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  • Thu., Apr. 24, 2014 5:30PM - 6:00PM EDT Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Fri., Apr. 25, 2014 5:30PM - 6:00PM EDT Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Mon., Apr. 28, 2014 5:30PM - 6:00PM EDT Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Tue., Apr. 29, 2014 5:30PM - 6:00PM EDT Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Wed., Apr. 30, 2014 5:30PM - 6:00PM EDT Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Thu., May. 01, 2014 5:30PM - 6:00PM EDT Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Fri., May. 02, 2014 5:30PM - 6:00PM EDT Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Mon., May. 05, 2014 5:30PM - 6:00PM EDT Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Tue., May. 06, 2014 5:30PM - 6:00PM EDT Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

  • Wed., May. 07, 2014 5:30PM - 6:00PM EDT Redskins Nation

    Redskins Nation is a half-hour show devoted to giving fans unfiltered access to the day's events at Redskins Park. Hosted by Larry Michael, the show features Redskins players, coaches and sit-down interviews with team officials. (Show re-airs at 11:30 p.m/7:30 a.m. daily)

    • DATE: December 3, 2013
    • TIME:  5:30 PM 
    • LOCATION:  Comcast SportsNet

First Quarter Impressions

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 1, 2012 – 1:44 pm

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Prior to two weeks ago, Brian Orakpo was the team’s leader in sacks during his tenure with the team, having never registered a full sacked on a division quarterback.  Against the Giants, he brought Eli Manning down for the first of his career.  Against the Eagles, he took care of things early, “Orakpo-ing” Michael Vick on his first third down pressure.

Now that the divisional sack monkey is off his back, Orakpo looks to be flogging it.  Orakpo is also the first Redskins defender with eight or more sacks in three consecutive seasons since Dexter Manley achieved the feat between 1983-89.

The Redskins defense is getting good pressure on Vick today, which could prove to be effective.  Vick has been bothered by various contact related injuries this year, including broken ribs, and looks to prefer passing today.  I’m certain the Redskins will be spying him all afternoon, but it’s nice to know that he has a vested interest in being a passer first.

On offense, running back Evan Royster got the first crack today, continuing his success from last week.  The Redskins initially viewed Roy Helu as a change-of-pace back earlier this season, and the same dynamic could be in place today, with both backs healthy and active.  The Redskins have also continued to pitch the ball on almost all running plays, something that head coach Mike Shanahan attributed to their ability to get the ball, pick their hole, and get a full head of steam going through the line.

The running game hasn’t necessarily been effective in the first quarter, but this is an important facet of the game that the Redskins need to stick with.

With the 20-yard pass from quarterback Rex Grossman to fullback Darrel Young, Grossman passed 10,000 passing yards for his career.  For the Redskins, he passed for 3,779 yards in his first 16 games before today.

Punter Sav Rocca has been a model of consistency in his first season in Washington, but badly missed his first punt this afternoon, kicking it out of bounds for 12 yards.  The play essentially acted like a turnover, but the defense held on a short field, yielding only a field goal.

Rocca bounced back on his next two kicks, downing both inside the 20-yard line, tying a career-high for the season with 28.  Nice recovery from the Down Under Thunder.

At the end of the first quarter, the Eagles lead by a field goal: Washington 0, Philadelphia 3.

After the first quarter in the “2012 Social Showdown,” the Redskins fans have pulled it close, trailing by 40 fans.  #HTTR, #BeatPhilly


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Redskins Ready To Rumble In ‘The Linc’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 1, 2012 – 1:02 pm

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Redskins players have taken and exited the field this afternoon, and they look ready to find meaning in this supposedly meaningless Week 17 game.

For Redskins punter Sav Rocca, this is his first return to his first NFL city, to take on a team that wanted to get younger at the punter postion.  In the first game against the Eagles this season, Rocca had a fine game, booting four times for a 42.5 average, a long of 53, and two punts downed inside the 20.

In pregame warmup, he and battery mate Nick Sundberg was rocketing bombs down the field.  Here’s his last effort:

Fellow special teamer Graham Gano was knocking his own missiles through the uprights from distances of 60 yards.  They both look calm and unaffected by the 10-15 mph winds.

On the offense, this is also the return of Jabar Gaffney and Donte’ Stallworth to Philadelphia.  Gaffney is chasing a career-year, having already matched his touchdown mark and exceeded his yardage output for a season.  With a touchdown and 81 more yards, he’ll finish the season as the team’s top receiver, with his first 1,000 yard season and six touchdowns.

