It’s no mystery the Washington Redskins have fallen below high expectations to start the season. If being selected as NFC East Champions in various NFL preview publications wasn’t enough, they were top-10 in power rankings, fresh off a 4-0 preseason and successful training camp and, of course, are defending the division crown for the first time in 13 years.
Then something unexpected happened—they lost four of their first five games and at times, especially in the first half against the Eagles and Packers, looked far from the team the registered seven-straight victories to end 2012.
It’s early, but that excuse will soon fade away as the Redskins get into the meat of their schedule. Having said that, major progress was shown last week against the Cowboys.
Former Redskins quarterback and Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien joined fellow Redskins legend and former teammate Brian Mitchell on the set of Sports Talk Live to talk current Redskins and how they’ll replicate 1987’s Super Bowl-winning team’s result.
Mitchell asked Rypien (I’ll have more on their career together in a minute) about his thoughts on the biggest problem area so far this season. As a quarterback, the answer was simple.
“The first half of the football games,” Rypien said. “When you get behind like that and you’re still playing with a guy whose still trying to figure out his stability and [his knee] and having a sense of where that is, it’s difficult. Because as he’s going through this and you get behind in a game, he’s not able to attempt the things he was doing last year.
“To me the biggest factor here is that I think you’re still in that initial state of going through a leg injury. This was an ACL repair so that goes consciously back to your mind.”
Last week though, there was a hop in his step. It was the biggest sign yet that just nine months removed from major surgery, he’s ready to explode on the scene again. Once he does–well the NFL’s been put on notice.
“As each and every week gets better and better and he starts feeling a little more comfortable, he’ll be able to start doing more things. I think as the weeks go on [and] he starts to get stronger and he’s capable of doing the same things he did last year, I’ll make a prediction it’s a repeat of the’87-’88 Super Bowl between where the Redskins and Broncos are going to be in it again. That’s my prediction.”
Bold? Prehaps. But as a former Big Game MVP I’m not going to disagree especially if it actually happens. Plus look at that stone-cold stare.
It wasn’t that long ago that the two were teammates and they had former players talking about their play.
Between the two of them, one play stands out most—the fumble in the playoffs following the 1992 season.
For those of you who are rolling back the VHS tapes still trying to figure out what exactly happened and who’s responsible—Rypien spoke like a true quarterback/leader. It was his fault.
“I fumbled it onto your leg,” Rypien told Mitchell. “So to all of the world out there, you know playing in San Francisco in January you’re going to get a different miry out of weather and it’s pretty wet, and make everyone and you rest hardly, I fumbled the ball onto your leg. It’s too bad because we had a chance to beat them.”
Tags: Brian Mitchell, CSN Washington, mark rypien
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