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  • THN to Join Pro Football Central Radio Thursday


    Our very own SkinsFreak (a.k.a. Brad Johnson — and no, not THE Brad Johnson) will be joining the cast of Pro Football Central Radio on Thursday to preview the Washington Redskins off-season.

    This blurb is from their web page:

    Pro Football Central Radio Show will be live this Thursday and will provide the best preview/review of the NFC East that you will find anywhere, guranteed. Already confirmed to be joining us live will be reporters from there respective teams, representing the Dallas Cowboys TheDallasCowboys.net , representing the Giants BigBlueInteractive.com , and representing the Redskins TheHogs.net . We will be announcing an Eagles representative very shortly.

    For more information or to listen, please visit them or stay tuned here for more details.

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    Slinging Sammy Passes at 94


    All-time great Sammy Baugh passed away Wednesday night at Fisher County Hospital in Rotan, TX. Baugh was 94, and had reportedly been battling multiple ailments in an assisted-living home.

    Baugh should be in consideration for the greatest quarterback ever. He is considered one of the founding fathers of the modern-day NFL passing game. Baugh was a key cog in the machine that began transforming the National Football League from a regionalized sport known for the violence and brutality that purveyed the game in the thirties. Certainly, this distinction alone should add Baugh to the “Greatest Quarterback Ever” conversation.

    “Slinging Sammy” Baugh, a nickname a Texas sports writer bestowed upon Sammy for his ability to throw the baseball, brings more to the table in this conversation than just the way he changed the game forever. From 1937 to 1952, the 6’3″ Texan was the face of the Washington Redskins – and the un-doing of many unsuspecting opponents.

    Many things were changing for the Washington Redskins in 1937. The owner, George Preston Marshall, moved the team from Boston to Washington before that season. In the midst of all of the turmoil associated with moving the franchise, the team’s first round pick decided that baseball was the way to go, and Sammy Baugh chose the St. Louis Cardinals. It did not take Sammy long, however, to figure out that his inability to hit a curve ball and the prospect of being stuck behind Marty Marion in the organization was a sign that Baugh should be playing football. After signing a $5000 contract with a whopping $500 signing bonus, Baugh wasted no time making a name for himself in the nation’s capital.

    As a tailback in the single-wing and double-wing formations, Baugh was responsible for passing and punting, while wingback Riley Smith handled the play calling duties. Baugh easily made the transition to the NFL as a tailback, having spent 1934-1936 leading the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs to prominence in the college ranks from the same position. In his first season with the Redskins, Baugh not only led the league in passing, but also lead the franchise to its first NFL championship, victimizing the Chicago Bears defense for 335 yards and three touchdown passes, en route to a 28-21 victory. Baugh set the tone early – on the first play from scrimmage as a matter of fact – when he dropped back into his own end zone and connected on a 42-yard strike to Cliff Battles.

    In 1940, the Washington Redskins introduced the T-formation. In this new formation, the quarterback combined the play-calling responsibilities of the wingback, with the passing duties of the tailback. From this new position, Baugh was entrusted with full control of the offense, and Sammy took full advantage.

    From 1940 to 1949, Sammy Baugh led the league in passing an astonishing five times. These five combined with his passing championship from his rookie campaign, brought his career total to six; a feat equaled only by Steve Young. In 162 games, Sammy Baugh went 1693 for 2995 (56.5%) for 21,886 yards and 187 touchdowns. At the time of Baugh’s retirement, he held numerous records, some of which still stand to this day.

    Baugh holds the highest yard-per-catch average for a single game, posting an 18.58 yards-per-catch average (446 yards on 24 completions) against the Boston Patriots on October 31 1948. In 1945, Baugh assembled the sixth best season ever by a quarterback, finishing with a 109.9-passer rating, including a phenomenal 73.3% completion percentage (a mark that went unchallenged until 1982). His five seasons with the lowest interception-per-pass attempt percentage is still the most among NFL quarterbacks.

