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    Rams-Redskins: Things to Watch

    Rams-Redskins: Things To Watch
    Thursday, Aug. 26 2004

    QUARTERBACK: For whatever reason, Marc Bulger wasn't poised in the pocket against Kansas City. Yes, there were some protection issues. Yes, his receivers missed some hot reads. But he needs to do better against pressure, particularly against the blitz. For example, his INT returned for a touchdown was a hurried, off-balance throw against a double-safety blitz.

    RUNNING BACK: Marshall Faulk plays again but doesn't figure to get much more work than Monday night, when he had seven touches. Can Steven Jackson keep it up? He's averaging 4.3 yards per carry and 63 yards per game in exhibition play. Arlen Harris missed a blitz pickup against the Chiefs that led to a second quarter sack. FB Joey Goodspeed (hamstring) is expected to return after sitting out against KC.

    WIDE RECEIVER-TIGHT END: Some of the younger receivers need to focus more. Shaun McDonald and Dane Looker missed hot reads on Chiefs blitzes that led to botched pass plays. If TE Brandon Manumaleuna had held his block on KC linebacker Scott Fujita, Bulger might have thrown a first-quarter TD pass to Isaac Bruce. Instead, Bulger was hit and the ball was slightly overthrown. Cam Cleeland (hamstring) should make his exhibition debut.

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Nobody's saying it was perfect, but this group's play wasn't as bad as some observers think against Kansas City. As mentioned above, many of the pass protection problems were caused by breakdowns at other positions, or simply sub par execution by Bulger. LT Grant Williams' ankle is doing better; RG Adam Timmerman's status is uncertain because of a shoulder problem; Tom Nutten makes his preseason debut, one week after coming out of retirement.

    DEFENSIVE LINE: Opposing rushers have averaged 130 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry against the Rams this preseason, so this unit needs to improve. The backup spots at DT behind starters Ryan Pickett and Damione Lewis are still in flux. Bernard Holsey, Kevin Aldridge and Brian Howard are competing there for one or two spots.

    LINEBACKER: After starting against KC, Brandon Chillar stayed with the starting unit this week, ahead of Tommy Polley and Tony Newson. Early roster cuts have left only eight LBs on the roster. The Rams will keep six or seven, so it's time for bubble players Brandon Spoon and Jeremy Loyd to make a move.

    SECONDARY: Kevin Garrett gets the start at CB in place of injured Travis Fisher. Veteran Tom Knight figures to see some time at corner, too, after spending most of the preseason at safety. This is an important game for Knight, as well as young corners Dwight Anderson and Corey Yates.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: For many players backing up at various positions on offense and defense, their work tonight on coverage and return units could decide whether they stick with the Rams. McDonald and the punt return unit have come close to some dynamic returns. Can they put one together tonight?

    - Jim Thomas

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    Re: Rams-Redskins: Things to Watch

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Nobody's saying it was perfect, but this group's play wasn't as bad as some observers think against Kansas City. As mentioned above, many of the pass protection problems were caused by breakdowns at other positions, or simply sub par execution by Bulger.
    Finally, a beacon of reason in a sea of panic.
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    Re: Rams-Redskins: Things to Watch

    Win or loose, I just hope the first team plays like we expect them to.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

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    Re: Rams-Redskins: Things to Watch

    I live in the DC area. If the Rams win one preseason game I hope it's this one. I will be a wealthier man if they do. I usually do not bet on preseason games but too many friends running thier mouths about the skins and Gibbs.....

    Go Rams....

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    Re: Rams-Redskins: Things to Watch

    I just hope that we have NO injuries....


    steve :ramlogo: :ramlogo:

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