The Washington Redskins beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in lopsided fashion, 30-3, on Aug. 29 in Game Four of the 2012 National Football League (NFL) preseason at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

The fourth and final game of NFL preseason play is always the most boring game to watch because starters typically don’t play. Most head coaches don’t want to see any of their best players getting injured in the last of the meaningless games, so they bench their starters and sometimes even the second-string players, while letting third-string players and everyone else still fighting for a roster spot play the entire game. It’s a chance for the coaching staff to get a final evaluation of players they may still be on the fence about as far as whether or not they should keep them or release them from the team.

One player for the Redskins that may have made a good case for why the coaching staff may want to keep him around was Richard Crawford, a defensive back who was taken in the seventh round of this past year’s NFL draft. Crawford made an impressive interception against the Buccaneers, his second interception recorded this preseason. Still, Crawford told reporters he still doesn’t feel like he’s safe from being cut.

“I’m new to this business, so I don’t really have a confidence level,” Crawford said to the media after the game. “I’ll be by my phone tomorrow and see what happens.”

Another backup player, running back Roy Helu Jr., also had an impressive showing against the Bucs. Helu had started some games for the Redskins last season when other players ahead of him in the lineup went down with injuries. But this summer, Helu dealt with an injury of his own, causing him to miss action earlier in the preseason. He showed he could still carry the load though against Tampa Bay, rushing for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins, currently the third-string quarterback for the Redskins, started the game against Tampa and completed 15 of 27 passes for 227 yards and threw an interception.

The only starter for Washington that played Aug. 29 was new kicker Billy Cundiff, who was quickly picked up by the Redskins after being cut less than a week ago by the Baltimore Ravens. Cundiff converted three field goals against Tampa Bay, including a 39-yarder. But he also proved why it may have been wise for Baltimore to cut him as he missed a 46-yarder wide-right that caused the Skins crowd to boo him. But Cundiff is still confident he’ll kick well in his new home in Washington.

“It’s a different environment, and to be honest with you, I think it’s a good thing because they expect perfection,” Cundiff said. “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.”

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan told reporters he also feels Cundiff will kick well this coming regular season.

“Obviously, he would like to be 100 percent,” Shanahan said. “But he was 3-for-4, and hopefully he’ll be 4-for-4 once we get to the season.”


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor