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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.

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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

Is Dan Snyder Becoming the Owner RedskinsNation Has Been Begging For?

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?

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 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

RG3 Should Cause a Chain Reaction in Redskins Off-Season Plans

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Rejoice Redskins Nation, it is a good time to be a fan of the burgundy and gold. Friday night’s announcement that the Redskins had acquired the 2nd pick overall in the 2012 draft to bring Robert Griffin III to DC brings something this team has not had since Lawrence Taylor ended Joe Theisman’s career – hope for a franchise quarterback.

Everyone and their brother has debated whether this was or wasn’t a good move (heck we even did just yesterday). So let’s get past the whole should they or shouldn’t they and look at what this does to the Redskins off-season plans.

Whether you love or hate the move, there is no denying that it sent a shockwave through this organization (and pretty much the entire NFL). For a team that needs a lot on offense this set the table for tomorrow’s start of Free Agency.

Step one has to be giving the kid some weapons and the Redskins are targeting the most dangerous one in this year’s free agent class.

Since the season ended Mike and Kyle have both been on record stating they need a big time playmaker on offense, specifically at wide receiver. All reports point to the fact that a big receiver like Vincent Jackson will be the Redskins top target. To be honest at this point I would be absolutely shocked if they did not get him.

Let’s look at what we know.

Mike Shanahan is absolutely in love with Jackson. After coaching against him twice a year while in Denver he is more than aware of what Jackson can do on the field. Two years ago when Jackson was seeking trade from San Diego after being franchised, it was Mike Shanahan on the phone with AJ Smith trying to bring him to DC.

The Redskins were willing to pay a heavy price for that trade, believed to be at least a second round pick at the time. The typically tight lipped Shanahan even admitted to being involved in the trade talks once the deadline had passed without a deal.

Outside of the Shanahan infatuation Jackson has some family ties already on the roster.

During his college career at the University of Northern Colorado, Jackson was teammates and roommates with Redskins safety Reed Doughty. You have to believe the brass in Ashburn have had Doughty make one or two recruiting phone calls, perhaps they spoke of the arrival of RG3. The point being Jackson should and most likely already does have a good idea of what to expect in DC. The inside track could lead to a quick close on this deal.

In years past when you hear the Redskins were in love with a big time play maker you knew that they were going to throw money at said player until they agreed to come. The results were disastrous. Time and time again the team trotted out big names so consumed with counting their newly acquired fortunes that playing the game became secondary.

Thankfully those days are over.

Bringing in an explosive playmaker like RG3 takes Washington from being a team to go collect a paycheck to playing for a team that can be absolutely dynamic and that is extremely attractive to Free Agents.

Don’t get me wrong I still expect the team to pay a pretty hefty price, I would guess it should be somewhere in the range of 5 years 55 million. But the truth is having one of the most exciting players to come out of college football in over a decade locked up should go a long way in convincing guys like Jackson that DC is not just a place to get paid, but a place to win.

Did the Redskins Give up too Much for RGIII?

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.

New RG3inDC Tees in SOW Shop

 

Pardon us but we are a little pumped about this whole RG3inDC thing. If you are as well check out the new Tees we have in the SOW hop Click Here