Stallworth wasn’t backing down from heckles during pregame warmup, and seemed especially fired up–even for him.  Here’s footage of the receivers warming up with coach Keenan McCardell:

Gaffney seems to have perfected the one-handed touchdown catch.  Nothing like a little flair to go with his best season ever.

Here are the players’ tweeted thoughts as kickoff approaches:

And in case you were wondering, not even one nationally recognized NFL expert is picking the Redskins to win.  This reminds me of when the Redskins went on the road two weeks ago and knocked off the Giants in decisive fashion.

Don’t count that out from happening again.  And don’t forget to participate in the “2012 Social Showdown” in the next few minutes.


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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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Rocca’s Punts Turning Heads Down Under

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 22, 2011 – 2:24 pm

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Australian Broadcast Corporation (the other ABC) correspondent Craig McMurtrie and his trusted cameraman Louie Eroglu have been based in Washington, D.C. for about a year now, covering the many political and social happenings in the United States.

Prior to August, the NFL and Redskins weren’t really on their radar for newsworthiness.  But that was before the Redskins signed famous Aussie footballer-turned-NFL punter Sav Rocca.  With the tremendous season that he’s putting together, it’s making waves overseas.

Craig McMurtrie

“We don’t typically do much sports stories,” admitted McMurtrie, “But there haven’t been that many Australians on the Redskins roster.”

McMurtrie and Eroglu were recently out at Redskins Park to interview Rocca about his life and career as an NFL punter.  I headed them off with a conversation that gave me a better idea of Rocca’s past, and them a better idea of Rocca’s present.

As McMurtrie explained it, Australia is geographically segmented by the different football codes, be it AFL, rugby, etc.  But regardless of the local sport, Australians know Rocca, the 13th-leading AFL scorer of all time.

“Sav Rocca is a famous AFL name, he’s a storied player,” he said.  “He’s well-known, particularly in Melbourne and in places where Aussie Rules is played in Australia, because we play a number of football codes in Australia.”

“We’re interested in his success, and we’re interested in how his playing for the Redskins, which is one of the most storied sports franchises in the world.”

Rocca ranks among the league’s best in every meaningful punting category this season, and has helped to bring international intrigue to the Redskins.  The only thing that Australian fans don’t understand, is how their beloved kicker has been relegated to six kicks per game and no opportunity to score points.

“The more ardent NFL fans maybe understand, but for most Australians, there wouldn’t really be an understanding of what a punter does,” McMurtrie explained.   “Sav in his AFL career, not only would have been used to being one of the stars, but would have been on the ground for the whole game, just running his heart out.  And the idea of him standing on the sidelines and going out for punts on maybe three or four plays a game is extraordinary.” Read more »


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Patriots In The Rear-View Mirror

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 12, 2011 – 1:25 pm

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The last time that the Redskins clashed with the Patriots was in 2007 under mildy New England skies.

Quarterback Jason Campbell threw a touchdown and an interception, in addition to fumbling the ball three times on three sacks.  The Redskins rushing attack managed only 47 yards on the ground, while the defense yielded 486 total yards to the Pats’ fabled offense.

Fans who watched it all the way through managed to see the Redskins tack on a touchdown onto the scoring parade, with the game mercifully ending at 52-7.

The scary thing is that some people expected that to happen again, yesterday–or worse.  But the Redskins showed up in a big way.

This season has been defined by progress.  When the team came out of training camp with 25 players with less than three years experience, it was considered a sign of progress towards a much-needed influx of youth.  When the team started out 3-1, it was seen as progress towards competitiveness.  When the team lost six-straight, but kept fighting and didn’t fracture emotionally, it was considered progress in character.

And when the Redskins showed up yesterday, they proved that they have the heart to show up ready to play.  Last week’s late loss to the Jets could have deflated this group, but they rose to the occasion.  Injuries and suspensions have utterly decimated a Redskins’ offense that nearly out-dueled the NFL’s No. 2 offense.  The defense picked off Tom Brady, who hadn’t thrown an interception since Week 9.

Even in a loss, yesterday was a fine example of progress, as the Redskins played perhaps their best game all season.  Yesterday, the Redskins showed that their progress is paying off, and that there’s a lot to look forward to, both immediately and in the future.

Special kudos for yesterday’s game go out to the following players:

On Offense: Roy Helu

Who else?  This young man is showing the vast potential of mid-round backs in the Shanahan system, putting up three-consecutive 100-yard games with his 126 yards yesterday.  With yesterday’s performance, he is:

  • The first rookie running back to accomplish this feat in franchise history.
  • The first of his 2011 rookie draft class to do so.
  • The first Redskins running back since Clinton Portis went five-straight in 2008.
  • The first 100-yard rusher against the Patriots this season.

