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  • Redskins Quiet on Day One of Free Agency

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    The Redskins showed a newfound level of maturity and restraint (albeit forced because of the cap penalty) and laid low as the Miami Dolphins took center stage on the first day of the new league year.

    Washington engaged in a less reactionary approach and focused more on taking care of their own, re-signing punter Sav Rocca to a two-year deal and defensive lineman Kedric Golston to a three-year deal.

    The big news of the day came from J.R. Rickert, the agent for special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander, saying he was one of three clients finding new homes.

    Alexander’s departure creates a void in special teams coverage and team leadership but the Redskins have more pressing needs in the secondary and have a limited number of resources. Had Washington not had a cap penalty, it’s a safe bet Alexander would be wearing burgundy and gold in 2013.

    Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports tweeted that former Dolphins and Saints running back Reggie Bush leaves his visit in Detroit without a contract, then visits with the Cardinals, Redskins and Bengals would be next. Bush would be an interesting addition as a change-of-pace back to compliment Alfred Morris but he would either have to take a nice pay cut to join the Redskins or the team would have to restructure more contracts or release more players, neither of which don’t appear imminent at this time.

    The Redskins did lose out on a cornerback target in former Cardinal Greg Toler when he quickly signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

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    Redskins Actively Prepare For Free Agency

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    While battling the second half of their $36 million cap penalty that was imposed on free agency eve last year, the Redskins were still able to retain six of their own free agents and sign a veteran offensive lineman. To make those moves happen, they had to let go of the best member of their secondary and restructure another veteran’s contract.

    The action began Saturday when Washington re-signed three restricted free agents: tight end Logan Paulsen (three-year deal); fullback Darrel Young (three-years, $6.2 million); and linebacker Rob Jackson (one-year deal). News broke at the end of the night that unrestricted free agent guard Kory Lichtensteiger would return on a five-year deal.

    On Sunday, the Redskins retained RFA long snapper Nick Sundberg to for four more seasons.

    The movement continued to pick up Monday when RFA nose tackle Chris Baker was re-signed to a one year, $1.3 million right-of-first refusal tender. Reports also stated that the team’s final RFA, wide receiver/kick returner Brandon Banks, would not be offered a contract and will likely not return.

    To lessen their financial woes, the team released cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who would have cost $8 million against the salary cap. Defensive lineman Adam Carriker, who was reportedly a candidate to be released, restructured his contract that he signed on the first day of free agency last year.

    Wide receiver Santana Moss is also reportedly another candidate for a restructured contract or an outright release. Head coach Mike Shanahan said during a press conference Monday that linebacker London Fletcher is not going to be asked to restructure his contract.

    Also on Monday, the Redskins officially announced the signing of veteran offensive tackle Tony Pashos after days of speculation. The team was interested in him three years ago but he chose to sign with the Cleveland Browns.

    Desperate for secondary help and looking at a deep crop of cornerbacks, various reports have indicated Washington has expressed interest in Jacksonville’s Derek Cox, San Diego’s Antoine Cason, Miami’s Sean Smith, Arizona’s Greg Toler, and New England’s Aqib Talib. Cason was drafted by former Chargers general manager, who was recently named a senior executive with the Redskins. Talib was drafted in 2008 by Redskins general manager Bruce Allen and defensive backs coach Raheem Morris while both were in Tampa Bay.

    The Redskins are also interested in Texans offensive tackle Ryan Harris, who Shanahan drafted while in Denver, according to WUSA9’s Kevin Jones.

    The Redskins are now an estimated $1 million under the salary cap heading into the start of free agency at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

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    Interview with Doc Walker: Part 3

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    In our third and final installment of our Doc Walker interview, he explains whether Chris Cooley will return to the burgundy and gold, gives extremely high praise to Trent Williams, talks about his relationship with Brian Mitchell, and the dynamic of working for a company owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

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    Interview with Doc Walker: Part 2

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    In Part 2 of our interview, we continue where we left off. Doc gives his thoughts on if the Redskins have a chance of recouping some of the lost cap money and evaluates the tight ends not named Cooley. Walker also explains how the Redskins will prevent a sophomore slump for Robert Griffin III and gives his bold prediction on how Alfred Morris will do in 2013.

