Here are a few of my observations on Friday’s preseason game.
--Even though the graphic, the announcers, and the official NFL gamebook said that Clint Oldenburg started at left guard, Kory Lichtensteiger was in his usual spot there. On Tim Hightower’s 58-yard run on the second play from scrimmage, Lichtensteiger made a couple of good blocks at the point of attack, helping to spring Hightower free.
--Hightower displayed lightning and thunder on that first series. He executed that 58-yard run to perfection, cutting back at exactly the right time to take advantage of the lane created by Lichtensteiger, Trent Williams, and company. A few plays later he powered his way into the end zone following a nice trap block by, you guessed it, Lichtensteiger.
--Perry Riley made the Colts pay for deciding to return a kickoff from nine yards deep in the end zone with a good play to stop the Colts returner at the 13.
--Brian Orakpo is on his way to becoming a complete linebacker. He showed good recognition on a flaker screen and eluded a blocker to make the stop after a short gain.
--Terrence Austin does not have Brandon Banks’ breakaway speed on returns. But Austin is the superior receiver. If Banks is healthy, might the Redskins decide to sacrifice some explosiveness in the return game in order to keep a better all around player? Austin is certainly getting his opportunity to make his case for a roster spot.
--Most of John Beck’s throws have been thoroughly dissected so I’ll just point out a couple of them. Both were short throws to backs that went to the receiver in stride, allowing for decent gains. The first one was to the right side to Hightower, who caught Beck’s pass about five yards behind the line and was able to get upfield for seven yards. The other one found Darrel Young while he was accelerating and that one went for 11 yards. These are some yards that have been left on the table recently.