The Buffalo Bills will take on the Washington Redskins in their third preseason game of the 2013 season tonight at FedExField in Washington, DC. We'll have plenty to talk about from a Bills perspective as kickoff time (4:30PM ET) approaches, but for a quick taste test of the Redskins, Kevin Ewoldt from SB Nation's Redskins community, Hogs Haven, has kindly stopped by to answer a few questions.
So... what can Bills fans expect to learn about their defense with Rex Grossman at quarterback? How has he been playing this preseason?
Kevin Ewoldt: As laughable as Grossman has become, he's actually still a decent quarterback. He'll make some bad throws, but he can still run an offense. As our other editor once perfectly articulated: "Listen, Rex Grossman isn't some quarterback you spend a lot of time critiquing and analyzing. He is a drug you inject on Sundays and ride out. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it freaks you out. It is a hell of a rush either way."
Grossman is tentatively scheduled to play the entire first half and since he averaged two interceptions a game when he was the regular starter, the Bills coaching staff should be disappointed if the D goes without at least one pick.
The Bills went after Fred Davis hard this off-season; obviously, he chose to stay in Washington. How has he looked this summer?
Ewoldt: He has looked solid so far. He was RGIII's most targeted receiver before the injury last year, so adding him back in the mix will be great for this offense. He wants a payday, so his one-year deal with the Redskins and having RGIII as his quarterback sets him up nicely. I honestly don't think Buffalo was ever an option for Fred - he simply was trying to get the most he could out of Washington for the one-year deal. The Redskins returned their entire starting roster on both sides of the ball despite the salary cap penalty, so seeing players take pay cuts to stay with RGIII and the Redskins is something new for us.
I really miss London Fletcher. Do you want to just talk about how awesome he is for a paragraph or two?
Ewoldt: My favorite London Fletcher story was when I got to chance to go to dinner with a rookie linebacker the Redskins had drafted. He mentioned that London Fletcher would call out the offensive play before the ball is even snapped, and even Redskins coaches on the sidelines were like, "How did he do that?" I highly recommend this Wired Up video... his in-huddle speeches are legendary around D.C.
Bills fans are hoping for a similar turnaround as Redskins fans experienced last season, where a team that won 15 games between 2009-11 suddenly was a division winner. What, aside from the quarterback, aided in that turnaround that we should keep an eye out for in Buffalo?
Ewoldt: To be honest, it was entirely RGIII. Scott Pioli once said at the combine, "Your QB has to be your hardest working player to be a successful team." Take a look around the league. Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Robert Griffin III... these are all guys that are the first person to arrive at the facility and last one to leave. Then look at Grossman, Sanchez, Kolb, etc... they just did not instill that leadership for the rest of the team. Obviously, being good is a major factor too, but all year long Skins fans heard how much harder the rest of the team worked because of RGIII. The emergence of Alfed Morris was also a big factor, but without RGIII, the Redskins would not have made the playoffs.
This is a big game for the Bills to evaluate their young receiver depth. How have the reserve defensive backs they'll be playing against been performing this summer?
Ewoldt: The cornerbacks have been solid, but the Redskins are still in a mess of a situation at safety. The Redskins drafted Bacarri Rambo from Georgia, but he is trying his best not to win the starting free safety role. Phillip Thomas, a strong safety the Skins also drafted this year, was injured his first preseason game and is already on IR. That leaves some older vets who are not ideal for a 16-game season. To answer your question, they will get a decent test. Josh Wilson will be playing, and he's probably the best cover corner on the team.