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  • Thu., Oct. 19, 2017 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM EDT Jay Gruden, Kirk Cousins And Greg Manusky At The Podium Tune in to hear Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, quarterback Kirk Cousins and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky talk at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
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  • Sat., Oct. 21, 2017 1:30 PM - 2:00 PM EDT Live Jay Gruden At The Podium Tune in to hear Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden talks at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
  • Mon., Oct. 23, 2017 7:30 PM - 7:50 PM EDT Live Redskins-Eagles Pregame Show Tune in to watch the pregame happenings from the Washington Redskins' Week 7 game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
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Redskins-Rams Redux

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 2, 2011 – 4:47 pm

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Run Ryan, run.

As Redskins fans got a glimpse of last year, running back Ryan Torain has the ability to put the team on his back and flat-out produce.  He finished the day with 19 rushes for 135 yards, and a 7.1 yards per carry average.  This was his fourth career 100-yard game, and the second-highest production of his career.

He was also your runaway (pun intended) winner of Most Valuable Redskin with 68 percent of the vote.

But credit cannot be taken away from Tim Hightower today, either.  Despite getting bottled up on the ground, he was solid in pass protection, and once again saved the day by keeping Rams points off the board.  In Week 1 against the Giants, it was Hightower that was the last line of defense against a fumble recovery for a touchdown.  Today, it was Hightower again who chased down Justin King’s interception return to prevent the touchdown.  These are the unselfish efforts that make or break a team on the field and in the locker room.

Also recall that Hightower has been sure to mention Torain to the media, when discussing the Redskins’ talent at running back.  This guy definitely has a place on the team.

The Redskins offense won today by doing what they do best: controlling the clock with a methodical offense.  The final numbers were nearly 35 minutes vs. 25 minutes, and were far more skewed before the final quarter.

With three talented backs in the Redskins stable, the Redskins should have an answer to any rush defense that they encounter this year.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jim Haslett’s crew was primed to explode today, and came away with six sacks and a takeaway.  The Redskins are getting great pressure from their edge tandems of Stephen Bowen-Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker-Ryan Kerrigan.  All four ended up with sacks (Kerrigan 1; Carriker 1; Orakpo 2.5; Bowen 1.5), and worked with the rest of the front-seven to hold the Rams ground game to 45 yards.

Even though they yielded points on both redzone drives today, they continued to pin their ears backs and be aggressive in the redzone.  With the ability to create pressure from all positions and directions, this is what the Redskins defense looks like this year.  At any point on the field, it behooves them to stick with what works best.

This is another example of the Redskins winning with a total-team effort.  This is a much better Rams team than their 0-4 record indicates, and the Redskins needed the 60-minute effort to win.  They also redeemed a loss in St. Louis last year and showed that they can win the games that they’re “supposed to win.”

Sitting at 3-1 after Week 4, in first place in the NFC East for the fourth-consecutive week, the Redskins can take a breather going into the bye.  The Redskins have a lot to be proud of through the first quarter of the season, and have already exceeded most preseason predictions.

Any win is a good win, but this one answered a lot questions about the character of this team.  That’s all from St. Louis, Redskins 17, Rams 10.

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Who is your MVR(edskin)?

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 2, 2011 – 4:09 pm

It’s the 2-minute warning again, Couch Potato Coach.  Despite a strong game, it looks like this one is going to come down to the final seconds again this week.  Who do you have as your top Redskins performer today?

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Third Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 2, 2011 – 3:27 pm

The Rams have one of the best in-stadium promotions that I’ve ever seen, where a fan has 30 seconds to unravel an entire roll of streamer paper in 30 seconds.  This also happens to be one of my cat’s favorite games.

Even with an assist by the clock operator, the selected Rams fan could not unravel the streamer in time, although she won something anyway. And that’s your Edward Jones Dome report.

The Redskins are dominating through the first three quarters, holding the Rams to under 100 total yards (99).  Meanwhile, the Redskins have their first 100-yard rusher on the season, from an unlikely rusher.  Ryan Torain has piled up 118 yards on just 12 carries, adding a touchdown for punctuation.  He’s hitting the hole with confidence, spinning out of tackles, and literally running over would-be defenders.  He’s joined in the backfield by fullback Chris Cooley, who is looking to build on last week’s performance as the lead back.

First half leftover: With his first reception in the first half, Cooley reached 427 for his career, tying him for 18th all-time in the NFL for tight ends.  Who wins in a fight between Ditka and Cooley? Coooooley.

I don’t have confirmation on the Rams halftime locker room discussion, but it appears that the Rams found someone familair with the concept of “fair catches,” to return kicks.  Reserve running back Quinn Porter fair caught the first punt of the second half, and was immediately surrounded by a welcoming party of Redskins on coverage.

I can only imagine what pleasantries were shared.

Individually and collectively, the Redskins look motivated going into the fourth quarter, up 17-0.

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Second Quarter Synthesis

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 2, 2011 – 2:44 pm

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The second quarter began with another strong defensive effort by the Redskins, forcing a fourth punt of the day.  Linebacker Rocky McIntosh brought pressure on third down, blitzing from the blind side after dropping back in coverage.  Although his efforts didn’t lead to his second sack on the season, it was enough to force the errant pass.

The Redskins secondary has benefited from Rams receivers beating themselves with a lot of drops.  Free agent acquisition Mike Sims-Walker has been targeted four times in the first half in big spots, and has yet to come down with any of them.  The boo-birds have come out for the frustrated fans, and the Redskins fans in attendance are starting to out-cheer the home crowd.