    Baugh brought the forward pass from its reputation as a desperation play to a bonafide weapon during his 16 years of professional football. His accuracy was uncanny, as was illustrated in his first practice in 1937. As the story goes, Coach Ray Flaherty told the rookie tailback that passing in the NFL required accuracy. Coach Flaherty told Baugh to “hit that receiver in the eye.” The TCU grad replied, “Which eye?”

    This story was widely believed to be a myth; an urban legend created to accentuate the great passing skills that Baugh possessed. It turned out to be true, with Baugh himself confirming the validity of the story to Shirley Povich of the Washington Post in the 90’s.

    In addition to his stellar quarterback play, Slinging Sammy is to this day, one of the greatest punters to ever step on the field. His 51.4 yard average in 1940 is still the highest yards-per-punt average for a season in the history of the NFL – and by the way, the 48.73 yards-per-punt in 1941 is still good for third all-time. Baugh led the league in punting from 1940-1943, the most seasons any one punter has ever led the league, and his career 45.1-yard average is second all-time.

    Aside from passing and punting, Baugh was also one of the greatest defensive backs of his day, still tied for the most interceptions in a single game with 4, albeit with 18 other players. In 1943, Baugh etched his name in stone with an accomplishment unheard of in today’s specialized game of professional football: Baugh led the league in passing (133-239, 1754 yards and 23 touchdowns), punting (50 for 2,295 yards; a 45.9 yard average) and interceptions (11 for 112 yards).

    Baugh also still holds six records in Washington Redskin lore, including most career touchdown passes (187), highest season punting average (51.4) and most interceptions in a game (4). His famous number 33 is the only number officially retired by the Redskins, and his name has become synonymous with excellence and success around Washington.

    Sammy Baugh was one of the greatest football players ever. His passing marks the end of an era. He was the last living member of the 1963 charter class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Washington Redskins fans — and all football fans, for that matter — should take this day to remember the legend and all of his contributions to the game that we all love. Without his legacy, the game would not be what it is today.

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

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    Important Note For Those Attending Tonight’s Caps Game


    I just received this note from the Caps. Anyone attending tonight’s Capitals-Islanders tilt will want to read this:

    Street Closures & Parking Restrictions For 2008 Pageant of Peace.

    (Washington, D.C.) The Metropolitan Police Department has provided the
    following information regarding street closures and parking restrictions
    for the 2008 Pageant of Peace on Thursday, December 4, 2008.  The
    ceremony for the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree is scheduled to
    take place at 5 p.m. on the Ellipse near the White House.  Please note
    the times and locations of the road closures have been amended.
    Amended Road Closures:

    -Beginning at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 4, 2008, and
    in effect until the completion of the ceremonies, there will be no
    traffic allowed northbound or southbound on 15th Street, NW, between E
    Street and Constitution Avenue.

    -Beginning at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 4, 2008, and
    in effect until the completion of the ceremonies there will also be no
    traffic allowed northbound or southbound on 17th Street, NW, between
    Constitution Avenue and New York Avenue.

    Parking Restrictions:
    (These restrictions remain the same as previously released.)

    -From 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 4, there will be no
    parking allowed on 15th Street, NW, between Pennsylvania and
    Constitution Avenues.

    -There will also be no parking allowed during that time on 17th Street,
    NW, between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues.

    These street closings and related parking restrictions are subject to
    change without notice based upon prevailing conditions.

    Traffic delays may occur during this event and motorists should consider
    alternative routes to avoid the area if possible.  The Metropolitan
    Police Department and the Department of Transportation (DDOT) encourage
    motorists to expect increased pedestrian traffic around this event and
    to exercise caution.

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    Early Play-Off Look For Redskins


    Its definitely too early to really make play-off predictions, but Steve Wyche did so any way. There’s no real surprise information here. Obviously, he has the Giants, Panthers and Cardinals as locks, since all three of these teams are the class of their division, at least as it presently looks in the standings. He also lists Tampa Bay as being “In good standing.” Again, no surprise. They are 7-3 and playing pretty good football. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Vote The Redskins Ticket Surprisingly Effective


    For anyone living in a cave in the DC area, or those who aren’t quite as lucky to live close the their favorite team, the Washington Redskins have been putting on a rather subtle campaign to put as many of the Burgundy and Gold in the Pro Bowl this year as possible.  Let’s just say that, at least as far as the fan voting is concerned, its working.

