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Author Archives: Ray Smith

Sean Taylor Tribute Video

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The Tide is Turning in DC

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You know some things in life just aren’t fair. You get bypassed at work for a promotion by your boss’ idiot nephew. Or you find out the day before free agency that your favorite team will be completely handcuffed because the NFL has decided to fine them for reasons that makes zero logical sense. Maybe you have played Mega Millions for your entire life only to find out the person who just won $640 million bought a computer generated ticket literally 15 minutes before the drawing.

Truth is everyone has a bone to pick with the universe sometimes, for some that bone needs to be picked a little more often than others.

Such is life as a fan of the Washington Redskins.

My dad once told me being a Redskin’s fan would prepare me for the harsh realities of life – he was right. Since 1992 the Redskins have been stuck in professional sports absolute worst purgatory – mediocrity.

They are never good enough to have any type of consistent success, or bad enough to be in the position to draft a QB with enough talent to get them over the hump. Sure Joe Gibbs 2nd run with the team brought two playoff appearances, but it also brought a record of 30 wins and 34 losses. Not good enough to be good and not bad enough to have a draft pick that will change everything

For whatever reason the stats always seem to align for certain teams, like the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts are coming off a decade and a half of dominance lead by Peyton Manning. Now they have the first pick in the 2012 draft and are all set to re- solidify their QB position for another 15 years.

Jim Irsay is busy trying to convince anyone who will listen that he hasn’t decided on what to do with the first pick in this year’s NFL draft. If you believe that I have some land in Texas I’d like to sell.

There is ZERO, let me repeat that ZERO chance that Irsay doesn’t know what he is doing yet. It’s April people! The draft is in a few weeks, to even imply that they don’t have a plan is foolish, and to believe Irsay when he says they aren’t sure what is happening is naïve to the point of stupidity.

I will take it a step further, the Colts are taking Luck. He fits exactly what they want to do and should help Colts fans forget old what’s his name sooner than later. The Colts are looking right at a 30 year period of time with 2 starting quarterbacks leading the charge.

The Redskins on the other hand have not had anywhere near that type of stability at the QB position. The parade of QBs to come in and out of Ashburn since Theismann got LT’d has been Comical at best and embarrassing at worst.

The 25 player long list of failed replacements pretty much covers the spectrum from washed up Pro Bowlers (McNabb, Brunnell) to laughingstock projects (John Beck, Tim Hasselback).

Historically the team has not been that great drafting Quarter-Backs either.

In 1937 they got it right taking Sammy Baugh with the 6th pick of the ’37 draft. Outside of that the first round has been pretty rough including Heath Shuler (3rd pick overall) Patrick Ramsey (32 pick overall 2002) and Jason Campbell (25th pick overall in 2005). It is worth noting that the Redskins had to trade into the first to take both Ramsey and Campbell and that both could be considered a reach at the spot they were taken.

History would suggest that the Redskins fans should have more to worry about in drafting a QB in the first round considering two of the three Super Bowl winning QBs were not even drafted by the Redskins (Theismann, Williams) and the third was a 6th round pick (Rypien), but this time it feels different.

With the Colts set to take Andrew Luck 1st overall (no matter what Irsay says) Robert Griffin III will be the guy.

I am not going to break him down here again and sell you on the fact that he is a perfect fit for what Shanahan wants to do in DC. Everyone not name Donnovan McNabb has been doing a great job of that for the better part of a month so you are just going to have to trust me – the kid is a perfect fit.

Some guys like Irsay have all the Luck, but it looks like the tide is finally turning in favor of the Burgundy and Gold.

Amazing New RG3 Toon From PikeToon

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Man PikeToon does it again with a glorious new RG3 Graphic.

I don’t know about you buy when I day dream about RG3inDC, this is pretty much what it looks like in my head.

Come on April … HAIL!

You can follow PikeToon on Twitter @piketoon or check his work out at http://www.PikeToon.com.

Heads up to our buddy Brent over at BurgundyBlog.com for the find

Love is in the Air as RG3 Puts on a Show at Pro Day

Ah, Spring time. The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, love is in the air. It’s the time of year where new romances begin to bloom, it’s beautiful.

Think you have somehow stumbled across the wrong blog? Don’t worry you haven’t.

I’m talking about yesterdays Baylor Pro Day. If the NFL Combine is supposed to bee speed dating, yesterday was like the actual first date.

