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5 Things To Watch: Redskins vs. Browns, Preseason Week 1 


Live football is finally back, as the Washington Redskins open the preseason with a road contest against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night. Here are five things to watch ahead of the game:

1. Quarterback Battle

With Colt McCoy reportedly sidelined, plus head coach Jay Gruden telling reporters that three of the four quarterbacks will play Thursday night, Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins and Josh Woodrum should all see game action against the Browns.

Keenum and Haskins are in the midst of a three-man quarterback competition and each have something different to prove.

For Keenum, it's his first game in Washington. For Haskins, the team's first-round pick and perhaps the future of the franchise, it's his professional debut. All eyes will be on what unfolds under center.

2. Offensive Line Rotation

With the recent signings of Corey Robinson and Pro Bowl tackle Donald Penn, the Redskins offensive line has utilized multiple lineups with the starting offense during training camp.

With the additions of rookies Wes Martin and Ross Pierschbacher via the draft, look for offensive line coach Bill Callahan to put his young linemen in situations that showcase both their run and pass blocking abilities.

There's also offseason signee Ereck Flowers and recently healthy Geron Christian, who have been starting at left guard and left tackle, respectively, during the latter stages of training camp.

3. Wide Receivers

With Haskins, Keenum, and Woodrum all new to Washington's roster, Ike Hilliard's wide receiver unit will look to continue building rapport against the Browns.

Training camp has provided a platform for rookies Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon to showcase their route running and physicality in the air, but Thursday will provide a cleaner picture for how each first-year wideout could be used moving forward.

Other players to watch are second-year receivers Cam Sims and Trey Quinn, both of whom missed significant time last season with injuries but have stood out throughout the offseason workouts and into training camp. Gruden said Quinn has the slot position "pretty much locked down," while the 6-foot-5 Sims is a threat on the outside.

4. Inside Linebacker Depth

The subtractions of Mason Foster and Zach Brown, along with the season-ending ACL injury to Reuben Foster, prompted the drafting of Cole Holcomb and the signing of veteran Jon Bostic. It also signaled an increased role for second-year player Shaun Dion Hamilton.

With Bostic and Hamilton expected to play for two series according to inside linebackers coach Rob Ryan, Holcomb and Josh Harvey-Clemons will receive ample reps orchastrating Greg Manusky's defense.

5. Jimmy Moreland

One of the training camp standouts will look to transfer his success from the practice field to under the lights in his first NFL game in Cleveland.

Moreland has worked with each defensive unit during camp, lining up both as an outside corner and in the slot. His knack for creating turnovers has impressed Manusky and defensive backs coach Ray Horton to the point where he has received reps as the starting corner opposite Josh Norman. His ball-hawking ability will be interesting to keep an eye on against the Browns.

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