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Redskins Offseason: Next Up, Senior Bowl

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Chicken Wing and a Prayer

In the afterglow of what was a fantastic season, albeit one that didn’t have the finish any of us wanted comes perhaps the most important offseason for the Redskins that Dan Snyder and the front office has faced in many years.  Obviously there is genuine concern for the status of RGIII but that once scoffed at insurance policy named Kirk Cousins has shown that he can step in and lead this team should Griffin miss time in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cheap Seats: It’s getting closer…

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It’s getting closer with every breath we take.  With every article we read, or interview we hear.  Every day it grows stronger in more than thirty locations around the nation.  It’s almost palpable.  Like a living breathing entity that needs time to grow and take shape, it has times of frustration and times of excitement, albeit in small amounts.  To some, it’s like the Loch Ness Monster in that it isn’t even a real thing.  To others, it’s as real as life itself.

Football season. Read the rest of this entry »

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Did Penn State avoid NCAA ‘Death penalty’?

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On the day after the statue of a coach that stood for so much good but now is being portrayed as something far different, the program that Joe Paterno built was rocked to its very foundation.
The NCAA, citing the Freeh Report (paid for by the very college that itself was the center of the investigation) and a “thorough investigation” handed down what could be argued as their harshest penalties.  They did so against a football program that for so long was the pride of the institution.   Read the rest of this entry »

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A Legendary Eagle Gets His Wings

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Heaven became a better place on the morning of September 8th when J. Gawen Stoker passed away.  That will be the last time you may hear or read me calling him by that name.  While that is the name he was given and he was a great friend of mine, he has always and will always be “Coach” Stoker to me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Coach Paterno Back to Practice After Blindside

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Football is a rough sport. Injuries can happen anywhere at any time. Penn State football fans were again reminded of this on Sunday when news broke that their legendary coach, Joe Paterno, was blindsided by wide receiver Devon Smith. The accident occurred during a pass drill at Sunday’s practice.

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Return Of The Cheap Seats

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Football Is Back, And So Am I

Aside from winning the Super Bowl, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy over one’s head and uttering the famous line, “I am going to Disney World,” there are few stronger football emotions than the feeling we all got when the announcement was made, “Football is back”.  I always laughed at the notion of “Christmas in July,” until I realized that the announcement that the NFL lockout was over, was made on July 25th.  The only thing that would have made it better, would have been Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith squaring off in an MMA octagon, so that will have to remain on the Christmas list.
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Draft Section Officially Open

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Our 2006 Draft section is officially open.

There are some player profiles and rankings still to enter, but there’s too much info there to hold off until we’re done. We will continue entering data for the next week or two and our top 10 lists will update accordingly.

The NFL Draft has become increasingly popular, and as such, our coverage grows year after year. It takes a lot of time and effort to scout all of the players and get the notes into the database. It’s the main reason that you find very few websites left actually offering all of their content for free. Please remember to support us on the ‘More’ page of the draft section if you are so inclined.

This year’s draft coverage is the best yet. You’ll find sections on the Combine, Top 10 Rankings, Draft News from around the web, underclassmen news, team needs, and our exclusive draft articles. If the draft section doesn’t have something that you think it should, drop us a line at and give us your feedback. There will be lots more in the upcoming weeks with combine summaries, player profiles and interviews, and lots of exclusive articles.

We will also be adding a form on the Mock Draft page for other webmasters to swap mock drafts links with us. In the meantime, just use the e-mail address above to contact us with your link.

Thanks to Les Barnhart and Scott Hurrey for all their work in helping me put together our 2006 NFL Draft section.

