August 25, 2009

Winners And Losers Against Pittsburgh

Sorry for the delay between posts. It's been a busy week as I was getting back into the whole college kid routine.

The Redskins pulled out a close one over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Saturday and there was a lot more to be happy about in comparison to the previous week's game against the Ravens.


1. Offensive line: The big guys up front looked much better in pass protection. They gave Jason Campbell a good pocket on several throws and surrendered two sacks on 31 dropbacks.

They also were markedly better in opening holes for the ground game (41 total carries for 167 yards, 4.1 YPC). A vast improvement from the Baltimore game.

2. Brian Orakpo: The guy is going to be an instant star. His transition has been seamless and he has terrorized just about everyone he's gone up against.

He had four tackles including a sparkling hit in the backfield on a Steelers RB. The sacks will come very soon. This is looking like the pick of Vinny Cerrato's career.

3. Marko Mitchell: It would be ludicrous to take any other WR for the fifth spot at this point. Mitchell is 6-4, fast, and is producing.

He has played very well in camp and that has translated into the games. Mitchell caught a three-yard fade from Chase Daniel, using his size to make a great grab along the side of the endzone.

Mitchell had three catches for 21 yards last week and looked impressive on two of them. He displayed sure hands and solid route running. His only mistake was his failure to get across the marker on a third down crossing route.

DJ Hackett has familiarity with Jim Zorn's system, but Mitchell has the tools to be a huge threat. Throw in the fact that Mitchell was just drafted by the team, and he should make the final roster.

4. Marcus Mason/Dominique Dorsey: The battle for the fourth RB spot is red hot. Both Dorsey and Mason had good games against Pittsburgh (Dorsey: 11 carries for 39 yards, Mason 11 carries for 45 yards).

Dorsey also handled some of the punt returning duties and he definitely has the edge over Mason because of his special teams' prowess. Mason is a more complete back, but the fourth-string RB needs to be a solid special-teamer.

I prefer Mason, but the guy doesn't have much room for error considering his challenger.


1. Jason Campbell: He couldn't lead the team to TD from inside the Steeler's five. That's not exactly a positive. Neither is going 1-7 for 10 yards.

He must get the ball rolling if he wants to enter the season on a positive note. The Giants won't be giving him anytime to adjust.

2. Ladell Betts: I know I hate on him constantly, but seriously the guy isn't worth the big contract.

Betts couldn't pick up a first down on two consecutive short-yardage plays from inside the five, and had just seven yards on four carries. I still think Mason is a better, cheaper option, but for some reason the 'Skins continue to keep Betts on the roster.

3. Colt Brennan: Chase Daniel is rapidly developing a fan base. The Cult of Colt is reeling.

Brennan has tossed INTs in both preseason games while Daniel won the Steelers game with both game-tying and game-winning TD passes.

Ironically, the number three QB spot might be the most debated position on the team. I don't believe Brennan will lose it however.

Daniel will need two more performances like last Saturday's if he wants to make it. Brennan has a year in the system and is a fan favorite.

That's not to say Daniel hasn't impressed, but the guy went undrafted for a reason. I'm not a huge Colt fan, but Daniel didn't distinguish himself in camp and one preseason performance won't get him the job.

Needless to say, despite all the hype, neither QB is going to be a franchise signalcaller.

Overall, the team improved. They went up against another well run organization and proved they have some quality depth on both sides of the ball.

The starters still need to show up before week one, and this week against New England would be a prime time for a break out.


Langan said...

2. Brian Orakpo: The guy is going to be an instant star.

I'm pleasantly surprised by this guy. I thought the OLB spot would be taken by a veteran, and Orakpo would be a pass rusher only. Blache trusts few rookies. 98 has taken the spot - he is the starter.

3. Marko Mitchell: It would be ludicrous to take any other WR for the fifth spot at this point.

This is another good looking rookie. He is not only big, but he's very smooth. He has been making things look easy. It will be harder against starting CBs, especially when they press, but this kid looks like a future starter. None of the other competitors for that 5th spot have shown up yet. If the Skins keep a 4th HB, I doubt there will be 6th WR.


Jack said...

Yeah it looks like the 'Skins landed a great receiver in the making with Mitchell. What size and speed.

And he's willing to block and do the little things. Love him.

And as for Orakpo, he plays like a veteran. Hopefully, he creates some pass rush.