On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Dec. 18, 2014 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM EST Live Gruden Press Conference Redskins head coach Jay Gruden speaks to media after practice at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va. on Thursday, December 18, 2014.
     
  • Thu., Dec. 18, 2014 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM EST Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Fri., Dec. 19, 2014 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM EST Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST Live Verizon Gametime Live Redskins pregame show hosted by Lou Holder LIVE from FedExField before the Redskins vs. Eagles kickoff on Saturday, December 20, 2014.
  • Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 6:00 PM - 6:15 PM EST Live Microsoft Halftime Update Redskins halftime update hosted by Rick "Doc" Walker and Lou Holder LIVE from FedExField during the Redskins vs.Eagles game on December 20, 2014.
     
  • Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 8:00 PM - 8:30 PM EST Live Gruden Press Conference Redskins head coach Jay Gruden takes the podium following the Redskins vs. Eagles game at FedExField on Saturday, December 20, 2014.
  • Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 8:30 PM - 9:00 PM EST Live Player Press Conference Select Redskins players take the podium following the Redskins vs. Eagles game at FedExField on Saturday, December 20, 2014.
  • Mon., Dec. 22, 2014 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM EST Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Tue., Dec. 23, 2014 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM EST Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Wed., Dec. 24, 2014 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM EST Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

On Watching Ex-Redskins In The Playoffs

Posted by Matt Terl on January 24, 2011 – 2:45 pm

The Redskins haven’t played a game of football in three weeks, but Conference Championship Sunday seemed like part of Bruce Allen’s mission to reconnect with the team’s alumni. If it wasn’t Shaun Suisham kicking the ball for the Steelers, it was Antwaan Randle El fielding punts for the same team. If it wasn’t Todd Collins coming off the bench in relief of Jay Cutler, it was Mark Brunell warming up to come off the bench in relief of Mark Sanchez.

Redskins fans have not exactly been enthused about seeing these familiar faces. A reader named Jacob Knicely, for example, tweeted this to my attention when Cutler headed to the bench:
.bbpBox29297295115689984 {background:url(http://a1.twimg.com/profile_background_images/123448527/washingtoncombo07-1.jpg) #000000;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

@redskinsblog your about to find out why dropping T.Collins was a BAD descision!less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone


He wasn’t exactly correct on that one — Collins went 0-for-4 for 0 yards and a 39.6 passer rating before being yanked in favor of untested QB3 Caleb Hanie — but it’s one example of a sentiment that I seem to hear a lot from Redskins fans: Some Guy left, and now he is awesome, and that is not fair.

Kevin Ewoldt of Hogs Haven was thinking along those kind of lines earlier today:

.bbpBox29553494214049790 {background:url(http://a0.twimg.com/profile_background_images/174866292/portisflag2.jpg) #000000;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

Suisham kicking a 23-yard Super Bowl winning field goal will put the bow on a disastrous season for #Redskins fans. #UGhless than a minute ago via web


This struck me as a needlessly negative way to look at the situation for two reasons.

1) There are plenty of examples of ex-Redskins players struggling all around the league. Look at the case of Todd Collins, above.

2) As I remember it, the fans were all too thrilled to see Shaun Suisham leave town. This isn’t Ryan Clark or Antonio Pierce, where a young, up-and-coming, fundamentally sound player was allowed to leave despite fan protest. This was a guy who was cut after missing a chip-shot field goal in a near-win over the eventual Super Bowl champs, a move that generated blog posts with celebratory headlines — like “Skins Replace Kicker Who Couldn’t Kick” (mild profanity in the link), for example, from the usually-non-histrionic Mr. Irrelevant.

I suggested these things to Ewoldt in an email; here, with his permission, is a portion of his response:

“Sure, everyone wanted Suisham gone but it says something that he’s stroking kicks now. Did their coaches fix something in his mechanics that Danny Smith couldnt? Who knows…but good players come to DC and suck. Suisham lost key games for us….and now he’s setup to win the biggest one.”

Ewoldt listed a couple other examples of this syndrome — Brandon Lloyd, Jason Taylor — and also noted that he had met Suisham a couple times and found him to be a “super nice dude” that he was rooting for. So there was clearly no malice intended on his part, but here’s the thing — he’s wrong about one very specific detail, and it’s an important one:

Suisham didn’t “come to DC and suck”; in fact, he isn’t actually performing notably better in Pittsburgh than he did here.