In case you happened to have missed it the beginnings of a great love affair were solidified yesterday as pretty much anyone who is anyone in the Washington Redskins organization spent the day in Waco Texas lusting after their Heisman winning QB of the future.

Listen no one in Ashburn is going to tell you that the Redskins want Robert Griffin III. When they traded up for the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft Bruce Allen said they had “fallen in love with two players”.

They very well may think a lot of Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck, but I can promise you they only have eyes for one, and he goes by RG3.

For the better part of an hour yesterday afternoon Griffin flew around Baylor’s practice bubble (which is incredibly nicer than the new one at Redskins Park) like some sort of mythical super human. While the Redskins brass and fans all gawked like a bunch of middle school boys in front of a Victoria’s Secret.

I will admit Griffin put on a show. The guy has absolutely explosive speed and an impressive arm. Time and time again he rolled out and hit receivers in stride, it was beautiful. The cherry on the cake was the last play in which Griffin caught a 45 yard TD pass from Kendell Wright just because he can.

Now it is worth noting that pro days like this are scripted, and definitely worth noting that there are no defenders in pro day workouts. But I have to be honest watching that type of explosive speed roll out and throw It is going to extremely difficult to defend this kid.

Griffin has a burst that is unlike anything I have seen from the Quarter Back position before, and Mike Shanahan absolutely loves it. It is no secret that Shanahan’s offense is based on the QB boot and play action and with Griffin defenders are never going to really know if he is going to run or throw.

Every so often ESPN would show Shanahan, Allen and Snyder standing on the sidelines watching – grinning from ear to ear, salivating at the prospect of this kid running things in DC and he is more than capable.

Griffin showed a lot more yesterday than just his ability to run and throw. Between every throw he was talking up his receivers, coaching them on the field, and displaying the leadership the Redskins have missed in the huddle for a long time.

On a stage that was pretty big and all eyes looking on him, Griffin looked like he didn’t have a care in the world. He looked like a 22 year old kid playing a game and he is good at it. Wearing a tee shirt that said “No Pressure, No Diamonds” while warming up, you can tell that the lights are not going to be too bright for this guy. He loves the pressure, and his attitude is infectious.

Watching Griffin interact with his teammates it is pretty clear that they think the world of him. His value transcends X’s and O’s to the point where no one will ever be able to take him off the field for a guy like John Beck.

The thing that impressed me the most from yesterday is this: even though he has all the tools speed, accuracy, strength, touch, it is never just about him. During his press conference he spoke of how success on the field was team success, and that he could promise that it would always be about team and never just about him. For a team that has seen its share of me first guys fail. It is refreshing to see a guy like Griffin “get it”.

When asked about playing for the Redskins you can almost tell Griffin already believes that he is one. He even went as far as to say “no I didn’t grow up a Cowboys fan so there won’t be any awkwardness there” and honestly if he hadn’t said anything else, that was enough for me.

Redskins Making the Best of Tough Off-Season Decisions

Let’s be honest for a minute Redskins fans – some of you are pretty disappointed in the first week of the 2012 NFL Off-Season.

Sure you are probably excited the Redskins made the trade that will “save the franchise” and hopefully bring RG3 to DC. But, missing on big name difference makers like Vincent Jackson or Eric Winston has been a tough pill to swallow.

Toss in watching a fan favorite and All-World Gym Rat Laron Landry walk out the door, and seeing Redskins targets like Aaron Ross and Eddie Royal sign elsewhere stings a little. Throw in the uncertainty of the London Fletcher situation and what happens next in NFL CapGate and I can see why the casual observer may be a little worried.

I mean, let’s be honest the Redskins always get their man right? Once a player is spotted around town with Snyder and Co. always been a done deal right? So what gives?

It is times like this when I am pretty happy there are grown-ups running the show in Ashburn.

Gone are the days of wining and dining superstar free agents and throwing cash at them until they have no choice but to sign on the dotted line.

Welcome to a new day in Redskins fandom – a day in which the front office is more interested in building a team then collecting superstars.

While some people have argued that the Redskins overpaid for Pierre Garcon or are “clueless” for letting Landry go to the Jets, I would say they are doing exactly what they need to build a complete roster.

Bruce and Mike are doing a fantastic job of stockpiling young players who are a perfect fit for the schemes the team is running. Forget the past where they would go get a superstar like Peyton Manning, who would have been an absolutely dreadful fit for this offense and force him into this system.

