It was the third preseason game, and Jim Zorn and his Redskins were ready to show the world what they were made of. So far, everything had gone rosy for the 'Skins, with three solid wins and good play by their starters.
It seemed like Week Three against the Panthers would be the week where the Redskins would prove how good they were. It only took the grimacing pain on Jason Taylor's face to show that it would be a long night for Washington.
It was not a night that any rookie coach would want to have. Nothing went right for the Redskins.
Jason Campbell almost had as many sacks (four) as first downs (six). The offensive line got trampled by Carolina's defensive line, and the Panthers seemed to move the chains without even trying. What was worst about all this was that Jim Zorn was trying really hard and nothing would work.
Jim Zorn even admitted that he is considering playing his starters longer than normal next week, something that is very rare in preseason. It looks like the Redskins just woke up from their happy dream
Things may seem pretty gloomy for the Redskins right now, after all, their offensive line coach, Joe Bugel, did just have to bury his daughter, but this seemingly terrible loss may seem to be a blessing in disguise for the Redskins. The 47-3 loss to the Panthers might turn up to be exactly what the 'Skins needed.
Week Three is traditionally the week in preseason when teams play their starters more than usual. It is considered the "dress rehearsal" for the regular season. For the Redskins, it was a dress rehearsal that had them begging, "Why must the show go on?"
With this embarrassing trouncing by the Panthers, many are forgetting one thing: It's a preseason game...it means nothing.
What happened to the Redskins on Saturday night will do absolutely nothing for the Redskins' season. If anything, the tough loss helped the them. The loss was like bad-tasting medicine that we know will make us feel better, but just wish we didn't have to take.
For Jim Zorn, it was a learning experience. It's easy to be a coach when you win, like Jim Zorn has, but it takes a tough loss to show if he is the real deal. Besides, could the loss come at a better time? What happened to the Redskins was a tough learning experience that will not hurt anything but their egos.
On the bright side, Jason Taylor should be healthy again in two weeks, just in time for regular season.
So, instead of everybody saying, "Oh well, maybe next year," for the Redskins, maybe we should be saying, "Thank God it's preseason!"
Let's take this win like the little kid getting a spanking. Yeah, it may hurt, but in the long run, it's for our own good, and I can guarantee that the Redskins starters will be more prepared for the regular season, along with Jim Zorn, than they would have with another mediocre win.
So let's just wait until the end of the season to see if we have reason to despair. It's just the preseason, and even Clinton Portis knows to never worry about the preseason.