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Redskins Super Bowl Omen?


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I will be staring into the sky today…

redskin-eclipse

Hail to the Redskins.

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Halfway Through Hell Week


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It’s unfortunate that we won’t get to revel as long as we should in the sweet delicious win that avenged our playoff loss last year. I can honestly say that if that is what a complete game looks like from this squad, then we can play with anyone anywhere. Not depending on injuries, not depending on the weather, and not depending on other teams helping us by underperforming. ANYONE. ANYWHERE. Our defense made the stops it needed, and our offense finally showed killer instinct by putting our foot on their throat in the 4th quarter. Dropped balls hurt us and there were two defensive delay of games penalties that left you scratching your head, but if that’s the only thing holding us back… then the sky is the limit.

I say again, it’s a shame to not get the full time to reflect on the good that was accomplished on the field this Sunday. However, with playoff implications all over these two games this week in the fact that one win directly affected the wildcard outcome and the other is necessary to repeat as division champs, we simply can’t afford to look back while we’re halfway there. Plenty of time to do that during our 10 day break before Arizona.

Dallas week is always a holy week of ritual and preparation as we ready ourselves against the hell spawn that dwells in that outhouse of a town called Dallas. While most of us are closing shop and winding down for a nice holiday, the Redskins are in a frenzy trying to prepare in what very well may be the most important week of their season. If they don’t get a break, then neither do we. So let’s review some of the elements impacting the skins:

Standouts

The easy ones to identify, and I’m sure every major sports outlet is already reviewing ad nauseam, are named Cousins, Crowder, Kelley. I won’t address the first two here and instead will let their excellence on the field speak for me. As for the latter, I’m already on record for calling for Fat Rob for a while so I’m very pleased with his emergence as our lead back. Something about him reminds me of Morris in how he’s a low profile player that never stops fighting for yards. Granted they are completely different running styles, but the result is the same. The beauty of this being that now with a running game to respect, and a DJax to stretch safeties, then there really is no good answer for our offense. It’s a paper-scissors-rock match of you can put eight men in the box to stop the run, but then we’ll burn you deep. If you pull your secondary back, Fat Rob is punching you in the mouth. Anything in between will suffer from Cousins’ best attribute of executing a quick intermediate passing game.

The player I would like to identify though is Maurice Harris. Something about the man just screams tough competitor every time I see him on the field. He’s had only four catches, but three have been on third downs to move the chains. He was only brought up due to Josh Doctson being put on IR, but at 6’ 3” he’s the tallest WR on the skins roster. With his crucial plays, including a heck of a leaping catch on a necessary third down where we were looking at our second punt with no points on the board, he’s looking like a foreshadow of a future in which the skins boast serious size at the WR position. Don’t be surprised if in a year our WR rotation looks like Garcon, Crowder, Docston, Ross, Grant, Harris.*

*Note, there is no DJax in that rotation and that there is only one WR above 6’… a trend in line with what McCloughan preaches: big men who work hard and are team first.

 

Injuries

DeSean “Glass Cannon” Jackson was yet again dealing with nagging injuries coming into the game this past Sunday. While he without a doubt is a force when healthy and has to be respected by defenses every time he steps onto the field, the Redskins offense is beginning to develop into a creature that doesn’t necessarily HAVE to have the likes of Jackson on the field in order to move the ball and put up points. We did that plenty against the #1 Defense in the league without him, but talent like his is boon when it can make it to the field. It was clear once the game started Sunday that his injuries would be of no issue, in fact he was played incredibly well. I look forward to seeing that again on Thursday.

Nick Sunberg on the other hand is an injury that cannot be dismissed. He has participated ZERO in practice due a back injury. McCloughan brought in a Free Agent, but make no mistake that will have little impact on this week. In fact, this has the potential to be a HUGE impact on our offense. Why do you ask? because of red zone issues. Currently the Skins have redzonaphobia and until that changes anything that endangers our field goal unit endangers our offense as a whole. Ironically, the offense is playing just well enough that our punt unit isn’t affected by this injury (Seriously, the Skins average one punt a game. Our offense is by far the most effective unit at avoiding 3-and-outs in the NFL right now) but is not playing well enough to be able to avoid relying on the field goal unit for salvation. The Long Snapper-Holder-Kicker is a tripod relationship based on timing and accountability and when we lose Nick, you can expect it to suffer. It’s no surprise that Gruden stuck to going for two against the Packers and I argue that’s not due to the wind. A bad snap/hold is a high risk with an unpracticed tripod, and if we’re gonna take a risk it might as well be a 2-point risk instead of a 1-point one. I know that our offense looked like a juggernaut against the Packers and the redzone wasn’t an issue then. One game alone does not break a trend though, and until we consistently walk away with 7 points injures like this will have a greater impact than they should. Taking into account the likelihood of a close game Thursday where every point matters, ask the Steelers how it feels to be down a due to missed 2-point conversions.

