3-and-out: Redskins bring training camp inconsistency to Cleveland

Craig Hoffman
August 09, 2019 - 8:29 am
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CLEVELAND – The Redskins fell to the Browns in their preseason opener in Cleveland in a game where next to no starters played for Washington. 

1. Who Played, Who Didn't – Head coach Jay Gruden has taken criticism in the past for not playing starters, but the risk was seen all over the NFL with a number of injuries on Thursday night. Luckily the Redskins avoided any major injury, assuming Shaun Dion Hamilton's chest injury isn't serious.

Gruden got to see a little bit of Case Keenum and saw the same mixed bag he's seen at camp. What was surprising is some of the guys who barely played. Terry McLaurin has been sensational in camp and was treated like a starter, barely playing before getting pulled early in the first quarter. Josh Doctson didn't play at all, opening the window for Robert Davis to draw a major pass interference call on Keenum's touchdown drive that ended with a bomb to Davis on a Browns blown coverage.

The line combinations were interesting as well. Ereck Flowers and Geron Christian struggled mightily against Cleveland's starters but steadied a bit against not Myles Garrett. Donald Penn and Wes Martin were more solid, also playing against backups. We'll see how the Redskins line it up when they return to Richmond on Saturday.

2. Dwayne Haskins – Of course the feature was Dwayne Haskins, who also carried his camp to the game field. He was spectacular at times, lacing throws over defenders into tight windows. He also threw two interceptions, both of which were ill-advised rookie mistakes. His final line was 8-14 for 117 yards and the two interceptions.

Haskins's upside is somewhat outrageous. The first throw he made was a rocket on the run off of a bootleg. That's a really, really hard throw to make 25 yards down the field. Same for a "honey hole" shot against Cover 2 on the second series. That ball was more questionable as it may have been picked against better defensive backs, but it was a great throw in this game. He's also not shy. He doesn't get down on himself. Mental toughness is important and he's got it in spades.

If he can get the game to slow down, he's going to be really good. He'll cut the mistakes. His talent will shine. Until then, Thursday night is what he is and that's okay for now as a rookie who played just one hyper of college football.

3. Jimmy Moreland Does It Again – Jimmy Moreland is going to make his way into the lineup because they're not going to be able to keep him out of it. Even when Moreland got beat Thursday night, he made plays. He had two pass break ups in his first series, both in the end zone and two forced fumbles. He added another pass deflection before the night was over.

He's still inconsistent. He got beat Thursday and he gets beat a little too often in practice, but there's going to be a moment where he passes the threshold and that stuff stops happening and the upside of him making these kinds of plays just can't be wasted. 

Stat of the day – 1. The number of snaps wide receiver Terry McLaurin played. Gruden weaseled his way out of an explanation as to why, but it wasn't health-related. McLaurin said in the locker room he played the one, they pulled him out and he never got put back in. His only play was spent running a route and he wasn't targeted. 

The best guess as to why? Starters don't play in preseason game one. McLaurin is a starter.

Quote of the day – "It was just a great play by me." Moreland on his forced fumble at the goal line. It was then suggested that he's been talking to Josh Norman about the punch outs to which he the rookie laughed. "He's got a knack for it. I got a knack too."

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