Washington Redskins: 5 Players to Watch in Game Against New York Giants

Bell Malley@milesmalleyAnalyst IIISeptember 9, 2011

Washington Redskins: 5 Players to Watch in Game Against New York Giants

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    This offseason, the Washington Redskins were one of the most watched teams. From their intense quarterback battle to their unloading of disgruntled stars to their acquiring of a multitude of draft picks, they were always in the news.

    Finally, on Sunday, the 'Skins can let their play do the talking when they take on the New York Giants at the FedEx Field on Sunday.

    Many players fought through tough times through training camp and preseason, while others proved their worth.

    All these key players will be closely monitored by coaches, experts and fans alike when game-time comes.

    Without further ado, here are five players to watch on Sunday.


5. Tim Hightower

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    So far, the Redskins decision to bring in Tim Hightower from the Arizona Cardinals seems to be paying off huge dividends.

    He has run away from the pack and solidified himself as the top runner for the new-look 'Skins.

    Hightower has run an average of 6.8 yards per carry in his three games and scored three touchdowns.

    In the game against New York, the 'Skins will look to run the ball early and often, and Tim will be the main part of that attack.

    Every Redskins fan will have their eyes on Hightower, hoping he can repeat his preseason performances

4. Chris Cooley/Fred Davis

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    Whoever ends up playing on Sunday will have an eye on them the whole way through.

    Chris Cooley missed the entirety of the preseason because of an injury, and is listed as questionable for the game.

    Davis appeared in three games and did not make much of an impression, catching only three passes for 41 yards.

    With an unstable Rex Grossman running the show, the tight end—whoever it turns out to be—will be getting a ton of looks as the safety valve.

    Not only did both these players not get a chance to make a name for themselves during preseason, but Davis might have a slight chance to supplant veteran Cooley on the depth chart.

    One of these players is going to be very active on Sunday, and Redskins Nation will tell who will get the load of tight end for the majority of the season.

3. Ryan Kerrigan

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    Rookie Ryan Kerrigan will look to make a name for himself against a stout New York Giants offensive line.

    The former DE from Purdue was switched to outside 'backer this season for the Redskins' 3-4 defensive front. He missed a lot of valuable time due to the lockout, but performed well in the preseason, in which he had nine tackles, including two sacks.

    Many people expect big things from the No. 16 pick, who will benefit from playing alongside Brain Orakpo, a former DE from Texas with a similar experience in switching positions. Orakpo has succeeded tremendously, making a couple of Pro Bowls in his only two seasons.

    Is Kerrigan the real deal?

    That's what everyone will try to solve when he takes the field on Sunday.

2. OJ Atogwe

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    Before the lockout, the Redskins made a splash by signing former Rams safety OJ Atogwe.

    So far, it has been impossible to tell, as Atogwe was hurt, thus he appeared in only one game this preseason.

    He is a very accomplished player and had a tremendous career with the Rams, including a 2007 campaign in which he totaled 66 tackles and eight interceptions and a '08 one in which he had 77 tackles, five picks and six forced fumbles.

    Unfortunately, OJ will not be able to play with usual hard-hitting partner LaRon Landry, who is out with a persisting Achilles injury.

    Atogwe was the biggest name Washington brought in, and everyone will be looking to see if he was worth the money.

1. Rex Grossman

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    Of Course.

    Over the course of the preseason, everyone's eyes were on the quarterback battle between veteran Rex Grossman and youngster John Beck.

    The turnover-prone Grossman gets the first crack at starting against a depleted New York Giants secondary.

    In three starts late last season, Grossman piled up 884 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Those aren't bad stats, but he faltered late in games and drives.

    With the battle sure to be going on all season, everyone will want to see how Rex looks in Week 1.

    With John Beck in the shadows, every one of Grossman's moves will be noted by all coaches and fans.