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Team Had Good Luck Charms In Seattle

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 29, 2011 – 3:13 pm

It was a big weekend of football for former Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien, who managed to catch his former college team and NFL team in the same stadium, 24 hours apart.

On Saturday, his Washington State Cougars took on the University of Washington Huskies in the annual Apple Cup at CenturyLink Field.  On Sunday, his Washington Redskins took on the Seattle Seahawks in the same place.

He had good company while he was at the game, with his daughter Angela, who rocked his No. 11 Redskins jersey:

Read more »

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Helu A Nominee For NFL Rookie Of Week

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 29, 2011 – 1:13 pm

The Redskins freshman class continues to draw national media attention, as running back Roy Helu has been nominated as a Week 12 NFL Rookie of the Week.

After a 23-carry, 108 yard performance, with an additional seven catches for 54 yards through the air, Helu was a logical candidate for this award.  This is his second nomination on the season, following his 24-touch, 146 yard performance in Week 9 (Check out his rap about that performance from NFL Rhyme Reels’ Nick Javas).  He is also the fifth Redskins rookie to be nominated, following three by defensive teammates Ryan Kerrigan.

The Redskins have yet to win a weekly award this season.

This is your opportunity to change that, by VOTING between now and Friday at noon.  Take a break from online shopping and vote early and often: Read more »

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Cheerleader Monique Named Miss DC USA

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 28, 2011 – 5:57 pm

via Guest of a Guest

The Redskins players weren’t the only ones busy winning on Sunday night, as Redskins Cheerleader Monique Thompkins was announced as the winner of the 2012 Miss DC USA pageant.  She was specially recognized as the Top Swim Suit and Top Evening Gown Awards in the annual competition.

For those of you with a Redskins Cheerleader calendar, you might know her better as Miss November 2012.

For video of the victorious pageant queen, we turn to kstreetkate.net, who interviewed Monique after her victory:

Read more »

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Grossman Dishes Out Post-Game Awards

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 28, 2011 – 4:52 pm

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With yesterday’s win, Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman improved his record to 4-4 as a starter this season.  After the game, he couldn’t keep the excitement out of his voice, as he heaped praise on his biggest offensive playmakers.

“It was awesome today,” he said, fighting back a big smile.

On running back Roy Helu:

“He had some hard runs that aren’t always on the highlight reel, but kept us in third-and-manageable, or second-and-four,” he said.  “We were able to pick up first downs and move the ball.  And then, to see that, that was one of the most impressive runs I’ve ever seen, to just hurdle somebody and keep on moving–that was awesome.  That was the play that really got us going in the fourth quarter and made us able to win.”

Rex has been around some quality running backs in Chicago and Washington, but Helu’s 28-yard track meet was one of the best.

On receiver Anthony Armstrong:

“Well, we had a double go on the outside with Santana working over the middle,” Grossman recalled about his 50-yard bomb to Armstrong.  “We had seven-man protection and they were dropping eight, bringing only three.”

Seven blockers vs. three pass rushers is usually considered to be an advantage.  Grossman had to time make his read and launch a pass to the end zone.

“I saw that they didn’t have help over the top of Anthony Armstrong, one of the fastest guys in the NFL,” he said.  “So I tried to buy him enough time to eat up the cushion on the defender, and eventually blow by him.  Pre-snap, I saw that look, and I was going to him all the way, it was just a matter of time, to buy him time to clear that defender and put it in a spot where he could go get it.”

“And, y’know, it worked.”

This is a passing attack that went into the season with some of the best raw speed in the NFL.  According to his quarterback, Armstrong is among the most fleet of foot.

This game boiled down to who wanted it more in the fourth quarter.  With the help of one of the fastest men in the NFL, and one of the best runs in the last 31 years, Rex and the Redskins got it done yesterday.

To hear more of Grossman’s commentary and how he was battling LeBron James at cornerback, make the jump: Read more »

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Helu Hurdles Into SportsCenter’s Top-10

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 28, 2011 – 2:59 pm

With 9:57 to go in Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, Redskins running back Roy Helu had never rushed for more than 74 yards in a game.  He had never scored an NFL touchdown.  And he had never hurdled a competent NFL tackler.

But on a critical third-and-three, with his team trailing by 10 points, he put the Redskins on his back and dashed, slashed and hurdled his way to paydirt:

My hope is that Helu had the decency to go back and shake the hand of would-be tackler Roy Lewis, after levitating over him.  But by the looks of this play, Helu doesn’t like to be touched.

Helu’s hurdle landed him at No. 4 on SportsCenter’s Top-10 list, along with fellow Redskins playmaker Anthony Armstrong, for his 50-yard touchdown reception.  The Redskins turned in an entire highlight reel in a little under four minutes of yesterday’s victory.

