Five things to know from Bills-Redskins
All the Washington Redskins’ angst over Robert Griffin III’s
knee suddenly seems like a mere trifle, at least when compared the
quarterback problems faced by rookie head coach Doug Marrone and
his Buffalo Bills.
Griffin again moved well on his surgically repaired right knee
in the warmups before Saturday’s 30-7 win over the Buffalo Bills.
And in case Griffin doesn’t get cleared by Week 1 of the regular
season, there’s still Kirk Cousins, who should be over his sprained
right foot by then.
And should neither Griffin nor Cousins be ready, there’s always
Rex Grossman, who threw for 171 yards and a touchdown against
The Bills aren’t so fortunate. With first-round pick EJ Manuel
nursing a left knee injury, Kevin Kolb started and left the game
with concussion-like symptoms in the first quarter. The only
quarterback left was undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel, who completed 10
of 17 passes for 63 yards and looked, well, like an undrafted
Forget Plan B. Time for Plan C. Or D. Or E.
”It is a concern,” Marrone said. ”I’m not going to sit here
and say everything’s fine and dandy.”
What we learned from the Bills’ visit to Washington:
1. WELCOME BECK: Remember John Beck, Redskins fans? He was half
of the Beck-Grossman tandem on which Washington coach Mike Shanahan
infamously staked his reputation just two years ago. Beck has been
out of football for nearly a year, but the Bills are so desperate
that they are bringing him and Matt Leinart in for workouts,
according to a person familiar with the team’s plans who spoke to
The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the workouts
haven’t been publicly announced. Given Manuel’s knee injury and
Kolb’s history with concussions, it wouldn’t be farfetched to see
Beck or Leinart start a regular season game this year.
2. REX STILL HAS IT: He’ll always be a high risk-high reward
kind of quarterback, but it’s not too shabby to have an experienced
hand like Grossman as the backup to the backup. He would have had a
pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown had the defensive
back not dropped the ball, but Grossman otherwise led the Redskins
well, completing 11 of 21 passes, including a 7-yard touchdown to
Pierre Garcon. ”It was fun to start the game and go with the ones
and be in that huddle again,” Grossman said. ”Just even preparing
and going to bed last night knowing I’m starting. Going through
that whole routine again was fun.”
3. CRAWFORD OUT FOR THE YEAR: The Redskins lost punt returner
Richard Crawford for the season with a left knee injury, and
there’s no clear alternative on the roster. The second-year player
was hurt on a 3-yard punt return in the first quarter. He’s
remembered mostly for his 64-run return that set up the winning
field goal in an overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens last year.
Rookie running back Chris Thompson took over the punt return duties
after Crawford left the game on Saturday, but Thompson has fumbled
in two straight games. Santana Moss or DeAngelo Hall could do the
job in a pinch, but coach Mike Shanahan will be looking for someone
else to step up.
4. MORE BUFFALO WOES: It’s bad enough to run low on healthy
quarterbacks, but the Bills have other issues, particularly in the
secondary. Safety Da’Norris Searcy suffered a head injury, and
cornerback Stephon Gilmore left with an injured wrist. Marrone
didn’t have an update on either player. Fortunately, he’s getting
back two-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd, who was on the sidelines
Saturday after rejoining the team following a contentious
offseason. Byrd might be a bit grumpy, though: He was hoping for a
huge multiyear contract as a free agent this year, but in the end
he had no choice but to sign a one-year deal after Buffalo
designated him as a franchise player.
5. FLAG ON THE PLAY: Penalties have been a problem for the
Redskins throughout the preseason, and Saturday was no exception.
Veteran cornerback Josh Wilson was flagged for a 34-yard pass
interference penalty on the first play from scrimmage. Rookie
cornerback David Amerson was hit with a 15-yard facemask foul later
in the first quarter, then committed a 42-yard interference penalty
in the second quarter. The grand total was 106 yards on six
penalties, hardly the type of discipline needed if the Redskins are
to repeat as NFC East champions.
AP Sports Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report from
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP