Redskins wake-up call

The Washington Redskins play their third preseason game, this time going on the road to play the Baltimore Ravens after consecutive home games. It's the final game for a number of players to impress the coaches as the first big wave of cuts must be made by Tuesday afternoon.

The roster must be trimmed to 75. I'll have a few more posts before the game Saturday including another mailbag; What to Watch For; and a quick piece on Bashaud Breeland's physical play, and how he's cut down on using his hands.

Three things of note:

  1. While they call this a dress rehearsal, that doesn't mean the outcome is a great indicator of where a team is at, good or bad. The rehearsal is as much for the days leading into the game. A first-year coach such as Jay Gruden wants to let the players know how a typical work week would look like under him, how the meetings will be run and what's expected of them and how they'll prepare. But as far as play calls, etc., it'll still be vanilla.

  2. The starters are expected to play the entire first half and, perhaps, a little more. Really, it will depend on their success during the first half. If they play well, there might be no reason to trot them out again after halftime. If not...

  3. I don't know if any of the backups, such as linemen Spencer Long or Morgan Moses would get first-team reps. Would it make sense to give both rookies reps when you have your starting quarterback still in the game? It wouldn't to me. Neither player is challenging right now for a starting job, so it's not as if they need to see what they can do against starters. For Moses, Saturday represents a chance to work on the right side -- and show the Redskins whether he can handle both the left and right sides and be their No. 1 swing tackle.