Skins Starters to Face Bucs "B" Team

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Om

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Hadn't seen this yet....sort of changes the dynamic for tonight's game. Kind of a no-win situation for the Skins. If the starters do well, it'll be because "Tampa didn't play anybody. Watch out for a wake up call next week against the Giants."

And if god forbid the starters struggle, it'll be "Uh oh...maybe it a mirage after all. The Giants are going to kill us."

Overthinking it?

NFL Last round of Beck-Grossman as Redskins host Bucs
Aug 31, 2011 6:40 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AP)

It's been nine years since the Washington Redskins had this kind of suspense entering the final preseason game.

In 2002, Steve Spurrier's first season, the coach waited until the final exhibition was over to declare that Shane Matthews had won the starting quarterback job over Danny Wuerffel.

Neither one had played well. Matthews came out on top despite throwing five interceptions in six quarters during the preseason. It's worth noting that Matthews, Wuerffel and Patrick Ramsey all ended up starting before the 7-9 season was over.

Mike Shanahan is letting the race go down to the wire this year, but at least his charges have proved worthy of the competition. Both John Beck and Rex Grossman have played well. Any slip-up in the preseason finale Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be decisive.

''It's very close,'' offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. ''They both have done a good job and had good numbers. When we review the tape, it's pretty neck-and-neck.''

The Buccaneers and Redskins are taking totally different approaches to the game that, under normal circumstances, is the most meaningless one on a team's NFL schedule. Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris says his defensive starters will play ''absolutely not one snap'' against the Redskins. Quarterback Josh Freeman will sit out as well. Other starters will play sparingly, if at all.

The only suspense from the Buccaneers' standpoint concerns the players on the bubble, who get a final chance to earn a spot on the 53-man roster that will face the Detroit Lions in the regular season opener on Sept. 11.

''We're stacking the bottom of our roster in Washington,'' Morris said. ''After we get the bottom of our roster stacked and our team put together and our practice squad filled out, then the coaches will already be ready to deal with Detroit and moving on to what we'll be going to do in Week 1.''

Mike Shanahan took that approach last year. The Redskins sat all 22 starters for the final exhibition game and gave them a head start studying the Week 1 opponent.

For 2011, he's done a 180. He feels his starters need the extra work to make up for the lost offseason practices caused by the NFL lockout. He's treating this week the same as last week - as another dress rehearsal for all.

''It's different than usual,'' Kyle Shanahan said. ''It's the fourth preseason game, and we have not been playing football that long. The more playing time (for starters) is where I think it changes a little bit.''

Plus, there's that quarterback competition to decide...
 

servumtuum

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I don't think you're "overthinking" anything. It's more likely you're drawing upon years of observation of how media and fans alike react to various scenarios.
 

Om

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Well, yeah. :)

Kinda wish the Bucs were approaching this more like a dress rehearsal than a chance to rest starters and look strictly at backups. With the NY Giants on tap next week, I wouldn't have minded seeing us tested with #1's from another playoff-hopeful again.

As it is, we're going to expect to see our #1s mop up. If the first 3 weeks have been any indication our first team should be competitive with just about anybody. Logical extention is they should have their way against #2s. Fairly or not, anything less will leave us disappointed.

Preseason. Boo.
 

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It is game 4 of the Preseason, brother. It is what it is.

However, no, I don't think you are overthinking it. I have already decided not to read anything they write about tonight's game. No future in it.
 

Dik Shuttle

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Here's the problem I have with the mis-matched agendas:

TB's 3rd stringers will be out for blood. Our guys are just out for a spot. The chance for injury could go way up here, for us.

I'm not so sure it's worth it. I can see trying to learn about the QB's. And I see the logic of getting more playing time. But the difference here does scare me.
 

Dik Shuttle

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Right?!~

I just wish people would let the name of that ol sonovagun die already. This is nowhere near Spurrier's team, we arent in Osaka, we dont play our starters all 4 quarters and Mike is a super bowl winning/Hall of fame going coach.

sorry..but that irks me.
"Now Sage, that's not how ya throw tha ball daughnfeeled..."

Dark dark time....
 

Chris

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I think the starters should play but only for two series with the exception of Hightower. Give Torain his carries.
 

Om

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Wha'? Don't see the Osaka connection here, Mike.

