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Redskins Making The Obvious Choice

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 31, 2011 – 8:45 pm

The Redskins announced the signing of former Cowboys running back Tashard Choice.  Choice was released from the Cowboys on Friday, and signed by the arch-rival Washington Redskins this afternoon.

Choice (5-10, 212) was originally drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round (122nd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft and spent his entire career with Dallas before being released on Oct. 28, 2011. Choice has 1,139 yards rushing on 250 attempts (4.6 avg.) and eight rushing touchdowns in 54 games. He has also caught 64 passes for 497 yards and returned three kickoffs for 61 yards in his career.

Against the Redskins, for his career, Choice has 37 plays from scrimmage for 116 yards and a touchdown.  Looks like Rick ‘Doc’ Walker will need to perform another cleansing, like the one he performed on former Cowboy Stephen Bowen.

The best part about this signing, is that Choice is one of Bowen’s best friends.  Bowen was very excited this afternoon when news broke of the signing, and will certainly aid in the transition to Redskins Nation: Read more »

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Peacemaker Hall: ‘Football Happened’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 31, 2011 – 6:28 pm

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Redskins may not have won yesterday, but they didn’t quit, and you can’t say they don’t care.

Lost in the hubbub of yesterday’s game was an intense sideline discussion between Redskins defensive captain London Fletcher and safety LaRon Landry.  Frustrations were boiling at this point, but before anyone boiled over, cornerback DeAngelo Hall stepped in with a calm, cool, collected approach.

“Just football–football happened,” he explained to CSN Washington after the game.  “It was an internal matter, and it definitely didn’t involve me.”

Hall joked that he’s normally the most mercurial of the three, but it was his rational approach that kept the defense together.

“Everyone thought it was me,” he said with a smirk.  “For once, I was actually one of the cooler heads that was trying to keep things civilized, and tried to help everybody understand that we’re all on the same team and we’re all trying to get to the same goal.”

Media members love to discuss when ‘a loss is more than a loss.’  Letting sideline frustrations get out of control would have been ‘more than a loss.’  Fortunately for the team, cooler heads prevailed.

Check out Hall’s post-game interview with CSN Washington, below: Read more »

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Seeking ‘Hightower’s Hometown Heroes’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 31, 2011 – 5:49 pm

Injured running back Tim Hightower isn’t letting his involvement with the team and the community slip, just because he’s been put on IR.  Tomorrow, on crutches, he will fulfill his commitment to a local school for an NFL Play 60 event.  He continues to be a familiar face around the facilities, and sits in on film sessions with his teammates.

On top of that, he has recently unveiled his “Hightower’s Hometown Heroes,” an initiative that salutes young football players in the community, that are likewise involved in the community:

Read more »

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A Mixed-Emotions Halloween For Redskins

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 31, 2011 – 5:07 pm

If someone knocks on your door tonight dressed as the undead, it’s best not to assume that the Zombie Apocalypse has begun (Although, if the zombies chose tonight to start it would be ingenious).  These zombies do not thirst for human flesh, they just want a candy bar and then they’ll leave you alone.

Redskins returner Brandon Banks may show up at your house tonight…dressed as himself:

There are some very creative Redskins fans out there tonight, who were kind enough to post their celebrations on Twitter: Read more »

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Beck: Injuries No Excuse For Play

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 31, 2011 – 2:55 pm

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Clearly, the blocking schemes need to be reassessed this week after the Redskins pass protection yielded nine sacks yesterday.  The Redskins have lost three of their best blockers in Kory Lichtensteiger, Tim Hightower and Chris Cooley, and the absence of left tackle Trent Williams was felt especially hard yesterday.

But Beck didn’t accept any ready-made excuses, and said that they team needs to adjust and get better.

“That’s just part of the NFL,” he said.  “Because it’s a long season, injuries do happen.  The good teams find a way to win, regardless of who steps in.  That’s our plan: to be the good team.  That’s our plan, to just continually get better so we can insert whoever’s next up, and continue to play well.”

As the Redskins finally come home to take on the 49ers, Beck said his team was aware of the process that it would take to reverse the results of recent weeks.

“You never wanna lose a game, and you never wanna lose back-to-back games, and so forth,” he said.  “So this will definitely be a week for us to get as much as we can out of the game tape, get the most we can out of practice, and take that next step forward.”

Watch his full post-game presser, below: Read more »

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Monday Morning In Fast Forward

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 31, 2011 – 11:52 am

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Oddly enough, when the Redskins landed in Washington last night, it was about 15 degrees colder than it was in Ontario, hours earlier.  And the weather wasn’t the only thing that was frosty.

From the general reaction to the game last night, I wasn’t sure if the sun would rise in Washington today.  If there is something to hang your hat on from last night, just know that the score was based on the metric system.

The Bills really only scored 14 U.S. points.

Most people in Washington will spend the next three days harping on what happened over the last three weeks, but today seems like a good day to live in the present.   Read more »

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Fourth Quarter Frustrations

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 30, 2011 – 7:13 pm

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Perhaps Canada is best left to ice hockey and Celine Dion.

This was a tough loss today, against a very good football team.  The Redskins got beat in every statistical category that matters: total yards, turnovers, time of possession, penalty yards, first downs…you get the point.

