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Tim Hightower was unwanted by his former team, but he's been everything the Redskins have hoped for thus far after they acquired him from Arizona.
Rex Grossman and John Beck both got an opportunity to play with the first team in the Washington Redskins' 34-31 preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. Grossman ultimately started the game, but the two players alternated every two series. In the end, Grossman got more of the snaps in the first half, whereas Beck played more in the second half, but both had their moments.
Grossman ended up completing eight of 15 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown while posting a 99 quarterback rating. He was especially good running the two-minute offense, ending the drive with a touchdown pass to Santana Moss. Grossman had missed Moss on the previous play, but went back to the well and took advantage of busted coverage to find Moss for the touchdown.
Beck's night began well, completing a 33-yard pass to Anthony Armstrong. He then struggled for a while, throwing an interception on a deep pass to Donte' Stallworth to begin the third quarter. But he finished it up with a strong performance in leading the Redskins on a 97-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Terrence Austin.
In his post-game press conference, Mike Shanahan said he elected to start Grossman because Beck started the week before and that there was nothing "scientific" about his decision. Grossman, meanwhile, told CSN Washington's Kelli Johnson that while the alternating arrangement was "unusual," it was the only way to properly evaluate both players. (Both quotes via CSN's "Postgame Live" show).
BALTIMORE, M - They say that the third preseason game is the "dress rehearsal" for NFL teams, one that helps them establish rhythm and chemistry on both sides of the ball before the their Week 1 opponent.
But for the Redskins, Thursday's game against the Ravens was about trying to figure out the quarterback competition between Rex Grossman and John Beck.
But here were still plenty of other takeaways from Thursday's game.
Grossman may have taken the lead in this competition, but didn't win the job: Yes, Rex Grossman looked better than John Beck Thursday night. Yes, the fact that he started might be a good indication that he could be in the lead for the starting job. But Grossman by no means locked up the starting QB job Thursday night.
Grossman still had the tendency to panic when his initial reads weren't available, and those are the times when he is ripe for a turnover. He didn't have one Thursday, but that tendency led to him taking sacks instead of throwing the ball away, or him throwing it over the middle where he had no one open.
His best drive came at the end of the first half, when he led an 80 yard scoring drive while running the hurry-up offense. He was clearly in rhythm with his receivers and didn't make many mistakes, ending the drive on a 24 yard touchdown throw to Santana Moss. It was a great way for him to end his outing.
"[The touchdown drive] was real important." Grossman said after the game. "At the time, we were given two series and then taking two series off. You want to feel that you have a scoring drive of a touchdown, so it definitely felt good."
As for Beck, he didn't start the game off superbly when he was with the starters. He led a touchdown drive that was mostly aided by the running game. He then started his second half with a poor interception to Ladarrius Webb where he targeted Donte Stallworth, who was never open.
He came back a drive later, going 5 for 6 with 75 yards and a touchdown pass to Terrence Austin. He took the safe passes underneath for the most part, but he still kept the offense on schedule, which is important for this coaching staff. That's the difference between these two quarterbacks: Beck would rather be safe, Grossman would rather be sorry.
"[The touchdown drive] was huge," Beck said after the game. "It made me feel good, putting the ball in the endzone."
With only one preseason game left, time is running short for both of these quarterbacks to make an impression.
"I can't really worry about [the quarterback competition]," Beck said of his duel with Grossman. "If I do, it's just mental quicksand. I just do what I can, play when they say play and do the best that I can."
Ryan Kerrigan takes another step forward: Though he wasn't perfect, the Redskins' top pick showed once again why he is fit to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 front.
Yes, he had two neutral zone infractions that extended drives. But those are mistakes that he will learn to eliminate in time.
"We've got to eliminate some of the mistakes," he said. "Especially pre-snap penalties like off-sides penalties. We just have to eliminate those""
Kerrigan was very active when the starters played in the first half, both in the run game and on passing downs. In the end, he was credited with five tackles, one assist and a sack on Joe Flacco. He was apart of a Redskins front seven that was collapsing the pocket the majority of the first half, hitting or pressuring Flacco several times in the process.
"We did a good job getting pressure with the front four in our pressure packages," he said. "And I think that's a tribute to the guys working hard and getting their timing right"
If Kerrigan finds a way to keep improving each week, the Redskins pass rush has a chance to be ferocious.
Terrence Austin may have locked up his spot on his roster: The second year receiver may have shown the coaching staff enough Thursday to earn him in a spot in a crowded receiving corps.
A underdog heading into camp, Austin has now had three solid preseason games in a row. Thursday night he led all Redskins receivers with 5 catches for 71 yards and a nifty touchdown.
Today also happens to be Austin's birthday, and probably gave himself the best present he could have received: a roster spot.
