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2012 Redskins Have First Day In The Office

Posted by Brian Tinsman on April 16, 2012 – 4:58 pm

The Redskins had their first dose of offseason conditioning this morning at Redskins Park, as 61-0f-63 players reported for voluntary workouts.

Players were generally upbeat, and it was a first sighting for some players in quite some time.  The highlight of the morning was London Fletcher on the premises to sign his brand new contract with the team.  Players joked and high-fived with their captain in between workouts, and players hung around after the workouts to catch up on the offseason.

Several players tweeted their enthusiastic feeling about being back to work on a beautiful day: Read more »

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Taking A Bite Out Of The Big Apple

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 19, 2011 – 2:56 pm

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When the Redskins beat the Giants in Week 1, the result was a share of first place in the division.  The team was healthy, the rookies were contributing in a limited role, and there was a lot of reason for what-if speculation.

When the rematch occurred three months later, the Redskins were eliminated from playoff contention and playing for respect–something that no one wanted to give to them.  Of the starting 11 on offense from Week 1, only five took the field on the starting drive.  Those rookies that had contributed sparingly in round one were now starters, and some of the third string and practice squad players were seeing quality minutes.

In the end, the difference yesterday was not in the players’ resolve, or the preparation and game plan of the team.  The difference was actually in the results.

In the hostile environment of a division-leading team, the Redskins played their best all-around football game of the season, jumping out to a 17-0 lead and never looking back.

The offense registered the team’s largest lead of the season at 20 points, when the score was 23-3.  They were able to run the ball when they wanted to, throw the ball when they needed to, and control the clock for 35 minutes, nearly two and one-half minutes longer than Week 1.

On defense, they held Eli Manning without a completion in the first quarter for the first time in his career.  He was intercepted three times by the Redskins for the first time in 15 career games.

Given the length of time between the two games this season, the Giants are the ideal measuring stick for the Redskins’ progress.  As nose tackle Barry Cofield told his teammates after the game, that is the way that this team is capable of playing every week.

With two games left, the Redskins need to prove that to themselves, and find ways to win in the last two weeks of the season.  At 2-12, the Vikings represent the first team that the Redskins have played with an inferior record since the Miami Dolphins in Week 10.  With three weeks left in the 2011 season, it’s not too late for statements, and it’s the perfect time to put together a winning streak.

Here are the statistical highlights from yesterday’s win: 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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Players Deliver At Annual Harvest Feast

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 22, 2011 – 10:18 pm

The 9th Annual “Harris Teeter-Redskins Harvest Feast” (presented by Ryan Homes) was another rousing success, as the Redskins helped package and deliver a Thanksgiving experience to 3,500 area homes.

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Redskins players Jabar Gaffney, Donte Stallworth, Josh Wilson, Brandon Banks, Willie Smith, Oshiomogho Atogwe, Brandyn Thompson, Doug Worthington, Niles Paul, Erik Cook, and Lorenzo Alexander helped out with the event.  They did everything from organize the handouts, to handing out the final packages, to delivering them to area families. Read more »

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Redskins Prep Food For Harvest Feast

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 22, 2011 – 3:02 pm

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This morning at the stadium, hundreds of area volunteers joined Redskins players Donte Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, Josh Wilson, Willie Smith, and Oshiomogho Atogwe to prepare meals for local families in need.

The players jumped right in line with the other volunteers to organize the food, an experience that meant as much to the players as the fans.

“Oh man, it’s really great to be able to give back to the community,” said Smith.  “These fans, I mean, they care so much about the team on Sunday, so to be able to come back and give back to them around the holidays is just great.  To come out and interact with them and just show that we’re human like they are, that’s what counts.”

Two weeks ago, Stallworth was cut loose by the organization and went back to his home in Miami.  One of the first things he planned to do, was work with his close friend, the Miami Heat’s Alonzo Mourning to organize a Thanksgiving event in Miami.

Two weeks later, he’s much happier to be here. Read more »

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Playing Wide Receiver Big Willie Style

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 5, 2011 – 4:40 pm

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Meet your new redzone threat, rookie offensive tackle Willie Smith.

The Fresh Prince himself.

The East Carolina product currently registers at 6-6, 290 pounds, and is looking for a spot on the Redskins offensive line.

But a few short years ago,  Smith was 6-6, 225 pounds, and lined up at wide receiver at North Johnson High School in Kelly, N.C.

Seriously. Read more »

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