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    Interview with Doc Walker: Part 1

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    The University of Maryland hosted a sports injury symposium at Knight Hall Wednesday night titled “Sports Injuries: the Risks of Playing the Game from Kids to the Pros.” Among those in attendance were Dr. Stephen Haas, a retired physician for the Wizards, Capitals and Nationals, Sean Sansiveri, NFL Players Association Staff Council; Scott Hallenbeck, Executive Director of USA Football; Katie O’Donnell, 2009 National Field Hockey player of the Year from the University of Maryland; Mark Hyman, author of “Until it Hurts” and adjunct professor at George Washington University; and former Washington Redskins tight end and current ESPN 980 and Comcast SportsNet media personality, Rick “Doc” Walker.

    Following the event, I had the chance to speak with Doc about a wide range of topics. In the first of a three-part interview series, Doc talks about his post-career injuries, the Catch-22 that NFL players face with concussions and job security, expanding NFL rosters, his dislike of the Scouting Combine, and whether the 49ers should trade for Darelle Revis.

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    End of an Institution – The Hogettes Disband

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    After 30 years of dedication and unabashed support, the super fan group The Hogettes are disbanding. The decision was made by Michael Torbert, known as Boss Hogette.

    Widely recognized for their hog noses and dresses, The Hogettes were formed in support of the Redskins famous, dominant offensive line from the called The Hogs. From there, the group’s popularity grew immensely and became engrained in Redskins society. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Redskins Brace For Seattle Showdown

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    For the first time in 13 years, the Redskins won the NFC East and are preparing to host a playoff game at FedEx Field.

    Following a memorable 28-18 victory over the archrival Dallas Cowboys last week that capped off their longest winning streak since 1996, the Redskins seek to avenge a postseason nemesis that has haunted them twice in the past seven seasons.

    In 2005, the Redskins reeled off five straight victories to close out a 10-6 regular season. With very little offensive production, they were able to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road in the Wild Card round. Washington then traveled to take on the Seattle Seahawks and their vaunted “12th Man.” The Redskins came up short, losing 20-10.

    Just two years later, riding a wave of emotion and a four game winning streak following the death of beloved safety Sean Taylor, the Redskins again headed into Seattle. This time, Washington fell 35-13.

    This time around, the Redskins dropped to 3-6 and were set to look ahead to the 2013 season. Seven games later, led by rookie superstar Robert Griffin III and rookie surprise Alfred Morris, the Redskins have captured a division title and get to host the dreaded Seahawks at FedEx Field.

    The Redskins won four of the last seven games at home and were 5-3 in Landover this season, their first winning home record since 2007.

    Seahawks fans are known for providing a home-field advantage for Seattle. This year was no different, as they posted an 8-0 record at CenturyLink Field. Washington’s fans have been a factor in recent home wins, helping garner a home-field advantage that hasn’t been around for years. The Redskins are 13-3 all-time in home playoff games and the Seahawks have not won a road playoff game in 29 years.

    Enthusiasm surrounding the Redskins has been fueled by the dynamic Griffin, who finally gets to showcase his talents on the same field as another talented rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson.

    Griffin, Morris and Wilson are all in the discussion for rookie of the year and for good reason. Griffin ran for more yards than any rookie quarterback in league history, surpassing Cam Newton’s phenomenal 2011 campaign. Griffin threw for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions and broke a rookie record with a 102.4 passer rating. Morris first made himself noticed in the preseason after being selected as a sixth-round pick from Florida Atlantic. But no one predicted he would rush for 1,613 and 13 touchdowns and break the Redskins single-season rushing record. Wilson, less-heralded than Griffin but more highly touted than Morris, was drafted in the third round and threw for 3,118 yards, 26 touchdowns and finished the season with a 100.0 passer rating.

