Author Archives: Kiel Maddox
For the first time since 1999, the 2005 Washington Redskins looked like a team headed for greatness. The team had chemistry, played through injuries and found ways to win critical games (5 in a row or we don’t go). A lot has changed since that season. The Redskins are back into a full rebuild and the only players left on the roster from that season are Chris Cooley and Santana Moss.
Since purchasing the Washington Redskins in 1999, owner Daniel Snyder has been highly disliked for “Ruining a once proud franchise” according to everyone from fans to media outlets.
For the last decade, according to anyone not on Snyder’s payroll, Snyder had “run the Redskins as if they were a fantasy football team.” Or that he “cares more about selling tickets than having a winner.” Not to mention the game day experience at FedEx Field was pretty lousy.
There is no arguing that during Snyder’s tenure he had been involved in a lot of personnel decisions, more than your typical owner should be. Free Agency became Snyder’s ‘time to shine’ and General Manager/Racket Ball Buddy/ Evil Henchmen Vinny Cerrato bounced from city to city in “Redskins 1” wining and dining the next big name prize.
Year after year the results were disastrous as the team only won one single playoff game since 2000.
Fans can tolerate bloated contracts, questionable coaching decisions and a poor game day experiences provided the product on the field is up to snuff, but it wasn’t.
Even the players suffered — often complaining that Redskins Park Facilities were among the worst in the league. While outdated at best, there was no denying the absence of amenities that are common in the NFL, such as a practice bubble for winter training.
Why would an owner who spared no expense trying to build what he thought would be a winner skimp out on taking care of the players and the fans?
Redskins’ legends like John Riggins blamed it on Snyder himself. Riggins even went as far as saying Snyder had a “black heart” and was more consumed by turning a profit than he was building a franchise.
By November 2009 things had gotten out of hand, Joe Gibbs successor Jim Zorn, the coach hand-picked by Snyder, was clearly over his head. The team was in chaos and fans were taking out advertisements calling for Snyder to sell the team and “turning in their fan cards” until things got straightened out.
That December the madness stopped, Vinny Cerrato was forced to resign, Bruce Allen was brought in as the new GM and in early January 2010, Mike Shanahan (a notorious control freak) was brought in as the new head coach. More surprisingly, Shanahan was given full control of the team. Something fans claimed the meddling Snyder would never allow.
With a solid new front office in place Snyder turned his attention to new improvements to FedEx Field and the surrounding areas. Parking lots opened up to eight hours earlier than scheduled for night game in 2010. Seats were removed to add party decks and new state of the art HD ‘punter proof’ screens were installed. Not to mention the smoother traffic control around the stadium.
He even added solar panels to make FedEx Field the most energy-efficient stadium in the NFL (for you Green people).
While stadium improvements don’t make the team better, they most-certainly added to a somewhat better game-day experience helped the once forgotten fan base feel like they were being thought of.
Even the facilities in Ashburn have gotten a face-lift with a completely modern practice bubble installed to keep the players from having to practice in local airport hangers when it rains.
The biggest changes are what we are seeing now.
The Redskins are being run the way a football team is supposed to be thanks to who Snyder put in charge. Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen are turning Washington back into a respectable football city. The paydays and trading away of draft picks we saw during Cerrato’s era are officially over.
Today’s Redskins are being ran the same way they were during Jack Kent Cooke’s legacy. The front office is scouting properly, the coaches know who fit their system and they are writing up contracts that not only are fair, but also save them in case a player fails (see Donovan McNabb).
Most important, Snyder is no longer “in the way” as he once was, but is doing what he should be – signing the checks and watching his team from the owner’s box like every other owner.
Thanks to this off-seasons Cap Gate scandal, Snyder is actually being viewed as a victim instead of the “dark hearted” franchise ruining super-fan he has been made out to be.
While getting some fan support this off-season has been huge for Snyder, he will never become beloved without giving Washington D.C a consistent winner.
A supporting cast has been built over the last two seasons and it now appears Redskins fans will finally get exactly what they have been waiting for for over 2o years – a franchise quarterback. While there is still a way to go getting Robert Griffin III, who the Redskins are projected to take in the upcoming NFL Draft, that should be a huge step towards accomplishing that goal.
Love him or hate him, it is hard to deny that Snyder is on a hot streak of making solid football decisions, but right now it’s safe to say even anti-Snyder fans are beginning to see a change in him, for the better.
And let’s just be honest who can hate on an owner who Tebows?
London Fletcher is without a doubt the heart and soul of not only the defense, but also the Washington Redskins. Losing him would not only add a hole at the linebacker position, but also at the teacher and leadership role. It’s been said that signing Fletcher is imperative, but what happens when he’s his own worst enemy?
Fletcher has been a dominate force his entire NFL career. An undersized, under-appreciated linebacker who has put up numbers that match close to those of Ray Lewis. Perhaps because he’s never been flashy or loud, he’s never been given the credit when due (such as Pro Bowl votes).
Last year we saw that change. After making a big play, his celebrations were much longer and much louder. Was that an effort to make his name known around the league in hopes of getting his final payday, something he knew the Redskins were no longer doing?
