Finally, the players of the Ravens will be able to take their frustrations out on players wearing another uniform. After two weeks of pounding each other Raven players on both sides of the ball are more then ready to see how they fare against other NFL teams. Believe me this is a common feeling among nearly all of the Ravens players, and I'm sure of the Redskins players as well.
Being the 1st preseason game don't expect to see the starting units of either the offense or defense to play more then 2 series. Also don't expect to see Derrick Mason who recently dislocated a finger, or Demetrius Williams who has a nagging hamstring injury. What you will want to concentrate on is the play of receivers Justin Harper, Kelley Washington, and Ernie Wheelright. You'll also want to see what L.J. Smith can do, especially if the team gets into the Red Zone.
Keep an eye on Tavaras Gooden, Jameel McLain , Paul Kruger, and Presscott Burgess. All of these players are fighting to either make the team or land a starting spot. On offense it will be interesting to see what running backs Ray Rice, who has bulked up a bit since last season, Jalen Parmele, Matt Lawrence, and Cedric Peerman can do. You will only see a few carries of Willis McGahee, LeRon mcLain and Rice, so the evaluation will be on the rest.
I'm also curious to see how well rookie right tackle Michael Oher will do against the Redskins left defensive end Phillip Daniels, a veteran who may show Oher a couple things he's never seen before.
Another contest of interest will be the kicking battle between Steve Hauschka and Graham Gano. I'm guessing each will get one half to do kickoffs and field goal attempts and so far in training camp the two have been fairly even, with Hauschka perhaps having a slight edge.
It will be good to finally see some football on television, as being a season ticket holder I can't go to the game because getting up at 6:00 in the morning isn't compatible with getting home around 2:30 P.M. But we'll all be there in spirit, yelling at the television and feeling our hearts skip a few beats at times. That is the passion of football, you have to live it to understand it.