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  • A ‘Solid’ Improvement

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    Joe Gibbs himself summed it up best after the game Saturday night, when he stated simply that the Redskins were ‘solid’. Indisputably, their 17-0 victory over the Miami Dolphins was a definite improvement. While little can be made of any pre-season win, first-stringers played most of the first half for both teams, and it was a first half dominated by the Redskins.

    Defensively, the Redskins continue to be impressive. Despite being without Lavar Arrington and Mike Barrow, Washington’s defense was ‘solid’ from starters to scrubs. Gregg Williams called a very aggressive game and gave Redskin fans a taste of what his 4-6 defense is all about. The beleaguered defensive line got good pressure on AJ Feeley the entire half but the new emerging star of this defense, Marcus Washington, registered the only sack. Actually, Antonio Pierce also got to Feeley once on a 3rd and 5, but the sack was nullified by a penalty to rookie Sean Taylor.

    So did Taylor struggle in his first start as a Redskin?

    Not quite. Four plays later, Taylor put his first big league smack on Chris, forcing a fumble, and then recovered it as well. When the Redskins drafted the Miami phenom with the 5th overall pick, they knew they were getting a game changer. But even they probably didn’t realize just how good this kid might be. Jeff Bostic commented during the game that Gregg Wiliams had stated that they needed to try and teach Taylor some humility because ‘the game just comes too easy for him’.

    Antonio Pierce also had a ‘solid’ workman-like performance after getting the start at middle linebacker in place of Barrow. He registered 2 tackles and an assist as well as being all around the ball.

    A lot of the credit for the defense’s performance belongs with Williams. So far in the pre-season, the Redskins have not allowed a first half touchdown to be scored against them. It is certainly refreshing to watch a defense go after the quarterback so aggressively. Williams brought pressure from everywhere Saturday night, and he brought it often. The decimated Dolphins line-up never had an answer.

    Offensively for the Redskins, Mark Brunell looked much better. His accuracy was better, and he looked much more comfortable. Other than overthrowing a 3rd down play, he was nearly perfect going 7 of 9 for 79 yards in nearly a full half of work. Clinton Portis gave the burgundy and gold faithful their first taste of his potential ability as well. He broke one sweep for 22 yards and racked up 37 yards on 7 carries in just one series of action. He capped that series with a one-yard touchdown run.

    Of course, it’s easy to run like Portis, and quarterback like Brunell, when you’re dominating the line of scrimmage.

    The Washington starting offensive line was awesome, both in protection, and in run blocking. Joe Bugel is definitely making a mark. The aforementioned Portis TD run was behind a massive block by Randy Thomas, but Chris Samuels, Lennie Friedman, Derrick Dockery and ‘fill-in’ Kenyatta Jones all had equally ‘solid’ hog-like performances. Brunell was not touched all night and the Redskins running backs finished the first half a combined 22 carries for 75 yards. The Gibbs’ offense hinges on the ability to rush for 4 yards on first down, and the Redskins seemed to be doing it at will. Hogs… Dirtbags… whatever you want to call them… Saturday, they were the most ‘solid’ unit on the field.

    The Redskins’ offensive line seemed to dominate regardless of what ‘string’ was playing. Cory Raymer anchored the second unit as well as Friedman did the first, and the center job continues to be probably the toughest roster battle on the team. Ray Brown did not look old… nor did he look rusty. He did however look big… and capable. It was the play of ALL of the Redskins’ offensive linemen that allowed them to put up a staggering, 41:22 in time of possession compared to Miami’s 18:38. That’s ball-control offense.

    Miami was decimated by injuries with 21 players sitting out and for the most part, they looked like it. Travis Minor does not look like the cure for the loss of Ricky Williams and managed just 15 yards on 8 carries. AJ Feeley and Jay Fiedler both had disappointing outings going 4 of 8 for 36 and 4 of 9 for 41 yards respectively. In fact, Miami only mustered 98 total yards of offense the entire game (25 rushing, 73 passing) compared to Washington’s 301 total yards (181 rushing, 120 passing).