    As of November 18, the Redskins boasted four of the top ten overall vote getters. Clinton Portis is second behind only Drew Brees with more than 450,000 votes. Following Portis, Chris Cooley, Santana Moss and Jason Campbell are fifth, sixth and ninth respectively. Now let’s break down the individual positions for the NFC squad: Read the rest of this entry »

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    The Fifth Quarter: Farewell Texas Stadium


    Once again, the Washington Redskins silenced the critics winning the “unwinnable” against the “best team in football” in their house, something they were told all week they had no chance to do. The Redskins downed the Dallas Cowboys in their final visit to Texas Stadium, 26-24.

    Passing Offense

    Santana Moss continued his dominance against the rival Cowboys with 8 catches for 145 yards. He never found pay dirt, although at least once and probably twice, a better throw would have put him in the end zone. That’s not to say the Jason Campbell had a bad game. Those throws were under duress, and Campbell showed the poise and leadership that Joe Gibbs and Vinny Cerrato liked enough to trade a boatload of picks to move up in the draft to select him. His 20-for-31, 231-yard performance was enough for a 108.4 passer rating, and his two touchdowns — one to unlikely hero James Thrash and one to Antwaan Randle-El — were enough to get the job done against a tough Dallas defense. The pass blocking was very good.

    4 quarters

    Rushing Offense

    Once. That’s how many times Clinton Portis has eclipsed the 100-yard mark at Texas Stadium. That one time was last night. Portis was outstanding, as were the reunited right side of the offensive line with Jon Jansen replacing the injured Stephon Heyer. By the fourth quarter, it appeared that the Dallas front seven wanted no part of Portis, Mike Sellers or the offensive line, as Portis and Betts combined for 54 yards rushing in the fourth quarter, accounting for 9:07 of the 15 minutes, just over 60%. In a game where the Redskins dominated the time of possession by more than 16 minutes, that is pretty significant.

    4 quarters

    Defense

    The defense was outstanding. Chris Horton added another pick, adding to his growing reputation as a ball hawk and a playmaker. He also continued to play physical ball, and looks to be really catching on to the defense as a whole. He still has a way to go, but he’s getting there fast. It wasn’t just Horton, though. The entire secondary really stepped up to the plate against a team with one of the most potent passing attacks in the game. Shawn Springs beat up on T.O. at every opportunity. Carlos Rogers played his normal physical game and Smoot played with heart. This freed up the rest of the defense to really shutdown Marion Barber. While it wasn’t as good as holding Barber to 1 yard like last year, 26 yards is pretty darn good.

    4 quarters

    Special Teams

    The punting was pretty good. Durant Brooks seems to be settling in well. He only punted 4 times, but two of them pinned the Cowboys inside the 20-yard line, and he boomed a 60-yarder when called upon. In addition, his holding on field goals has improved ten-fold. That contributed to Shaun Suisham’s 4-for-4 day, giving the Redskins points when they really needed them to stave off the Cowboy attack. While 4 touchdowns would have been better, the team really needs those points when they can’t punch it in, and Suisham showed up today.

    As for punt returns, Antwaan Randle-El has a decent game, averaging just over 10 yards per return on his 4 attempts, while their counterparts on punt coverage held Pacman Jones to a paltry 4.7-yards per return. Rock Cartwright continued to play well in his role as kick returner, gaining 71 yards on just three run-backs, including a 30-yard scamper. His 23.7-yard average was more than 10 yards per return better than his counterpart Felix Jones, whom the Redskins kick coverage unit held to 54 yards on 4 attempts.