Perhaps the most appealing part of Helu’s performance, was the way the rookie handled the media after the game.  Even after a monster personal performance, he praised his blockers and critiqued himself:

“Starting from left to right with Trent Williams–he did great,” Helu began.  “To [Maurice Hurt], to [Will] Montgomery, and Chris Chester and Jammal [Brown] on the right side.  Our tight ends did great, and so did our wide receivers down the field.”

As for his thoughts on Roy Helu?

“I was just a product of them blocking well, and hopefully I did the best,” he said.  “I know I missed some things.  I’m improved–not where I wanna be–but improved, and getting better weekly.”

No, 30 touches for 162 yards and a touchdown is not where I would want to be either.  I can’t wait to see what Roy looks like when he thinks he did well.

Check out his full post-game commentary, below: Read more »

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Players Embrace ‘Chippy’ Atmosphere

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 28, 2011 – 12:38 pm

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Coming off a loss in a winnable game to the Cowboys, the Redskins didn’t need any extra motivation to win on Sunday.  But that doesn’t mean the Seahawks weren’t willing to provide it.

“Those guys, they was talking like they were Super Bowl Champions,” tight end Fred Davis told CSNWashington after the game.  “I was looking at them like, ‘Huh?  You almost have the same record as us.'”

And now they do, after the Redskins hung 23 points on them, on the road.  But the tone for the game was set during the pregame coin toss, where the five captains from each team had to be restrained.  It was one of the more confusing altercations that anyone in the press box could remember, considering these two teams haven’t played in three years.  For anyone who thinks there’s nothing on the line when a 3-7 team faces a 4-6 team in November–think again.

“Y’know I told the guys in the locker room, we shouldn’t really have to get almost into a fisticuffs and an all-out-brawl to wanna go out and play football and hit somebody in the mouth,” DeAngelo Hall told CSNWashington after the game.  “But I’m definitely proud of these guys with the way they responded.  I knew the offense was gonna be ready to play, y’know, Trent Williams was over there to talk to them right after the coin toss, and I saw it in his eyes, man.”

Head coach Mike Shanahan said after the game that he had seen a coin toss devolve into bedlam before, but he appreciated his players poise for staying focused on football.

“You’ve gotta stay away from verbal confrontations because you lose your focus,” he said.  “I’ve been through too many games where you lose because guys lose their cool, and I was hoping that wasn’t gonna happen to us today.”

Instead, the Redskins used that fire as motivation to find a way to win.

Check out more player reactions, via CSNWashington, below: Read more »

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Seattle In The Rear View Mirror

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 28, 2011 – 11:32 am

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The Redskins have finally awoken from their bye week slumber, grabbing their first win since Oct. 2, a span of 56 days.  To put it in perspective, here’s a few other ways of measuring how long it’s been for the team:

  • They’ve made 26 changes to the active roster (and not all of them have involved Brandyn Thompson).
  • They’ve traveled approximately 7,733 miles on road trips.
  • They’ve had six other games, 22 team practices, and more than a dozen additional walk-throughs.
  • They’ve celebrated two major corporate holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving), and spent almost all of Mo-vember.

It’s been a long time coming, it was a hard-fought battle, and it’s a win that everyone can share in and enjoy until Wednesday.

The Redskins proved a lot of people wrong with yesterday’s win, including every NFL prognosticator except for Mark Schlereth, and we’re here to give Stink his due credit.  On a more global perspective, they also surpassed the deflated expectations of ESPN The Magazine and Phil Steele’s NFL Magazine, both of whom predicted a 3-13 inept finish for the Redskins.  They’ve spent a long time searching for that fourth win, but it’s always nice to prove the doubters wrong.

Yesterday also wrapped up a dominant season series against the NFC West, against which the Redskins finished 3-1, beating Arizona, St. Louis, and Seattle.  Sure, these three teams have 10 combined wins, but those are the games that the Redskins were expected to win, and they did so.  It would have been nice to pull out a win against San Francisco, but there’s no shame in losing to one of the best teams in the NFC, if not the whole NFL.

No shame in beating them either, but you take what you can get.

One unexpected byproduct of this rough patch has been witnessing the emergence of several young playmakers on offense and defense.  With the loss of Chris Cooley for the season, the Redskins were able to confirm what they thought they knew about tight end Fred Davis.  With the loss of Santana Moss, the Redskins were able to get a look at both Niles Paul and Leonard Hankerson, who showed tremendous development during their rookie campaigns.  With the loss of offensive guard Kory Lichtensteiger, the Redskins were able to look at seventh-rounder Maurice Hurt, who has been more than serviceable at guard.  With the loss of Tim Hightower, the Redskins were able to get a look at both Roy Helu and Evan Royster in the backfield.

Helu showed yesterday that he has the dual-threat ability to be an offensive catalyst, getting 30 touches for 162 yards and a long touchdown run.  The instant success that he and his fellow rookies have had is just a testament to the scouting and player development behind April’s draft.  Early, premature indicators suggest that the 2011 Redskins draft class could go down as one of the best.