    Perhaps the only Redskins’ unit that wasn’t ‘solid’, was special teams. Danny Smith looked furious most of the night and often with good reason. After Ola Kimrin kicked a 26-yard field goal to put Washington up 17-0 early in the third quarter, his ensuing kickoff was returned 49 yards by Fred Russell negating the Redskins’ momentum. Gari Scott and Chad Morton combined for a mere 10 yards on 5 punt returns and Scott also fumbled a punt return giving Miami it’s only other decent field position.

    Patrick Ramsey showed some signs of improvement, but is definitely lagging behind in the quarterback battle. He continues to look uncomfortable in the pocket, but he did make a few good plays. With Brunell’s strong outing Saturday though, it seems nearly a foregone conclusion that he will get the nod. As long as both guys continue to improve, and get along so well, the Redskins quarterback situation is as ‘solid’ as any team in the league.

    John Simon has been ‘solid’ all pre-season, but Saturday, he might have earned himself a roster spot. With Ladell Betts still on the shelf, Simon got a lot of time with the first and second units. His 43 yards on 12 rushing attempts may not have been much on it’s own, but coupled with an additional 42 yards on 4 receptions, Simon proved that he can be a versatile back.

    Renaldo Wynn had a good game Saturday. Though he did not register any sacks or tackles, he did have a quarterback pressure and got good penetration on several occasions. Always ‘solid’ against the run, Wynn seems to be enjoying the diversity afforded him in Williams’ 4-6 defense.

    Chris Cooley continues to show he belongs on this team. He saw limited action, but made a ‘solid’ grab for 12 yards and it was early in the second quarter against first string competition.

    Nic Clemons continues to play well late in games. Despite the fact that it is against ‘scrubs’, he consistently puts in a ‘solid’ effort and the Gibbs’ coaching regime is sure to notice. It may only be on the practice squad, but expect Clemons to earn a pay cheque from the Redskins in 2004.

    Perhaps the most ‘solid’ performance Saturday was by the Redskins’ coaching staff. Few mistakes were made, few penalties were taken, and despite the fact that the game didn’t ‘matter’, the Redskins got another win. These games may not count for anything, but a ‘solid’ improvement is all you can ask of your team.

    — BossHog

    Official NFL Summary

    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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    By the Numbers

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    Why are the Redskins fans so excited for the 2004 season to start? Why have those same fans been counting down the days until training camp? Why has the waiting list for Redskins season tickets grown so long? Why are the Redskins all of the sudden being talked about again as a potential playoff team? Here are a few numbers that will make most Redskin fans mouths water and make more than a few fans of the other NFC East teams a bit uneasy.

    8 – The number of Redskins playoff appearances under Coach Gibbs (12 seasons)

    1 – The number of playoff appearances since Coach Gibbs left (11 seasons)

    16 – The number of playoff victories under Coach Gibbs

    1 – The number of playoff victories since Coach Gibbs left

    4 – The number of Super Bowl appearances under Coach Gibbs

    0 – The number of Super Bowl appearances since Coach Gibbs

    Not impressed? How about these?

    3 – The number of Redskins Super Bowl victories under Coach Gibbs

    0 – The number of Redskins Super Bowl victories since Coach Gibbs left

    1 – The number of coaches to win three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks (Coach Gibbs)

    .683 – The Redskins overall winning percentage under Coach Gibbs

    Want more? Try these on for size…

    140 – The number of Redskins victories under Coach Gibbs from ’81-92 ( that’s 11.6 per season)

    75 – The number of Redskins victories since Coach Gibbs left (’93-03: that’s 6.8 per season)

    5 – The number of “head” coaches that have manned the Redskins sideline from 1993-2003

    And finally…….

    1 – The number of active Head Coaches in the NFL Hall of Fame (Coach Gibbs)

    When you look at these numbers, it isn’t hard to see why Redskin fans are so excited about the prospects of the 2004 season. With Coach Gibbs and his posse back in Washington, politics have once again taken a back seat to what really matters in the nation’s capital, Redskins Football. So, break out your hog noses and get that dress you have been hiding in the
    closet…The Hogs are back in town.


