O-line manhandled by Ravens in scrimmage

BALTIMORE -- Here are five observations on the Washington Redskins, based on their Aug. 6 scrimmage with the Baltimore Ravens:

1. Yo, attention Redskins offensive linemen. Here's an important public service announcement: That newfangled pass rush the Ravens' defense was using Saturday afternoon is known as a blitz. Comes from the German for blitzkrieg and, from the looks of it, the Redskins' blockers certainly regarded the all-out attack on the pocket as if it was something totally foreign to them. In one 12-play stretch, embattled quarterback Patrick Ramsey was "sacked" (hard not to use the quotation marks when it required just a love-tap on the quarterback to halt the play) four times, including two by cornerback Deion Sanders. We're talking Deion Sanders here, folks, whose 13-year career includes just one sack, and who is more accustomed to knocking down passes than the guys who throw them.
The Redskins' line might try looking up the word "flummoxed" -- the unit won't need a German dictionary for that one, because it's the verb that most aptly describes what occurred in the scrimmage. Granted, starting left tackle Chris Samuels did not play in the "live" part of the two-hour combined workout, and that probably had some effect on the overall performance of the unit. But right tackle Jon Jansen, who missed the 2004 season with an Achilles injury, was back. And the blocking unit, which must have been working on some new protections as part of the much-needed offensive makeover, was supposed to be better in 2005.

For one afternoon, at least, it wasn't. Joe Bugel is one of the premier offensive line coaches in recent history, but this bump is starting to tarnish his glittering reputation, and the dysfunction needs to be addressed if the Redskins are to better their No. 30 statistical ranking of last year. Some of the culpability probably lies with Ramsey, who is trying to assimilate a third different offense in his fourth NFL season, and who sometimes holds the ball too long. That said, Ramsey, who will never be the most nimble-footed quarterback around, could move like Baryshnikov, and might still get buried if the line doesn't get better quickly. It might be unfair to judge the unit on a scrimmage outing, especially since the Ravens ran much more sophisticated stuff than one might expect in such a session. But there is still no excuse for the lack of execution, and even more so, absence of recognition that occurred Saturday afternoon.