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Redskins-Jets: 4 Players to Watch Presented by Papa John's

146912.jpg looks at some of the key players to keep an eye on during Friday's Redskins-Jets preseason game at FedExField.

"Redskins-Jets: 4 Players to Watch" is presented by Papa John's.

Every Monday, fans can order a large cheese pizza for only $9.99, plus for each touchdown that the Redskins score, fans get one free topping. And with a Redskins victory, fans get double the toppings.


Trent Williams got off to a strong start in the Redskins' first preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, opening up gaping holes in the run game and now allowing a sack onquarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman.

He struggled in the second preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, getting beaten several times by the relentless Terrell Suggs.




On Friday night, he faces another tough test against a New York Jets defense that finished first in the NFL a year ago. He must play more aggressively and continue to develop a quick step against speed rushers coming around the edge.

The up-side is that Williams is getting up to speed against the 3-4 defense. Including the Jets, he has lined up against a 3-4 in his first three preseason games.

The Redskins' Week 1 opponent, the Dallas Cowboys, also runs a 3-4. And Williams' matchup against elite pass rusher DeMarcus Ware is certain to be one of the keys to that game.


How important is Rex Grossman? Consider that Donovan McNabb – who is sidelined for this game with an ankle injury – has played just one 16-game regular season since 2005.

Chances are, McNabb is going to miss some time due to injury and Grossman is going to have to step in and not miss a beat on offense.

Coaches want Grossman to be patient in the pocket but not turn a busted play into a worse play by making a costly turnover, especially when there's pressure in the pocket.

Grossman has the Redskins' No. 2 quarterback job locked up, but he needs to instill confidence in coaches that he can get the job done if called upon.

McNabb and Grossman are different types of quarterbacks, so the rest of the offense is going to have to adjust to their style of play as well.


With Kareem Moore sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a knee injury, Reed Doughty steps in at free safety. Doughty has played mostly strong safety in recent years, but he has had reps at both positions.

Doughty is a consummate professional and is always prepared, but don't be surprised if the Jets target his area of the field in the passing game.

Doughty was targeted on a handful of pass plays in the Ravens game last week after he replaced Moore. It appeared he was not able to get over quickly enough to help coverage on a pair of consecutive passes to wide receiver Donte Stallworth.

While Moore mends, other NFL teams -- in particular the Dallas Cowboys, the Redskins' Week 1 opponent -- will certainly be watching how Doughty performs for clues on how to attack the Redskins' pass defense.


Want a young player to keep an eye on in the second half? Linebacker Robert Henson has impressed in his second season in the NFL.

Henson admitted that learning the Redskins' new 3-4 defense was a challenge last offseason. Once the preseason games kicked off, he emerged as an active presence at inside linebacker.

Henson has posted six tackles and one sack in two games. He also leads the Redskins in special teams tackles with three.

What's more, Henson is playing with surprising confidence. He won't beat out London Fletcher or Rocky McIntosh for playing time, but if he can continue to excel on special teams, then he should earn himself a roster spot.

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