    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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    Four Sides to Every Story: The Second Side

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    In reading the posts by fellow fans in message boards, it became obvious that there was a strong surge of people supporting Dan Snyder. Looking at it from all angles, both the kind and opposing viewpoints had begun to merge to form a more positive outlook. While the sports writers themselves have had a harder time finding a reason to mellow towards Dan, the fans have begun to see the light at the end of the perceived tunnel with the offseason moves this year. There are three groups of fans, with differing levels of feelings about the team’s owner.

    First you have the people who have supported Snyder all along. The Snyder-ites have been in his camp since seeing him spend the fortunes, sell his business to dedicate himself to the team, and not worry about money when it came to bringing in head coaches. Hiring back Joe Gibbs was not a turnaround, but a confirmation that Snyder had the right motives, just not the right moves, until now. These folks have always maintained that Dan was a proper fan, and his love for the team couldn’t be questioned, but that he had made some amateur mistakes, which Dan has admitted in the past.

    The second group of fans haven’t really bashed or cheered for Snyder, but just tolerated him. This is the smallest group of the bunch, since the fan base, like the country, has been more and more polarized on so many issues. While seeing that Dan did love the team, they tended to scratch their heads at how he could have fired Norv after a playoff season or Marty after the Miracle turnaround after the 0-5 start. These folks still tend to be more in the skeptic department, following the theory of “let’s wait and see” rather than openly cheering some of the latest moves, including the rehiring of Joe Gibbs.

    The most vocal of the group has been the Snyder-bashers. The folks who, through reading biased news, news possibly biased due to personal reasons or gut feelings than facts, formed an opinion that Snyder was an embarrassment. People suggested putting together money to buy him out, boycotts and lynch mobs had been brought up. Snide comments abounded in this group of fans of the team, blaming most of the woes on the owner. Yet this group has yielded an amazing amount of converts to the Fans of Dan club. People who have seen their owner ground under by a rather unrelenting press, followed by his bringing back the most successful coach in franchise history have begun to rally around the team and the owner, lobbing tomatoes at the media rather than at Dan.

    While this article is not attempting to point out which view is right, there are a couple of major points that the fans all agree on. Bring in a good GM for football moves. Allow him the ability to work with Joe Gibbs on issues relating to roster moves and don’t stick his nose into it unless called upon to do it. Let Joe run his team and don’t try and playing gentleman coach from the owner’s box. If Joe thinks Ramsey wins the camp competition, that is Joe’s call and stay out of it. Don’t pull another Bruce Smith or Brad Johnson/Jeff George debacle.

    While mistakes have been made in the past, it does seem that the fan is willing to show more leeway simply because the front office seems to be learning. The free agency moves of last year where they acquired strong, young talent as well as the moves this year have brought about some amount of goodwill from the fans.

    Fortunately, it seems that the ship is being righted and all fans can agree that there is much to be thankful for in that Dan Snyder isn’t Bill Bidwell.

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

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    Former Redskin Looks Back On His High School Days

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    Tydus Winans was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 3rd round of the 1994 NFL Draft out of Fresno State. He spent two seasons with the Redskins and signed with the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals, later in 1996. From 1997-1998, Tydus played for the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. In 1998, Tydus was drafted by the Amsterdam Admirals in the NFL Europe free agent draft but opted to stay in the U.S. In 2001, Tydus capped off his football career by playing for the San Francisco Demons of the XFL.

    Tydus has extended family in the sports and entertainment business. Cousins BeBe, CeCe, and Vickie are successful gospel signers, Mario is making a name for himself as a solo R&B artist, and Kevin Ollie is the point guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Currently, Tydus lives in California and spends quality time with his family. When he is not with his family, he works as a motivational speaker. I recently had the chance to speak with him about his high school experiences.

    Who did you seek for advice as a teenager in high school?
    I have a very large family. I’m the baby of 8 kids. Four brothers, three sisters and my parents. So I had many people to go to for advice.

    How did you adjust to changing careers from football to motivational speaker?
    Well how I went from pro football to motivational speaking… Well that was an easy transition because I majored in communications in college and this is something that comes natural to me.

    When you were a teenager, how did you cope with peer pressure? How did you get over it?
    Coping with peer pressure was kind of easy for me. I knew right from wrong, so I was one that always check my surroundings and I would see people doing good and bad things, so seeing how the bad things affected people I would make sure I took a close look at the effects.

