Five Redskins Who Helped Themselves
The Washington Redskins 14-6 win over the Tennessee Titans wasn't exactly pretty, but when you didn't win a pre-season game the previous year - a win is a win. There were some individual performances that stood out; here is a look at five players that helped their cause last Saturday night:
With Clinton Portis out with tendinitis, and Ladell Betts being limited to just four carries after returning from an injury himself, the Redskins were going to get a chance to take a longer look at some of the running backs deeper on the depth chart. Mason only ran the ball five times; one was for a nifty 13-yard gain after he improvised and cut back against the grain of play, and one of the others was a one-yard touchdown run. Mason might be playing for a practice squad slot at best, but he probably showed enough to get more than five carries this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It came late, it came against third and fourth string players, but Collins was the only quarterback that managed to engineer a scoring drive for Washington, so it was significant. He looked good doing it too, firing a perfect five-of-five for 56 yards and marching the team directly down the field.
Mark Brunell struggled before Collins went in, going four-of-nine for 46 yards, but it would seem that the backup position is still Brunell's to lose. Many have speculated that Collins might be in danger of losing the number three spot to Jordan Palmer if the young draftee shows a lot of promise, but after the Titans game, the pendulum has to have swung slightly to Collins' side.
Fletcher doesn't need to fight for his job, he's the Washington Redskins starting middle linebacker for 2007. The first pre-season game was just Redskin fans first opportunity to see Fletcher playing in the burgundy and gold. He didn't disappoint, with six tackles in a quarter and a half of work, and several great plays. He also seems to have taken command of this defense already, and as a unit, they played well against Tennessee.
With all due respect to Lemar Marshall, Washington appears to have significantly upgraded themselves in the middle with the addition of the reputed tackling machine, Fletcher. He makes this list only because his prowess in the first game will help him to get the Redskin defense behind him and make him the leader.
The only thing wrong with Frost's performance against the Titans was that with eight punts, he was too busy. 'Frosty' was kicking the leather off of the ball all day, with punts of 52, 53, 53, 55, 47, 31, 44, and 43 yards. The 31-yarder was from the 50-yard line and was a case of having limited field to kick to, and his leg was probably worn out by kicks seven and eight. Throw out the short one for the limited field, and Frost averaged 49.5 yards per punt - for a punter that's struggled with consistency and confidence at times, that's a nice start to the season.
Scoring a defensive touchdown in a pre-season game can be monumental. Westbrook made every Redskin highlight film by virtue of recovering a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, and when you're fighting for a roster spot, or just a chance for another chance, that's gold media attention.
Westbrook is in tough with the corner backs that the Redskins have on the roster, but making a name for yourself with a big play, is a great way to land on a roster or practice squad somewhere and get some time to develop.
This article was released on 2007-08-15.
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