Even though he didn’t get his first career start until Week 8 against San Francisco, Helu has already accomplished multiple feats never seen before in this organization.  That’s not just noteworthy, that’s downright impressive.

On Defense: Barry Cofield

Cofield will never get the credit that he deserves as the 3-4 nose tackle in Washington, but fortunately, he doesn’t seem to mind.  He finished yesterday with five tackles, putting him at 55 on the season.  He added in a half-sack of Brady, and was credited with his league leading (among nose tackle) ninth pass defensed.

On Special Teams: Brandon Banks

Admittedly, this recognition goes for his overall performance, not just what he was able to do on special teams.  Banks got all of his work on kickoff returns yesterday, managing 117 total return yards.  But when you combine that with his 49-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter–now we’re talking.  Notes on that pass:

  • Was the first by a Redskins receiver since Oct. 5, 2008, when Antwaan Randle El threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Chris Cooley at Philadelphia.
  • The longest by a non-quarterback in Redskins’ history, beating the previous long of 48, set on a Randle El pass to Moss vs. the New York Giants on Dec. 30, 2006.
  • It was the first of Banks’ career. He did not attempt a pass in college during his time at either Kansas State or Bakersfield College (Calif.).
  • The touchdown reception was the 35th of Moss’ tenure with the Redskins, tying him with Ricky Sanders for seventh-most in team history.
Banks has been lobbying to be included in the offensive gameplan all season.  This play isn’t possible without the defenders’ respect for his dangerous speed, but as the old cliche goes: playmakers make plays.

Here are the rest of your random assortment of game notes: Read more »


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Rock The Redskins Pro Bowl Vote

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 8, 2011 – 10:33 am

Like the 12 days of Christmas, there are 12 days of Pro Bowl voting left, for you, the voter.  And like your last minute holiday shopping, now is probably the time to get started.

Here are a few of the Redskins highlights for the year:

The trio of linebackers Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan and London Fletcher are having a superb first year together.  Kerrigan was named the NFL Rookie of the Month for September, and has provided the bookend pressure that the Redskins were looking for.  Fletcher leads the NFL in tackles after Week 13, and Orakpo continues his role as a backfield terror.

The defensive line of Adam Carriker, Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen have also performed well in their first season together.  Barry Cofield leads all nose tackles in passes defensed with eight tipped passes.  Carriker and Bowen are both enjoying career-highs in sacks, ranked second and third respectively among 3-4 linemen.

Redskins returner Brandon Banks leads the league in return yards, with 1,221.  He has yet to bust one for a touchdown, but he’s consistently provided the Redskins with quality field position despite the change in kickoff rules.

After last week’s game, Rocca is again tied for the league lead in punts downed inside the 20, and has only one touchback on the season.  He has also limited the opposing returners to under 200 yards, which means that he isn’t out-kicking his coverage.  Rocca has consistently won the battle of field position, and that is more important than any single number.

Vote your favorite Redskins to the Pro Bowl between now and Dec. 19.  The rosters will officially be announced on Dec. 27.


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Six Redskins On Latest All-Division Team

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 7, 2011 – 5:04 pm

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Each and every week, Dan Graziano puts together his list of the top players at each of the 27 positions in the NFC East.  In this week’s edition of his list, the Redskins were given six selections, the Cowboys eight, the Giants seven, and the Eagles six.

For the Redskins, it’s technically five, but it’s six honors.  Given that the Redskins are in last place in the division, that’s probably accurate, but here’s the rundown:

Fullback: Darrel Young, Redskins (Young)

Center: Will Montgomery, Redskins (Montgomery)

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

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

Kick returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Banks)

Punt returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Banks) Read more »


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New York Jets In The Rear View Mirror

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 5, 2011 – 11:12 am

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In Week 1, the Redskins beat the New York Giants, by starting well and putting them away in the fourth quarter.  The Redskins took a 14-14 halftime tie and doubled up the Giants 28-14 for the win.

Yesterday, the Redskins fell to the Giants’ roommate, by starting well and then letting them get away in the fourth quarter.  After a halftime lead and a 52-minute battle, the Redskins let the Jets off the hook, late.

With their eighth loss on the season, the Redskins also lose the opportunity for their first winning season since 2007.  But at this point, the Redskins can still improve on last year’s 6-10 campaign.

Fans don’t hold 6-10 as a benchmark season, but improving an organization takes time.  The Redskins have had great team performances six times this season (the four wins plus the two Dallas games), but they’ve had stellar individual performances in each game.

