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Eight Redskins Named All-Division Team

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 5, 2012 – 12:22 pm

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As the 2011 regular season draws to a close, we once again turn to ESPN NFC-East blogger Dan Graziano for a look at which Redskins are the best at their position in the division.

While I have lobbied for certain players throughout the season, I do defer to Graziano for a more global perspective on the division.  I don’t have to agree, but it’s not my list.

After reaching a high-water mark of eight Redskins on the bye week edition of this list, the Redskins have sunken to as low as five in some weeks, and six in most others.  However, through sustained effort and great individual performance, the Redskins have again risen to eight honorees on the final list of the season.

This was the most by any team in the NFC East, as the Cowboys had seven, the Giants had six, and the Eagles had six of the 27 honors.

These is the complete list of Redskins on the ESPN All-NFC East team: Read more »

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A Fourth Quarter Farewell To 2011

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 1, 2012 – 4:43 pm

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Looking strictly at the scoreboard of today’s game, there aren’t a whole lot of positives to take away.  ‘Pride games’ are supposed to end in wins–or at least near misses.  Not 24-point deficits.

But to focus exclusively on the score wouldn’t really be the story of this season.  The story of this season was–and has always been–about development.  And the best way to illustrate the development of this team is to look at how a fully healthy Redskins team fared against the Eagles in Week 6, as compared to the team that took the field today.

In Week 6, the offense managed only 245 yards and turned the ball over four times.  The Redskins had a fully-rested, fully-healthy roster take the field that day, with two playmakers at tight end, a dominant left side of the line, and zero rookies in the starting lineup.  With that team, they managed only 13 points at home.

In Week 17, the offense managed 377 yards and turned the ball over once.  The Redskins were eliminated from the playoffs weeks ago, with a patchwork lineup, including three rookies in the starting lineup.  With this team, they managed 10 points on the road.

In Week 6, the defense yielded 422 yards and had two takeaways.  The Redskins defense had a full-rested, fully-healthy roster take the field that day, with two playmaker safeties, two budding young outside linebackers, and a front seven that was leading the NFC in sacks.  With that team, they yielded 20 points at home.

In Week 17, the defense yielded 390 yards and had two takeaways.  The Redskins defense has also taken hits this season, losing both starting safeties, replacing three defenders altogether due to injury and performance.  They didn’t finish out the fourth quarter that they wanted today, but they still managed to keep the Redskins in the game until late.

The progress that the Redskins achieved on both sides of the ball, despite losing important players during the season, is not something that is reflected in the season record (5-11).  Development isn’t a consolation prize, and it isn’t anything that this team or organization wants to hang their hats on.  But when this team regroups in the coming months for OTA’s and mini camps, it’s something that will be reflected in the elevated play of the young guys on the team.  It’s something that will be reflected in various units, which now have great familiarity with one another. And for a team that isn’t going to the playoffs this year, roster development is something that can pay off for years to come.

Today was an unsung hero sort of day, so here are your unsung heroes of the afternoon:

On defense:

The danger of in-game reporting is in drawing conclusions too hastily.  For example, after the 62-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson, Twitter went crazy with conclusions that Oshiomogho Atogwe’s injuries had reduced his ability to make plays, and that he was, thus far, a disappointment as a free agent.

And perhaps up to that moment, these reports were fair.  Until, on the ensuing drive, Atogwe intercepted Michael Vick for the second time this season, down near the goal line.  He then–with the help of cornerback DeAngelo Hall–returned the ball to the 30-yard line.

All of this is not to say that Atogwe has had his ideal season, but he’s played very well in big games.  Atogwe got all three of his interceptions against division opponents this season, with two against the Eagles and the other against the Giants.  The best part of his contributions to the defense, is that he’s done everything that’s been asked, including accepting and excelling in a reserve role.  His last two interceptions have come in games that he didn’t start.

On offense:

Evan Royster and Roy Helu both gave gritty performances today, with Royster rushing for 113 yards on 20 carries, and Helu catching a touchdown pass for 47 yards.

Both rookie backs had back-to-back 100-yard games to their name this season, a rarity in any organization, and a testament to their ability to step up.  Royster had to be taken to the locker room in the second half for rehydration, while Helu battled leg injuries that visibly hobbled him on his touchdown run.  But both stayed focused and active in the game, supporting each other and keying the offense.

Not bad for two rookie backs taken after the fourth round.

This was a tough day for the 2011 Redskins, but with positives that can allow them to march forward into 2012.  Will this team be able to get healthy and capitalize on the development and maturation of the players in the scheme?  Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait nine months to find that out.  But from the 300 level of Lincoln Financial Field, I think the Redskins will find their stride in 2012.

That’s all from Philadelphia on this New Year’s Day, as the Redskins fall to the Eagles, 10-34.  Here’s wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year.

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Redskins Madden ’12 Week 17 Updates

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 29, 2011 – 2:00 pm

As the Washington Redskins get set to enter the final week of the 2011 regular season, it’s time for your 2011 virtual Redskins to do the same.  It’s been a big year for improvement in this group, as many players have taken giant steps forward.

Of the more than 275 changes made to the game this week, the Redskins constitute 18 changes this week.  Here’s the Redskins rundown, via the EA Sports Blog: Read more »

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A Shift Back On ESPN’s All-Division Team

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 29, 2011 – 10:43 am

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In gauging division honors over the course of a 16-game season, it’s logical that the cream will rise to the top and the best of the best will be fairly set in stone.  But with the inconsistency of the entire NFC East this season, it’s been difficult to determine who is not only the best, but can perform most consistently.

