Battle of backups: Redskins top Buccaneers 30-3By JOSEPH WHITE, AP Sports Writer Thursday, Aug 30, 2012
A 47-yard catch. A 43-yard run. A 22-yard punt return. Of course, there was also a bobbled punt, a botched handoff and a dropped pass in Wednesday night’s 30-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Yet Banks claims he won’t be anxious on Friday, when NFL rosters must be trimmed to 53 players.
“Naw, I think I put enough on film that I’ll still have a job somewhere,” Banks said. “If not here, somewhere else.”
For what it’s worth, the game proved that the backups from the consensus last-place Redskins are much better than the backups from the consensus last-place Bucs. With head coaches Mike Shanahan and Greg Schiano resting nearly all of their offensive and defensive starters, the players further down the depth chart vied for jobs before a modest crowd.
“I left it all out there,” said Tampa Bay receiver Tiquan Underwood, who had six catches for 82 yards and has been cut six times by other teams since being drafted in 2009. “I’m just leaving it in God’s hands and in the coach’s hands. I went out there and played my heart out.”
Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster returned from injuries to account for all three of Washington’s touchdowns. Helu ran for 90 yards and two scores after missing two games with a sore Achilles, while Royster ran for 44 yards and a TD after missing last week’s game with a sore right knee.
No. 2 overall draft pick Robert Griffin III was declared the Redskins starting quarterback before training camp, so the Heisman Trophy winner ran with the other inactive first-teamers on the field before the game. He then watched fourth-round selection Kirk Cousins play into the third quarter and complete 15 of 27 passes for 222 yards and an interception.
Brett Ratliff, third on the depth chart behind Josh Freeman and Dan Orlovsky, played the entire game for the Buccaneers and completed 14 of 30 passes for 164 yards and three interceptions. He was sacked five times.
Tampa Bay undrafted rookie defensive back Sean Baker, with two interceptions and a fumble recovery, also left an impression.
“Hopefully, a good one,” Baker said. “I came out since Day One, and I’ve been busting my tail.”
The only first-stringer featured prominently was Billy Cundiff, who made three of four field goal attempts on his first full day with the Redskins.
Signed Tuesday after Washington cut Graham Gano, Cundiff converted from 39, 27 and 22 yards and got some grief from the crowd when he sliced one wide right from 46.
“It’s good to be back in the NFC East, where they boo the home team,” said Cundiff, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. “It reminds me of my days in Dallas. It’s a different environment, and to be honest with you, I think it’s a good thing because they expect perfection. And even though perfection is unattainable, if you try to be perfect and you come pretty close, you’re going to have a really good season.”
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