Two of the bright spots in Friday night's 29-17 defeat to the Broncos were young receivers Simmie Cobbs Jr. and Darvin Kidsy. They didn't play too many snaps, but when their numbers were called late in the second half, they impressed, making sure their jerseys were visible in the end zone.
After failing to score a touchdown for the first three quarters, quarterback Kevin Hogan came in with the third stringers and provided a late spark. That began with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Cobbs, the Indiana Hoosier, who knew he had to make a play and breathe life back into FedExField.
"I just heard the play-call, and every time I'm out there I think I'm going to get the ball," Cobbs said. "In my mind I was like 'it's gotta be coming, it's gotta be coming.' The whole entire game they had been playing two-man [coverage], and I hit him with the outside step and I saw that he jumped for it so I knew that if I got back inside and stacked him, it would be a good shot, and [Kevin] Hogan put it right where it needed to be so it was just a great play. We were down, and it gave us momentum, and I was just telling myself the whole time that I needed to make this play."
Cobbs, who celebrated his birthday the next day, said he planned to be with his family, which made the trek from his hometown in Oak Park, Ill., to see him play. The question of the night however, was who gets to the keep his touchdown ball.
"I'm going to let them take it home, because otherwise I'll misplace it somehow… I always lose things," he said.
Kidsy led the team in receptions (3) and receiving yards (50), coming down with a 40-yard pass that took the Redskins into Broncos territory and kickstarted the offense in the fourth quarter. He followed Cobbs' first touchdown grab with a four-yard score himself in the last minute of the game.
The two young receivers were the only Redskins to score touchdowns in the contest, and Paul Richardson Jr., amongst others, took notice.
"I'm extremely proud of them," Richardson said. "I told them to keep their jerseys and I'm going to take care of it. I'm happy about how they were able to go out and perform for their families and themselves you know what I'm saying. They're trying to put food on their family's tables. The game was out of reach at the end, but they're still playing like they have a chance. That's what you want to see out of those young men. They were just in college. So for them to keep playing literally until the last seconds of the game, I'm really happy – honored to have them in my room."
While Richardson recognizes that youth can be a factor in players' slow acclimation, Cobbs is doing everything in his power to minimize transitional setbacks.
"It's definitely a big transition from college, because you're in on the majority of the plays," said Cobbs, who didn't enter the game until the second half. "You have to learn how to maintain that focus, maintain that energy, and know that when you're out there, they're expecting the same amount of effort and energy as if you were starting. When I'm not out there I'm paying attention to the coverages, I'm watching the other receivers seeing what kind of moves they're working, so it's just a learning process at that point – then trying to apply it once I get out there."
Kidsy has also had a good camp, followed by even better preseason performances throughout three games. As he looks to secure a roster spot this week, he recognizes that it's his incremental progress that'll get him through.
"I've been showing the coaches since I got here" he said. "Just doing my job, showing that I'm reliable and dependable, making sure that they feel good about putting me on the field and making sure that I do my job as well."