I don't care what the media says. My thought for starting the thread was to talk about the pros/cons of this year's Redskins team, with all its storylines, ending up in the 4th and final preseason game going against a team with a totally opposite agenda. Our starters vs their backups. Curious about how thay dynamic will play out.
 

Lanky Livingston

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I'm not really sure why the starting D will be out there at all - the starters are set; Haslett should be evaluating replacements for Jenkins in this game. Worthington, Scott, Golston, Stehle & Neild should be getting the significant PT here.

On offense, gotta start the OL because you're evaluating QBs, and you need to protect him. WR, let the young guys get a lot of PT! And I agree with Chris - let Torain run wild.
 

Ax

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If Tampa really does sit all their starters, I think Shanny will alter his plans.

He's already made the QB decision. These guys might just get a couple series each, and then the 2's and 3's step in.
 

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With lack of OTA's and minicamp, I can see playing the starters some. If for nothing else than to develop chemistry. Don't think they will play as long as last week.

Each team will approach this final preseason differently. With the lockout this preseason is an all new ballgame. Will be interesting to see how the winning teams this season treated the preseason.

I can also see the need for puys like Kerrigan to continue to get valuable game experience.
 

Om

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I'm worried about guys getting hurt. Pretty much that's it.

And I think I agree that Mike, if Tampa does in fact go all-scrub, will adjust and dial back on his own first-team plans. No sense taking chances, particularly since the opposition won't provide a true measuring stick for where his #1s are anyway.

Man. I just want this one to be over. Going to spend 3 hours cringing every time there's a pile-up.
 

Jugband McGillicuddy

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is anyone worried that over eager 2nd stringers trying to make the team from the Bucs will be sloppy and injure our starters while theyre out there?
I can't say I am, Mike. If we see injuries tonight, I think they'll come from freak mishaps, like Jenkins, not because someone is doing something stupid or illegal. I'm certainly hoping for the one thing that is first and foremost on my mind in every preseason game though -- that everyone on both sides is healthy at the gun.

As for the rest of the game, in my ideal world, Torain and Royster would carry the load for us tonight. I've seen enough from both Hightower and Helu. We know what we have there.

If our starters come out and play well, I get them out after the first quarter. And obviously, when I say "starters" I mean Rexy and Bexy too. Let Clemens mop up. And if we have a fourth stringer after the release of Chappel, let him take some snaps.

I honestly can't say there's anything in particular that I'm looking for anything in particular tonight. I've seen what I needed to see coming into the preseason -- consistent pressure on the QB, good push from our own O-line, an explosive running game, and two QBs that I have confidence in.
 

Om

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You're crazy.

Not for thinking we might stun the Giants, but for saying it.

Candyman!
 

Jugband McGillicuddy

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Oh, forgot to mention, I would like to see Atogwe make some plays. If there's a weakness on this squad right now, it's in the defensive secondary, and especially at safety.
 

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But who are the Redskins?

This is not the 1991 team with hall of famers on it.

The Redskins are a team with hungry players trying to nail down starting and backup jobs. These guys need to face other hungry, desperate players to develop cohesion and a sense of team.

I think we should play the starters a solid half and go into next week with some momentum.

Of more concern to me are the injuries to Cooley and Landry. Despite the strong words about being ready to play I am questioning if either player is going to be able to play the majority of the games.
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Jugband McGillicuddy

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I dont think they'd be cheap shots but I have a worry that young players desparate to make a final impression will over play, try to do somethign they cant do and end up hurting someone.

call me paranoid...
Nah, you're not paranoid, you're a Skins fan who has experienced the last 20 years. Until we see proof to the contrary, I think we all wait for the house of cards to come crashing down around us.
 

Lanky Livingston

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But who are the Redskins?

This is not the 1991 team with hall of famers on it.

The Redskins are a team with hungry players trying to nail down starting and backup jobs. These guys need to face other hungry, desperate players to develop cohesion and a sense of team.

I think we should play the starters a solid half and go into next week with some momentum.

Of more concern to me are the injuries to Cooley and Landry. Despite the strong words about being ready to play I am questioning if either player is going to be able to play the majority of the games.
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Evan Silva today said to avoid Cooley in fantasy - not sure if he knows something we don't, but I don't think the prognosis is good for Chris this season.
 

Bulldog

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Yep, looks like we are going to see what Fred Davis has to offer just in time to determine if he warrants a second contract with the team.
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