Smith taking demotion in stride

With organizations more interested in evaluating talent, implementing new schemes and staying healthy, it's understandable if the average fan doesn't catch many preseason games. However, the development of young players, the emergence of rookies and the play of certain veterans at this time of year can have an impact on a team's fortunes. Here are some observations from this year's preseason.

• Playing with consistency can mean the difference between winning and losing. Young players often have a hard time playing at the same level on every snap. Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers provided an excellent example of this in Washington's 24-17 loss to Cincinnati. While Rogers returned an interception 30 yards, he was beaten deep on consecutive plays later in the first half. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes to blitz, so Rogers has to do a better job of preventing the big play when left on an island.

Redskins QB Patrick Ramsey also struggled with his consistency. Ramsey made a gutsy throw over the middle resulting in a 25-yard touchdown pass, but later made a poor decision inside the red zone that resulted in Tory James' picking off a pass.