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

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Gameday Preview: Divisional Playoff

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Washington Redskins (11-6) at Seattle Seahawks (13-3)

Second round playoff game
January 14th, 2005 at 430pm
Qwest Field, Seattle
TV: Fox Sports: Dick Stockton, Darryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa (FR)
Radio: CBS Sports: Marv Albert, John Riggins and Kevin Kiley (FR)

The Washington Redskins continue their playoff road show when they travel to the great northwest to play the number one seed in the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks. The two teams previously met in week four of the regular season at Washington’s FedEx Field. The Redskins won that game in overtime after the Seahawks’ kicker, Josh Brown, missed a field goal at the end of regulation. His 47-yard attempt bounced off the left upright and allowed the Redskins to win the game in the first possession of overtime. At the time, the victory moved the Redskins to a perfect 3-0 while the loss dropped the Seahawks to 2-2. Since then, the Seahawks have taken flight and control of the NFC as they went 11-1 in their remaining games. Their only loss came in the season finale at Green Bay. The Redskins on the other hand, chose the road less traveled to get to where they are now. Following the win over the Seahawks, they lost six of their next eight games, which left them looking at a 5-6 record. Through hard work and a dedicated team-first mentality, they righted the ship and proceeded to go on their current six-game winning streak.

The Seattle offense comes into the game against the Redskins as the highest scoring offense (452) during the regular season. They are led by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who has embraced the West Coast offense and the teachings of head coach Mike Holmgren. Of course it helps when you have league MVP, Shaun Alexander, in your backfield. While Hasselbeck has had perhaps the best season of his career, Alexander has been simply incredible. His 1,880 rushing yards led the league, as did his 28 touchdowns. Alexander certainly benefits from a balanced offensive attack (369.7 total yards per game, 2nd). Hasselbeck leads the Seahawk passing game (216.1 yards per game, 13th) and had a productive season without the services of his prime target, Darrell Jackson, for most of the season. With injury also taking Bobby Engram out of the lineup, the Seahawks found a productive alternative in Joe Jurevicius. Jurevicius’ 10 touchdown catches tied him for second in the NFC. The Seahawks will be at full strength for the game as both Jackson and Engram will be in the lineup. The Redskins defense rolls into the land of expensive coffee with a banged up defense. It is a unit that is showing the wear and tear that playing “playoff” football for the last 6 weeks will undoubtedly create. The finished the season with the ninth ranked defense overall, allowing 297.9 yards per game, although that ranking may not be an accurate depiction of the defensive unit that has been on the field for the last 6 weeks. They are forcing turnovers and getting pressure on the quarterback consistently. They are also playing the run much better. During the regular season, the Redskins allowed over one hundred yards (105.4) per game on the ground (13th in NFL) and 192.6 through the air (12th). In their game last week against the Bucs, the defense was stellar but they lost defensive end Renaldo Wynn to a broken arm. They also played the end of the game without Sean Taylor (ejection) but were still able to post an impressive victory in a game they weren’t expected to win.

The ability of the Redskins defense to contain Shaun Alexander will go a long way in determining their success in Seattle but they will also need to contend with Matt Hasselbeck. The Seahawks are perfect this season at Qwest Field (8-0) and have won ten straight dating back to last season. Both Hasselbeck and Alexander enjoy playing in front of the home crowd. Hasselbeck has won 20 of his last 24 starts at home while Alexander has scored 23 touchdowns in his last 11 games at home. Hasselbeck enters the game seeking his third consecutive 300-yard passing game in the postseason. In his last four games, Hasselbeck has a passer rating of 137.4 and has thrown 9 touchdowns and 1 interception during that time.

The Redskins offense stumbled its way through their Wild Card victory over the Bucs’ number one ranked defense last week. The offense was held to a NFL low 120 yards but thanks to their defense, they were able to move on to this weekend. For the Redskins to continue their march toward Detroit, the offense will need to make the trip to Seattle. The Seahawks finished the regular season tied for the sixteenth overall defense in the league, giving up 316.8 yards per game. And despite leading the league in sacks (50) the Seahawks pass defense ranked 25th in the league (222.4 YPG). That could allow for the Redskins to move the ball through the air. The Redskins’ 21st ranked pass offense averaged less than two hundred (194.1) yards per game but that number fell toward the end of the season after the Redskins made a commitment to the power running game. If they can get Mark Brunell on track with both Santana Moss (84 catches for 1,483 yards) and Chris Cooley, they can stretch the defense, as the Seahawks will look to take Clinton Portis out of the equation. The Seahawks rush defense was fifth best in the NFL, allowing only 94.4 yards per game. In fairness, the Seahawks have not faced a power running game like they will face with the Redskins and the teams they have played because of their offensive output have been forced to play “catch-up”, which means putting the ball in the air. The Seahawks defense relies on the play of their defensive front, namely defensive end Bryce Fisher (9 sacks), defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (8 ½ sacks) and linebacker LeRoy Hill (7 ½ sacks) to control the line of scrimmage and pressure the quarterback. As in every game, the team that can control the line of scrimmage is the team that usually wins the game.

