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Third Preseason Game Serving As Tune-Up For The Starters


For what will likely be their last game action before the season starts, the first-team offensive and defensive units will see a lot of playing time against the Bills.

It's well known that the third preseason game is the closest NFL teams get to showing off what the regular season may hold.

The Washington Redskins will be treating it no differently when they face the Buffalo Bills Friday evening at FedExField.

The team is planning on taking advantage of the game to give the majority of the starters at least a half to play. The chance for these players to get increased time on the field is good preparation for the endurance required in the season to come.

"It is a great opportunity for them," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "I think the big thing is just getting themselves mentally ready to play, coming out of the locker room, see what kind of stamina they have to play more than four or five plays. It is a grind."

With the starters not participating much in the opening two preseason games, the anticipation has been building for many to finally get an opportunity out on the field.

"I'm very excited," cornerback Greg Toler said. "Third game, usually you play a little more, get a little more rhythm, show a little more what we have in store for the season and this year. Definitely excited, our coaches are putting together a great game plan, Buffalo's a great team, so we just have to go out there and execute plays that come our way."

The number of snaps that both the first team offense and defense will play is to be determined by the play count, according to Gruden, with the team aiming to see both sides of the ball on the field for extended periods of time.

"I'd like to see the defense out there seven, eight plays in a row, offense try to get a drive together where they are out there seven, eight plays in a row, see where we are stamina-wise," Gruden said. "The results are what they are, but the big thing is to try to get in a rhythm, both sides of the ball work on our communication."

While the game is a good opportunity for the players expected out on the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers to open the season on Monday, Sept. 12 to get playing time, it is still very much so a chance for those lower on the depth chart to make a case for themselves.

It also gives the starters one final tune-up opportunity.

"I feel very ready and then more importantly is the fact that we have this entire week to get ready like a normal rhythm to a game week," quarterback Kirk Cousins said. "So those two things I think gets you about as prepared as you can."

With the regular season closely approaching, the energy is building, but even with what's ahead the opportunity Friday is not being overlooked.

"I'm excited to go out there," David Bruton Jr. said. "Play with the guys, at least a half, and see what we can do when we got everyone out there"

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