    4 quarters

    Coaching

    Jim Zorn continues to establish himself as an outstanding play caller. When you think run, he passes. When you think pass, he runs it. But above and beyond that is the work he’s done with Jason Campbell. Few doubted the raw tools that Campbell brings to the table, but the confidence and poise with which he has played in these last three games (the first three-game winning streak of his NFL career) can be attributed directly to the work he and Zorn have put in together. Campbell seemed to always be worried about making a mistake, but Zorn has instilled the tools and confidence in the young signal caller to allow him to stop worrying about mistakes and start worrying about making a quick decision and then making a play. On the other side of the ball, Greg Blache had the defense fired up and ready to go against the vaunted Cowboys offense, and as a result, Dallas had its worst offensive performance of the season.

    4 quarters

    Unfortunately for the Skins, they’ve got another tough one next weekend in the Philadelphia Eagles. They are coming off a tough loss against the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football and will be fired up, hungry and looking to avenge themselves at the Redskins’ expense. A big x-factor will be the health of perennial all-pro running back Brian Westbrook. The good news for the Skins is that with this week’s win, they will be either 4-1 or 3-2 going into a more palatable portion of their schedule, when they will take on the hapless Rams, the struggling Browns (both at home) and then travel to Detroit to take on the Lions. Here’s hoping the Redskins continue to play with the chip on their shoulder that they are playing with now.

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

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    Redskins Haiku’s: Dallas Week


    If you are unfamiliar with Hiaku’s check out the link in BossHog’s first Haiku blog.

    Here’s a few to get us started.

    The season is young
    The Zornskins are 2 and 1
    Get em air cowpukes

    Tony Romo’s good
    at least when its september
    playoffs — not so much

    T. O. can make plays
    but not if he’s on his butt
    Dirty Thirty time.

    It is Dallas Week
    Time to throw out the records
    and watch a slugfest

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    Caps Start Strong, Can Canes 4-1


    The Washington Capitals opened the ’08-’09 pre-season with a trip to the Southeast Division rival Carolina Hurricanes last night, leaving Carolina with a 4-1 victory. Much like NFL pre-season, the Caps didn’t play many of their star players, instead using the time to evaluate some of their young prospects. With a team returning a majority of the players from last year’s Southeast Division Championship team, the spots with the big club are few and far between.

    For the Caps, Tomas “Flash” Fleischmann opened the scoring 6:21 in the first period, just seconds into the team’s first power play. The Caps acting Captain Matt Bradley tallied just 64 second later to close out the first period scoring.

    The ‘Canes Joni Pitkanen opened the scoring in the second period with a power play goal 7:58 in. Four minutes later, Matheiu Perreault scored in his first NHL pre-season game, at the 11:57 mark. Flash closed out the scoring 17:06 into the period with his second power play goal, this time just 9 seconds into the extra man advantage.

    For a good read regarding last night’s victory, be sure to check out Mike Vogel’s Postgame Notebook on WashingtonCaps.com.

    Carolina travels to the phone booth this evening for the re-match. You won’t be able to find it on TV or radio, but you can watch and listen live on WashingtonCaps.com. Let’s get ’em!

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    The FIfth Quarter: New Orleans Saints


    Sure the New Orleans Saints were injury depleted as they travelled to FedEx Field to square off against the Washington Redskins. Sure Jim Zorn brought out the Skins in white-on-white, forcing the Saints to wear dark gold pants and black jerseys in the 94-degree weather. The burgundy and gold still went out, overcame missed kicks and poor red zone performance to earn Jason Campbell his first come-from-behind victory as a Redskins and Jim Zorn his first as head coach.

    Passing Offense

    Campbell had what was perhaps his best day as the Washington field general. He started off slow and steady, but eventually got into a rhythm that proved fatal for the Saints injury-riddled secondary. The offense seemed to come alive when Campbell got Chris Cooley involved in the second quarter. Cooley’s ability to get open, sure hands and desire to plow over people to gain extra yardage always seems to fire up his teammates and force the defense to think about more than Santana Moss. And speaking of Moss, Campbell threw his finest pass as a professional with that fourth quarter bullet to Moss. From section 420, that pass looked phenomenal, and is hopefully a harbinger of things to come for number 17.