It sounds unbelievable, but it’s demonstrably true. Suisham was 18-of-21 (85.7%) with a long of 48 when he was cut after 12 games last season; in nine games (including postseason) he’s 16-of-18 (88.8%) with a long of 48 with the Steelers. Not an enormous difference.

But wait, you might say, his kickoffs have gotten better! Not really. His kickoff average with the Redskins was 60.1 yards with 9.6% touchbacks and an average return of 19.6 yards; with the Steelers it’s 58.9 yards, 5% touchbacks, and a 19.4 yard average return — actually WORSE than with Washington on everything besides those two-tenths of a return yard.

The numbers obscure the point though, because this isn’t really about Shaun Suisham. It’s about the fact that when you see a familiar player on another team, you notice different things. Partially it’s because your scrutiny is likely less careful –it’s a rare fan who can pay the same level of attention to the entire NFL that they pay to their favorite team.

It’s also because you’re only apt to notice a player when he does something notable, good or bad. Todd Collins stands out, because he struggled. Suisham stands out, because he has performed adequately for a winning team. But look at Antwaan Randle El. He has neither failed spectacularly in this stint with the Steelers, nor has he excelled. His punt returns, always a source of criticism in his final years here in D.C., have actually gotten slightly worse — he’s averaged 4 yards on 14 returns (and 17 fair catches), where last year he averaged a relatively robust 6 yards on 17 returns (and 19 fair catches). So he goes largely unremarked on by Redskins fans, because, really, who cares?

I absolutely hate to trot out the most overused simile in sports blogging history, but it’s kind of like seeing an attractive ex at a bar: all you’re going to notice is how she looks. She’s might still be awful in the privacy of her own home; she might still be completely boring in conversation; her family might still be dreary … but looking at her across the bar, all you can think is that she’s really good looking.

Ewoldt’s wording (and, yes, I told him all of this first in a private email) is a perfect example of this: “Suisham lost key games for us,” he wrote, “and now he’s setup to win the biggest one.” If it wasn’t for this ex-in-a-bar syndrome, he could more reasonably have said “Suisham lost key games for us … now he’s set up to lose the keyest game of all for Pittsburgh.”

And all of this ignores the fact that the Redskins are sending guys to the Pro Bowl who were discarded by Atlanta and Oakland (in DeAngelo Hall, who arrived as a supposed locker room cancer and is now a team captain) and Buffalo & St. Louis (in London Fletcher). The most successful running back for the 2010 Redskins was Ryan Torain, who was dismissed by Denver. The narrative on Anthony Armstrong is that he materialized from nowhere (and/or the Intense Football League) this year to catch 44 passes for 871 yards, but he was cut in receiver-needy Miami first. And so on and so forth.

Armstrong is an instructive example, though, because he helps to show that this isn’t a phenonmenon exclusive to Redskins fans — here’s a Dolphins blogger for the Sun-Sentinel apparently noticing AAA’s end-of-year stats:

.bbpBox26041952730357760 {background:url(http://a2.twimg.com/a/1295646587/images/themes/theme15/bg.png) #022330;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

Put this in your holy crap file: Former Dolphins WR Anthony Armstrong caught 44 passes for 871 yards and 3 TDs. He averaged 19.8 per catch.less than a minute ago via web


In the end, it’s just how things go in the modern NFL, and I feel like there’s a tendency for us as Redskins fans to focus only on the negatives. LIke I noted above, not everyone is a Ryan Clark or an Antonio Pierce, and those are just about the biggest Ones The Got Away that I can think of.

Even with Brandon Lloyd, I’m not convinced he would ever have been successful if he hadn’t experienced the struggles he did here and in San Francisco and even (to a lesser extent) in Chicago. (And if you’re feeling catty about Lloyd’s success, you could point out that the greatest season of his life got his QB benched and his head coach fired.)

Jason Taylor, though … well, that’s the thing in in Ewoldt’s email that I really couldn’t argue with. He was pretty severely miscast in the defense here at the time. Still, his wins and losses in the playoffs — like Suisham’s and Randle El’s and everyone else’s — shouldn’t make this season any more or less disastrous than it already was for Redskins fans.


Tags: ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: