Keeping in mind that this blog is in the context of analyzing reserves in the fourth preseason game, there was plenty to take away from Washington’s 30-12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
1) Pat White was yet again Pat White. Perhaps he’s Washington’s preseason version of Tim Tebow, circa the 2011 postseason in Denver. He doesn’t have great mechanics but has a desire to win and will sacrifice his body to do so. For the second game in a row, he stretched his body out towards the pylon for a touchdown while taking a beating. Like Tebow, White still has the Kilmer-esque wobble to his throws, which aren’t very deep. He also threw a misguided pass intended for Nick Williams that was picked off by Tampa Bay linebacker Najee Goode for a touchdown. White did not see Goode anticipating the pass the whole way.
2) In my eyes, running backs Evan Royster and Chris Thompson all but secured their spots on the roster. Royster ran very well against the Buccaneers reserves, showing flashes of his 100-yard performances he posted in the final two weeks of the 2011 season. Thompson solidified his spot as the top punt returner after the team lost Richard Crawford for the season last week against Buffalo. His 69-yard punt return for a touchdown was the longest special teams return of the preseason.
3) The defensive front seven showed why it’s one of the deepest areas of the team by dominating Tampa Bay’s offensive line and consistently pressuring quarterback Mike Glennon. No better example was provided than Rob Jackson pushing Buccaneers tackle Mike Remmers backwards and sacking Glennon, as well as Remmers. Phillip Merling and Jarvis Jenkins also displayed their strength Thursday night.
4) Leonard Hankerson’s drop on the first offensive play of the game is exemplary of his career in Washington so far. He is Washington’s present-day version of Rod Gardner, dropping numerous passes that NFL wide receivers should be making on a consistent basis, while snagging passes that should have a low probability of being caught, a la his one-handed touchdown grab in Week 2 of the preseason against Pittsburgh.
5) Cornerback David Amerson showed why the Redskins selected him with their first pick in the 2013 draft when he picked off former North Carolina State teammate Mike Glennon. Amerson read the play well and jumped in front of the receiver to make a long interception return.
6) Dezmon Briscoe finally flashed his potential for the first time this preseason with his 66-yard catch in the first drive of the game. With the sixth receiver spot up in the air, his performance before his injury last night could have either made him the last receiver to make the squad or it may have been too little too late to show what he can do.
7) Wide receiver Lance Lewis’ pursuit of Tampa Bay’s Eric Page during his 105-yard kickoff return to stop him just short of the goal line is the effort coaches love and strive to see every play. That play alone likely strengthened his potential candidacy for a practice squad position.
8 ) Rookie wide receiver Nick Williams may have also played his way into practice squad candidacy by flashing the elusiveness and punt return skills that he displayed at UCONN.
Tags: Billy Kilmer, Chris Thompson, David Amerson, Denver Broncos, Dezmon Briscoe, Eric Page, Evan Royster, Jarvis Jenkins, Lance Lewis, Leonard Hankerson, Mike Glennon, Najee Goode, Nick Williams, Pat White, Phillip Merling, Pittsburgh Steelers, Richard Crawford, Rob Jackson, Rod Gardner, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tim Tebow, UCONN