This game pits two teams with very similar styles and that is by design. Both teams have solid defenses and like to play power football with their running game setting up their passing game. The Seahawks hold the advantage on the offensive side with a line that is as good as any in the league and a fullback that blows defenders out of the hole. The similarity to the Redskins comes from their head coach, Mike Holmgren, who has stated that that he has patterned his coaching style, in part, after Joe Gibbs. For the Redskins to win this game, they will need to be able to sustain drives and chew up the clock on offense. They will also need another strong performance from a defensive unit that seemingly gets better each week despite getting banged up more and more. The Redskins will also be serving as another “homecoming date” of sorts, as the Seahawks will be inducting former players into their “Ring of Honor”. That event became even more emotional for the Seahawks following the sudden death of former All-Pro defensive back Dave Brown. Brown was one of the players to be inducted into the “Ring of Honor” before the playoff game on Saturday.

Coaches Clipboard

– The Redskins lead the series against the Seahawks, 9-4, including winning the last 4.
– Coach Joe Gibbs’ playoff record is 17-5. His 17 wins trails only Tom Landry’s 20 and Don Shula’s 19. Gibbs’ unbelievable .773 playoff winning percentage is third best in league history behind Bill Belichick (.917) and the immortal Vince Lombardi (.900). Mike Holmgren is 9-8 in the postseason.
– Coach Gibbs is 5-0 lifetime against Seattle. Holmgren is 0-4 against Washington.
– Washington was 5-4 on the road in 2005. Seattle was 8-0 at home.
– Mike Holmgren has lost five straight playoff games; three of which were with Seattle.
– Shaun Alexander was held to under 100 yards rushing in the last four games against the Redskins.
– Redskins look for their first NFC Championship game appearance since 1991.
– Seahawks look for first playoff win since 1984 (defeated LA Raiders in WC game).
– Mike Holmgren has put his team in the playoffs in 10 of the last 14 seasons.
– Since 1970, the Redskins are 0-4 in postseason games played in the Pacific Time Zone.
– Washington is 4-1 all time in Seattle.
– In 5 career games versus Seattle, Mark Brunell has 95.5 QB rating (63% completion) with 7 TD/2INT and 2 rushing TD.


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

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Game Day Preview – Philadelphia Eagles II

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Washington Redskins (9-6) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (6-9)

January 1, 2006 at 4:15pm
Lincoln Financial Center
FOX Sports (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver)

The Redskins gave their fans a tremendous Christmas gift last week when they defeated the New York Giants to move within a game of the NFC East lead as well as one game closer to looking up their first playoff appearance since 1999. The win, the Redskins fourth in a row, was not without a cost as Mark Brunell went down with a sprained right knee in the third quarter. He was relieved by Patrick Ramsey, who led the team to a touchdown to lock up the game. Brunell’s status for the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles remains uncertain, but the team and Coach Gibbs remain optimistic that the 35-year-old veteran will be available for the critical road game.

This week’s match up between longtime NFC East rivals is a stark contrast from last season when the Eagles were the team getting ready for the post season and the Redskins were the team looking forward to the off-season after a long and disappointing campaign. The Eagles, who prior to the November 6th loss to the Redskins at FedEx Field had won seven straight over the Redskins, can now play spoiler by beating Washington. The Eagles are 4-3 at home this season but have not lost to the Redskins at home since 2001. A loss would give the Eagles their first winless season in divisional play since 1972. The Redskins on the other hand are 3-4 on the road this season and with a win would sweep the Eagles in a season for the first time since 1988. A win would guarantee the Redskins their first post season berth since 1999. They would win the NFC East crown if the Giants are upended on the road by the Raiders on Saturday night. If the Giants win, the Redskins would enter the playoffs as a Wild Card and would have a game next weekend. The Redskins also could make the playoffs even if they lose their game against the Eagles and the Cowboys lose to the Rams on Sunday night but Coach Gibbs will none of that thinking within Redskins Park. He has gone on the record to state that no one on the team is thinking of anything but beating the Eagles and punching their own ticket for the post season.

