What we learned about the Redskins vs. the Saints

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

1 The Redskins will make teams defend the entire field because of their speed. It's going to be tough to stop as the offense improves, too. They attacked the edges with bubble screens, putting stress on the Saints' perimeter. On several of those screens, there was a noticeable difference in the outcome of the play because of that speed, whether it was Pierre Garcon, Brandon Banks or Aldrick Robinson. All ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds or better. But it's not just these three. Quarterback Robert Griffin III, tight end Fred Davis and tight end Niles Paul all are considered fast for their positions. So, too, is left tackle Trent Williams. It's a different day in Washington.

2 Banks continues to have issues catching the ball on punts. He dropped the ball on two occasions, something that plagued him the past two years as well. It hasn't cost the Redskins a game yet, but the No. 1 rule for punt returners is to secure the ball. Banks isn't under fire, however, because of his speed. Coach Mike Shanahan pointed to his 6-yard catch and run off a bubble screen in the first quarter that resulted in a first down. Banks actually ran about 13 yards on the play and made a cornerback miss. Some things get overlooked when you have speed.

3 The feeling of hope in the Redskins' locker room is real. Most of that stems from Griffin's arrival; no position is more important than quarterback, and the Redskins finally have a guy they can build around. The players know this, too, and it's why they were as excited as anyone. They've been much quieter about their expectations this season or in comparing this team to previous ones. But now they must do what previous Redskins teams haven't done: follow up a big win with another one -- over a seemingly inferior opponent, no less, in St. Louis. It's way too early to alter expectations for the Redskins as questions remain. However, getting off to such a hot start in the first game only served to boost their belief that they have the right guy at quarterback, and that makes a world of difference.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner