Granted, 14 plays in a preseason opener isn’t much. But success is always better than failure.
●GRADING THE LINE: The Redskins are hoping that right tackle Jammal Brown’s sore hip improves. Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger is probably out for the preseason after having arthroscopic knee surgery. He had season-ending knee surgery on the same knee last season. Right guard Chris Chester suffered an ankle injury during practice last week.
Yeah, getting Griffin out after 14 plays made sense.
Tyler Polumbus played for Brown, rookie Adam Gettis started at right guard and Maurice Hurt was at left guard. Polumbus and Adam Gettis didn’t get much of a push on the Redskins’ first two running plays, which produced a total of two yards.
Royster ran through a big hole on the right for a 12-yard gain on the touchdown drive. The line also formed a solid wall in front of Griffin on the 20-yard pass to Garcon. That stuff was good.
Problem is, Polumbus and Hurt just aren’t talented enough to be starters on a team that has so much invested in Griffin. It’s not necessarily a problem with their technique or effort. The Redskins simply need more agile, powerful linemen like left tackle Trent Williams — their only top-notch starter.
Gettis’s career is only beginning. We’ll need to see more of him, as will the coaches, in the next few weeks to get a read on him.
●ROYSTER’S RUNNING: The coaches like Royster because of his vision (he’s good at seeing holes develop). Tim Hightower is still regaining form after knee surgery last season and the staff wants Roy Helu to be more consistent. Breaking long runs once in a while is nice, but frequent moderate gains are better for sustaining drives.
Royster had a 5.9-yard average as a rookie. He possesses the ability to make defenders miss. But Royster won’t become a starter for Shanahan unless he improves in pass protection. He didn’t get many opportunities to try Thursday. More will come.
Against the Bills, Royster couldn’t handle an exchange from Griffin and the Bills recovered his fumble. Stuff like that happens in the preseason. It had better not happen much more if Royster hopes to remain in the race to start.
●HE’S BACK: For most players, the first season back after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery is always difficult. They have to regain their stamina, strength and playing style after a lengthy break from football.
Not surprisingly, Jenkins has struggled while battling with offensive linemen in practice. He has wound up on the ground a lot, which coaches have noticed. Jenkins didn’t make a particularly significant impact against the Bills. He’s back on the field, though, and that’s something on which to build.
For previous columns by Jason Reid, visit washingtonpost.com/reid.