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  • Wed., Sep. 20, 2017 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT Live Jay Gruden, Kirk Cousins At The Podium Tune in to hear Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruiden and quarterback Kirk Cousins talk at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
  • Thu., Sep. 21, 2017 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM EDT Live Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky At The Podium Tune in to hear Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruiden and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky talk at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
  • Fri., Sep. 22, 2017 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT Live Jay Gruden, Matt Cavanaugh At The Podium Tune in to hear Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh talk at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
  • Sun., Sep. 24, 2017 7:30 PM - 7:50 PM EDT Redskins-Raiders Pregame Show Tune in to watch the pregame happenings from the Washington Redskins' Week 3 game against the Oakland Raiders at FedExField in Landover, Md.
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Grossman: We Need To Finish Drives

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 27, 2011 – 5:19 pm

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With the game on the line and trailing by two points inside of a minute, the Redskins drive stalled, as it had on several occasions last night.  While some members of the media questioned the playcall in the post-game press conference, Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman defended the offensive scheme.

“Our offense is based on some passing that, in the West Coast-type of plays that we were running–y’know, long hand-offs, screens–those are passes, but they’re pretty much runs,” he explained.  “So your stats might be a little skewed as far as that’s concerned.  I dunno, you’ve got to look at it from a play-callers perspective.”

As far as one-for-three in the redzone, including one-of-two in goal-to-go situations, Grossman made no bones about his irritation with the field goals.

“I don’t know if you want me to go on and on about it,” he began.

Please do go on and on, Rex.

“We need to finish those drives and not kick field goals,” he said with emphatic arm motions.  “We’ll work on it.  We were good the first game, the second game it was closer than it needed to be for that reason, and obviously we lost because of that this week.  We’re obviously moving the ball well, and we need to finish those drives, and maybe we can put a team away earlier.”

For all of Grossman’s post-game comments and emphatic arm motions, check out the video below: Read more »

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Shanahan Not Letting Team Dwell On Loss

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 27, 2011 – 4:35 pm

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With only 16 opportunities to justify a year’s worth of work, NFL teams have to find some way to grow and improve, even in defeat. Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan isn’t interested in moral victories, but won’t turn down a learning experience for his young team either.

“You find out what type of football team you got,” he said after the game.  “Like I told the football team, obviously you’re disappointed any time put your heart and soul into it a game and you lose–especially like that.  It hurts.”

He continued: “You don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself. You have to get ready for Wednesday for a new opponent. You have about a day-and-a-half-plus of recovery time and you still have to put a game plan together. We are going against a team that is going to show us their best shot, because they got embarrassed last week as well.”

The Redskins face another dangerous team on the road this Sunday in the Rams, who have stumbled out of the gate to a 0-3 start.  Before losing to the Baltimore Ravens at home last week, 37-7, the Rams dropped a pair to the Eagles and Giants to open the season.  This game represents a chance for the Redskins to get back on track, but it also represents a big game for keeping pace in the NFC East.

Watch Shanahan’s full post-game press conference below: Read more »

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Week 4 Power Ranking Roundup

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 27, 2011 – 3:53 pm

What’s that in the air?  Why, it’s the gentle breeze of legitimacy blowing around Redskins Park.

Despite being dealt their first loss last night, the bottom didn’t fall out for the Redskins respect among NFL analysts, insiders and experts.  As a matter of fact, playing the Cowboys close last night gained some respect for the team, even if the numbers didn’t reflect it.

If the Redskins fell, they only fell a little, and in one curious case, they actually gained two spots.

CBSSports.com held the Redskins at No. 13, same as last week:

FoxSports.com gave the Redskins No. 13, up from 15:

NBC/ProFootballTalk.com gave the Redskins No. 18, down from 16:

ESPN.com gave the Redskins No. 16, down from 15:

NFC East blogger for ESPN.com, Dan Graziano, had commentary to go along with the speed bump:

 Think what a win Monday night could have done. It would have made the Redskins 3-0 and possibly vaulted them into the top six along with undefeated surprises Buffalo and Detroit. But they couldn’t hold on, so they sink back toward the middle. Clayton’s the biggest Skins booster among the voters, as he has them 11th, while Ashley has them 18th. I might have slid them ahead of any or all of the four teams in front of them, including the Giants, whom they beat Week 1. But I can understand the lingering skepticism.

Close losses probably hurt the worst, but they show that a team is respectable and capable of winning if a few plays go the other way.  No shame in being in first place for the third consecutive week either.  If the Redskins can fix the problems that plagued them last night, then they should find themselves in the win column and further up the power rankings.

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Game Statistics That Tell The Tale

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 27, 2011 – 1:10 pm

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Mark Twain once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

I don’t peddle the first two, but I’ll make my case for the third, and it comes with a caution.  Statistics in sports are a means for understanding a rate of success or validity.  They are not the whole the story, and should not be taken in place of the tape that the players and coaches will study.  Statistics do not offer suggestions, they just look at trends.

In the case of yesterday’s game, there were numbers that stood in contrast to the success experienced in the first two games.

