5th Quarter: Dolphins
By: Rich Hilts 
Posted: 2004-08-23
Category: Washington Redskins News
Battle in the trenches. Rooting in the dirt. Slug you in the guts football. How else can you describe the game between the Dolphins and the Redskins tonight? Utterly exhausted by a relentless attack, the Dolphins succumbed to the standard Joe Gibbs game plan in the preseason. 53 rushes. Merciless. How would it make you feel to know that there were 5 running play designs run? 53 times they ran those same 5 plays.
Needless to say, when the Skins run that much, they win, and Gibbs is starting to show the league that he isnít all that rusty.

Passing:

Mark Brunell showed what he is capable of, albeit in the very little he threw the ball. As he said in the postgame show, ďIn the first drive, we ran nine times and threw once. Itís easy to be a good quarterback like that.Ē It was nice to see a quarterback with poise in the pocket, however. After last weeks 4 interceptions between the quarterbacks, it was good to see a ball control plan, and it was nicer to see that they didnít turn it over. Ramsey is still looking shaky in the pocket, and hopefully with some time he will recover. It just doesnít look like it will be soon.

Score: 3 Quarters

Rushing:

Clinton finally got a nice run in tonight, though that hasnít been a major goal. His audition for this roster took place over the last couple of years in Denver. The sweep, springing Portis for 22 yards, showed that the blocking is coming together and also showed the potential for the future of the running game in Washington. John Simon also had a nice day, showing that he isnít out of the running for a backup position. McCullough and Cartwright also contributed with some runs, though not spectacular. The main thing to understand about this attack scheme is the lack of penalties, fumbles, and the total domination of the clock. This improved the defense, allowing them to stay fresh in the heat of Miami and steered the Redskins to victory.

Score: 3 Quarters

Defense:

Sean Taylor, yet again. A forced fumble in the Dolphins first drive seemed to set the tone for all of the game. It was pressure. Pure and simple. During the post game show, it was brought up that while Gibbs ran a vanilla offense so as not to give away anything for Tampa in the season opener, Williams wanted to overwhelm them with every blitz package in his arsenal. He wanted them to have to prepare for over 100 different packages in order to spread their preparation thin. While Marcus Washington was the only Skin to record a sack, the defense played very well in keeping the Miami offense tied down. While there were a couple of passes beyond 15 yards completed, the rushing attack of Miami sputtered with the longest gain being only 5 yards. When comparing to last year, there isnít anything more to say about tonightís performance than Bravo! Shutdown. Shutout. (yes, it is preseason Ė but this is the best the defense has looked in years)

Score: 3 Quarters

Special teams:

Ola Krimm did his job well with the field goal. John Hall had two extra points. While the coverage for the kicking team did well in stopping the Dolphins from getting much in the way of yardage on average, they did allow a 49 yard return that had fans on the edge of their seats. The punt coverage, ohÖ the Dolphins had no returns with 4 out of 5 punts inside the 20. Both Tupa and Stempke did their jobs well with the punts, although the punt blocking for our returns could improve immensely. Some improvement, but we need to see more before we get too excited here.

Score: 2 Quarters

Less penalties, one turnover to the positive, the running game on track, the defense pressuring and a shutout win. Welcome to Joe Gibbs football!
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