FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — When the Redskins departed Gilette Stadium Thursday night after opening the 2018 preseason with a 26-17 loss to the Patriots, injuries dominated the conversation.
That’s what fans want to know most.
That answer will come from an MRI exam on Friday, but plenty of information is available from the game against the Patriots.
1. On the Move
For two weeks at training camp in Richmond, it’s become apparent that the Redskins offense will feature more movement from the quarterback position.
The design aims to take advantage of Alex Smith‘s mobility, and even without Smith playing Thursday night, the results looked good. Colt McCoy can move inside and outside of the pocket, and did a good job of that in New England.
His numbers (13/18, 189 yards and 2 TDs) might be a bit inflated by the Patriots deploying a vanilla defensive set, but small portions of a West Coast passing game infused with some spread concepts were on display.
2. Here to Stay
The Redskins will need to make tough decisions when the roster eventually gets trimmed from 90 players down to 53. The decision with Maurice Harris, however, will be simple.
After Jamison Crowder, who didn’t play in Foxborough, Harris has been the team’s most consistent wideout in training camp. He showed Thursday his ability to get open and make plays, bringing in three catches for 22 yards and a touchdown. And don’t forget Harris was primarily matched up against the Patriots top cornerback in Stephon Gilmore.
While Jay Gruden and company will have difficult choices cutting some good players at receiver, Harris won’t be one of them.
He’s on the team.
Running back presents another roster battle with a lot of intrigue. Guice’s first-quarter injury aside, Samaje Perine seems like one player truly fighting for his spot.
Byron Marshall made a few impressive plays early in the game, first on a blitz pickup and later on a nice catch-and-run for a touchdown.
When Perine entered the game, he played fine and had one nice 14-yard burst. But he also put the ball on the ground, something the Redskins staff doesn’t tolerate. Perine got bailed out on the play by a forward progress call from the referees, which didn’t allow Bill Belichick to challenge the play on the field.
As a rookie last season, Perine had some fumbling issues.
That’s not a good habit to keep.
4. Good Depth, and Wide Depth
The Redskins rebuilt their defensive line this offseason, adding Daron Payne and Tim Settle in the draft.
On Thursday, Payne didn’t play, and neither did 2017 first-round draft pick, Jonathan Allen. Settle did, and he looked good. Surprisingly athletic with a huge frame, Settle had a truly impressive second half in New England.
Sure, he was matched up against third and fourth string players, but Settle himself is a fifth-round pick.
If he can continue to show that type of effort and strength, the future looks very bright.
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