    Was there any hobby or personal skill you went to to change your attitude if you had a bad day at school?
    When I would get upset I’d go running or do something physical to vent out.

    Were there any public figures you looked up to and tried to emulate as a kid?
    Tony Dorsett and Walter Payton were great role models.

    As an adult looking back on your high school days, what advice would you give to students who are struggling through it socially and/or academically?
    Be yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not. If you do hang with a crowd, make sure it’s a positive one. Like the old saying, if you hang around 9 broke friends, you’re bound to be the next. So basically saying, if you’re around a bunch of fools at your high school, you’re bound to turn out like them. But if you’re hanging around TRUE friends that don’t care what you have or what your wear and they have goals they’re trying to achieve it’ll make you shoot for the stars too.

    List your five keys to becoming successful, happy, and understanding of your self:
    1. Keep God first or some spiritual foundation.
    2. Write your goals down so you can take a clear look at what direction your headed.
    3. Take action towards those goals.
    4. Stay positive even in the midst of trouble.
    5. Surround yourself with positive people.

    What was high school like in the 80′? What do you think the differences are today?
    Going to school in the 80’s-hmmm! It was fun, of course, but the difference is we had more kids that were involved in school functions. Kids now a days are lazy. With computers, video games, and other things that keep them indoors, kids don’t want to do much physical activity.

    — Junior Hog

    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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    Four Sides to Every Story: The First Side

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    While the Redskins are in the process of gearing up for another season, the news and rumors have been flying, and rapidly. During the entire offseason, many moves have created stirs, from the Steve Spurrier resignation/not resignation/resignation to the re-hiring of Joe Gibbs. Free agency played a large part to the re-tooling of the Redskins, once again creating a storm of controversy. Who should remain, who should leave, how much should be paid for certain players, should the Skins trade picks for someone or not — they have all been subjects of conversations and articles around the world.

    In all of the attention that the media has focused on the Skins, no one spotlight has been brighter than on the captain at the helm, Daniel Snyder. Love him, hate him, wonder about him, it doesn’t matter. He has been the center of controversy from the start with the stunning price tag he paid to take over his beloved childhood favorite. Has the coverage been accurate or fair? This is the question that has been bandied about by scores of fans everywhere – how much harsh coverage does one team, or owner, deserve? When do the reporters cross the line and take the level of criticism to a personal grudge match with the owner, deserved or not? When do the fans come into play in this whole controversy, considering that without the fans, and their emotions, no one in the National Football League would have a job?

    In researching this article, I tried to approach this from the aspect of the fact that there are three sides to most stories – the one side, the opposing side and then the truth. Then I thought about it and thought that no, there were four sides, because I had almost committed the same error in omitting the fans’ opinions on the matter. Having talked to fans for the entire offseason, it has become apparent that most fans, even the ones who dislike Dan Snyder for his mistakes in the past have begun to accept and even, dare I say it, defend him. So I wanted to get information from reporters on why they felt they were taking some of the positions that they have taken and what their attitudes towards Snyder were. I also approached the Redskins for their official point of view in consideration of what the reporters and fans were saying, just to see what the third side’s take on the situation is. Hopefully, in doing this, we can all begin to divine the truth.

    I begin the reporters’ section by stating that many spoke off the record, allowing me to use generalized information without quoting them specifically. No one wants to spike their own wheel, as we can all imagine, so I went forward with that in mind. Most were very genial in their talks with me, including a couple of reporters that talked for well over an hour on varied subjects.

    Point number one that most reporters brought up first off: winning. The Skins haven’t, so what it translates into from their point of view is Mark Cuban from the Dallas Mavericks, but without the success. If the team starts winning, Coach Gibbs stays around with a stable program, most feel that the view of Dan Snyder will turn around. The problem, as most see it, is that he is a fan, with a fan’s knowledge of the game (when he first came in), and showed much more exuberance than common sense. Getting a general manager right away who knew the football world would have probably staved off much of the criticism that was aimed at him, but making moves on his own with no real knowledge precipitated the 2000 season. Almost every single reporter I talked to pointed to that season as the proof of what they spoke of in this regard, that and the aftermath for the next three years.