According to sources, Fletcher was looking to receive something close to what Ray Lewis had re-signed for in 2009, three-years, $25 million. The Redskins on the other hand weren’t looking to pay him the $7-8 million a year he wanted, but rather $6 million, leaving him at a three-year $18 million dollar contract.
Feeling he was worth more than the $6 million per year the Redskins offered, Fletcher hit the free-agency market in hopes of a bigger offering. Unfortunately Fletcher was hit with reality when not one team called showing interest. That’s just the norm for an aging veteran. While Redskins fans see a leader and player, the other 31 teams see a 36-year-old going on 37.
Where does that leave Fletcher? In a position much worse than what he was in – had he signed for the three-years Washington offered. With free-agency signings, money that was available for Fletcher has dropped significantly. The Redskins can no longer afford to offer him a three-year contract to his measure – and while younger players are hitting the market, such as Curtis Lofton who nearly signed with the Baltimore Ravens for one-year, Fletcher’s value is only dropping more.
More surprising though, is how he’s gone to twitter in what appears to be an effort to toy with fans:
Other than the Redskins, Fletcher knows he has nobody eying him. So what’s the hold up? If he doesn’t sign with Washington, he has nowhere to play. He’s said many times on twitter that he loves it in Washington and wants to be here, so why is he playing games? If he loves the fans as he says, he’d do them and himself a favor and sign with the Redskins.
Otherwise, Washington will have no other choice, but to sign a younger LB such as Lofton or draft one, such as Mychal Kendricks. Whether we like it or not, it’s smarter to bring in a younger, just as talented linebacker, for close to nothing than to sign an aging linebacker like London Fletcher to a three-year deal.
A lot happened leading up to the 1997 season for the Washington Redskins. Former owner Jack Kent Cooke had passed away, Norv Turner was brought in to lead the Redskins back to their winning ways and FedExField, then Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, had just opened in Landover, Maryland.
It’s been over 20 years since teams and opposing fans were intimidated by the Washington Redskins. Unlike the 80’s and early 90’s, today’s Redskins have been nothing more than a dumpster fire on and off the field. That however, is about to change.
Since Washington traded up with St. Louis to land the number two overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, fans of opposing teams, especially the NFC East, have begun to change their minds about the Redskins. They now realize Washington, a team that has become more competitive since the arrival of Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan, is about to exceed expectations, thanks to should-be draftee Heisman winning QB, Robert Griffin III.
Instead of a football team that has been known for its joke behind center – they (Redskins) now have a legitimate threat taking snaps. One that can burn you by tucking the ball in and running, such as Philadelphia Eagles QB, Michael Vick, but also kill you in the air, with the accuracy of Peyton Manning.
Rather than heading into the season with two-wins already in their book (vs. Washington), opposing teams and fans are now wondering what this means for their future. The team they are so used to defeating is now going to be able to challenge them.
Take MSN Fox Sport’s writer, Jen Engel, whom Thursday wrote an article, RG3 should scramble away from DC. Why? Because the Redskins are “dysfunctional” and he (RGIII) will “likely” fail because “nobody wins with the Redskins.”
Granted, she is a Cowboys fan so her bias is expected, but why one would think the Redskins are being ran the same way they were three years ago is ludicrous. Truth is, she watched RGIII at Baylor and realizes how dangerous the kid is – and with the Washington Redskins, a team that’s been missing a QB for decades, she knows they could become an instant contender.
However, not even Engel could top John Mara, the New York Giants President and team owner.
The NFL’s “Management Council Executive Committee/Labor” department, whom took 36 million away from the Redskins cap ($18 mil in both ‘12 and ‘13) is ironically ran by the same man who owns the New York Giants, John Mara.
Strange how when Rex Grossman was the starting QB, a player known for his inconsistent and at times horrible play, there was no problem with the Redskins spending money (which was well within the rules of 2010 and 2011 CBA), yet once the trade with St. Louis hit the table, the Redskins got nailed for breaking a “rule” that was never in place.
Perhaps it’s because Mara realized the Redskins who managed to sweep his Championship winning Giants, were finally ready to start competing. Mixing in RGIII with another off-season like the one they just had, would only mean future division titles and the spotlight being taken off his precious team.
Shame the Redskins still managed to play by the “rules” and beat Mara and his accomplices at their own game (who will all be dealt with Monday when the Redskins take them to court for what should be collusion).
When you are instilling fear into not only fans, bloggers, but also division owners, you know you’re doing something right. For the first time in a long time, Redskins fans can say proudly and positively, we’re back!
Over the last couple of weeks, Redskins fans have been sending messages to London Fletcher on Twitter, letting him know how much he means to not only the team, but also them (the fans). Unfortunately, Fletcher has still not signed a deal with the Washington Redskins, and it appears that they could be losing him. It’s time to make the final push Redskins Nation, take to Twitter and let Fletcher know we need him!
Make sure to include the hash tag #ReSign59 and spread the word to your friends.