    3 quarters

    Rushing Offense

    After the “scandelous” comments of Clinton Portis earlier in the week — and the backlash by fans and media — no one could know how CP would respond. Well, wonder no more. Portis looked more patient than this writer can remember in recent memory. He also appeared to have a quick acceleration step once his running lane had been chosen. The offensive line appeared to be opening decent holes on the left side and Mike Sellers did a good job keeping his pads low on blocks, sealing the hole for Portis to scamper through. It was surprising to see the stats following the game, as it seemed sure that Portis had gained 100 yards, but he was close enough and came up big when the team needed him to.

    3 quarters

    Defense

    The defense was dominant in the first and fourth quarters. They seemed to have trouble containing Reggie Bush for the second and third though, and that coupled with the offense’s inability to finish off drives in the first half almost proved fatal. Luckily, when the chips were down, the defense stepped up — especially rookie sensation Chris Horton. You aren’t supposed to be able to lose your job due to injury, but Horton made his case to his coaches that sometimes you should. Granted, there were plays that it seemed Horton wasn’t sure where he was supposed to be, and his film grade may ultimately decide whether he gets another start or just increased playing time, but its hard to argue against a fumble recovery and 2 picks, one of which iced the game. Also, one shouldn’t forget that Jason Taylor got his first sack as a Redskins and generally looked better against the Saints than he did the Giants. The pressure on the whole was good in the two dominant quarters, but certainly was not in the two quarters that the defense struggled. Coincidence? I think not.

    3 quarters

    Special Teams

    Wow. Considering the way the rest of the team played, this unit, the stong point of last week’s game, came up lame this week. Shawn Siusham missed 2 field goals, although one was a pretty long one that he’d probably like to have back and the other was a botched hold by the rookie punter. And speaking of the rookie punter, that had to rank as one of the worst punting performances in franchise history. Not only were the punts bad, but one of them was bad enough that Reggie Bush took it with a running start and just ran around the punt coverage unit for the score. With Frost punting well in Green Bay, the rumblings had already started, and this performance will do nothing to help quell them. The best thing Durant can do is practice holding for Suisham, practice punting and stay away from newspapers, television and the internet. He’s got talent, but weeks like this are not going to cut it.

    On the other side of the ball, Antwaan Randle-El fumbled a punt that led directly to the Saints first score and wasn’t able to do anything with the ball when he held on to it. The Saints covered punts well, and the Redskins blocking left a little to be desired, which, coupled with more east-to-west running instead of north-to-south running made the punt return unit less than effective. At least Rock Cartwright had a good game, although even Rock hesitated on a catch in the end zone before coming out, resulting in possession on the 17. Danny Smith will be fired up this week in practice.

    1 Quarter

    Coaching

    New to this year’s Fifth Quarter is a coaching grade. In the first half, the Redskins used all three of their time-outs in the first quarter, and were ineffective in the redzone. The defense had a bad second quarter as well. At the half though, Coach Zorn and the offensive assistants made good half-time adjustments that led to the offense ramping up for that big fourth quarter. Specifically, the slant to Moss on fourth and 2 with a couple of minutes left was brilliant. No one saw that coming. As for general play calling, Zorn did a good job of mixing things up and not being to terribly predictable. The defense also made good adjustments in the fourth quarter.

    3 quarters

    Well, after week 2, the Redskins find themselves at 1-1 preparing for the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards used to be perenial pushovers, however two former Skins in Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm have begun to turn that teams around. Kurt Warner is playing well, and the receiver tandem of Boldin and Fitzgerald might just be the best in football. It won’t be easy for the Skins. They’ll need to start off the way they finished if they have any hopes of being 2-1 going into the two divisional road tests waiting for them on the other side.

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

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    Remembering September 11


    I know this is a sports blog — more specifically a Washington Redskins and Washington Capitals blog — but some things are bigger than sports, and today is no exception. I’m sure everyone has their own story about that day, but I can’t help but reminisce about it and how different things are now, as opposed to before that fateful day. Read the rest of this entry »

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