By Ronald Guy
1. Leonard Hankerson
Yes, he had a drop. But if you’re watching Hankerson for the first time, you don’t understand how this version compares to Hankerson circa 2011 or 2012. With his first two non-descript, disappointing seasons as a benchmark, Hankerson’s been a revelation this summer.
I’ve said it before: Hankerson’s size offers an element at wide receiver that few others on the roster possess (Dezmon Briscoe is of similar stature but seems like a long-shot to make the final roster). Hankerson followed up his reckless, somersaulting touchdown in last week’s game against Tennessee with a sweet one-handed grab for a score this week.
Once is a coincidence; twice is an exciting trend … at least for Hankerson.
2. The Front Seven Of Defense
Wow. There were ‘Skins defensive linemen and linebackers in Pittsburgh’s backfield regularly. Considering the lack of quarterback pressure last season and the unsettled state of the secondary, the play of the defensive front seven was a sight for very sore eyes. NT Barry Cofield absolutely played the game (or half) of his ‘Skins career. Was it an omen for a failed tenure in D.C. or a sign of things to come? Heck if I know … is your glass half full or half empty?
3. Ryan Kerrigan
A sack, a signature tipped pass that led to a pick-six, a forced fumble and constant quarterback pressure — I’ve seen enough. Kerrigan’s ready for the regular season. Put him on ice; there’s no need for him to take another meaningless snap in the preseason. Word is Energizer just laid off their trademark rabbit and hired Kerrigan to be its symbol of non-stop energy.
Simply put, there was nothing to dislike about Kerrigan’s performance … unless you are a certain drum-playing hare.
4. Robert Griffin III’s Sideline Interview
Yes, it’s a cheesy, completely obligatory and contrived part of ‘Skins preseason games this year. Come on, you knew “The Great Acronym,” or The Worldwide Leader In Sports, would deploy its sideline reporter to rub shoulders with RGIII at some point during the game. You also know RGIII well enough now to expect him to do exactly what he did: completely bask in the brief spotlight and endear us with his charm.
What I didn’t necessarily expect was a cliché-ridden, company line spewing and zero-controversy-creating interview. It was stale enough to make Perez Hilton break out in cold sweats and was exactly what RGIII needed to do in the wake of the controversy he created. Was it a sign of a lesson learned and an acknowledgement of the importance of keeping internal discord away from the headlines? We’ll see.
5. Roy Helu
The hope going into camp was that Helu would lighten Alfred Morris’ load and be a third down receiving option out of the backfield. Helu has displayed the talent to fill both roles exceptionally well at the NFL level; the only question, after an injury-plagued 2012, was whether he could regain and sustain his health. After a stellar game against Tennessee and a two-touch, 44-yards, 1 TD stat-line against Pittsburgh, the former seems answered. Now, can he remain healthy? Well, see below…