    All eyes will be on Wilson and Griffin Sunday. For Wilson, it will be to see if he can earn the respect of the D.C. audience and for Griffin, it will be to see if he can overcome the limitations his knee brace provides him.

    Seattle comes to Washington boasting the NFL’s top-ranked scoring defense, only allowing 15.3 points per game. They are also 10th in the league in run defense, only allowing 103.1 yards per game on the ground. It will make for an interesting matchup against the Redskins, who own the league’s top rushing offense, averaging 169.3 yards per game.

    On offense, the Seahawks have dominated in the last four weeks, outscoring their opponents 170-43. Running back Marshawn Lynch has run for 10 touchdowns and is third in the NFL with 1,590 rushing yards, behind only Morris and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson. Seattle’s offense will provide a strong test for a Redskins defense that was on pace to surpass the NFL’s yards-allowed record but have stiffened up over the course of the second half of the season.

    The Redskins will also need to contain explosive returner Leon Washington on special teams. He could become an X-factor in the blink of an eye.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

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    Redskins Continue Playoff Push, Win Sixth Straight

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    It was a day of firsts for the Redskins as they forged ahead with a 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

    The Redskins now maintain sole possession of first place in the NFC East after Week 16 for the first time since 1999. They have won six straight regular season games for the first time since 1996 and have won six overall for the first time since 2005 when they won their final five regular season games and a wild card playoff matchup.

    Robert Griffin III made his first start since missing last week’s 38-21 win in Cleveland while resting a right knee sprain. He posted a passer rating of 100 or more in a division game for the fifth time this season and reached the 20 touchdown and 3,000 passing yards milestones against Philadelphia.

    The Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate was aided by rookie running back Alfred Morris and wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss.

    Morris ran for 91 yards against the Eagles, marking his eighth 90-yard game in what has become the best season of any rookie running back in team history. Garcon led the team with seven receptions for 89 yards while Moss caught his eighth touchdown of the season.

    Kicker Kai Forbath connected on two field goals, making him 17-for-17 on the season, an NFL record to start a career.

    Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan was around the football all day, recording five tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble. Fellow linebacker London Fletcher notched his team-leading fifth interception in the second quarter, resulting in a Josh Morgan touchdown on the ensuing drive that put the Redskins up for good.

    The Redskins enter Week 17 preparing for arguably the most anticipated game at FedEx Field since the 2000 Wild Card game against the Detroit Lions.

    At 9-6, the Redskins hold the NFC East division title in their own hands. A victory over the Dallas Cowboys next will secure the Redskins a home playoff game for the first time in 13 years.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

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    Remembering Sean Taylor – A Father’s Retrospective

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    Five years ago today, the Washington Redskins suffered a tragic loss when Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor died of a gunshot wound at the age of 24.

    The news came as a shock and took a lot of time to accept for many people in the D.C. and Miami areas.

    For Sean’s father, Pete Taylor, faith helped guide him through the acceptance process.

    “As a father,” Taylor says, “you still deal with it in a private setting and you respect and honor what God has done and know he makes no mistakes.”

    Taylor will honor his son today in Miami: “One of the things I’ll do is I’ll go out and revisit his grave site and be there for a little bit,” he said. “[I will] clean it up and make sure everything looks good and tight-knit.”

    Sean’s tombstone aptly features artwork of the 2004 first-round draft pick breaking up a pass and flipping a Dallas Cowboy player in midair. The design is indicative of how Sean played: fearless and unrelenting. One of the most feared players during his three and a half years in the National Football League, Taylor was known for delivering bone-crushing hits and highlight reel turnovers.

    In the five years since his death, the NFL has changed drastically. The level of data and knowledge about concussions and potential brain damage caused from playing football have dramatically altered how the game is now played.

    Helmet-to-helmet hits are being penalized at a more frequent rate. Players are now fined and suspended for plays that would have never been deemed “illegal” decades ago.