    Their second point stems back to the takeover. Many liked the Cookes and felt that they were a good family. The press under the Cooke administration was treated differently, with the smallest of papers getting good treatment just like the larger television stations or print media was. When Dan Snyder fired the entire public relations office, according to many of my sources, it was staffed by people that were not very professional or very experienced at what they did. Most of the stories seemed to go to or were leaked to one source, and the rest of the media resented that. It was difficult to make arrangements for interviews, especially under Spurrier, when many times the media would show up for media day to have to chase down and find players or coaches when they were actually supposed to have been present for the media to question. Several reporters talked of times showing up to totally empty locker rooms, which put them in a bind for their jobs, having to tell their employers that there wasn’t anyone there to get a story from. While this has changed, and is now much better as the people who were installed in the media office have grown into their jobs according to all of my sources, one might understand the bitterness that might linger. Along with the media office staff doing so much better, most commented, Joe Gibbs has also turned things around with his steady hand at the helm in taking care of the media people and showing them the respect that they feel they deserve.

    The third point is that Dan Snyder, perceiving the attack from the media as being unduly harsh, tended to not talk to them, erecting a wall around himself. While this can be understood, it certainly doesn’t help in their perceptions of Dan and who he is. This is also changing quite a bit since Dan has grown into the job with experience, meeting with reporters at dinners and trying to reopen relations with most of the outlets. If a person isn’t present to counter claims made against him, or doesn’t come out to refute them, then the perception is that the claims made are true, or that the person in question has something to hide. With Dan Snyder beginning to make an effort, though, I could hear in my interviews that most of these analysts beginning to soften around the edges.

    In fact, many gave Dan Snyder credit to me on the phone, stating his miraculous re-hiring of Gibbs as the first step in the right direction. They also repeatedly told me that his obvious love of the team isn’t in question, not one bit. The fact that he is willing to empty his wallet over and over to help the Skins win is something that they admire, especially with many tight fisted owners in the league. The fact that he seems to be stepping back to let Joe run the team without his interfering is another good step to the reporters I questioned.

    Most agreed that Dan is moving the ship on the right course now, and in a couple of years under stable ownership/coaching with a better record, the perception of not only Dan Snyder, but the Redskins organization as a whole, will change for the better.

    One source, as far as the current feelings go, summed it up nicely though – Dan Snyder has flown in the face of tradition. And in this league that doesn’t do. Not one bit.

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

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    Draft Day: Winners and Losers

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    Once again, the fan favorite, the circus maximus that highlights the start of NFL season has passed by. The lights have dimmed, and the workers have come to cleanse the sands and remove the losers from the floor. But, who, in the matches of the weekend that brings shouts of anger and joy from onlookers survived, and who failed outright? Who reached for the glory and fell short? Who maneuvered for position only to find themselves paying too high a price? Here are the top three winners and losers of the Draft Day weekend.

    The Losers:

    The first to fall to the sirens of the days were the Cleveland Browns. This once mighty franchise, with all of its inner struggles, traded up one spot after reaching for a truly mighty warrior in LT Robert Gallery, falling far short in picking up a possible troubled youth in TE Kellen Winslow II. While being of uncontested ability, his reported locker room conduct may make the team wish they had traded down to get some linemen for their running back Lee Suggs to run behind. That was their major need of the draft, and rather than opt for that, they wasted picks to move up and take a non – need player. They added a good safety, but their second day picks were mostly very raw projects.

    The second victim of draft day delirium was the Dallas Cowboys. While their fans will argue that their pick of Julius Jones was terrific and their pick up of a first rounder was spectacular, they passed on two larger backs with more durability, less fumble issues and that is what they needed. They are trading a sure thing that they went with before in Troy Hambrick. Julius Jones missed the entire 2002 season and while he may have been a bargain to grab in the second round, passing up on Steven Jackson or Jones from Virginia Tech may very well have been a huge mistake that they will hate to hear fans revisit in the future. In fact, with no backs picked, the Cowboys went with the 6th – 8th best running back on the board for most teams. Their later round picks, such as OT Jacob Rogers, might not seem so bad, if it weren’t for known durability problems – but they reached for him when he most likely would have fallen.