….. Other that that though, we’re looking great from a health perspective. Morgan Moses is playing hurt, but not that you could tell the way he he’s holding down the right side. Honestly *knocks violently on wood* our injury report (or lack thereof) is a bright spot for this team right now.

 

Schedule

The NFL schedule-makers — Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Howard Katz, Vice President of Broadcasting Onnie Bose, Senior Manager of Broadcasting Jonathan Payne and Senior Director of Broadcasting Michael North — have effectively stuck a thumb in the eye of the Skins this year in the form of our schedule. I REALLY hate the excuses of a short week, but the fact of the matter is the data doesn’t lie. Teams with short turnarounds generally play very poorly on Thursday. The fact that we played Sunday night as opposed to Sunday afternoon means we are in a direr spot because you can’t call Sunday night a restful one with players not leaving Fedex Field until 1am much less getting home till 2 hours later due to traffic. I was at the game and I can tell you I was dog tired the next day without playing 60 minutes against an NFL caliber team. So the exhaustion is real. Here’s hoping our skins can overcome basic human needs and the fact that they have less than 3 full days to recuperate. If there ever was a time to do it, it’s Dallas week.

Also, figures that four people with “Broadcasting” in their title who have never played a snap in the NFL would make decisions based on dollar signs and not on competitive balance. Thanks Goodell, really glad your crack team is at it again to ensure the best possible product is on the field at all times.

 

Weather

While Jerry World is an enclosed stadium so there is no issue of dealing with the same kind of elements the Skins faced this Sunday, I would be remise if I didn’t at least address Kirk’s play in the bad weather. The wind on Sunday was BAD. How bad? Enough that it impacted field goals, kick offs, punts, and Rogers’ deep ball. You know what wasn’t impacted by it? Captain Kirk’s throws. Maybe it’s a byproduct of growing up in Michigan, but holy cow can Cousins throw accurately into the wind. He explained in interviews after the game that it’s all about how he puts a spiral on the ball to cut the wind. I don’t care if it’s his spiral, arm strength, or magic pixie dust that’s causing it. All I know is that teams with quarterbacks that can play well in winter conditions do well in the post-season.

 

Fans

I was at the game this Sunday and even though the Packers always travel well, it was nice to know that their large numbers meant nothing as the noise levels from the crowds decidedly favored the Skins. That made me very happy. However, there is one area in which the fans have been loud that makes my heart very much the opposite of happy. For whatever reason, there still seems a lack of buy-in on #8 being our field general. You’ve read it in the papers, you see it on twitter, and you can hear it on the radio. For whatever reason, it seems like regardless of what Kirk does he always has detractors. I know you can’t please everyone all of the time, but there comes a point when enough is enough.

Maybe it’s leftovers from the RGIII era. A time when the Skins bandwagon got a lot bigger than it had been due to a media darling taking the reins of this team. Eventually after that historic season (a season that without Cousins’ two wins, including a HUGE clutch game against the Ravens, the playoffs never occur for us) we were left with a battle between Skins fans and RGIII fans. That fight continued to be fought bitterly and openly last season and the echos still reverberate every time a bad throw happens. The echos always sound the same way:

“He’s a game manager”

Yes, he’s a game manager in that he manages to win games.

“His arm strength isn’t elite”

Got three +40 yard passes into 20mph+ winds last Sunday that say otherwise

“He doesn’t show emotion”

Maybe because Kirk saw firsthand what happens when you make noise off the field and the harrowing vulture-like approach media coverage in the Washington area takes. In the land where everything is a controversy and back door conversations make it to the front page of the WaPo regularly, it’s no wonder he’s so guarded. He lost the popularity contest to Griffin, and had been cast as an unwanted stop-gap until a real quarterback comes along. GUESS WHAT FOLKS! A real quarterback isnt’ coming, HE’S HERE. You can’t crush every record not owned by someone named Sammy Baugh and not be the real deal. Saying otherwise is an insult to all of the other great Redskins signal callers who unanimously say Kirk is for real (No, Donovan McNabb isn’t counted in that group).

After the “You Like That” moment which was an outlier in the Cousin’s behavioral displays last year, he’s started to show his true nature with “Ooooouuuuweeee” and “How do you like me now”. Which should take away the last bit of ammo the detractors had.

