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Peacemaker Hall: ‘Football Happened’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 31, 2011 – 6:28 pm

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Redskins may not have won yesterday, but they didn’t quit, and you can’t say they don’t care.

Lost in the hubbub of yesterday’s game was an intense sideline discussion between Redskins defensive captain London Fletcher and safety LaRon Landry.  Frustrations were boiling at this point, but before anyone boiled over, cornerback DeAngelo Hall stepped in with a calm, cool, collected approach.

“Just football–football happened,” he explained to CSN Washington after the game.  “It was an internal matter, and it definitely didn’t involve me.”

Hall joked that he’s normally the most mercurial of the three, but it was his rational approach that kept the defense together.

“Everyone thought it was me,” he said with a smirk.  “For once, I was actually one of the cooler heads that was trying to keep things civilized, and tried to help everybody understand that we’re all on the same team and we’re all trying to get to the same goal.”

Media members love to discuss when ‘a loss is more than a loss.’  Letting sideline frustrations get out of control would have been ‘more than a loss.’  Fortunately for the team, cooler heads prevailed.

Check out Hall’s post-game interview with CSN Washington, below: Read more »

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Changes Coming To All-Division Team

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 20, 2011 – 12:36 pm

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For Week 7 of the regular season, ESPN’s NFC East blogger Dan Graziano compiled his all-division team.

Despite a game against the Eagles that lacked big individual performances, the Redskins maintained their six spots on the list, based on season-long performances.  I do think that the Redskins will reclaim other positions on the list, but for now, this list reflects credit where it’s due.

Here are the Redskins recognized in this week’s addition:

Center: Will Montgomery, Redskins (Montgomery)

Outside linebacker: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys; Brian Orakpo, Redskins (Ware, Orakpo)

Inside linebacker: Sean Lee, Cowboys; London Fletcher, Redskins (Lee, Fletcher)

Safety: Kenny Phillips, Giants; LaRon Landry, Redskins (Phillips, Landry)

Punter: Sav Rocca, Redskins (Rocca)

Punt returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Banks)

Read more »

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Third Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 16, 2011 – 3:33 pm

On three separate occasions, I began writing my third quarter review, only to delete it and start over.  This quarter had more swings than a playground, and the Redskins just haven’t quite made the most of it.

As the third quarter wound down, quarterback John Beck has been seen warming up on the sidelines.  Rex Grossman hasn’t been in sync with his receivers today, but his stats shouldn’t overshadow the rest of the team’s successes.  Despite throwing four interceptions in the game, the Redskins still have an opportunity to make this competitive.

On offense:

Tight end Fred Davis has been a big part of the gameplan today, seeing more targets than anyone else, and having more receptions than the rest of the team combined.  Clearly, Davis has reliable, big-play ability.  He needed some help as a defender today, but when the ball was put where only he could catch it, he caught it.

On defense:

Safety LaRon Landry nearly single-handedly swung the momentum of the game, first sacking Vick to knock him out of the game, and then terrorizing his replacement.  DeAngelo Hall was locked on Vince Young’s eyes through that entire play that ended in an interception, but it was Landry’s pressure that forced the errant pass.  Great play by the secondary in the second half, but it hasn’t quite broken through yet.

On special teams:

Punter Sav Rocca continues to amaze with his consistency, still yet to yield a touchback, and consistently putting the ball out of reach of returner DeSean Jackson.  After playing in Philadelphia for the last five years, Rocca knows this special teams well, and has completely silenced them in the return game.  Punting may not be the essence of NFL football, but he makes it as exciting as it can be, in a good way.

Beck is in the game at the start of the fourth quarter, and the Redskins are looking for two scores.  Still trailing after three frames, Eagles 6-20.

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Hail! Discovers ‘Landry-Vision’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 14, 2011 – 9:47 am

Redskins safety LaRon Landry is a meat and potatoes kind of guy.  Literally.

With that in mind, this week’s edition of Ben Ceccarelli’s Hail! comic takes a look inside Landry’s mind as he prepares for this Sunday’s game against the Eagles: Read more »

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Landry Ranks Among NFL’s Meanest

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 13, 2011 – 4:43 pm

A recent poll of 287 NFL players by SI.com revealed the top 15 Meanest Players in the NFL.  Unsurprisingly, LaRon Landry, the Redskins enforcer in the secondary, got some appreciation at No. 9 on the list.

Last year, before being injured, Landry racked up a team-leading 101 tackles in only nine games, including a sack and six tackles for a loss.  This season, in only two games, Landry has already wreaked havoc, with 14 tackles and a forced fumble.

Just ask Cowboys receiver Laurent Robinson how mean Landry can be: Read more »

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All’s Quiet On ESPN’s All-Division Team

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 13, 2011 – 1:41 pm

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Every week, we take a look at ESPN NFC East blogger Dan Graziano’s picks for the NFC East All-Division Team.  These honors mean very little in Week 6 (and truthfully very little at the end of the season), but it’s nice to hear how the Redskins match up against their divisional counterparts.

After not playing last week, the Redskins held steady in this week’s version of the team, holding on to six of 27 players: Read more »

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Shake-ups On The All-Division Team

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 6, 2011 – 12:00 pm

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For Week 5 of the regular season, ESPN’s NFC East blogger Dan Graziano compiled his all-division team.

All told, three Redskins had their named taken off the list (fullback Darrel Young, left guard Kory Lichtensteiger, kick returner Brandon Banks), but one remains on the list elsewhere (Banks).  Two Redskins replaced their teammates at respective positions this week (outside linebacker Brian Orakpo and safety LaRon Landry), and one Redskins lineman managed to bump a division foe (center Will Montgomery).

