injury) shake out.Running back Byron Marshall showed serious burst on the Redskins opening touchdown, but a play earlier in the series may be more important. On a Patriots blitz, he got immediately into his gap and had time to level a defensive lineman before pickup up his blitzing linebacker. Protection matters and Marshall showed well on that particular play, setting up his touchdown catch just a few plays later.While not playing the Patriots top-end talent, the Redskins “starting” defense played well too. It was really 2’s on 2’s and the Redskins backups more than held their own. Not to mention, the few starters that did play were impactful Monate Nicholson reminded Redskins fans what he can do with a booming shoulder to Patriots wideout Philip Dorsett and Ioannidis had a sack (AND A DANCE!)
  3. The rookies were a mixed bag. Nose tackle Tim Settle and linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton looked good. So did cornerbacks Danny Johnson and Greg Stroman. Johnson’s had a good camp. Stroman hasn’t, but he had a good practice to end the last stretch in Richmond. Showing he can be coached and get better could be key to him making the roster, though I’d still take Johnson over him at this point.Geron Christian Sr. struggled at both tackle spots. He’s clearly not ready yet, but the good news is the Redskins don’t need him to be. He’s had good days and bad days at camp. He needs to start stacking good days, and hopefully one of those is a preseason game day. He’ll get many more chances.

Stat of the day: Zero. As in I project zero of the Redskins offensive starters started tonight’s game. One is a technicality in that Guice didn’t start (Rob Kelley did), but none of his projected offensive teammates suited up. Only three (Nicholson, Ioannidis and Quinton Dunbar, who may only start in nickel) did on the defensive side.

I typically don’t elaborate on the stat of the day, but I’m breaking my own rule here. This isn’t a big deal. The Redskins have joint practices in just a few days. There’s way more work to do there than there would be in one series of preseason action. There is zero reason to freak out and zero reason to pretend to be mad about Gruden playing it safe here.

Quote of the day: “All is well.” – Derrius Guice to NBCSW’s JP Finlay, as he sucked on his trademark lollipop after the game. The Redskins hope the MRI he’ll get Friday says he’s right.


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