The things that made the Redskins successful on offense in the first two games: time of possession, total plays, establishing the running game, and third down conversions—didn’t come through last night.

  • Time of possession: 28:24 yesterday vs. 35:33 in each of the first two weeks.  Averaged 27:55 in 2010.
  • Total plays: 62 yesterday vs. 71.5 in each of the first two weeks.
  • Rushing yards: 65 yesterday vs. 123 in each of the first two weeks.
  • Third down conversion percentage: 25 percent yesterday vs. 34 percent in each of the first two weeks.

The things that made them successful on special teams in the first two games: good returns, clean snaps and holds, and consistent coverage—didn’t come through last night. Read more »

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Redskins Conscious Of The Let Down

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 27, 2011 – 12:41 pm

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After the first two victories of the season, there was only a sprinkling of self-congratulatory tweets from Redskins players.  After last night’s victory, there was a chorus of apologies and vows to do better for Redskins Nation.

Tight end Fred Davis:

Linebacker Perry Riley:

Wide receiver Donte Stallworth:

Cornerback Josh Wilson:

Fullback Darrel Young:

Return specialist Brandon Banks: Read more »

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The Silver Lining On A Rainy Day

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 27, 2011 – 10:58 am

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Today’s forecast is mostly somber with chance of afternoon angst.

I would also like to debunk reports that the sky is falling in Redskins Nation.  That’s just a little rain.

As a side note, huge props to the people that were here to greet the team at Redskins Park at 5:30 a.m.  I’m not sure who you are, but I can tell you that, seeing you here at a totally unreasonable hour, in the rain, after a loss, made an impression on members of the organization.  Nice work.

Last night was an emotional loss, and it isn’t any less emotional on two hours of sleep.  But there is a greater degree of clarity, looking at it in the rear-view mirror.

By the numbers, there is no must-win in Week 3.  The season is younger than this football, and the Redskins are still own a share of first place in the NFC East, with the tie-breaker over the Giants.

Additionally, there are no guarantees on the road.  In an even match, home teams are generally granted a three-point spread, a number that the Cowboys didn’t cover last night.  Since 2003, the Redskins have only won 38 percent of road games, next to the league average of 43 percent.  Remove the Colts and Patriots from that equation, and the league average sinks to 41 percent.  Road teams simply do not win all that often.

More importantly, when it comes to measuring the character of a man, it’s looking at how he acts when he thinks that no one is watching. When it comes to measuring the character of a team, it’s looking at how they respond to a loss when everyone is watching. Read more »

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Fourth Quarter Frustrations

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 27, 2011 – 12:17 am

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Even though you, the voters, selected the Redskins defense as the winner of tonight’s game ball (81 percent), the credit for tonight’s successes fall on the headset of head coach Mike Shanahan.

In the first quarter, he challenged the failed fumble recovery by Kevin Barnes, correctly determining that Barnes touched the ball while still in the air.  Cornerback Josh Wilson was actually the second player to touch the live ball, and secured it in bounds.  Shanahan is one-for-one on challenges in 2011.

At the end of the game, he called a timeout just before the 2-minute warning to give his offense a chance to drive for the win.  Obviously, it didn’t happen, but the game-plan and clock management were in place to allow the players the opportunity to win.

There isn’t much good to take from a loss.  It’s even harder to find the silver lining on the first loss, against the arch rival, on the national stage, To.The.Cowboys.  But there are a few offensive and defensive notes to take away from tonight’s game that make it worth tuning into next week:

  • The Cowboys marched up and down the field tonight, but the Redskins defense held them out of the endzone.  Yes, there were big plays that ultimately cost them the game, but by trading touchdowns for field goals, they kept the offense in the game.
  • The offense held the Cowboys defense to three sacks, after the unit grabbed nine in the first two games of the season.  Protection is still problem, but this was a tough task against the Rob Ryan blitz-happy defense.

On an individual level:

  • Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is a stud on this defense, and will only get better with more time and seasoning.  Tonight, he finished with four solo tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.  The “rookie” and “new position” storylines are just about dead, because he continues to be assert himself alongside his veteran teammates.
  • Santana Moss slides through the Cowboys defense like a hot knife through butter.  He finished tonight with a team-high five receptions for 70 yards.  He’s not the speed demon like he was for Mark Brunell in 2005, but he’s a smart, fearless, reliable target for Rex Grossman.

Before the game, there were a million reasons to say that the Redskins wouldn’t have a chance tonight.  In retrospect, the Cowboys’ injury woes were overblown: Tony Romo, Felix Jones, and Terence Newman all played, and all three factored into the outcome.  But once the Redskins were ahead, late in the fourth quarter, there are a million reasons that they should have won.

Every unit will study the game film and figure out ways to improve.  Remember that this is still the same young unit that no one believed in two weeks ago, and they had a tall task beating the Cowboys on the road.  The Redskins have another road test next week in St. Louis, and I would expect to see tonight’s problems addressed.

This is going to be the longest short week imaginable for the Redskins.  A tough loss tonight, and a lot of work to be done.

Over and out from Dallas, final score, Washington 16, Dallas 18.

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