Washington is facing a quarterback controversy that will lead them into the first game off the season with uncertainty, something that Mike Shanahan thinks he can handle.
The Buccaneers are the much better team overall than the Redskins, but once those third string players get on the field, all bets are off.
Where: Washington’s FedEx Field
When: Thursday, September 1 at 7:30 pm EDT
Watch: WTSP Channel 10 for Tampa Bay, Comcast SportsNet in Washington D.C, and streaming online at NFL.com (preseason package now $9.99), live look-ins on NFL Network, replay on NFL Network.
Listen: ESPN Radio WTEM 980 AM, WWXX 94.3 FM, WWXT 92.7 FM and Sirius 85 for Washington, and WFUS 103.5 FM, WDAE 620 AM and Sirius 85 for Tampa Bay.
Redskins' Key Addition
As silly as it sounds, even if John Beck does start, the addition of Rex Grossman to the Redskins will not only get both of the career backups motivated to start the season, it will be enough to keep them motivated throughout the entire year.
Buccaneers' Key Addition
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers stayed pat with who they had last season, and decided to go heavy signing their own guys rather than hitting the free agency wire hard. The Bucs splash came in the 2011 NFL Draft when they took defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers.
Redskins' Biggest Loss
The biggest loss for the Washington Redskins was neither Donovan McNabb nor Albert Haynesworth, but cornerback Carlos Rodgers. The solid CB used free agency to get a nice payday in San Francisco and left a gaping hole opposite DeAngelo Hall.
Buccaneers' Biggest Loss
While it doesn't feel like the biggest lose, the Bucs will miss the versatility of running back Cadillac Williams. What they wont miss is his pension for getting injured on almost every play that involves contact.
What They're Saying
Redskins quarterback John Beck talked to the Washington Post about the battle for the starting quarterback job:
The best way I can explain it is, we know what each other has been through, you know what it’s like trying to be the guy to succeed, but each of us want to be the guy. There’s no way either of us are going to stand to the side and, well, you know . . .
Redskins Player to Watch
For Mike Shanahan’s precious 3-4 defense to work, he will need his first-round pick, rookie outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan to make an immediate impact by giving the Redskins the pressure on the quarterback they have been desperately seeking.
Buccaneers Player to Watch
With experience under his belt and the room to roam now that he is the featured back in the pass and run game, the biggest star for a Tampa Bay team on the cusp of the playoffs will be LeGarrette Blount and his innate ability to hurdle defenders.
Matchup to Watch
The matchup I want to see the most will be Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams against Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Williams showed last season that he can be great, but let’s see if the pressure from Hall throws Williams off his game.
Redskins' Position Battle
Besides the obvious quarterback battle, the biggest battle is in the backfield where Tim Hightower and Roy Helu are battling for the lion’s share of the carries. The fourth preseason game will be instrumental in Shanahan’s decision on who to start.
Buccaneers' Position Battle
The biggest position battle on my radar for the Bucs is at the left defensive end spot between rookie Da’Quan Bowers and Michael Bennett. This last preseason game may be the key for Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris to make his opening day decision.
While the Buccaneers have been the talk of the NFC South, this game is all about the quarterback battle in Washington. Be on the look for either Rex Grossman or John Beck to separate themselves as the No. 1 quarterback on the team.
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