Observations and Insights from the Pats Preseason Win

Rookie running back Ralph Webb was impressive

Perhaps, the best thing that can be said about the Pats preseason game against the Washington Redskins Thursday night is that it ended without any major injuries. There was no Tom Brady and no Rob Gronkowski. To quote Bill Belichick, the best Pats players were ERW - Eat, Ride and Warm-up. Tom Brady was given an extra five million in incentives on his contract to increase his pay to $20 million. He needed incentives to stay tuned in to this game.

Former Pats OL Sebastian Vollmer was broadcasting the game in German. It might have been more exciting to listen to the German broadcast than the American broadcast. At least, one could laugh at the German. Volmer looks good with a strong beard and has lost a significant amount of weight since he played. Somehow, there can't be a large audience in Germany at 3:00 am for a Pats preseason game. Some Pats fan in Germany were likely glad to hear from the former offensive lineman who once caught a punt to end practice.

Former Washington Redskins QB Doug Williams, who now works with the team, was in the press box. Williams was the first black QB to win a Super Bowl in 1987 when the Redskins beat the Denver Broncos in a blowout.

10 Observations

Sony Michel, Marcus Cannon, Trey Flowers, Rex Burkhead, Kenny Britt, Brian Schwenke and Jason King were not seen at Gillette Stadium.

Brian Hoyer looks like Brian Hoyer. If Brady is injured, the Pats will have a serviceable QB with almost no mobility who has decent accuracy and a good understanding of the offense.

Count me as one who is still concerned about the Pats receiving core. Eric Decker looked slow Thursday Night and had trouble getting separation from receivers in limited action. Chris Hogan is just another receiver and Edelman will miss the first four games and will likely take some time to adjust after he missed all of last season with an ACL tear. Cordarrelle Patterson had limited impact Thursday Night with only two catches for 38 yards. He played late in the game and could struggle to make the transition from returner to receiver. Rookie Devin Lucien had the most catches of any reciever with four for 71 yards.

Bill Belichick will not be happy with Danny Etling who had a botched fumble on his first series that led to a Redskins recovery.

​Bill Belichick is likely still trying to figure out what combinations to use in the front seven. His two best players are Flowers and Dont'a Hightower. But Hightower has had significant knee issues and has missed significant time in his career.

RB Ralph Webb, rookie from Vanderbilt, had an impressive performance with 14 carries for 46 yards and two touchdowns. He will likely compete for the last running back spot. James White, Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel should be locks to make the roster. Mike Gillislee and Jeremy Hill will compete for another roster spot. Webb could make the team if he can contribute on special teams.

Bill Belichick will likely give Hightower extended reps in preseason to get him used to game action. Hightower played in only five games last year.

​Ryan Allen punted well and backup Cory Bojorquez did not punt at all. Don't write the Allen obituary just yet.

​A foreign country heard from with Geneo Grissom having a strip sack and galloping down the field to the one yard line. The Pats scored on the subsequent possession.

​A great gesture by Pats owner Robert Kraft to have a moment of silence for Michael Chesna - the Weymouth Police Officer who was killed last month in the line of duty. The Chesna family was on the field for the moment of silence. Kraft has given a large amount of money to the family.