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Week 8 Power Rankings Roundup

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 25, 2011 – 6:45 pm

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The Redskins started out the season in the bottom half of most respected power rankings.  After six games, the Redskins are back to even, and back in the bottom half of most NFL power rankings again.

My disclaimer each and every week is that power rankings don’t matter, and they’re usually more fickle than a flock of sea gulls at the beach.

Whoever has the most french fries is king.  Whoever runs out of french fries first, becomes a different kind of target.

For the sea gull fans among you, here’s the Week 8 rundown: Read more »

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Pro Bowl Ballots Out, Redskins Featured

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 25, 2011 – 5:42 pm

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It seems like training camp was only weeks ago, but the NFL is already focused on it’s postseason all-star game.

The Pro Bowl ballots were released today, and fans have until Dec. 19th to vote at NFL.com.

In case you were wondering who to vote for, I’ve made a Redskins Voter Guide poster for you: Read more »

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The Luckiest Pair Of Redskins Fans

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 25, 2011 – 3:24 pm

As part of the Redskins partnership with the Virginia Lottery, there is a Second Chance Sweepstakes offered on five dollar scratch-off tickets.

According to the promotion’s website:

If you don’t win a prize with your Hail to the Redskins ticket, you can enter it in the Redskins sweepstakes for a second chance to win prizes (including tickets to Redskins home games and fun trips with the team to away games…

To win the lottery takes pretty extreme odds.  To turn a losing lottery ticket into a winner is even more challenging (when it’s tempting to just throw the losing tickets away).

But to win the Second Chance Sweepstakes twice in the span of a month?  You’d have to be Jim and Maria Nothwehr.

“All we did was take our five-dollar losing lottery tickets and enter them online,” Jim explained.  “And we’ve been selected twice now.”

As a reward for their lottery perseverance, the pair has traveled to Dallas and Carolina on the team plane, stayed in the team hotel, visited the team rallies, stood on the sidelines for the team warmup, and watched their favorite team take on two NFC rivals.

That’s a pretty good return on their $10 investment.  After landing two of the first three road trips, I couldn’t help but wonder why they had such bad luck for the St. Louis road trip. Read more »

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Takeaways Being Taken Away On Defense

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 25, 2011 – 2:28 pm

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Since the dawn of the Jim Haslett era in Washington, takeaways have been a concerted effort for the Redskins defense.  Haslett has built his team around players with a nose for the football, and playmakers throughout the secondary.

Through 16 games last year, the Redskins had 25 takeaways on defense.  Through six game this year, the Redskins have eight, which leaves them tied for 19th in the league.  This puts them on pace for 21 this season.

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who had six of the team’s 14 interceptions last year, has been limited to one interception this year.  He discussed how game-planning a quarterback plays into being able to make plays in the secondary:

“I think, from a scheme stand point, we’ve tried to do the things that are gonna help us win games,” he explained.  “And consequently, it did hurt us in terms of trying to get turnovers.  We had to put guys arount Cam Newton, we had to put guys around Michael Vick.”

By playing more defenders closer to the line of scrimmage, it took them out of the equation to force turnovers, especially in the secondary.

“We feel like we’ve been trying to get in the best defense that we can, to win the game,” he said.  “But you have to be put in a position to make those plays.  We’ve been facing some guys and some quarterbacks over the last couple of weeks that have hand-cuffed us in that area of the game-plan a little bit, as far as being able to sit in some zones and pick some things off.    We are trying to get turnovers, but at the same time, we can’t sit in our coverages and allow the quarterback to run all over the field.”

After back-to-back games against two of the game’s best scrambling quarterbacks, Hall expressed his anticipation of facing a Bills quarterback that plays in the pocket.

“[Ryan] Fitzpatrick isn’t a scrambling type of guy, so hopefully we can scheme something around trying to get some turnovers,” he said.

Check out the rest of Hall’s thoughts, below: Read more »

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Shana-handling Age Vs. Opportunities

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 25, 2011 – 11:23 am

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Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan will forever be linked to John Elway and the great Denver Broncos teams of the late 1990s.   His teams had a good mix of youth and veteran leadership, as they won back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

One feature of those teams, is that the average age of the 53-man roster was 28.3 years (1997), and 28.5 years (1998).

The current 2011 Redskins roster averages 26.7 years old, almost two full years younger than those Broncos teams, and one of the youngest in the NFL.

Shanahan spoke briefly yesterday on how to balance the pressures of balancing performance and giving opportunities to his younger players.

“They have to No. 1, prove that they can handle the pressure,” he said.  “Niles Paul’s done a great job in special teams. He’s played a few plays and, when he’s played, he’s taken advantage of it.”

Paul also added the first two receptions of his career on Sunday, picking up 25 yards on a drive that culminated in a fourth quarter touchdown.

Another young player that has developed into a well-rounded player under Shanahan is tight end Logan Paulsen.  In the absence of Chris Cooley to injury, Paulsen will play a critical role in the offense.

“Logan Paulsen has been very consistent since he’s been here,” Shanahan said.  “He’s a guy that does a good job in the running game, does a good job in the passing game. He’s really consistent. I thought he handled himself extremely well in that game, making some big plays, some big catches, some big blocks. And he’ll continue to get better.”

With seven starters felled by injuries in the past two weeks, the development of the younger players on this roster will likely determine the success of this team.

Check out Shanahan’s full video, below: Read more »

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Players Leading Play 60 Event Today

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 25, 2011 – 10:36 am

Tuesday is the NFL day off, and players spend their time doing various productive activities.  Many members of the team have already been to the team facilities to lift and watch film, while others will trickle in throughout the day.

Multiple members will also be headed out to the stadium today, to participate in a Play 60 flag football clinic for area school children.  The Redskins and Coca-Cola are teaming up to host the “Live Positively: Get the Ball Rolling” initiative, to teach kids about living a healthy lifestyle through football.

Approximately 200 middle school students from across the region will be attendance, and Redskins Lorenzo Alexander, Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks, Maurice Hurt, and Kareem Moore are scheduled to appear: Read more »

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