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Five key observations from an at times impressive, at times rough preseason opener

Five key observations from an at times impressive, at times rough preseason opener

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Redskins fell to the Patriots 26-17 on Thursday night in Week 1 of the 2018 NFL preseason. 

Here are Rich Tandler's five key observations from the preseason opener.

1. Starting without starters.
Not a single starter took the field for the Redskins’ offense with one exception. Rob Kelley started at running back and either he or Derrius Guice, who played later in the game, will start the opener. Other than that it was Colt McCoy at quarterback, a backup offensive line and receivers and Jeremy Sprinkle at tight end. Still, the offense ran quite well, posting 259 yards and 17 points against a Patriots defense that had a smattering of starters in for most of the first quarter.

2. McCoy looked McGood.
Colt McCoy was very good, completing 13 of 18 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns. That came to a passer rating of 143.1. We know that he’s good for a game or two if needed. He got off some nice passes. His first touchdown pass came when he fired one to Byron Marshall, who was matched up with a linebacker. The pass allowed Marshall to keep his stride and he rolled into the end zone. In the second quarter, he had excellent touch on a pass to Cam Sims. The ball floated over the outstretched arm of a safety and to Sims, who made some good moves to turn it into a 57-yard gain to the two.

3. A great glimpse of Guice.
Derrius Guice gained 19 yards on six carries, but his best run of the day, a 34-yard effort, was called back due to a penalty. Then at the end of the run he suffered a knee injury. It did not appear to be too serious but he will have an MRI on Friday. He was starting to get warmed up some when he went out. It’s too small a sample size and assuming the injury isn’t serious, the Redskins have to be anxious to see more of him.

4. Things got sloppy late.
The Redskins couldn’t get a drive going offensive because of penalties and on defense they were in the mode of “almost” making a play but not getting it done. Missed tackles were a common sight. Perhaps it was to be expected from third- and fourth-team players. But you didn’t see the Patriots committing as many sins of commission and omission as did the Redskins, and their players were just as inexperienced as were the Redskins’.

5. In conclusion: Not bad.
Overall, it was a decent preseason opener for Washington. With their top reserves were in the game, they moved the ball well and played some good defense (a smattering of defensive starters did play). Of course we wait out word on the injuries to Guice, Matt Ioannidis (knee), and WR Trey Quinn (stomach).

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Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

The Redskins' joint practices with the Jets have been nothing short of entertaining.

Day 1 of practice brought a couple of brawls between the two teams, with one spilling into the sideline where fans were standing. 

Day 2 was relatively calm, but Day 3 has brought another altercation, this time between former teammates Terrelle Pryor and DJ Swearinger. 

During a one-on-one rep, safety Monte Nicholson broke up a pass to Pryor. As Pryor started walking back to the sideline, a very hyped-up DJ Swearinger had more than a few things to say about it. As the two inched closer, Swearinger fakes a punch, causing Pryor to flinch and creating roars from the Redskins sideline. 

It's clear the Redskins' DBs have strong feelings towards their ex-teammate. Back in June, inside linebacker Zach Brown said the 'Skins would "have it out" for Pryor during their joint practices. 

While Pryor won't be playing in Thursday's preseason game, let's hope the competition continues over nonetheless.

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Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

RICHMOND—Orlando Scandrick’s career with the Redskins ended without him even playing a game.

Head coach Jay Gruden confirmed reports that the team has released Scandrick on the last day of training camp. He did not play in the Redskins’ preseason opener against the Patriots last Thursday.

While reasons for the release will become clearer with time, it is apparent that the Redskins have a great deal of faith in their young cornerbacks, particularly second-year player Fabian Moreau. With Scandrick on the team, Moreau was slated to be the backup slot corner. With Scandrick now gone, the Redskins likely will go with Moreau as the slot cornerback.

The team also apparently has confidence in Quinton Dunbar to start opposite Josh Norman. They also like rookies Greg Stroman, Adonis Alexander, and Danny Johnson. As of now, those three are the backups at cornerback.

Scandrick signed a two-year, $7 million contract in March. The only guaranteed money was a $1 million signing bonus. The move will save the Redskins $2.1 million in cap space this year. They will take a $500,000 dead cap hit next year to account for the prorated portion of the signing bonus.

Redskins 2018 training camp news

-Teammates react: Thompson gets emotional talking about Guice
-Redskins-Jets brawl: A dangerous situation

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS  and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS  and on Instagram @RichTandler.

This article has been updated from a previous publish.