When Mike Shanahan was hired in 2010, he inherited a team that was in transition. Despite only being 24 months removed from Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs’ second stint that featured two playoff appearances in four seasons, the memories of being a constant playoff contender seemed little more than a bleak memory that the youngest of Redskins fans would never have known if it weren’t for blurry YouTube highlight videos.
Fast-forward nearly four years after the Shanahan era kicked off in memorable fashion with a 13-7 victory over archrival Dallas Cowboys that nearly never happened if it weren’t for a nullified touchdown due to a holding penalty, and the Redskins have built one of the deepest rosters in the league. While it took four years to get to this point, the Redskins resurgence has an overnight sensation feel to it.
Whether it be Shanahan’s penchant for assembling homegrown, Pro Bowl talent, the salary cap penalty, simply wanting continuity inside of his locker room, or a combination of all three, the Redskins are returning 21 of 22 starters from a year ago (Brandon Meriweather is included in this 21 while Adam Carriker is not). But it isn’t just the starters that the franchise has been able to keep nailed down, as the backups have found a niche on the roster as well. Whether it be outside linebacker Rob Jackson or wide receiver Santana Moss, the team has keep its core intact over the last 12 months.
John Keim, who’s been covering the Redskins for almost two decades, did a fantastic job breaking down the roster as follows:
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In continuing the tradition started years ago on the Redskins Blog by current Redskins.com lead writer Brian Tinsman, I will be bringing you power ranking roundups throughout the week.
For this season’s initial installment I’ll focus on the fantasy side of things as those matchups start Thursday night when our neighbors from the north, the Baltimore Ravens, travel to Denver to defend their Super Bowl victory against the Broncos a mile high. For some, the journey towards proving your friends that you are indeed going to be the next great general manager is just starting. For others—so whose house is going to host the next draft?
Knowing that people have multiple leagues on multiple websites, we’ve got you covered on all of the rankings for some of the key players on offense.
Let’s start with quarterback Robert Griffin III, whose insertion into the starting lineup was made official yesterday.
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In what will probably be the first of many hype videos before Monday night’s clash, here’s a pretty awesome video montage put together by Mikeanike23 Production to get you hyped for a new Redskins season while you’re on your lunch break.
Not only does it feature Robert Griffin III motivating the troops before a game last season, but some bone crunching hits via old head London Fletcher, DeAngelo Hall using the turf at FedExField as a springboard to the end zone and so much more. [Editor’s note: Don’t knock over your microwavable lasagna dish on your keyboard due to Redskins pride pumping through your veins.]
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For weeks now, the Washington Redskins have been riding high off of a successful training camp and an even better preseason where they finished with the first flawless 4-0 record since 1985.
To be expected though, not everyone is going to be on the burgundy and gold’s side; this includes NFL “experts”. As the Redskins Blog wrote the other day and general manager Bruce Allen continues to reiterate, the NFC East has, is and always will be a tossup. Last season the Redskins finished first, the year before that last. The Eagles finished the 2010 season with a 10-6 record, good enough for first place. Since their sixth division title in 10 seasons, the Eagles have mustered third and fourth place finishes. The Cowboys went first to worst during the 2009-2010 seasons and the Giants failed to even contend for the division title at season’s end last year after winning Super Bowl XLVI.
If you didn’t follow that NFC East train of information in its entirety—well it’s because no one knows where it’s going during any particular season. Some years the train reaches the station with no problem while others—it derails just as quickly as it started. Having said that the Redskins finally appear to have the necessary foundation in place to sustain competitiveness in the division for years to come.
Forecast it as a gentle breeze of legitimacy if you will. Of course it doesn’t hurt having Robert Griffin III–and Alfred Morris–and Trent Williams–and Ryan Kerrigan–and 48 other players with the wherewithal that there will be doubters. First up is CBSSports’ Pete Prisco who has the Redskins 16th on their initial 2013 regular season power ranking.
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Six days—that’s all that’s left until the Redskins square off against an Eagles team that’s best known for what’s unknown at the moment. For 14 years, Andy Reid led Philly out of the tunnel and while the first part of his tenure brought some of the greatest moments in the franchise’s history, his teams greatly underwhelmed in recent seasons, all while having Super Bowl expectations floating around. As a result, he was fired after the season and replaced by NCAA darling Chip Kelly.
Not only did Kelly win nearly 87 percent of his games at Oregon, he did it with a flair that forced every eyeball in restaurants and living rooms to redirect to the television set. Week after week, whether it was a I-AA cupcake or a geographical rival like Oregon State, Kelly’s offense would leave opponents gassed and confused. But if recent track records have any indication of how Kelly’s transition to the NFL will fare, he’s got a lot of impressing to do and a lot of fragile glass to reconstruct for others who want to make similar steps up to the professional rank. Of course when it comes to Kelly, no one is really sure what he’ll have up his sleeve.
Monday night on a national stage will be a matchup for the ages between the traditional versus extravagant. Over on NFL.com Brian Baldinger and Terrell Davis where asked to dissect the matchup, but the conversation turned to bizarre Eagles formations Baldinger saw during preseason. So what is the most interesting thing he’s seen out of Chip Kelly’s NFL offense so far?
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On Monday, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan announced the team-elected captains for the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Robert Griffin III and offensive tackle Trent Williams will wear the captain’s patch while nose tackle Barry Cofield and London Fletcher will carry the distinction for the defense. Obviously, there are no shockers in Shanahan’s announcement as all four carried the torch last year.
The only change as far as captainship from a year ago is on special teams where veteran Reed Doughty will be taking over a position that was held by linebacker/special teams ace Lorenzo Alexander. Doughty may not be the fastest player in the league, but is a guy who just gets it done year after year. Over the last two seasons, only Alexander recorded more special teams tackles.
While Alexander may be cross-country now with the Arizona Cardinals, he’s in constant communication with former coworkers and offered up nothing but his highest praise for Doughty taking over his spot in 2013.
Tags: Reed Doughty
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