The Redskins offense (334 yards per game, 12th in NFL) faces an Eagles defense that has allowed an average of 27.8 points per game over their last four contests. While it remains to be seen if and how much Mark Brunell will play in the game, the Redskins should be able to move the ball effectively on the ground as the Eagles are allowing 115.5 yards per game (20th). Getting Clinton Portis and the running game on track will be paramount if Ramsey is given the reigns to the offense to give Brunell time to recover from the knee injury he suffered last week. Brunell has stated that he is “day to day” and the knee is getting better each day. No doubt he will want to play and considering that he is 3-0 with a passer rating of 96.8 against the Eagles, it might be hard to keep him off the field. Coach Gibbs has confidence in his veteran quarterback, who has returned to Pro Bowl form this season, connecting on 253 of 429 passes for 2,909 yards with 22 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. His 87.8 passer rating is third best in the NFC. Brunell needs 3 touchdown passes to be the first Redskin quarterback since Mark Rypien (1991) to reach 25 touchdown passes in a season. The Eagles defense allows 213.0 yards per game (21st) through the air and more than a hundred yards (115.5, 20th) on the ground. The Redskin running game, which many feel has been the catalyst for the offense during the current four game winning streak has been powered by Portis and the dominant offensive line. During the four game winning streak, Portis has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in every contest. He needs only 29 rushing yards to break the Redskins single season yardage record (1,432 yards) held by Stephen Davis. As any good running game will do, it has allowed the passing game to flourish as Santana Moss has enjoyed a Pro Bowl season as comes off a 160 yard, 2 touchdown game against the Giants. That performance gave him the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Also enjoying a breakout season is Chris Cooley. Cooley has scored five touchdowns in the last four weeks and is becoming more and more of a threat for defenses to worry about. He owns the team record for receptions by a tight end and needs only 84 yards for the club record for yardage by a tight end (849) currently held by Jerry Smith. The Eagles will be facing one of the most dangerous offenses at a time when they seem to be firing on all cylinders.

On the defensive side of the ball, the current cast of characters operating the Eagles offense bears little resemblance to the one that represented the NFC in last year’s Super Bowl. It is an offense without McNabb, Westbrook, and Owens and with only LJ Smith as the only proven threat in the passing offense as well as a rookie running back in Ryan Moats, they lack the confidence and swagger that has allowed the Eagles to dominant the NFC East for so long. The Eagles passing attack (229.2 YPG, 8th) continues to be the focal point of Andy Reid’s offense but with Mike McMahon running the show instead of Donovan McNabb and losing Brian Westbrook to injury, Reid has been forced to use his rookie (Moats) in a running game that ranks 28th in the league with an average of 89.1 yards per game. Moats, however, has taken advantage of his time in the lineup as he has posted 205 yards (6.4 yards per carry) with 3 touchdowns on the ground in the Eagles’ last three games. The Redskins defense (295.5 YPG, 7th) has been quite impressive during their post season push and should be able to contain the Eagles offense. McMahon has yet to show that he can carry the offense through the air and has hurt himself with turnovers. He has connected on 78 of 176 passes for 924 yards with 3 touchdowns and 7 interceptions since taking over as the starter for the injured McNabb. At home, McMahon has not found his comfort zone either. In three starts, he has only completed 43% of his passes and has yet to throw a touchdown pass. Not all the problems can be laid at the feet of McMahon, however, as injuries have affected the offensive line as well and they have not responded well. After allowing only 20 sacks through the first 11 games, the Eagles have surrendered 18 in their last 4 games. The Redskins defensive front, especially led by the play of Phillip Daniels, has stepped up their play and applied pressure to opposing quarterbacks allowing the defense to get away from constant need for the blitzing that is so common with Gregg Williams’ schemes. The Eagles still have some weapons in their arsenal with Greg Lewis, Reggie Brown and Billy McMullen but as a unit they have struggled to get consistent production. Reggie Brown is second among NFL rookies with 494 receiving yards and is third with 36 receptions. The Redskins pass defense (189.5 YPG, 9th) has overcome early troubles to become a solid unit.

