NFL Preseason Preview - Washington (0-0) at Buffalo (0-0)
By Scott Garbarini, NFL Editor
(Sports Network) - There's a raised level of excitement surrounding both the
Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills, two teams that will be unveiling their
big-name offseason additions when they go head-to-head at Ralph Wilson Stadium
in their respective preseason openers.
The main attraction of this exhibition lid-lifter will undoubtably be rookie
quarterback Robert Griffin III, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner whom the
Redskins traded up to grab with the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft. The
dynamic youngster was immediately anointed as Washington's starter under
center and is projected to receive somewhere between 12-to-20 snaps in
Griffin's renowned scrambling ability could very well be on display early and
often as well, with three regulars on the Redskins' offensive line a
possibility to sit out the contest. Right tackle Jammal Brown is currently on
the physically unable to perform list with an ailing hip, left guard Kory
Lichtensteiger is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last season, while
right guard Chris Chester is questionable to go after spraining his left ankle
in Monday's practice.
Washington also selected former Michigan State signal-caller Kirk Cousins in
the fourth round of this past draft, with the newcomer slated to work with the
third-team offense late in the contest.
Buffalo fans will be keeping a close eye on the defensive side after the team
restocked the problematic unit over the past few months. The Bills landed the
biggest catch on this year's free-agent market in two-time All-Pro end Mario
Williams while also bringing in pass-rushing specialist Mark Anderson, both of
whom will work as the primary ends on a potentially terrific front line.
The Bills also bolstered the secondary by taking cornerback Stephon Gilmore
with the 10th overall choice in the draft, and the South Carolina product is
scheduled to make his debut in the starting lineup on Thursday. Offensive
lineman Cody Glenn, the club's second-round pick, may get some work with the
first-team offense as well as he competes with second-year pro Chris Hairston
for the starting nod at left tackle.
Another interesting battle to watch for Buffalo will take place at
quarterback, where incumbent Tyler Thigpen is attempting to hold off onetime
Tennessee franchise face Vince Young to be the No. 2 on the depth chart behind
entrenched starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Bills head coach Chan Gailey plans to have his regulars out for around 15-
to-18 plays, though that list won't include center Eric Wood (knee surgery
recovery), right tackle Erik Pears (groin) and slot receiver David Nelson
(leg). Top wideout Stevie Johnson, who's been battling a lingering groin
strain during camp, figures to be a game-time decision.
These teams last squared off in Toronto during Week 8 of last year's regular
season, with Buffalo coming away with a convincing 23-0 victory. The Redskins
did rout the Bills by a 42-17 count at FedEx Field in the most recent
preseason clash between the two, which took place in 2010.
Washington holds an 8-5 lead in its overall preseason series with Buffalo.