The Washington Redskins first free-agent acquisition of the day came with former Indianapolis Colt’s wide receiver, Pierre Garcon. Garcon scored six touchdowns, while hauling in 947 yards last season.
Garcon took to Facebook to announce he would be signing with the Washington Redskins, saying the following:
“I wanted you all to hear it from me 1st before u saw it on the news… I will be signing with the Washington Redskins and I’m very excited about the opportunity in front of me.”
Garcon could become the Kendall Wright for Robert Griffin III.
Washington is still in the hunt for another wide receiver and possible linemen. Stay tuned for more free-agent signings.
During the dominating era of the 80’s and early 90’s, the Redskins were known as one of the most powerful teams in the NFL. The entire city of Washington D.C was behind them and fans took pride in claiming to root for the burgundy and gold. Their logo and other Redskins gear made it in movies, such as “D.C Taxi” and “National Lampoons Vacation,” as well as all over the city and county.
When teams saw Washington on their schedule, they knew they were in for a 60 minute fight of their lives at least once during the season.
Since then, things have changed, dramatically. Washington D.C is gaining more Cowboys, Eagles, Giants and Steelers fans. You’re lucky to find a Redskins flag flying or piece of gear anywhere in a store – and it’s hard to find somebody who claims to be a Redskins fans like they used to. The team has turned into constant mistakes of throwing money at past their prime veterans or the drafting of players who have been overrated.
All of that is about to change.
Since Joe Gibbs left (both times), the Redskins have been looking for “their guy.” Through the many mistakes of Steve Spurrier, Norv Turner and Jim Zorn, the Redskins may have finally found him in Mike Shanahan. Shanahan is a coach that doesn’t take trouble from anyone (see Albert Haynesworth), but also knows when to correct a mistake he’s made (see Donovan McNabb). Not to mention the plan he has and the types of players he’s bringing in to ensure that it works.
After just two full seasons in Washington, Mike Shanahan has done something all three of those coaches failed to do. He’s turned the image of the Washington Redskins around to not only the fans, but also the media and NFL. A place one known for past their prime veterans and massive contracts are gone. He’s made it quite clear if you’re going to come to Washington, you are not only going to play like a professional, but you’re also going to act like one.
Besides all of that, Mike Shanahan has cleaned out the majority of Zorn and Cerrato’s mistakes. The players on the roster today want to play, they try and never give up. From 00:01-60:00 you know you’re going to get a hard-hitting and determined football team – and though they may not win every time, they will give you 100% effort on the field.
In return, Washington is now become a city that players want to come to because they see themselves winning. Only one man before Mike Shanahan was able to do this, Joe Gibbs.
There’s still a couple of steps to go, but the foundation is near complete.
Get ready Washington, the District is about to be taken over once again by the Redskins. Burgundy and gold will soar high, streets will be empty on game day, FedExField will be shaking like RFK and the best ticket in town will be to a Redskins game.
The Washington Redskins made it clear who they wanted in the 2012 NFL Draft, Baylor’s Heisman winning quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Washington traded their 2012, 2013 and 2014 first-round draft picks, as well as their 2012 second round pick to St. Louis in order to land the quarterback — but did they give up too much?
Without a blink of an eye, one would think the answer is yes. The Redskins without a doubt gave up too much for a player who may be a bust, but it was risk they had to take. Not to mention the pressure from Redskins fans and government officials.
Washington hasn’t had a franchise quarterback since Sammy Baugh, whom the franchise drafted in 1937. Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen clearly knew this – and decided they had to risk the picks.
Unfortunately for Mike, if he played his cards wrong, he will more than likely be canned by Snyder – who for once would have the right to fire a coach so soon. Trading three first-rounders and an early second would not only set the team back, but it would crumble them for years. Something not even a new coach would be able to fix.
Had the Redskins kept those two first rounders and early second, they could have drafted multiple could-be play makers, without the risk of losing anything on them had they be bust. On the other hand, they wouldn’t have landed themselves the franchise QB they’ve been missing for so long.
If Robert Griffin III becomes that franchise QB for the Washington Redskins, there will be instant results, not only on the field, but off it. Washington will become the city we once knew in the 1980’s, a city that backed the team and went wild. FedExField would turn into a stadium fans appreciated, it would gain the face it’s been missing for so long, but more importantly, the seats would be filled with Redskins fans.
Take a look around, listen to opposing NFC East fans, they are by no means happy that the Redskins will be taking RGIII. A team that has gone 4-8 over the last two seasons in the division, has a young, talented quarterback, who not only can air it out, but fly by you.
Too much? Too little? That is one thing we will have to wait on. Naturally if RGIII pans out, the Redskins will look like geniuses with the trade. If he fails, the Browns and Rams look like geniuses — while the Redskins add to the mockery they have been known for.
One thing that’s certain, the Redskins need to find him targets to throw too.
After hearing the exciting news that the Washington Redskins traded up for the second round pick in this years draft, I decided to make a video welcoming Robert Griffin III to Washington D.C. Most fans and media project the Redskins to draft Griffin in hopes of him becoming the next franchise QB — a first since Sammy Baugh in 1937.