This has been a disappointing stretch for a team that, at the bye week, was in first place in the NFC East.  They have yet to win in this quarter of the season, and the November and December schedule looms large.

Yes, the Redskins are dealing with injuries, but that’s not much consolation in a shutout.  This was the first time in Mike Shanahan’s head coaching career that he was shut out in a game.  The last time that the Redskins were shut out in a game was Week 16 of 2009 against the Cowboys.  This game was held in hostile territory against a high-flying team, but the Redskins certainly had their opportunities, and simply didn’t make the most of them.

Perhaps the greatest sense of hope can be found by looking across the field at the far sidelines, to see the meteoric rise of the Buffalo Bills.  Respectfully, this is a team that has wallowed in mediocrity for much of the 2000s, until things have magically clicked this season.  On offense, they have a journeyman quarterback that’s finally putting it all together.  Clearly, they struck gold with Fred Jackson at running back, who has already eclipsed 1,000 yards from scrimmage on the season.  At receiver, the Bills have young, fast playmakers, and they have a line up front that gives them time to execute on offense.  This was a similar cast of characters that went 4-12 last year.  With their fifth win today, they’ve already surpassed that in 2011.

Youth is an X-factor in the NFL, and it can only be harnessed as much as it can be trusted: irregularly.  But these are the types of games, against the type of playmakers, that show Redskins coaches what the team has.  These are the types of games, against the type of playmakers, that teach the young Redskins players how to better prepare next time.  It’s not pretty, but it only counts for one loss.  The last three games only count for three losses.  The important element is how this team responds to these losses down the stretch.

There’s a lot of reason to believe in what’s happening in Washington, even after a disheartening loss.

I can’t wait to get home, and I’m kissing the ground when we land in Washington.  So long from Canada: Redskins 0, Bills 23.

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Who Is Your MVR(edskin)?

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 30, 2011 – 6:43 pm

As we reach the 2-minutes warning in Toronto, who is your top Redskins player of the day?

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Third Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 30, 2011 – 6:13 pm

This game may not have started off like the Redskins wanted for the first 45 minutes, but credit this young team for not giving up.  On the second Bills’ drive of the second half, it was the young defenders that sparked the three-and-out, with Kevin Barnes and Ryan Kerrigan getting back-to-back tackles for a loss.  On third down, the Bills completed a pass over the middle for a short gain, and a gang tackle by London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo forced the punt.

Trotting on and off the field, the Redskins have their heads up and are trying to encourage each other.  This isn’t the picture of the selfish superstars that used to grace the sidelines in solitude.  This is a team that may not have the answers right now, but the players do care, and they aren’t quitting.

If there’s anything positive to take from the first three quarters of football, it would be a testament to character.  You don’t really know the character of a team when it’s winning.  Not to be lost in the middle of this recent slide, is that the Redskins appear to be bunching together rather than tearing at the seams.

Unfortunately, John Beck’s jersey is tearing at the seams.  He’s been on the receiving end of a career-high six sacks in the game (previously four), and the Redskins need to find a way to keep him upright in the final quarter of the game.  A large part of that is his receivers getting open sooner.  Beck has been responsible with the ball, and six sacks are far better than six turnovers.

Not much time to get back in this game, as the Bills are on top: Washington 0, Buffalo 20.

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Second Quarter Shake Down

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 30, 2011 – 5:24 pm

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This hasn’t been the best 30 minutes for international relations, at least not on the Washington side.

But as with every story worth telling, there are two sides to this one.

The Bills defense had four sacks on the season coming into this game.  In the first half, they had four on Redskins quarterback John Beck.  Some of these have been overload blitzes and trouble in the blocking scheme, but some of these have been coverage sacks.  This is a total-team issue that needs to be addressed in the second half.

On the other hand, John Beck has weathered the storm and has protected the football very well.  He’s dealing with three offensive linemen out of position due to injuries, his best pass-blocking running back on injured reserve, his best all-around tight end on injured reserve, and his No. 1 receiver out with a broken hand.

The Redskins need to find other ways to win, but it’s not going to be easy, by any stretch.

Things are a little brighter on the defensive side of the ball, with the Redskins defense doing a serviceable job at dictating the pace to the offense.  Yes, the Bills are taking what the Redskins give them, but the Redskins aren’t giving them a whole lot.  The Bills were ranked fourth in the league with 31.3 points per game, and the Redskins have limited them to 13 in the first half, including two goal line stands that kept them out of the end zone.

In short, it could be a lot worse.

The inside linebacker play has been a highlight of the first half, with London Fletcher, and his replacement Keyaron Fox, flying around near the line of scrimmage.  Fletcher’s hamstring was a concern all week, but he’s been spelled as needed by Fox, who is proving to be productive on both defense and special teams.

The Fletcher-Fitzpatrick-Orakpo sandwich at the end of the first half was disappointed only by the play-making ability of Fred Jackson with the ball in his hands.

In other news, this is a unique football venue, with only one jumbotron, a series of hotel rooms overlooking the field, and strange seating all over the lower level of the stadium.

They should really consider playing baseball here.

Redskins still looking to get on the board north of the border, trailing 0-13.

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