    The final to be dragged from the sands were the K.C. Chiefs. They did not truly get any players in need positions that they were lacking in. They made major reaches in the second round with DT Siavii or TE Wilson. Most people are saying the same things, that the raw talent might be there, but that these unpolished jewels are far from being treasures. Having those picks in the second round instead of another round or two, where the raw talent is found makes these tremendous errors rather than finding immediate impact players to help out their needy defense.

    The Winners:

    First – the New York Giants. While some may scream that the price they paid was insane, look at what the Giants have had to deal with since Simms left. Their quarterback performance hasn’t been much better than Ryan Leaf’s tryout at San Diego or Heath Shuler’s with the Skins. Yes, Collins took them to a Superbowl, but then performed so abysmally many were amazed that that team even made it there. Many, mostly the teams of the NFC East, may one day rue this draft sacrifice of the Giant’s front office. Chris Snee, a very good guard, one of the best of the draft, will help solidify a very large problem on their offensive line and a very serviceable linebacker in Reggie Torbor helped fill in another need.

    The Lions will roar. And Mariucci and company will be too. They pulled off a nice deal with Cleveland for the Browns to move up one spot and not take the kid they were looking for. Matt Millen is chuckling over that, and still gets a feather in his cap for many good pickups that they needed. The primary two are the weapons that could possibly (if they stay healthy) make them into a potent offense. Roy Williams (WR) and Kevin Jones (RB) are two very potent defense destruction machines that add to a very dangerous (on paper so far) combination already in place with Harrington and Rogers. This could quite seriously put them on the map for a meteoric rise in the offensive statistics departments.

    The Patriots, well, are the Patriots. There isn’t much to be said here besides here they go again. A potent defensive weapon in Wilfork and potentially one of the best tight ends of the draft in Ben Watson, they solidified two needs on their team in the first round. While the Pats stocked up on raw talent, in most cases they have people in front of the talent to learn behind while they grow. Cedric Cobbs (RB), will be behind Corey Dillon, Marquise Hill (DE) is behind some young defensive ends in place, but if Klecko moves to linebacker when the aging corps loses a player to retirement, Hill might be a raw talent to insert in his place. Even Wilfork and Watson can learn behind Keith Traylor and Christian Fauria before having to be placed into service. And who is one of the better teachers in the league? Bill is. While no major impact may be felt in the initial rush of the Patriots rookies of this draft, the long term effect of the Patriot stockpiling may be huge.

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

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    Easter Bowl 2004

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    How many times have you thought to yourself that you would give anything to be able to play just one more game in the sport that you once excelled? One more chance to step onto a stage that you once thought you would never leave? One more chance to feel the warmth of the spotlight one last time? Did you ever think ‘if I knew then what I know now,’ or perhaps have the physical skills then that you do now? If you answered “yes” to more than one of those questions, congratulations. You are no different than most former athletes who still have those competitive juices flowing through your veins. By the way, if you answered “no” to those questions, you may need to ask someone near you to check your pulse, as you may in fact be dead.

    The reason I ask about the “one more chance” is that I have been given such an opportunity. No, I did not get the call I wanted from Redskin Park, at least not yet anyway. I will be playing in the Easter Bowl, a charity flag football game, scheduled to be held April 8th, 2004, of which it’s proceeds benefit Easter Seals of Central Pennsylvania. It is a celebrity based event which features former Penn State players including several former and current NFL players, local celebrities and personalities. While it may appear to be only a “charity” game on the surface, trust me when I say that the Easter Seals may be the beneficiary of the proceeds, but the local pharmacies and physicians will also benefit shortly after the game comes to an end. You see, many of the players in this game have answered an emphatic “yes” to all of the questions given at the onset of this piece.