"I was excited to get out there," he said after the game. "I wanted the ball. I got out there in the first half. I was just itching to get a pass."
His hunger is palpable and is something this coaching staff has admired this entire training camp. All he has to do now is have one last solid performance and he should be on the 53 man roster come Week 1.
DeAngelo Hall had a career game: And when I say career game, I mean he had a game that pretty much summarized his career so far in a nutshell.
The good? He was able to jump a curl route and return it all the way for a score - albeit with an unnecessary cutback. He showed his great instincts and ball skills, one of the very reasons he was able to make the Pro Bowl a season ago. It's what sets him apart in this secondary and something the Redskins will need in order to win games this season.
But, of course, there was some bad. It's common knowledge that Hall isn't the greatest cover corner, as we saw time and again against the Ravens. Several plays before his interception, he gave Lee Evans plenty of cushion by playing off technique and still allowed a pass underneath for a first down. Later, Hall was in man coverage against Evans, was with him the entire way and still got beat for a touchdown. Sure, it was a great throw by Flacco, but Hall didn't reroute Evans at the line of scrimmage nor was he able to turn back in time to locate the ball.
It's feast or famine with Hall, and it's something Redskins coaches and fans will have to deal with.
And with that, the Redskins "dress rehearsal" for the season is over with so many roster spots up for grabs going into the final week of the preseason.
Just when it looked like the Washington Redskins would remain undefeated in the NFL preseason, Tyrod Taylor and the Baltimore Ravens stole it away. Taylor found Brandon Jones for a nine-yard touchdown with 22 seconds remaining, allowing the Ravens to get a 34-31 victory.
The wheels were set in motion when Kellen Clements was intercepted with 3:35 remaining. The Ravens had the ball in the red zone, but Taylor's pass was dropped by Anthony Allen on fourth down. The Redskins went three and out, giving the Ravens the ball back. Former Terps product LaQuan Williams ran the punt back to the Redskins- 35-yard line, and Taylor found Jones three plays later.
The Redskins received the ball back on their own 37-yard line after a nice return by Niles Paul, but Clements' Hail Mary was knocked down. Both teams are now 2-1 in the preseason.
Terrence Austin has been the star of the third quarter for the Washington Redskins in their NFL preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. Austin was the dominant receiver on a 97-play drive that ended with -- what else -- an Austin touchdown on a screen pass. The score gave the Redskins a 28-21 lead.
The Ravens had tied the score early in the third quarter when Joe Flacco found Anquan Bolden for a touchdown to close out an 80-yard drive. The Ravens left their starters in the game on the drive, and they punished the Redskins' second-team defense on the drive.
John Beck began the third quarter with an interception on a deep pass intended for Donte' Stallworth, but rebounded to throw the ball well on the ensuing drive that eventually ended in Austin's touchdown on the screen pass.
A fortunate penalty helped the Washington Redskins regain control of this NFL preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens just before halftime. The Redskins appeared to get stuffed on third down, but a delay of game was called on the play. On the ensuing play, Rex Grossman found a wide-open Santana Moss for a 24-yard touchdown to give the Redskins a 21-14 lead.
The Redskins got it down to the Ravens' 19-yard line with less than a minute remaining when the drive appeared to stall. The Ravens victimized Grossman with an all-out blitz, forcing an incomplete pass. But the Redskins were called for a delay of game, moving the ball back to the 24-yard line. On the ensuing play, Ravens rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith blew the coverage, allowing Moss to run wide open for a touchdown.
Grossman has received the bulk of the snaps in the first half for the Redskins. John Beck was in for a couple series, but only attempted three passes.
The Baltimore Ravens have dominated the second quarter of this NFL preseason game against the Washington Redskins. After taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, the Redskins have given up two touchdowns, allowing Baltimore to tie the score at 14.
The first touchdown came on a four-yard run by running back Ray Rice. The score was set up by a long pass from Joe Flacco to Anquan Bolden on third and 15, which got the ball down to the goal line. The Ravens then tied the score when Flacco found Lee Evans for a 35-yard touchdown pass. Flacco got Evans in single coverage against DeAngelo Hall, and Evans beat him deep for the score.
Both drives were kept alive with Redskins penalties. The latter score was kept alive by a defensive holding call on third down, which ended up being costly.
So far, the Washington Redskins continue to dominate the NFL preseason. They have come into M&T Bank Stadium and beat up on the Baltimore Ravens, leading 14-0 after one quarter of play. The latest touchdown came from running back Tim Hightower, who broke free for a 37-yard run and a score.
John Beck checked into the game after Rex Grossman played two series and immediately made an impact. He connected with wide receiver Anthony Armstrong for a 33-yard gain into Ravens territory. Hightower had his run thereafter, cutting back across the field and running in to the left corner for the score.