In this week’s edition of Dan Graziano’s ESPN NFC East Blog’s “All-NFC East Team,” there are a new set of seven Redskins representing the best in the division at their position.  The honors are based on a body of work over the course of a season, with wry commentary to follow.

Enjoy: Read more »

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Atogwe Duels His Father-In-Law Today

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 24, 2011 – 11:40 am

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The holidays are traditionally a time of family, faith and football.  For Redskins free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, today’s game will features two-out-of-three: family and football.

Atogwe is the son-in-law of Hall Of Fame linebacker and Vikings linebacker coach Mike Singletary.  Atogwe sat down with the folks at Women Of the Washington Redskins (WOWRedskins.com) to discuss his anticipation of today’s game and how he’ll interact with his in-laws:

“He’s gonna be in the booth, so you won’t see anything,” he said.  “But it is going to be a heated competition.” Read more »

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Redskins Rising On All-East Team

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 22, 2011 – 9:53 am

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After a big win against a division foe, the Redskins are on the rise as far as divisional honors.  There are seven Redskins on this week’s edition of ESPN blogger Dan Graziano’s All-NFC East team.

Solid Sundays kept all of last week’s honorees intact, but a big week in the secondary earned another award.

To save you the time to comment, I do realize that there were technically only six players listed.  But because Banks excels in two roles, the Redskins get a two-for-one special.

Here’s the rundown: Read more »

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Atogwe Candidate For Interception Of Year

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 20, 2011 – 2:44 pm

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Free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe may have had a down season in terms of production in the secondary, but he had a sensational afternoon on Sunday.

Flying around the field throughout the game, he found himself in the right place at the right time on a pass intended for Giants running back DJ Ware.  London Fletcher provided the pass defensed and Atogwe did the honors with a diving interception and 26-yard return (via Mike Prada, SB Nation): Read more »

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Halftime Report From New York

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 18, 2011 – 2:33 pm

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It’s just another wild day in the NFC East.

In the opening moments of the second quarter, Santana Moss hurdled another Redskins milestone, catching his 37th Redskins touchdown for his career, and 56th over.  He has now passed Ricky Sanders for sole possession of seventh place in Redskins history.

It’s only fitting that he does so in the city where his career started.

In the first 30 minutes of football, the Redskins have used five different ball carriers in the running game, using both active running backs, the fullback, and two wide receivers.

Anthony Armstrong’s 14-yard carry was a great combination of speed and vision, as a lesser man would have been tackled for a minimal gain.  His two rushes this season–the first of his career–have gone for 19 yards.

Darrel Young’s six-yard burst to paydirt was the first rushing touchdown of his career.  The Amityville, N.Y.-native was greeted in the north end zone by a chorus of 80,000 boo birds and appropriately inappropriate hand gestures, as he just nodded his head and smiled.

That 17-0 lead matched the Redskins’ largest lead of the season, dating back to Week 4 against the St. Louis Rams.  There’s a lot of football left, but as I said before the game, the Redskins don’t have the look of a sacrificial lamb today.  On the other hand, some members of the Giants’ 99 percent victorious team seem to have visions of January dancing in their heads.

On defense, the whole unit gets a pat on the back at halftime, but special consideration goes to free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, who snagged his second interception of the year on a tipped ball by London Fletcher in coverage.  This is the first takeaway for the ball-hawker since the Philadelphia game in Week 6, the 24th interception for his career.

Atogwe has certainly had a frustrating year with injuries, but has shown up in a big way this afternoon.\

Given the Redskins’ struggles in the second half, save the sigh of relief for the final gun.  But there’s no question that this first half of football set the tone for the Redskins afternoon.

Redskins up at the half: Washington 17, New York 3.

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Balloon Art Popular With Students, Players

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 6, 2011 – 6:41 pm

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At today’s “Covered for the Holidays” event at the Metro Center Macy’s, the Redskins players got to interact on the same level as elementary school children.

But in order to do that, they had to be properly outfitted upon arrival.

One of the additional perks of the day is that students were given a balloon along with their coats, hats, gloves and goodie bags.  Who would have suspected that the balloons would end up being one of the favorite items, especially among players.

Before the players ever arrived, the students entertained themselves with a joust:

And the horseplay didn’t stop once the players arrived.  It just featured grown men after a while.

Read more »

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Redskins Players Share Coats, Memories

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 6, 2011 – 3:28 pm

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The Redskins Charitable Foundation and Redskins players Oshiomogho Atogwe, David Anderson, Terrence Austin, Brandon Banks, DeJon Gomes, Sean Locklear, Darrion Scott, Donte’ Stallworth, Josh Wilson, Dough Worthington, Logan Paulsen and Travon Bellamy went to the Macy’s in downtown D.C. to hand out winter clothes to 300 underserved children from the greater metro area.

This is a big event for the Redskins and Macy’s, but it’s also a hit with the players.  This is a rare opportunity for them to interact with their youngest fans, and provide them with something that they really need:

Upon arrival, the players mingled with the kids, and took a liking to the kids’ balloons.  They instantly gravitated to the balloon booth and got arrows, swords and all manner of Christmas critters:

And then there was Redskins returner Brandon Banks, who got a reindeer balloon hat before helping kids get a Redskins cap and gloves:

Redskins safety Oshiomogho Atogwe showed off his fashionista chic style, by helping find coats for some of the little girls.  If patrolling center field doesn’t work for O.J., I think he has a natural gift for retail: Read more »

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