    Looking back on Sean’s hard-hitting style of play and the rate of concussions accrued during an NFL season, it begs the question: would he have been allowed to play youth football with the wide breadth of knowledge provided to the public now?

    “Yes,” Pete Taylor said. “I would have kept him playing football. I think it’s a great sport. It’s a great outlet for kids to have fun.”

    The reason, Taylor says, is because, along with the advancement of concussion data, there has also been an improvement in football equipment over the years.

    “I think the most important thing is they’re starting to change the game as far as the helmets are concerned and making sure you don’t lead with the helmet.”

    Initially known for his reckless style on the field, Taylor had evolved into a more polished player with well-timed hits and a better eye for the ball at the end of his career. As he matured on the field, teammates and coaches noticed a maturation process off the field as well.

    Having faced trouble early on, Taylor turned his attention to his family as his career progressed.
    When his daughter Jackie was born, it marked a turning point in Sean’s life.

    Now six years old, Pete says Jackie is playing soccer and just simply enjoys being a kid. Whether it’s her smile, long legs, or never-ending desire to be on the move and run, Jackie’s traits stand out to her grandfather because they resemble Sean so much.

    “She’s just funny,” Taylor said. “Jackie’s a sweet kid. We have great times together.”

    When Sean was Jackie’s age, Pete had hoped the advice he taught him would sink in and be carried on as he grew up. He learned after his son’s death, just how much Sean did, in fact, listen.

    “Growing up,” Taylor said, “sometimes you think that you impart wisdom to kids and tell them things such as ‘Never forget young kids’ dreams’ [and] ‘Always respect your elders.’ Those kinds of things you think that they forget but they don’t.”

    Taylor enjoyed people “telling a testimony of how Sean took off a jersey and threw it to [them]… or when [their] kid was standing in line for autographs, how Sean waited to make sure all those kids had an autograph.”

    Knowing that Sean never forgot where he came from provides a very rewarding feeling, Pete said.

    Sean’s roots as an athlete trace back to his time as a star football player in his local Pop Warner league. In his native Dade County, Sean’s legacy lives on through the Sean Taylor Football Classic, which pits the top local Pop Warner teams, which range from 90 pounds to 160 pounds, against each other. The winners are awarded a Sean Taylor trophy and the event helps keep his memory alive.

    Another honor bestowed upon Taylor was his induction as a member of the 80 Greatest Redskins earlier this year.

    Accepting the award on Sean’s behalf was Pete, who took in a whole weekend of festivities featuring an alumni gala and a ceremony during halftime of the Panthers game on Nov 4.

    “I had a great time,” Taylor said. “It was a great honor. Larry (Michael) did a good job in bringing out Sean on that last video. That really touched me.”

    Even though Sean is no longer playing for the Redskins, Pete says he continues to keep track of the team.

    “I always told Mr. Snyder I want to be a part of the organization,” he said. “I continue to watch what they’re doing. I’m very interested in that team because my son played there. It’s his first NFL team and will always be dear to me.”

    “I really love the Redskins,” he said. “I really love what’s happening with them. I’m just a Washington Redskins fanatic right now.”

    Pete enjoyed watching all of the Thanksgiving game against the Cowboys. He doesn’t have a favorite player but did mention that he likes what their prized free agent wide receiver has brought to the team when healthy.

    “I think [Pierre] Garcon coming back was great,” he said. “It was a spark they maybe needed to open up the offense.”

    He tries to attend one or two games a year at FedEx Field. Having already attended the Panthers game, he hopes to make it to one more game this year, possibly the season finale against the Cowboys.

    Pete Taylor obviously has not forgotten the Washington Redskins.

    It’s only fitting considering that his son will always be remembered in the annals of Washington Redskins lore.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

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    Vote YES for Question 10

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    As a Marylander who lives in close proximity to Washington D.C., politics are unavoidable for me, especially when election time rolls around. These days, Marylanders are urged to vote for Question 7, Question 4, etc. Being inundated with political commercials is a quick way to ruin one’s football-watching experience. Read the rest of this entry »

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