In terms of high-profile pre-season debuts, it's hard to beat tonight's game between the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins, which features a Mario Williams premiere in Orchard Park and the inaugural live action for 2012 NFL Draft No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III.
Williams and Buffalo's starters are expected to receive in the neighborhood of 15-18 plays tonight, according to head coach Chan Gailey. What about RGIII and Washington's starters?
"Mike Shanahan announced RGIII will see 12-20 snaps," reports Kevin Ewoldt of HogsHaven.com. "The Redskins have three starters out on their offensive line, so given your front four, let's just say Redskins fans, myself included, are as nervous as Paris Hilton at an STD clinic. Buffalo, please don't kill our shiny new toy."
I also asked Ewoldt about how important it is for RGIII to perform reasonably well in his debut, given that the Redskins' eventual successes and failures are so closely hinged on how the Baylor rookie performs. Ewoldt might have more patience than others.
"If RGIII struggles, I don't see it as a big deal in the least bit," Ewoldt says. "With the new CBA rules, there's so little real contact, and reports out of camp, as expected, are that he's holding on to the ball a little too long. When there's no repercussion of getting hit, that's expected. He'll learn from any mistakes; the key is staying healthy."
I'll leave it to you, Bills fans, to answer a similar question: how important is it for Buffalo's shiny new toy, Super Mario, to at least play well enough to validate your hopes and dreams for the Bills' defensive line tonight?