    The Easter Seals of Central Pennsylvania puts together two such events each year. Along with the Easter Bowl, (now it’s third year, having raised $28,000) they have the Turkey Bowl, which is held in the fall usually around Thanksgiving. The Easter Seals have countless volunteers, many of whom go unnamed. These two Bowls are pulled together by Tony Roefaro, a man that donates his time and energy yet asks nothing in return, except to be able to have some fun and to benefit those who need it most. Roefaro, a police officer with the Spring Township Police Department in Bellefonte, PA, has been involved with Easter Seals for seven years. He took over the duties of organizing the Turkey Bowl as well as starting the Easter Bowl three years ago; all the while performing the duties as a police officer, and serving on the board of The Second Mile, another charity organized by former Penn State defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. Roefaro was named The Centre County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2003 for the work that he does both on and off the job. When asked what motivates him to donate so much of his time to charity, time that takes him away from his own wife and children, his reply was immediate. He feels that he has been blessed as his wife, children and he himself are all in good health. Roefaro stated that if he were to have a disabled child, it is comforting to know that there are organizations such as Easter Seals to provide the care and services necessary to enjoy the life they have been given. He further states that spending time with the children that the proceeds from these events benefit, also make his time well spent. Personally, after spending time with Roefaro it is easy to see that he is passionate about his work, both professionally and with his volunteering. The Easter Seals is a great organization that is filled with Tony Roefaro’s and with their thankless efforts, the children of Central Pennsylvania will continue to benefit from their services.

    While this article was not done to illicit donations, if you would like to donate to the Easter Seals, please do so at their website. You can include my name if you like as the player you are donating for or if you like, you can donate under Tony Roefaro’s name. Either way, just know that you are benefiting a great cause, our children.

    Be sure to check back next week for a recap of this year’s edition of the Easter Bowl.


    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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    Cornering the Market

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    The Redskins have signed three cornerbacks since the departure of Champ Bailey. Newly acquired, Shawn Springs will be the starter opposite Fred Smoot. Former-Giant, Ralph Brown and Former-Bear/Colt, Walt Harris have been signed to compete with Rashad Bauman for the nickle-corner spot. However, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator, Greg Williams, has been known to use as many as four cornerbacks in a given situation. In certain situations, cornerbacks may be used as rovers or safeties.

    While playing in Seattle, Springs gained a reputation as one of the leagues’ best cover-men. He’s an excellent athlete who doesn’t shy away from tackles. Statistics are a bit misleading in the case of a good corner. Teams chose to target rookie- Marcus Trufant, rather than challenge Springs. While Springs isn’t considered a true “shut-down” corner, he offers the Skins a very talented starter.

    Harris has been nagged by tendinitis in his right knee in recent years. He’s a proven veteran and has a unique connection to the Redskins’ Defensive Assistant Coach Greg Blache. While in Chicago, Harris became an integral part of the Bear’s defense. Harris will provide solid veteran depth and provides the Skins a capable backup. He has a slight edge to gain the Skins nickle-back spot.

    The Redskins know Ralph Brown well. In 2002, Brown victimized the Redskins with an interception, a fumble recovery, two passes defended helping the Giants to a 27-21 victory. Coming out of Nebraska, Brown proved himself to be a good student of the game. Look for Brown to impress coaches with hustle, desire and tackling ability.

    Springs, Harris and Brown add talent to the defensive backfield as a combined answer for the loss of Bailey. The Redskins are said to be eyeing Sean Taylor with their fifth overall pick to round-out a revamping of the defensive backfield.

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

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    A New Theory At Work

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    Every now and then, someone finds an entirely new way of looking at the world. The Redskins have taken a unique position in the view of NFL Draft picks. The value of draft picks has been tied to the position of finish as ranked by the NFL. The team with the worst record in the NFL would receive the first pick in the following NFL draft. For years, NFL teams followed the path of drafting in whatever draft position was handed to them. However, the new positions of franchise designated players and transition tagged players have changed the status quo at Redskin Park.

    The franchise and transition tags were supposed to discourage teams from trading for key players on other teams. Along with having to pay the salary of the player, the additional draft pick compensation varied.
    In some cases, no compensation is required at all. In addition, rookies sometimes carry baggage of hold-outs, inexperience and may never actually contribute to the club. Rookies also have a considerable impact on the NF L’s salary cap. The fewer the picks, the less complicated the puzzle of fitting the team within a tight salary cap.