The Redskins' other touchdown came when DeAngelo Hall picked off Joe Flacco for a touchdown. The only bad news for Washington is the injury to second-round pick Jarvis Jenkins, who is questionable to return with a right knee sprain.
The Washington Redskins may have received some bad injury news early on in their game against the Baltimore Ravens. Jarvis Jenkins, the Redskins' second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft that had been so impressive in training camp, went down with a knee injury on the Redskins' second defensive series. Jenkins is questionable to return with a sprained knee, according to a press room announcement.
Jenkins appeared to have his knee buckled trying to lock up Ray Rice on a run. He laid on his back for a while before eventually rising to his feet. He had to be helped off the field, though, and was definitely not putting any weight on his right knee.
Jenkins had been one of the breakout stars in training camp. He was making a start due to the absence of starting defensive end Adam Carriker.
The Washington Redskins' defense is all about forcing turnovers, and early on, they did just that in their NFL preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall picked up right where he left off last season, jumping a route and intercepting Joe Flacco at midfield. Hall returned the pass all the way to the Redskins' end zone for the touchdown, giving Washington a 7-0 lead.
Hall had been beat on a button hook route when guarding Lee Evans earlier in the drive, so this time, he sat on the route and read Flacco all the way. Hall looked to have a wide open route to the end zone, but instead cut it back inside and maneuvered around a couple Ravens players before breaking it back outside to get to the end zone.
The Ravens will take the ball back looking to rebound from that turnover.
The lineups for the preseason game between the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens are out, and six Redskins starters will not play. That includes Chris Cooley, Ryan Torain, LaRon Landry and Adam Carriker were already ruled out prior to the game. Now, they will be joined by London Fletcher and Josh Wilson, who will each miss their second straight game.
Keyaron Fox will replace Fletcher at linebacker, while Byron Westbrook will start for Wilson. Kevin Barnes started against the Colts, so it appears those two roles will be reversed. Here are the rest of the starters:
QB: Rex Grossman
RB: Tim Hightower
FB: Darrel Young
WR: Santana Moss
WR: Jabar Gaffney
TE: Fred Davis
OT: Trent Williams
OT: Jammal Brown
OG: Chris Chester
DE: Jarvis Jenkins
DE: Stephen Bowen
DT: Barry Cofield
OLB: Brian Orakpo
OLB: Ryan Kerrigan
ILB: Keyaron Fox
ILB: Rocky McIntosh
CB: DeAngelo Hall
CB: Byron Westbrook
SS: Reed Doughty
FS: O.J. Atogwe
BALTIMORE, Md. - It was widely believed going into tonight's game against the Ravens that whichever quarterback would start for the Redskins would likely be the team's Week 1 starter against the Giants. Mike Shanahan and company made a deliberate effort to hide their intentions as to who'd they would go with under center until the very last minute.
Well, the suspense is now over. Kind of.
GM Bruce Allen went on ESPN980 earlier Thursday afternoon and announced that the team will start the game with Rex Grossman. He then added that Grossman will alternate every two series with his QB competitor, John Beck, so as to get a good look at both of them versus the Ravens defensive starters.
The Ravens starters are expected to play into the third quarter, so both quarterbacks will get their chance to impress the coaching staff. The question is whether or not either QB will have enough time to establish any rhythm, as having to alternate series could produce a bit of a disjointed effort by the offense.
Either way, the Redskins quarterback competition will take one step closer to a resolution after tonight's game.
The Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens will renew their subdued Beltway rivalry on Thursday night in the third game of the NFL preseason. The Redskins have won both of their first two preseason games convincingly, but the Ravens should offer a stiffer test than the Steelers and Colts, who rested most of their starters. Here is a complete guide for the game, including start time, TV schedule, announcers and more.
What: Washington Redskins vs. Baltimore Ravens.
When: 8 p.m.
Channel: ESPN. You can also view the game on WDCA
Radio: ESPN 980 AM, WWXX 94.3 FM, WWXT 92.7 FM
Announcers: Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden
Pregame coverage: "Redskins Kickoff" will begin on CSN Washington at 7 p.m. "Monday Night Countdown" will begin on ESPN at 7 p.m.
One thing to watch for: Given that the game is in Baltimore, and given the tragic death of former Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan, there will likely be some sort of tribute.
The Washington Redskins are expected to be without a number of regular starters for their third NFL preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. LaRon Landry, Chris Cooley and Ryan Torain are among those expected to sit out already. Now, you can add one more to the list.
Starting defensive end Adam Carriker told our own Daniel Shiferaw at the team's Welcome Home luncheon that he, too, would not play.
Carriker did add that the injury is not serious and that he would play if it were a regular-season game.
The Washington Redskins will take on the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday in a Nationally televised preseason game on ESPN.