He can throw, he can read defenses, he can lead this team, and his desire to win is evident. All he has left to do is be successful in the last remaining test for a Redskins Quarterback, what is without question the most important indicator of a GREAT Redskins quarterback…. Winning against the Cowboys.

Finish this week from Hell Kirk, BEAT DALLAS.

 

HTTR,

@BryanK3ys

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Wallpaper: The Hogs – A Painting On Canvas


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The Hogs Paintintg On Canvas

The Hogs Painting On Canvas

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Flashback Wallpaper: Sean Taylor


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Flashback Wallpaper: Sean Taylor

Flashback Wallpaper: Sean Taylor

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Bacon Bits: Redskins News From Around The Web For The Week Of June 8th 2016


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Ten Day Edition, in case you missed anything.

 

The Washington Post reports Redskins LG Shawn Lauvao (foot, ankle) is expected to be ready for training camp.

Lauvao underwent five foot surgeries after landing on injured reserve last season, but he said last month he will be ready for camp. If he can get healthy, Lauvao will compete with Spencer Long for the starting spot at left guard. Long has also seen some snaps at center this offseason.
Jun 7 – 9:57 AM

Matt Jones is practicing with a football which emits a warning signal if he does not apply pressure to every key point.

After Jones fumbled five times in just 163 touches last year, the Redskins are pulling out all the stops to improve his ball security. “We’ve got all kinds of things that help him out,” coach Jay Gruden said, “mainly focus on the ball not just when he’s in contact or in the line of scrimmage, but outside of contact where he had a lot of trouble last year.” Jones is expected to carry the load for Washington, but he will have to protect the ball better to retain the workhorse role. Jones is shaping up as a risk/reward RB2.
Jun 7 – 9:20 AM

DeSean Jackson was on the field for practice Monday.

Jackson had been skipping OTAs to this point, forfeiting a $500,000 workout bonus along the way. He is still owed $7.5 million in salary and bonuses in the final year of his deal. He will turn 30 in December.
Jun 6 – 12:24 PM

Rich Tandler of CSN Mid-Atlantic says the Redskins are being “ultra-cautious” with first-round WR Josh Doctson (foot).

Doctson hasn’t participated in OTAs since Tuesday, but Tandler described the injury as “something that we might not even hear about if it happened in October.” There’s little doubt Doctson will be ready for training camp.
Jun 5 – 12:18 PM

Redskins signed third-round CB Kendall Fuller to a four-year contract.

Coming off microfracture surgery his final year at Virginia Tech, Fuller has been cleared fully for team drills at OTAs. He’s expected to compete for the Redskins’ nickel back job behind starters Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland.
Jun 2 – 4:29 PM

Matt Jones wants to show he is “capable of being a No. 1 back all the time.”

Jones had some impressive flashes last season, but ball security and inconsistency plagued him as a rookie. Some of those inconsistencies could have resulted from the “hot-hand” approach the Redskins utilized last year. “I felt like if I had a bad game, the next game I wouldn’t get so many carries,” Jones said. “If I had a good game, I felt like I had to put so much pressure on myself to have a good game again. It was a lot of highs and lows.” Now healthy and comfortable as the clear No. 1, Jones should be in line for a more consistent and successful season. He is a solid RB2 with some upside.
Jun 2 – 8:49 AM

Redskins undrafted WR Reggie Diggs underwent a knee scope and will be sidelined until training camp.

Diggs (6’4/200) is an UDFA out of Richmond. He’s an extreme roster long shot.
Jun 1 – 2:20 PM

First-round WR Josh Doctson “hurt his foot” Tuesday and will be sidelined at least one week.

The words “foot injury” associated with a skill player are never something a team wants to hear. But X-rays came back negative on Doctson’s foot, and the rookie will sit for at least the next 7-10 days. He’ll miss the remainder of OTAs and doesn’t sound optimistic for this month’s mandatory minicamp. Doctson should be fine well ahead of training camp, but this is something to watch.
Jun 1 – 2:17 PM

Redskins TE Niles Paul has bulked up to 250 pounds.

A college wide receiver and punt returner, Paul measured 6-foot-1, 224 coming out of Nebraska, so this is a considerable size increase. In order to earn snaps behind $50 million starter Jordan Reed, Paul will need to hold up in the running game. He could become a fantasy factor with an injury to Reed.
Source: ESPN.com
May 31 – 9:50 PM

DeSean Jackson forfeited a $500,000 workout bonus by skipping OTAs.

