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Stock Up, Stock Down: Montae Nicholson and Samaje Perine going in opposite directions

Stock Up, Stock Down: Montae Nicholson and Samaje Perine going in opposite directions

The Redskins lost to the Bengals Thursday night at FedEx Field, but in the preseason, final results don't really matter. What matters comes in individual and group performances, particularly among first-team units.

In that vein, the Redskins starting defense looked strong against Cincinnati. Outside of some dumb and wacky penalty calls, the starting defense barely gave up any first downs. A number of players impressed on that group, so let's start with the stocks trending in the right direction. 

Stock Up

  • Montae Nicholson - The 96-yard interception return for a touchdown was an impressive display of playmaking ability and speed, but more than that, it was the culmination of a strong offseason and training camp. For the Redskins to be a Top 10 defense, Nicholson needs to be the hard-hitting stud that Washington fans saw glimpses of as a rookie in 2017. Last year was a lost season for Nicholson, who dealt with injuries, getting benched and legal troubles. 2019 is a new start, and so far, it looks quite good. 
  • Adrian Peterson - Not that a first-ballot Hall of Famer really needs preseason validation, but when Peterson ripped off a 26-yard run in the first quarter against the Bengals it became pretty obvious he's ready to go for 2019. And it's important too as second-year back Derrius Guice still isn't cleared for competition. 
  • Robert Davis - Another week, another long touchdown. If there's a handbook to show how to force your way onto a roster, Davis is reading from it. 
  • Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne - These dudes are beasts. 

Despite the good news, there was bad news too. Here's that list:

Stock Down

  • Samaje Perine - Five carries for one yard against Cincy. You read that right. That comes after a poor showing in pass protection in the preseason opener. Jay Gruden always sings praises of Perine but hasn't after the last two preseason games. Prior to Shaun Wilson's ankle injury, he seemed like a guy that could really push for Perine's roster spot. Could that be Byron Marshall now?
  • Paul Richardson - The speedster wideout missed the Bengals game, and the word from one Redskins coach was "he's hurt." Many players get held out of preseason action with slight injuries, stuff they would play through in the regular season. That's not the deal with Richardson. He needs to get right. 
  • Cole Holcomb - If you can't make the club in the tub, Holcomb needs to get back on the field. While he's not in actual roster danger because of the growing number of injuries at inside linebacker, Holcomb is dealing with an AC joint issue. Linebackers need their shoulders, and Holcomb missed a valuable opportunity against the Bengals with presumed starter Shaun Dion Hamilton already out for that game. 
  • Nate Kaczor - The Redskins new Special Teams coach is off to a rough start. In two preseason games Washington has already given up two punt return touchdowns, and against the Bengals, kicker Dustin Hopkins missed an extra point and a field goal. Special teams are tricky in the preseason. In the regular season with 53-man rosters, starting players land on special teams. In the preseason with 90-man rosters, it's largely a collection of players that won't make the final roster lining up on special teams. Still, ugly start. 

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Check out how SWEET the new, numbered Washington Football Team helmets look

Check out how SWEET the new, numbered Washington Football Team helmets look

If you're unhappy or, at the very least, not feeling the Washington Football Team's temporary name, that's fine. Completely understandable, in fact.

After all, no one else in the major sports leagues goes by something that bland. LeBron James, for example, plays for the Lakers, not the Los Angeles Basketball Team. Juan Soto stars (and dances) for the Washington Nationals, not the Washington Baseball Club.  

Therefore, any Burgundy and Gold supporter who's desperate for 2020 to end so they can refer to their organization by a true name, instead of a stopgap one, can be forgiven.

However, those same people need to realize that they've recently been given a gift from the swag Gods, one that should help them cope with the upcoming season. And thanks to a video and some pictures from the WFT that were released on Wednesday, it can now be fully appreciated.

So, what's the gift? The squad's new, numbered helmets.

They were somewhat visible in the mock-up uniforms that were released a few weeks ago, but in the below posts, they're full-on visible and SO BEAUTIFUL:

 

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Gone is Washington's old logo, as well as the stripe that ran down the middle. Each player's individual number will take their place, standing out on both sides in simple yet pleasing gold font.

That's all the analysis that needs to happen here, though. They're simply gorgeous. They're perfect. They're beyond perfect. They're wonderful. They're *sighs, shakes head slightly and just smiles*.

In fact, stop reading these sentences that are just repeating the same thing over and over and go back to staring at the helmets. That's a much more efficient use of your time. 

.................Man. They're perfect.

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Chase Young has 'that vibe' and 'doesn't seem like a rookie,' according to Kendall Fuller

Chase Young has 'that vibe' and 'doesn't seem like a rookie,' according to Kendall Fuller

Kendall Fuller isn't the most seasoned vet in the NFL, but with four years of experience in the league, he's been around plenty of young guys by now. And thanks to the Super Bowl-winning roster he was a part of with the Chiefs, Fuller's also competed alongside some of the sport's most talented athletes.

So when he implies that he's already sensing something special in Chase Young — even though the two haven't interacted much up to this point on the Washington Football Team — it's notable.

"He just kind of has that... just that vibe when you walk by him," Fuller said on a Wednesday Zoom call with reporters, pausing to make sure he landed on the right descriptor. "He doesn't seem like a rookie. He seems like a professional. He's hungry. He wants to work."

Fuller explained that, on his walk to do his presser with the media, he noticed Young "getting in a couple of sprints" for some extra work. That kind of "professional" approach should serve him well as he looks to make his mark in the pros.

"Being the No. 2 pick, seems like he's not even thinking about that," Fuller said. "He's just thinking about being the best player he can be on Sundays."

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Because Washington hasn't had the chance to really initiate any normal football practices yet, Young hasn't gotten to fully unleash his physical skills in front of his teammates and coaches. He's still finding a way to shine, though, as Fuller indicated.

Defensive line coach Sam Mills III had a take similar to the cornerback's.

"The young man is determined," Mills III said Monday. "You can tell he's been studying. ... I'm excited about his future and I'm excited about how fast he's picking everything up."

Thanks to the name issue, the pandemic and all the other distractions from this offseason, the attention on the possible franchise-changer has somewhat died down. But if he's already standing out this much before he's even chased after an opposing quarterback, just wait until he begins showcasing that particular and rare ability.

That is when all the attention on Young will rightly return, and then it should only continue to grow from there.

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