It didn't take long for quarterback Colt McCoy to prove why he was worth the contract he signed a few weeks ago.
The soon-to-be 32-year-old came out firing against the Patriots during Thursday's preseason opener, completing 13-of-18 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Redskins to a 17-3 halftime lead. If you know McCoy, then you know that most times he keeps a pretty even demeanor. But that didn't stop him from feeling good about how the night went.
"It's fun to play football" he said. "It's fun to play against another team and it's nice to get hit and just go out there and compete a little bit. I thought for the most part we moved the ball pretty effectively, there were some plays here and there we might've wanted to have back but I felt pretty good and I think our group felt pretty good."
Head coach Jay Gruden was also quick to affirm why McCoy's Week 1 preseason performance was a good indication of why the team wanted to keep him another season.
"He's got great command of the offense," Gruden said. "He can move around the pocket and players respond to him. He gets the ball to the open people and they make plays for him, so I thought it was a great job tonight by Colt without a doubt."
McCoy himself was high on all of the second-team receivers, and discussed some of the camaraderie that they've been able to build over the past couple of months.
"I'm telling you there's a dogfight at wide out right now," McCoy proclaimed. "Maurice [Harris] is playing lights out. Cam [Sims] has come in and really gotten into his playbook, he's a big target, he's fast, and he's strong. Robert [Davis] is making plays. I mean, I just distributed the football but those guys did a nice job of getting open and ran great routes. I had good protection, and that's what you want to see in this first game."
A particular play that stood out in this game was a 57-yard bomb to Sims. After the game, the Alabama product recapped the play vividly, with McCoy being the primary reason for the play's success.
"It was a Cover-2," Sims said. "I had a go-route so I slipped him inside, and Colt [McCoy] threw a great pass and I caught it. I just thought the safety was going to blow me up and he missed so I was off to the races."
Check out game photos of the Washington Redskins' preseason opener against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
A lot of what makes McCoy such a good ballplayer are his in-the-huddle intangibles, a lot of which were displayed during the game. A specific example of this was McCoy's description of how he helped rookie running back Derrius Guice get through his early game jitters as he took his first carry.
"I think tonight he was a little nervous," McCoy said. "Got his first couple carries. I did my best to calm him down, tell him a little joke in the huddle. I was relaying some communications from Jay to Derrius. Then Derrius was like 'Can you talk back to Jay?' and I was like 'No, I can't talk back to him,' so, I calmed him down a bit. Certainly we hope he'll be alright."
While it's now certain that running back Guice tore his ACL and will miss the entirety of the 2018 season, the Redskins still have a stable of running backs that have been competing and progressing throughout training camp to lean on. If Thursday night was any indication, McCoy can still have confidence in the depth of weapons the Redskins have on offense and the way they looked in their first game against an opponent.
"I think everybody as a group was ready to go against somebody else to be honest," McCoy said. "In the first game, you don't really game-plan a whole lot, you don't know exactly how they're going to play, so you just go out there and play by your rules, play fundamental football, and I think we moved the ball pretty well tonight."