Must be nice. In order to collect the bonus, Jackson needed to participate in at least 90 percent of Washington’s offseason activities, which began on April 18. “He has been here, he has popped in and had a cup of coffee,” coach Jay Gruden said. “Last time I looked up the word ‘voluntary,’ that is his choice, and he has been in the league nine years.” Jackson is still owed a $3.75 million base salary in addition to a $3.75 million roster bonus.
Source: ESPN.com
May 31 – 8:56 PM

ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim said “there’s little incentive” for Kirk Cousins to sign a long-term deal unless Washington meets his asking price.

Keim reports both sides want a long-term deal, but he predicts Cousins will play 2016 under the terms of the franchise tag. That decision could end up working for both sides. The Redskins are understandably hesitant to shell out long-term guarantees after one season, and Cousins probably thinks he will be in a better position to negotiate if he puts together another solid season. It would still be slightly surprising if the two sides did not work something out, but it is not out of the question.
Source: ESPN
May 31 – 1:20 PM

Redskins third-round CB Kendall Fuller (microfracture surgery) has been cleared for team drills.

Fuller said he was “90 percent healthy” earlier this month. He remains on track for the start of training camp. Fuller should open the season in a nickel role behind Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland.
May 28 – 4:17 PM

Kirk Cousins thinks first-round WR Josh Doctson can be “a great weapon in the red zone.”

Doctson might not beat out Pierre Garcon for a starting job by Week 1, but he has the size and ball skills to be an immediate threat in the red zone. “Looks like he can make the contested catch. It’s very natural for him to go up and catch that type of pass,” Cousins said. “He can run well. He has got great size. I almost thought he was a tight end when he showed up because of his size.” If DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed can stay healthy, Cousins should have no shortage of weapons to target this season.
May 28 – 11:55 AM

Kirk Cousins said he expects 2015 fourth-round WR Jamison Crowder to make a sophomore jump.

“When it’s your second year and you caught [that] many passes in your first year, you come in a little more confident and sure of yourself,” Cousins said. “All of that lends itself to taking another step forward.” Crowder saw plenty of targets with DeSean Jackson sidelined for a good chunk of last season, but he was limited to 604 yards and two scores on 59 catches. A limited slot receiver, Crowder will struggle to carve out a big role if Jackson, Pierre Garcon and rookie Josh Doctson stay healthy.
May 28 – 11:47 AM

Redskins ILB Perry Riley (foot) is still in a walking boot.

Riley injured his foot late last season and was initially slapped with a 3-6 week timetable after requiring surgery to put a pin in his fifth metatarsal. Six months later, the foot is still giving him pain and discomfort. Riley expects to be ready for camp, but is due for a second opinion on his foot soon.
May 27 – 10:37 AM

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Projecting Proficiency: What Can We Expect From The 2016 Washington Redskins Offense?


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So, you’re a Skins fan with visions of touchdowns dancing in your head.  All you’ve been thinking about since the draft is how many extra towels you’ll need to wipe up the drool over the potential of this 2016 Washington offense.  After all, unless Kirk Cousins completely regresses it seems unfathomable the passing offense could not be highly successful.  Desean Jackson is healthy.  The virtually non-productive Andre Roberts has been replaced by the perhaps not-so-surprisingly productive Jamison Crowder.  Teams can no longer double Garcon, whose production suffered as a result of a lack of a depleted receiving corps.  Ryan Grant, who had 23 receptions last season is ostensibly 5th on the depth chart.  Speedster Rashad Ross is 6th.  The tight end situation has been taken from dire to delicious with not only the return of a healthy Niles Paul but also the signing of Vernon Davis.  The position is solidified to such extent Logan Paulsen may be fighting for a roster spot.  To be perfectly frank, we have a split decision on newly anointed starter Matt Jones at running back.  There really isn’t much history upon which to base a substantive opinion.  For the purposes of projecting numbers reason dictates Jones will see at least the same number of carries primary back Alfred Morris saw last season, possibly more.  Certainly the backs in combination will see many opportunities and with a healthy and revamped offensive line it is reasonable to expect at least marginal improvement to meet the league rushing average per carry.