    Head of Player Personnel, Vinny Cerrato asked a seemingly innocent question -“Do you know your draft pick can perform at the NFL level?”
    Critics accused Cerrato and the Redskins of applying “beer goggles” to the situation. But the Redskins are applying their own rules for acquiring players. Simply put, the Redskins view the acquisition of a player as their “draft” pick. In effect, the Redskins ‘drafted’ veteran WR Laverneaus Coles and PR/KR/RB Chad Morton.

    The ‘new philosophy’ carried over to this offseason with the Portis/ Bailey trade. Bailey wanted the equivalent of $9,000,000 per season to play for the Redskins and may well have held-out if the Redskins had designated him as their ‘franchise player.’ The Redskins were in real danger of having either a disgruntled player on the field, or battling through a bitter, distracting hold-out.
    Instead, the Skins found a taker for Bailey, and wanted a quality player in exchange for the trade. The Broncos were in the driver’s seat – and they knew it. The result, the Broncos gained Bailey and a second round pick. The question is: Which team got the better deal? At first glance, the Broncos look to have the advantage. But after you consider the future impact of the salary cap implications of Bailey’s salary in addition to the constraints of an additional high-round draft pick… the Redskins may have found enough cap relief to make the trade well worth while. In addition to the cap relief, Portis is a more-than-welcome addition to the Redskins offense.

    The Redskins attempted to acquire Jeremitrius Butler from the Rams this season, with the additional cost of a 5th round pick. The Rams matched the contract offer for Butler nullifying the attempt. However, it’s another illustration of the Redskins’ unique view of draft picks. The Redskins willingness to part with draft picks is based on the answer to Cerrato’s original question. “Our players have already shown they can perform in the NFL.”

    The debate over the effectiveness of this new view will continue until one of two things happen: One – the Redskins begin to win. Two – other teams begin making similar moves. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the Redskins hope to be imitated… soon.

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

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    NFC East Ups the ‘Ante’

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    The price of poker in the NFC East has risen considerably since the end of the 2003 NFL season. The increase is not sudden, in fact the stakes have been rising steadily over the past few seasons. The Dallas Cowboys were the first to up the ante when they brought Bill Parcells out of retirement with hopes that he could continue to work the magic that he had with both New York teams (Giants and Jets) as well as with the New England Patriots. In his brief tenure as the Cowboys head coach, he has made an immediate impact on not only the team, but the entire organization. They feel their future is very bright with The Tuna leading the troops.

    With the Cowboys adding Parcells, and the Philadelphia Eagles already having the tenured Andy Reid, it was clear to both the Redskins and the Giants that they needed to do something to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. Both the Redskins and Giants were coming off very disappointing seasons, and were equally in need of a change at head coach. More important than just a change of head coaches and coaching staffs, both teams needed a change in attitude.

    The Giants found their man in the former Jacksonville Jaguar head coach, Tom Coughlin. Coughlin, a strong disciplinarian, was brought into New York to bring back some of the luster that the once proud franchise enjoyed under Parcells and saw briefly under the Jim Fassel regime. Bringing in Coughlin immediately adds credibility to the team and puts them back into the fold in the now strong again NFC East. Based on Coughlin’s previous success with the (then-expansion) Jaguars, the Giants expect to be moving out of the NFC East basement soon. It would appear that the biggest hurdle forCoughlin will be getting his players to buy into his military-esque approach after so many years under the “country club” style of coaching they saw under Jim Fassel. Perhaps that is why the exodus of Giants players continues to flood the free agent market.

    The Redskins also found their man when Daniel Snyder trumped both the Cowboys and the Giants by bringing back one of the greatest coaches in NFL history — Joe Gibbs. In bringing back Gibbs, a move that marked the end of the failed experiment that will forever be known as the “Fun-n-Gun”, the Redskins re-opened a chapter of their own history. In having Coach Gibbs back in Redskin Park, the Redskins have also upped the ante in a huge way. The biggest hurdle for Coach Gibbs is something that he never had to deal with during his last term in Washington, free agency and the salary cap. While he does have an owner that will spend whatever amount of money is needed to get the players that are needed, Gibbs will still have to learn to ‘work around it’ effectively to avoid annual salary cap casualties.

    With the heavy hitters that will be calling the NFC East home this fall, the price of poker in the NFL has definitely been raised.


    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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