4 Downs: Redskins-Steelers takeaways

This will probably be my last of this series – let’s see what I noticed in this past game and what to look for in the dress rehearsal against this Bills this Saturday.

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1) Injury scares

A number of Redskins got nicked during this game. Skins fans should exhale now, since these are all deemed “minor”:

  1. Kirk Cousins – Midfoot sprain
  2. Barry Cofield – Broken hand
  3. Leonard Hankerson – Bruised Knee
  4. Aldrick Robinson – Bruised Thigh
  5. Keiland Williams – Knee Sprain
  6. Chris Thompson – Shoulder (popped in and out of socket)

Trent Williams played against the Steelers with a small splint on his wrist and showed no ill effects. Priority number one this week is getting out healthy with a short week before facing the Bills this Saturday afternoon.

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2) Defensive front 7 continues to play well

Have to issue the same caveat I did for the Giants write up – the Steelers’ offensive line has been in the bottom five the past few years. That being said, Barry Cofield kicked a pro-bowl center’s behind a number of times. Ryan Kerrigan bated Ben Roethlisberger into a pick six. The defensive line swarmed the Steelers all night and disrupted the running game. Oh yeah, they did all of this without Brian Orakpo who is nursing a deep thigh bruise of his own.

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3) Rex Grossman plays well

I know Skins fans are tired of Rex Grossman but he is really solid. There is no reason to cut him this year, especially now that Kirk has a foot sprain and RGIII coming back from his knee surgery. Pat White is not a threat to take Rex’s spot, either. The original RGIII has an excellent handle on the offense and helps the young QBs throughout the year. I would be happy to have a good third string QB who can step in in a pinch and help coach up my young quarterbacks.

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4) Progress of young players

Roy Helu played sparingly but showed why he has the 2nd running back spot locked up behind Morris. Helu should be the primary third down back with his combination of pass protection, hands, size, and speed.

Leonard Hankerson appears to be taking the next step in his progress. @UKRedskin wrote an excellent write up for HogsHaven.com, check it out here: http://www.hogshaven.com/2013/8/20/4639534/redskins-vs-steelers-leonard-hankerson-breakdown. Hank ran excellent routes and outside of one drop, he showed good effort this game.

Aldrick Robinson also played well, torching Ike Taylor on a stutter route forcing the veteran cornerback to grab him to prevent the touchdown. Robinson did well to get open a score that was called back due to Taylor forcing the WR’s route out of bounds with a savvy veteran shove. Finally, Robinson ran a post route and caught a strike from Rex Grossman to set up a field goal before the half. Aldrick stood tough and held on to the ball despite getting nailed by a safety and getting a thigh bruise that would end his evening.

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