Considerable deliberate thought and careful consternation were given to the following projections based upon not only last season but also taking into account the roster changes for the 2016 NFL season.  The figures are intended to be reasonable and attainable based only upon each individual remaining healthy for the full season.  If your first inclination is to balk at the numbers for Cousins my first inclination is to remind you he’s playing on the franchise tag for a contract at the time of this writing and nothing should lead anyone to believe he will not perform under those circumstances.  Quod erat demonstrandum

 

Projections

Kirk Cousins
600 attempts
400 completions (67%)
5,000 yards
35 Touchdowns
6.0% TD Percentage
2.0% Interception Percentage
312.5 YPG
20 Sacks

Matt Jones
250 Carries
1,000 yards
30 receptions
300 yards

Other Backs
150 carries
600 yards
85 receptions
500 yards

Desean Jackson
60 receptions
1,100 yards
8 Touchdowns

Pierre Garcon
75 receptions
800 yards
6 Touchdowns

Jamison Crowder
50 receptions
500 yards
5 Touchdowns

Josh Doctson
40 receptions
500 yards
5 Touchdowns

Other Receivers
60 receptions
600 yards
5 Touchdowns

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Wallpaper Wednesday: Washington Redskins Football


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Washington Redskins Football

Washington Redskins Football

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Wallpaper Saturday?


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It’s a little slow in the way of Redskins news for the next two months so if you’re looking forward to the 2016 season, and we know you are, you can look for a variety of ways to keep your desktop or mobile device hailing to the Washington Redskins between now and September as well as the usual exclusive content for which you’ve come to trust the site.

Redskins logo on old paper

Redskins logo on old paper

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Back, By Popular Demand


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It’s possibly the worst kept secret in the organization that the Washington Redskins need insurance at the running back position.  Dismissing all of the questions surrounding the abilities of Matt Jones to be the primary back and operating under the assumption he will, in fact, be the primary back due to both verbal confirmation from the powers that be and lack of evidence to the contrary, the team needs a proven veteran backup who has shown an ability to carry the workload should Jones become either injured or ineffective.

The free agency options are plentiful and while none necessarily make one think any player currently on the waiver wire is a better starting option than Jones there are several who have started far more games in their respective careers.  Keeping in mind the backup is not part of a youth movement but rather part of a, “Dear Lord, get us to the next draft so we can address this need.” movement, the following players seem viable options in that role.  Obviously each comes with caveats otherwise they’d not be in the free agency market.  The salary figures are from the 2015 NFL season.  Those costing over $1.0MM appear on chart #1 while those costing under $1.0MM appear on chart #2.

Statistics alone say the Redskins should be looking at Arian Foster or Steven Jackson, both of whom have been workhorse primary backs in the past.  Foster is coming off a major injury but ran for 1,246 yards in just 13 games in 2014.  If he can pass a physical he has to be considered a serious option.  Jackson’s last productive season was 2012.  He is not a viable option.  Bell had a poor 2015 season but carried the ball 390 times for 1,510 yards in 2013-2014.  Gerhart has never carried the ball more than 109 times in a season and has totaled 160 carries in the last three seasons.  He is not a viable option.  Bush has carried the ball just 84 times for 325 yards the past two seasons.  He is not a viable option.  Of the ‘expensive’ backups only Foster and Bell potentially fill the necessary role.

Of the lower priced backs, Bradshaw has played just 19 games the past three seasons.  Durability issues eliminate him from the equation.  Jackson has carried the ball just 165 times for 625 yards the past two seasons.  Age has caught up with him.  He is not a viable option.  Pierce has carried the ball just 99 times for 370 yards the past two seasons however he did carry the ball 150 one season and is only 25 years of age.  Thomas played four games with the Skins last season but has only carried the ball 75 times for 350 yards the past three seasons combined.  He is not a viable option as a primary back.

The long and short of the situation is that, at present, there are limited viable options for a backup who can double as a primary back if necessary and the Redskins need to jump on one of the few options before there are none.  Arian Foster at even 75% of what he once was would be a tremendous asset as a backup.  Joique Bell could possibly regain his former form with better run blocking than he had in Detroit.  Pierce could potentially be a low cost, low risk, high reward backup.  There also may be a player unexpectedly released at some point who fits the bill.  What doesn’t fit the bill is having Chris Thompson and Keith Marshall as the backup plan.  Journalists are supposed to tell the story, not write the story, but if someone like a Robert Kelley wants to step up into the role of primary backup that would be a story I’d enjoy writing.  Why not?  If the team is willing to trust Jones as the primary back then why not Kelley as the backup?

P.S.> I know Steven Jackson is in both charts.  Kindly overlook that egregious error.  You may flog me later when the team goes in an entirely different direction.

Backs

 
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Minion Monday: Eagles Victory


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Bidoo, bidoo!!

Has the Eagle Landed Yet?

What a roller coaster ride for Redskins fans yesterday, but in the end… when you beat a division rival… you take the crunchy with the smooth, and you rejoice.

Happy Victory Monday Redskins Nation.

minion-VictoryMondayEagles

Hail.

Follow me on Twitter @TheHogsdotNet and feel free to share the graphic to all your social networks.

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