The Redskins have an opportunity to put an exclamation mark on a season that few expected them to have. While they may not win the division, the fact that they can put themselves in the playoffs in a season in which they will have swept both the Eagles and Cowboys is quite satisfying. The Redskins cannot take the depleted Eagles squad lightly however as they need this win to clinch their spot in the playoffs. Considering the magnitude of the game for the Redskins, count on Coach Gibbs and the coaching staff to have the team focused squarely on the Eagles.

Coach’s Clipboard

– The Redskins hold the advantage in the series 73-62-5; with the Eagles winning 7 of last 8 meetings.
– Coach Gibbs is 18-10 against the Eagles while Andy Reid is 9-4 against the Redskins.
– Coach Gibbs’ 155 victories place him 12th in NFL history.
– The Eagles will finish last in the NFC East for the first time since Andy Reid’s first year as Head Coach (1999).
– Santana Moss needs only 37 yards to break Bobby Mitchell’s record for receding yards in a season (1,436 yards).
– Moss needs 1 touchdown catch to be the first Redskin receiver to reach 10 in a season since Gary Clark (10 in 1991).
– Phillip Daniels needs 3 sacks for first career 10 sack season.


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

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Gameday Preview: Redskins vs. Giants

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New York Giants (10-4) at Washington Redskins (8-6)
December 24th, 2005 at 1pm
FedEx Field
FOX Sports (Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa)

Don’t look now but Washington Redskins’ games in December mean something to more than just the Redskins opponents. After dismantling their biggest rivals last week at FedEx Field, the Redskins welcome in the NFC East leading New York Giants for a game that is as big as either teams have had for years. For the Giants, a win will give them their first NFC East crown since 2000. For the Redskins, a win will put them only one game back a step closer to locking down their first postseason appearance since 1999.

The Redskins, coming off an incredible game against the Cowboys in which they seemingly did everything right, have not forgotten their first meeting with the Giants on October 30th in the Meadowlands. That game, a 36-0 Giants blowout, followed the loss of long-time Giants owner, Wellington Mara. In that game, RB Tiki Barber posted 206 yards on the ground and the underrated Giants defense kept the Redskins offense in check the entire game. Since that game, both teams have struggled at times to find their swagger. The Redskins posted three losses that were as heartbreaking as could be imagined and have followed that up with three straight wins while the Giants continue to find ways to pull their tails out of the fire when put themselves in trouble.

The Giants offense (360.9 yards per game, 7th) has come to focus more on their running back, MVP candidate Tiki Barber. Barber has enjoyed a career season this year (122.6 YPG and 8 rushing TD) and has gotten a great deal of help from his patchwork offensive line which has two backups (Rich Seubert and Bob Whitfield) playing full time due to injuries. He enters the game with five straight 100 yards rushing games. Eli Manning has shown some inconsistency at times but has also shown that he can lead the team like a veteran. For the Giants, it sometimes a question as to which Eli they will have. They come into the game with a passing game averaging 225.3 yards per game which is 11th best in the NFL. Manning has thrown for 3,314 yards and 22 touchdowns in 14 games. His favorite targets, Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey have continued to produce for their young signal caller and that, in large part is why the Giants sit atop the competitive NFC East. Burress has 68 receptions for 1,046 yards while Shockey has hauled in 7 touchdown passes, both lead the Giants as a team. The Giants come into FedEx Field off of a win at home against the Chiefs in a game that saw Barber eclipse the 200 (220 yards on 29 carries) yard mark for the second time this season. Much like the Chiefs, the Redskins defense know first hand as to the damage that Barber can inflict if sound tackling isn’t used on the powerful back. If the Redskins are to stay in the game with the Giants, they will need to gang tackle Barber and punish him every time he touches the ball. The Redskins defense (292.9 YPG, 7th) has gotten better in recent weeks and that was again on display last week against the Cowboys. If the Redskins can generate the pass rush they did last week, the Giants will have their hands full and that could neutralize their main weapon, Barber, as well. The Redskins pass defense (186.4 YPG, 9th) has been forcing turnovers and playing much better pass coverage in recent weeks and that has been aided by the pressure being applied by the defensive front. The Redskins have been able to contain some quality running backs in the last few weeks but this weeks task of containing Tiki Barber is a daunting one for a defense that allows just over one hundred yards (106.5) on the ground per game. The Chiefs should have beaten the Giants last week but forgot how to tackle and Barber made them pay dearly.