How much does that matter?  Just ask the players.

“We’re trying to build a team,” said Redskins safety Reed Doughty.  “The last four games mean everything to this organization, to the fans, to you as a player as you’re evaluated, and what you’re trying to put on film.  Next year, we need to see the young guys step up and we need the old guys really to take leadership. I take pride in trying to put a football team out there every week.

“We’re out to win, we’re not just going out there.”

At this point, the Redskins have four one-week seasons left, four that they’re going to fight hard to win.  The evaluation process is perpetual, but this is the stretch of the season that separates the men from the boys, so to speak.  If players can find motivation to perform now, then they are key components to the future of this team.

And no matter how the team has struggled during the middle part of this season, they’ll be looking to bookend the disappointment with a strong finish.

Here are some individual stats worth mentioning from yesterday’s game: Read more »


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Numbers Swelling On All-Division Team

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 1, 2011 – 10:51 am

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As the Redskins start to find their mid-season stride, they’re also starting to gain national attention, both individually and as a team.

In this week’s edition of the Dan Graziano ESPN NFC East Blog All-Division Team, the Redskins secured each of last week’s selections and added and extra spot.  On this week’s list, there are nine Cowboys, seven Eagles, seven Redskins and four Giants.

Here are your Redskins:

Fullback: Darrel Young, Redskins (Young)

Center: Will Montgomery, Redskins (Montgomery)

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

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

Punter: Sav Rocca, Redskins (Steve Weatherford)

Kick returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Banks)

Punt returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Banks) Read more »


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Fourth Quarter Turn Of Fortunes

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 27, 2011 – 8:07 pm

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For a team that previously lost six straight, nothing comes easy, as was the case this afternoon in Seattle.  The important thing is that the Redskins were good when it counted, and it was a total team victory.  Here’s the breakdown:

On Offense:

On the one hand, the Redskins put up 416 yards of total offense, their highest showing since Week 2, and the second highest of the season.  The offensive line opened up holes for running back Roy Helu, and kept Rex Grossman upright for most of the game.  Helu showed that his 146-yard game against the 49ers wasn’t a fluke, going over 100 yards for the first time today, with 162 total yards and his first NFL touchdown.  The Redskins receivers managed to get open when it really mattered, and Santana Moss returned to his clutch ways.  Anthony Armstrong, who had five receptions for 47 yards all season, finally came down with a game-changing catch for 50 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.  He was this week’s incarnation of Donte Stallworth, and proved that the storyline of this season is “the next man up.”  The offense clicked in the first and fourth quarters, and that was the difference in this game.

On Defense:

This wasn’t the defense’s best game, but they limited the damage and settled down in the second half.  They yielded only 250 yards of total offense for the Seahawks, including just 144 yards through the air.  They may not have had the sacks or turnovers that they were looking for, but they didn’t give up the big play either, and they played well in all facets of the game.

On Special Teams:

Clearly, this was a tough day for kickers, and that’s not just limited to Graham Gano.  Sav Rocca was charged with his first touchback of the season, the second-to-last punter in the league to put one in the end zone.  On a happy note, he also added to his punts inside the 20 and averaged 44.5 yards on the day.

As for Gano, he made things interesting (1 blocked FG, 1 blocked PAT, kickoff out of bounds), but he iced the game when it counted (fourth quarter FG).  His two blocked kicks nearly came home to roost, but his last kick put the Redskins up by six and forced the Seahawks to aim for the end zone.  This has been a tough eight days for Gano, and it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff gauges his performance.  Head coach Mike Shanahan said this week that the pressure was on for Gano, and his performance today was important.  Which matters more: conditions or performance?

Overall:

At the end of the day, the Redskins managed to escape their first seven-game losing streak in more than a decade, and they did it in the worst possible conditions.  It shows great resolve to fly six hours into one of the most hostile environments in the NFL, play a team with a better record and momentum, play in the rain and wind and cold, play from behind–and come out on top.  From the opening kickoff, it was clear that this was a game that the Redskins should win.  Regardless of whether they’re a better team every week, they won on this given Sunday, and it was important that they come away from this colossal road trip with a win.

Now the monkey is off their backs, and the questions of leadership and character can settle back to a dull roar.  The plane ride back to Washington will be a long one, but a good one, as players can finally breathe a sigh of relief.  As easy as it is to settle into a slump, this team needs to look to build on the positive momentum this week.  This was a good team win, but there are enough issues to resolve before the Jets next week.

Hopefully, today is the start of a new streak.

So long from Seattle, with Washington in the win column: Redskins 23, Seahawks 17.


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