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Coach’s Turn: Mike Shanahan At The Mic

Posted by Stephen Czarda on December 23, 2013 – 3:17 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has never been in a situation like this. .

Currently on an seven-game losing streak, this marks the longest winless streak of his Hall of Fame worthy career.

Against a Dallas Cowboys team that players and fans alike wanted nothing more than to send packing to their offseason homes early, the Washington Redskins fell by one single point.

One…for a second straight week.

Whether it’s the offense’s roller coaster performance, the defense failing in clutch late game situations or the special teams hemorrhaging yardage, this season is far from the predicted playoff run by most at season’s beginning.

Per the usual, Monday marked an extensive recap press conference where  Shanahan discussed quarterback Kirk Cousin’s approach, the offensive line’s collective performance, meshing offense with strengths, the final Cowboys drive, Will Compton moving up to the active roster, Brian Orakpo’s injury and more.

Here’s video and a quick Twitter summary (@Redskins):

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London Fletcher’s Last Pregame Speech In The Tunnel At FedExField

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on December 23, 2013 – 2:00 pm

Look at the intensity in those eyes.

Before London Fletcher could leave everything on the field in a 24-23 loss to Dallas, before he could salute the fans for supporting him for seven years, he led the linebackers out of the home tunnel for most likely the last time.

Read the transcript of Fletcher’s speech here, and watch the video from CSN Washington below.

“Whether you’re in high school or college, you’ve got a game that means a little more than the other ones. There’s one game on your schedule that means a little bit more than the other ones. For us, this is that game. This is the Cowboys game. This is our game! This is that game that means more than all the other ones! You want to be remembered around here? Beat Dallas! You want to be remembered around here? Beat Dallas! That’s the mandate! Beat Dallas! Let’s go out there and get it done. We can control that. In this group, we’ve got the men to do it. Play with passion! Play with fire! Play with intensity! Be physical! Be focused! Let’s go get it! Like I say each and every week, linebackers set the tone! Linebackers set the tempo! LBs on three! One, two, three, LBs!”

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What Went Right / Wrong Versus Dallas

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on December 23, 2013 – 1:01 pm

For the second week in a row, the Washington Redskins lost by one point. A special teams foible and a lost opportunity in the red zone led to a deficit in the first half. Tony Romo’s improvisational acuity finished a heartbreaking 24-23 loss to Dallas. London Fletcher lingered after the defeat to thank the home fans.

But there was hope in the second half. Let’s take a look at what went right and what went wrong versus Dallas.

What Went Right

Highlight: Josh Wilson forces a fumble and recovers it himself.

What went right: Technique and awareness.

-The Redskins line up in their base defense and send five pass rushers.
-Brian Orakpo feigns an outside move and counters inside to turn Tyron Smith’s shoulders.
-Ryan Kerrigan gets around the corner on Doug Free.
-Both outside linebackers pressure Tony Romo, forcing the quarterback to hit his checkdown receiver, fullback Tyler Clutts.
-Clutts likely practices protecting the ball often, but does not have much experience in game situations. The fourth-year fullback has zero career carries and nine career receptions.
-Clutts makes the catch and turns upfield, where Josh Wilson is waiting in a zone assignment.
-Wilson tackles low against the 254-pound fullback, leading his shoulder into the body and drilling his helmet directly into the football.
-The ball pops out, and Wilson knocks it away from Clutts before securing it for himself. Read more »

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Kirk Cousins Explains Final Drive Process

Posted by Stephen Czarda on December 23, 2013 – 11:38 am

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Quarterback Kirk Cousins had an up and down performance against the Dallas Cowboys yesterday.

On one hand, the sophomore gun slinger was very economical hitting various receivers on short gains and taking what the Dallas Cowboys defense would give him.

Connecting with Pierre Garcon on 11 passes (18 targets), Cousins hit his first read often and had good eye movement to ensure he wasn’t tipping Dallas any idea of where he wanted to place the ball.

But the quarterback also made some mistakes like any player making only their third NFL start does. He threw behind a wide-open Santana Moss just before the half that resulted in an interception and was off-kilter on the last drive.

“I was concerned about the delay of game,” Cousins explained about his last throw of the game. “We didn’t get in the formation we wanted to be in. I thought I needed to snap the ball. I was trying to give our guy a chance. Wasn’t in a good position there, and it didn’t go our way.”

More from his postgame press conference:

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Redskins Lose By One Again Late

Posted by Stephen Czarda on December 23, 2013 – 10:55 am

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

On Sunday, the Washington Redskins faced the Dallas Cowboys for the second time this season.

With the emotion of current NFL ironman London Fletcher, whose donned burgundy and gold for the last seven years, playing his last home game and the possibility of dashing the Cowboys’ playoff hopes, FedExField was the site of another memorable clash between NFC East foes.

But just like Week 15 against the Atlanta Falcons, the Redskins fell short by one point, this time by a final score of 24-23.

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Watch London Fletcher Salute The Fans and Say Thanks For His Last Day At Home

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on December 23, 2013 – 10:21 am



Thank you, London.

Thanks for setting the tone and the tempo for seven seasons in burgundy and gold. Thanks for emerging out of the smoky tunnel at home with enough electricity to power FedExField. Thanks for 255 consecutive games and 214 straight starts.

Thanks for one left to go before the probable finish to your storied career.

Thanks for trumping size with talent and sheer will. Thanks for saluting the fans that wanted to thank you.

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Son Of Washington Gallery: DAL-WAS

Posted by Stephen Czarda on December 23, 2013 – 9:00 am

Last home hurrah

On Sunday, the Washington Redskins hosted longtime archrival the Dallas Cowboys in what was probably linebacking legend London Fletcher’s last home game. The burgundy and gold had the opportunity to shut the playoff door right in Big D’s face as a parting gift to the undrafted star. They came close, but just like last week, the Redskins lost by one point.

Games like yesterday are why Redskins-Cowboys is hands down the best rivalry in sports.

The electricity of No. 59’s final FedExField appearance sent shockwaves through the stadium as every single person in the crowd was providing felicitations for his career efforts starting with his always riveting pregame entrance.

From a rainy pregame warmup to Fletcher providing thanks after the final whistle with high-fives, hugs and pictures with a fanbase that has embraced him over the past seven seasons, Son of Washington’s Evan Redmon was there with a camera in-hand to capture everything that passed his way.

Here’s a gallery of what he saw through his camera lens:

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