The Redskins offense will be minus one of the main reasons that they have had so much success this season. Guard Randy Thomas was lost for the season last week when he was caught up in a play and broke his right leg. The Redskins will undoubtedly turn to “Old Man River” Ray Brown to fill his slot for the time being. The loss of Thomas not only affects the passing game but more importantly the running game where the Redskins have become more dominant as the season moves along. The Redskins come into the game averaging 134.0 yards per game (7th) but that was with Thomas. For the offense to maintain the same level of success they have enjoyed recently when they have implemented the throwback “power football” that has been long missing from the Redskins, they will need to get production from whoever fills in for Thomas. The passing game will also be affected as would be expected and the Redskins are hopeful that they will not need to use max protection schemes and thus limit the number of weapons they can use in passing situations. Brunell and the offense come into the game with 19th ranked passing offense in the league (196.7 YPG) but a great deal of the passing has been a controlled type passing because the running game has been working so well that they have not had to throw the ball as much. Also the defense has allowed the Redskins offense to play on the short field due to their improved performance. Santana Moss will continue to see the ball as well as Chris Cooley. Both players have served as the primary targets for Brunell this season and Cooley’s coming out party against the Cowboys may only serve as a taste of what is to come from the young tight end/H-back. The Giants defense (324.0 YPG, 22nd) has improved since the last meeting between the teams but they are still suspect against the pass where they allow a 25th worst 218.6 yards per game. They also were just lit up by the Chiefs Larry Johnson on the ground in last week’s contest. They will again look to their talented defensive line, anchored by Michael Strahan, to get pressure on the passer and to try force Brunell into throwing a bad pass. The Giants are a very opportunitisic team and will take advantage of any Redskins mistakes they can. The Giants will be in their second game without the services of former Redskin Antonio Pierce, who will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury. In his place last week, Chase Blackburn made his first NFL start and played an important part of the defense’s performance against the NFL’s number one offense in the Chiefs.

This match up pits two long time rivals in a game that is one of the biggest in the weekend slate of games.Both teams desperately want to win this game and there should be no shortage of emotion in the raucous FedEx Field. The Redskins 12th man has been emerging all season and they will need to be in full force Saturday. The Redskins are 5-2 in their friendly confines while the Giants are 3-3 on the road. For the Redskins to emerge in this battle of the titans, they will again need to control the line of scrimmage and get their ball control, power running game on track. On the other side of the ball the Redskins defense will need to find a way to contain Tiki Barber or they could find themselves on the business end of a broom, getting sweep in the season series with the Giants. The Redskins can ill-afford to lose this game and still maintain strong aspirations for the postseason. For them, the playoffs have already started.

Coaches Clipboard:
* With a win, Coach Joe Gibbs will pass Marv Levy for 12th in career wins with 155.
* A win will give the Redskins a winning season for the first time since 1999.
* The Giants lead the series 82-59-4 and have won 2 of last 3 games against the Redskins.
* Tom Coughlin is 3-3 against the Redskins while Coach Gibbs is 13-15 against the Giants.
* Tiki Barber needs 1 rushing TD to become the Giants all time leader with 50.
* Clinton Portis needs 137 rushing yards to pass Stephen Davis for single season rushing record (1,432 yards).
* Santana Moss needs 197 recieving yards to pass Bobby Mitchell for single season receiving record (1,436 yards).
* Chris Cooley needs 4 receptions for franchise record for catches by a TE (67).
* Tiki Barber needs only 2 yards to reach 2,000 total yards for the second straight season.

– Wingman

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

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