That leaves the Redskins with a respectable six of the 27 awards, and generally credit where credit is due, based on the overall season picture.

Here are the Redskins recognized in this week’s addition:

CenterWill Montgomery, Redskins (David Baas)

Outside linebackerDeMarcus Ware, Cowboys; Brian Orakpo, Redskins (Ware, Ryan Kerrigan)

Inside linebackerSean Lee, Cowboys; London Fletcher, Redskins (Lee, Fletcher) 

SafetyKenny Phillips, Giants; LaRon Landry, Redskins (Phillips, O.J. Atogwe)

PunterSav Rocca, Redskins (Rocca)

Punt returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Banks)

Read more »

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Atogwe Leads Defense Back To St. Louis

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 28, 2011 – 5:14 pm

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Despite missing out on the opportunity for offseason workouts with his new teammates, Oshiomogho Atogwe has already grown into a force on defense and a leader in the secondary.

Head coach Mike Shanahan has been impressed with his level of preparation through the first three games.

“He’s a student of the game, he’s very smart.  He likes to play and he’s very accountable,” he said.  “He’s a team leader both on and off the field.  You like people that prepare themselves every week, and he’s one of those guys.”

Despite learning on the fly, Atogwe has been a capable free safety through the first three games and should improve as time goes one.

“He’s feeling better and he’s more familiar with our system and our terminology,” Shanahan said.  “The better he feels, the better he gets.”

Safety-mate LaRon Landry got his first start of the season on Monday, and was impressed with the degree of communication that the pair had already.

“Y’know, the chemistry was there,” he said.  “For the number of practices we’ve had together, we were able to go out there an communicate well.  We did okay.  The more repititions we get, the better we’re gonna get.”

Atogwe leads his secondary back to the gridiron that he used to patrol in St. Louis, this Sunday.  He understands that in order to beat the Rams, he and his teammates will need to be more consistent.

“You saw it in pieces on Monday night–when you finally have us all working together, it’s just gonna continue to be dominant force out there,” he explained.  “That’s what we envisioned at the beginning of the season, back in training camp.  And that’s what we’re gonna continue to work to put out on the field.”

For more of Atogwe’s comments, watch below: Read more »

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Landry Finally Gets To Express Himself

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 28, 2011 – 3:12 pm

In the most violent collision of Monday night’s game, Redskins safety LaRon Landry finally got a chance to unload all of his frustrations of the past 10 months.

And while you were jumping around your living room, spilling beer and salsa on the carpet, I bet you never thought about it from the other perspective, did you?

As a matter of fact, Cowboys receiver Laurent Robinson has had a lot of up and downs over the last three weeks too:

UP: Signed by the Cowboys on Sept. 7.

DOWN: Released by the Cowboys on Sept. 13.

UP: Re-signed by the Cowboys on September 20.

DOWN: Trying to catch Tony Romo’s overthrown pass:

On a play where the Redskins overloaded the pressure in Romo’s face with outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, it appeared that Robinson was open.  Romo made the snap decision and lofted the ball to his receiver.

Landry read Romo’s eyes and broke for Robinson as soon as the pass was released.  Proving that legal hits can still be vicious, Landry punished Robinson for being open, and forced a fourth down.

All in a day’s work for Landry. Read more »

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Second Quarter Pontifications

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 26, 2011 – 10:21 pm

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This game has certainly lived up to the billing of a defensive struggle so far, with both team’s defenses digging trenches outside of their respective endzone.  Despite both offenses turning the ball over with terrific field position, the score has been limited to only a trio of field goals a piece.

The much-anticipated fire and ice safety combination of LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe is yielding exciting results already.  With the skill set and measured-aggression that both players have, it allows either to play close to the line of scrimmage and run-stop or blitz the quarterback, while the other drops into coverage.  During the first quarter when Landry was shutting down Felix Jones in the running game, Atogwe was back in center field.  On the play where Landry crushed unsuspecting receiver Laurent Robinson, Atogwe was blitzing.

Versatility allows more creativity in the defensive play call.  Watch these two in the second half.  And for the rest of their time in Washington.

After combining for 172 yards on the ground last week, the Redskins have gotten both running backs Tim Hightower and Roy Helu involved in the game early this week.  Through 30 minutes, Hightower has 10 touches for 35 yards, while  Helu has four-for-fouteen.  Look for the Redskins to continue to get these playmakers involved in the offense.

Blocked field goal aside, the Redskins special teams have performed very well, individually and as a whole.  Here are some notes:

  • They account for all nine of the Redskins points
  • Sav Rocca’s first quarter punt, fair caught inside the 20, was his seventh such punt of the season, tying him for the league lead.
  • Graham Gano’s 50-yard field goal to finish out the first half was a career-long for him.  For his career, he is five-for-six against Dallas, including the blocked kick.
  • Brandon Banks has put the offense in reasonably good starting field position, with four returned for 54 yards.  The Cowboys will receive first in the second half.

Once again, the Redskins lead their opponent in every meaningful category.  Total net yards, 162 vs. 119.  Total plays, 35 vs. 26.  Penalties against, one vs. three.  Time of possession, 16:09 vs. 13:51.

The Redskins certainly missed some opportunities on offense and defense in the first half, but the various units have consistently bailed each other out.  This is another team effort for the Redskins, and we’ll see if they can capitalize better in the second half.

Redskins and Cowboys all knotted up at the midway point, 9-9.

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