Forget scrapping young talent currently on the roster or blocking them with overpaid superstars, now we see the organization bringing in guys like Garcon who complement home grown talent and fit right into what Mike and Kyle want to do on offense. Garcon is a speedy receiver with big play ability who can stretch the field vertically and force defenses to account for him.

At the end of last season Kyle Shanahan spelled out exactly what he was looking for in regards to a playmaking WR. Garcon is exactly what Kyle was looking for so it comes as no surprise that at 4pm last Tuesday afternoon the first call Garcon got was Kyle Shanahan. 30 minutes later Garcon was a Redskin, and even though the initial price was considered high the truth is it was not bad considering a guy like Laurent Robinson just signed a deal $32.5 million. It is also worth mentioning that Garcon was willing to work with the Redskins to overcome the CapGate issues by costing only $2.5 million against this year’s salary cap, enabling the Redskins to bring in more players to fill out the roster.

While it has been tough for many local fans (especially the ones who represent Hokie Nation) to see Eddie Royal sign with San Diego instead of coming home, the truth is, it shows how far this front office has come in two years. Forget bidding wars, Bruce and Mike know what they are willing to give specific talent and are not going to over pay to get it. Instead of Salary Cap crippling deals like the one signed by Antwaan Randle El, they are able to bring guys in on team friendly deals like the Garcon deal.

The fact is, this team is making responsible decisions and is finally building this team the right way.

While it is sad to see a guy like Landry go considering he is among the best in the league when healthy, letting him go is a no brainier. The guy has not been healthy enough to stay on the sideline let alone the field and there is no room on this roster for a player who will has spent more time on the IR than in the game the past 2 seasons.

The biggest problem the Redskins have had over the last decade is making poor personnel decisions. Time and time again, they have set the organization back more than they have helped it compete and I for one am pretty happy it looks like they have turned the corner.

For the first time since Joe Gibbs returned 8 years ago, the future in DC is looking very bright.

New Redskins in Uniform on Madden

 

OK I admit it, I am a Madden nerd. Every year I find myself waiting at midnight so excited to give EA Sports my hard-earned money for the newest Madden. I also admit that as soon as the Redskins announced roster moves like adding RG3 and Pierre Garcon, I had to update my copy of Madden to see how the new guys play.

I took a few pics of the new guys so you could see them all in uniform for the first time anywhere. OK maybe seeing the guys in Madden doesn’t count but it sure is fun. Sorry the pics are kinda crappy but since I have no clue how to rip screen shots right from the PS3 this is the best I can do.

You can check out the first video footage that I have seen on the internet of RG3 throwing a 17 yard TD to Pierre Garcon, and check out the pics of the guys in Redskins gear below.

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Redskins Add Meriweather

On Tuesday afternoon the Washington Redskins signed Free Agent Safety Brandon Meriweather. For fans and co-members of the blogosphere, the reaction has been a lot like Meriweather’s career – inconsistent.

Sure the guy went to back-to-back Pro Bowls, but he also has built a reputation for being reckless, a coverage liability (at times) and uninspired. Not to mention the checkered past while at Miami including a shooting incident (in which no charges were filed against Meriweather because he carried his gun legally) and an infamous brawl that found Meriweather stomping an opponent (much like Albert Haynesworth) causing him to get suspended for the remainder of the season. Not to mention he only started 4 games last season with Chicago.

Truth is, the guy is definitely going to be a project, but he may be just the type of project for a guy like Raheem Morris. He fits the mold of what Allen and Shanahan have been doing here in DC for the last two years.

In Meriweather, the Redskins are getting a young player entering his prime (he just turned 28) with unreached potential. He has been voted to two Pro Bowls, proving the talent is there, the questions is can Haslett and Morris bring it out?

We are past the point of using veteran players to patch this 3-4 defense and make it respectable. Now it’s about finding the right young talent that can flourish in this system.

Meriweather’s speed is one of the biggest reasons I believe Shanahan is willing to take a gamble on him.

Mike has made it perfectly clear that he lusts after guys with speed in his secondary. With a 4.45 forty time, Meriweather possesses the ability to cover a lot of ground quickly, taking away the big pass play.

I’m not going to sit here and blow smoke pretending this guy is a perfect fit or that he will come in here and be an instant All Pro. This is a low-risk move on a guy who possesses the talent to be a Pro Bowl Safety in the NFL. With a young passionate safety coach like Morris, there is a great chance this Meriweather can achieve his untapped potential.