In between buying holiday gifts this Cyber Monday, enjoy a few game stats from Victory Monday: Read more »

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Fourth Quarter Turn Of Fortunes

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 27, 2011 – 8:07 pm

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For a team that previously lost six straight, nothing comes easy, as was the case this afternoon in Seattle.  The important thing is that the Redskins were good when it counted, and it was a total team victory.  Here’s the breakdown:

On Offense:

On the one hand, the Redskins put up 416 yards of total offense, their highest showing since Week 2, and the second highest of the season.  The offensive line opened up holes for running back Roy Helu, and kept Rex Grossman upright for most of the game.  Helu showed that his 146-yard game against the 49ers wasn’t a fluke, going over 100 yards for the first time today, with 162 total yards and his first NFL touchdown.  The Redskins receivers managed to get open when it really mattered, and Santana Moss returned to his clutch ways.  Anthony Armstrong, who had five receptions for 47 yards all season, finally came down with a game-changing catch for 50 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.  He was this week’s incarnation of Donte Stallworth, and proved that the storyline of this season is “the next man up.”  The offense clicked in the first and fourth quarters, and that was the difference in this game.

On Defense:

This wasn’t the defense’s best game, but they limited the damage and settled down in the second half.  They yielded only 250 yards of total offense for the Seahawks, including just 144 yards through the air.  They may not have had the sacks or turnovers that they were looking for, but they didn’t give up the big play either, and they played well in all facets of the game.

On Special Teams:

Clearly, this was a tough day for kickers, and that’s not just limited to Graham Gano.  Sav Rocca was charged with his first touchback of the season, the second-to-last punter in the league to put one in the end zone.  On a happy note, he also added to his punts inside the 20 and averaged 44.5 yards on the day.

As for Gano, he made things interesting (1 blocked FG, 1 blocked PAT, kickoff out of bounds), but he iced the game when it counted (fourth quarter FG).  His two blocked kicks nearly came home to roost, but his last kick put the Redskins up by six and forced the Seahawks to aim for the end zone.  This has been a tough eight days for Gano, and it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff gauges his performance.  Head coach Mike Shanahan said this week that the pressure was on for Gano, and his performance today was important.  Which matters more: conditions or performance?


At the end of the day, the Redskins managed to escape their first seven-game losing streak in more than a decade, and they did it in the worst possible conditions.  It shows great resolve to fly six hours into one of the most hostile environments in the NFL, play a team with a better record and momentum, play in the rain and wind and cold, play from behind–and come out on top.  From the opening kickoff, it was clear that this was a game that the Redskins should win.  Regardless of whether they’re a better team every week, they won on this given Sunday, and it was important that they come away from this colossal road trip with a win.

Now the monkey is off their backs, and the questions of leadership and character can settle back to a dull roar.  The plane ride back to Washington will be a long one, but a good one, as players can finally breathe a sigh of relief.  As easy as it is to settle into a slump, this team needs to look to build on the positive momentum this week.  This was a good team win, but there are enough issues to resolve before the Jets next week.

Hopefully, today is the start of a new streak.

So long from Seattle, with Washington in the win column: Redskins 23, Seahawks 17.

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Who Is Your MVR(edskin)?

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 27, 2011 – 7:17 pm

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[Editor’s Note: Now is no time to jinx the Redskins current situation.  So this will be my blandest MVR post to date.]

The Redskins have battled hard this afternoon and find themselves in a position to be pleased with the results after the game.  As the Couch Potato Head Coach, who would you elect as your MVR(edskin)?

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Third Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 27, 2011 – 6:35 pm

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After a first half full of offensive utility, it was a third quarter of offensive futility, with both sides failing to capitalize on opportunities.

They may not have been golden, but they were there.

First Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka missed a field goal in one of the worst end zones in football.  If you look at the goalpost ribbons in the south end zone, they barely move.  The ribbons in the north end zone will gust in any and all directions in any given minute of time.  The flags atop the “Hawks Nest” end zone seating have officially shifted from blowing steadily northwest, to blowing northeast.  This likely explains the Hauschka kick, which was pushed wide right with the wind.

The ensuing prime field position was squandered immediately by a downfield interception at the 20-yard line, which essentially amounted to a Redskins punt.  This was followed by a Seattle punt and a Washington punt, before the Seahawks were finally able to piece something together in the form of a field goal.

The Redskins’ personnel decision to keep two fullbacks and three tight ends on the active roster is continuing to pay dividends, as fullback Darrel Young went back into the locker room to have a possible head injury examined.  His return is questionable.  In his place, the Redskins have turned to old reliable Mike Sellers, as well as tight end Logan Paulsen, who has been involved in a lot of two tight end sets this afternoon.

The Redskins need a spark going into the fourth quarter.  Can we have another honorary coin flip?  Redskins trail by three: Washington 7, Seattle 10.

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