As the half wound down, pressure finally started to hit home for the Redskins defense.  Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan recorded the team’s first sack, with a fumble, and big man Barry Cofield grabbed the recovery.  Remember that Ryan Kerrigan tied the NCAA record with 14 career forced fumbles at Purdue, and with his second on the season, it appears that that skill has translated to the pros.  This was his third turnover of the season, in just his fourth career game.

Wow.  Just wow.

Redskins fans had their first glimpse of cult hero running back Ryan Torain, who had a modest seven yard burst on his first carry.  Casting modesty aside, he rumbled 20 yards for a second Redskins touchdown.  This is his first touchdown in 17 quarters of Redskins football, making the plunge for the first time since Jacksonville in Week 16 last year.

Add the All-Torain vehicle back to the three-car running garage in Washington.  From the looks of it, the Redskins now have a sports car with Roy Helu, a bulldozer with Tim Hightower, and an off-road vehicle with Torain.

And a truck on the defensive line.

As far as the Redskins special teams penalties are concerned, they are the appropriate calls by the officials, because within the letter of the law, they qualify as unnecessary roughness.  Yes, Perry Riley and Niles Paul need to make a better effort to lower a shoulder and avoid contact to the helmet.  But I would suspect that Rams returner Austin Pettis will learn to wave for a fair catch, or he won’t be back out on the field in the second half.

After the tremendous hits that he took in the first half, he may not be back anyway.

This is the Redskins first, first-half shutout since last year’s season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.  This is total-team domination, but the Redskins need to keep it going in the second half.  The loudest noise made by the 12th Ram today, was the boos showered on the Rams coming off the field.

Redskins up at the half, 14-0.

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First Quarter Contemplations

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 2, 2011 – 1:46 pm

How does a team respond to a loss in Week 3?  Come out with an aggressive game plan in Week 4.

The Redskins trotted out a two-tight end set for the second straight week on offense.  Instead of pounding the rock as they have to start off every other game this season, the Redskins took flight, running the first three plays off play action.  Play action is a big part of this offensive passing game, and the more that a defense keys on running back Tim Hightower, the better that these plays will work.

On fourth-and-four, the Redskins decided to go for it, hitting a wide open Santana Moss down the crease.  Unfortunately, a false start penalty on Jammal Brown negated the play, and forced a punt.  This may be a small dome and a less-than-capacity crowd, but they make pretty good noise on third and fourth down.

After terrific punt coverage that pinned the Rams back deep at their 16-yard line, the Redskins defense came through with another stop.  The Redskins pass rush has yet to hit home, but they’ve limited running back Steven Jackson to 27 yards and have kept quarterback Sam Bradford antsy in the pocket.  Rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has been especially effective, and will hit home eventually.  In the mean time, he’s getting his hands up in coverage, and his comfort level is leagues ahead of where he was in the preseason.

Welcome to the NFL, Ryan.

After forcing another punt, the Redskins got another shot on offense, and used a more balanced attack.  A healthy mix of Hightower and Roy Helu opened up the passing game for the Grossman-Gaffney connection.  Jabar Gaffney had two big catches on the drive for 37 yards.

Anyone remember the man traded for Gaffney, defensive end Jeremy Jarmon?  He was cut by the Broncos out of training camp, last month.

The Redskins drive was capped off with the first touchdown in the first quarter this season.

In case anyone was wondering, yes, Rams kicker Josh Brown does lead the fans in a jumbotron slow clap during Redskins kickoffs.  These fans may be obedient, but they aren’t really enthusiastic about it.

For the second consecutive week, the Redskins lead after the first frame, 7-0, in St. Louis.

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Redskins Pregame Warmup Notes

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 2, 2011 – 12:58 pm

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the Redskins and Rams have teamed up with the NFL to help spread the word.  The players have taken the field and are wearing pink as part of various part of their uniforms, including gloves, shoes, socks, belts, and skull caps, and many will wear them for the entire month

Here are the sights and scenes from warmup:

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Redskins receiver Donte’ Stallworth is well-liked around the league, and had a smile and handshake for Rams running back Steven Jackson.

During pregame warmup in the weather-controlled dome, Redskins kicker Graham Gano nailed a 62-yard field goal, and casually walked back to the sidelines If it comes down to a clutch kick, he looks calm, cool and collected.

See you after the first quarter.

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The All-Important Pregame Meal

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 2, 2011 – 12:18 pm

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If you’re currently elbow-deep in nacho cheese, hot wings, or crock pot chili, I want you to pause for a moment and ask yourself, “What would Brandon Banks, Anthony Armstrong, or Reed Doughty be eating before a Redskins game?”

I’m glad that your thought process was oddly specific, because the guys and gals over at SportsBuzz.com have the answer for you!

Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong–who is listed as inactive with a hamstring injury–sticks to his meat and potatoes:

“My favorite pregame meal, the night before every game I usually end up eating a little piece of steak, some sort of vegetable like green beans, broccoli, maybe a baked potato. Most definitely you gotta end the night with some desert, so I never miss desert the night before a game. Usually a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of strawberry ice cream, couple of cherries on top, maybe a little whip cream.  If they got whipped cream, that’s a plus.”

I try to eat the same thing (focusing on the whipped cream), but I can’t run a 4.4 the next day.

Speedy returner Brandon Banks is closer to a hummingbird with his diet, loading on more sugar than Def Leppard: Read more »

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‘No Knockout Punch In This League’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 2, 2011 – 11:20 am

In this week’s “The Mike Shanahan Coach’s Show,” head coach Mike Shanahan discusses rebounding from a disappointing loss in Dallas and how to prepare for another road test.

The NFL is a game of adjustments, and the team seemed focused on earning a ‘W’ this week.  115 minutes until kickoff:

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