Just like last year, bringing in guys like Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield, the Redskins are bringing in guys who are more role players than superstars. Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan are building a TEAM, not a collection of fancy names. At the very least I am willing to give this one a chance.

Updated Free Agency Tracker:

Players Added

QB Robert Griffin III – Trade with St Louis for 2nd overall pick in the draft

WR Pierre Garcon – FA Indianapolis

WR/KR Josh Morgan – FA San Francisco

FS Brandon Merriweather – FA Chicago

CB Cedric Griffin Minnesota

Players Re-Signed

DE Adam Carriker

Players Lost

FB Mike Sellers

FS OJ Atogwe

SS Laron Landry

WR Donte’ Stallworth

Players on the Hot Seat

WR Santana Moss

WR Jabar Gaffney

RT Jamal Brown

WR Brandon Banks

WR Anthony Armstrong

Targets

ILB London Fletcher – FA Washington

FB Owen Schmitt – FA Philadelphia

Redskin Players Using Twitter to Recruit Fletcher

So it looks like Josh Wilson is not the only Redskin trying to get London back in Burgundy and Gold.

Last night we shared this tweet from Josh to London.

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It turns out Josh isn’t the only member of the defense that wants his captain back.

Returning DE Adam Carriker got in on peer pressure on Tuesday night and continued on Wednesday.

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Joking or not the Redskins need to get their Defensive Captain back. It is nice to see players join the fans in letting London know we want to keep him in DC.

God Bless You Josh Wilson

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Nothing like a little peer pressure. Keep it up guys we need London back in the worst way.

Redskins Free Agency Round Up Day 1 – Free Agency Tracker

The 2012 NFL off-season has been anything, but boring for Washington Redskins fan. Really though, what do you expect from the team crowned “Off-season Champs” year after year?

Unless you have been living under a rock or abducted by aliens you knew that the Redskins agreed to trade with the St. Louis Rams late Friday night, giving them the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. The pick is sure to bring the Redskins their first franchise QB in nearly three decades with Robert Griffin III.

Though the deal was agreed upon and confirmed over the weekend, it was not made official until the start of the league year today at 4pm.

Locking down the QB of the future gave the Redskins the ability to spend the early part of Tuesday’s Free Agency opening concentrating on giving RG3 the weapons he needs to succeed.

Bruce Allen wasted no time on Tuesday afternoon signing Free Agent WR Pierre Garcon within the first 30 minutes to a 5 year deal worth just over 40 million dollars. It’s important to note that Garcon’s salary for 2012 is only 5.6 million (helping the team deal with the wonderful NFL Cap-Gate fines).

Moments later word broke that San Francisco WR Josh Morgan had agreed to a deal as well.

Rumors late Tuesday night point to former Denver WR Eddie Royal agreeing to terms with the team, reuniting the versatile WR/KR with his former Head Coach.

The Redskins also brought back one of their own locking up DE Adam Carriker to a long term deal.

The flurry of WR signings does a few things for this team, and while on the surface the upgrades appear minor – I have to believe that these moves are nothing if not methodical.

While we have from now until September to argue whether these moves will work out, there is no denying that Allen has made good on his promise to infuse this offense with youth.

All three receivers are younger than 26 years old, and just like last year’s Free Agency class, they are hungry players entering the prime of their careers.

You have to believe that these moves also spell the end of the road for guys like Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney and Donte’ Stallworth in D.C.

While it is hard to see favorites like Moss on the way out, it is refreshing to see the Redskins getting younger at every position – not only through the draft, but through free agency as well.

For the first time since arriving in D.C. Mike Shanahan appears to be putting together an offensive unit that has his fingerprints all over it.

Free Agency Tracker:

Players Added

QB Robert Griffin III – Trade with St Louis for 2nd overall pick in the draft

WR Pierre Garcon – FA Indianapolis

WR/KR Josh Morgan – FA San Francisco

FS Brandon Merriweather – FA Chicago

Players Re-Signed

DE Adam Carriker

Players Lost

FB Mike Sellers

FS OJ Atogwe

Players on the Hot Seat

WR Santana Moss

WR Jabar Gaffeny

WR Donte’ Stallworth

SS Laron Landry

RT Jamal Brown

WR Brandon Banks

WR Anthony Armstrong

Targets

ILB London Fletcher – FA Washington

WR/KR Eddie Royal – FA Denver

RT Eric Winston – FA Houston

CB Aaron Ross – FA New York Giants