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Postgame Notes and React: Redskins v. Dolphins

In the hours following a Redskins game, thoughts and ideas and assumptions run rampant through the mind of a Washington fan, forcing a scattered and cloudy backdrop between the ears. 

Here are my initial notes following the Redskins’ 17-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins. 

* * *

— Hats off to Alfred Morris, who entered this game looking noticeably leaner and running with good patience throughout. He finished with 25 carries for 121 yards and the Washington running game was one of the few positives from the game.

— That said, some of the run calls did become pretty predictable come the second half, but that’s a conservative approach in a game you’re within reach of winning.

third down stop

— There was a lot of good from the Redskins defense, especially in the first half. Jason Hatcher played an awesome game, showing tons of power, strength, and explosiveness off the line. On one 3rd-and-short situation in the first half, Terrance Knighton draws a double-team and Hatcher fights off his block to make the stop and force a punt. That’s the way this line is suppose to work, and it’s a lot of fun to watch when it’s going well.

— Following a bad mistake and interception by Kirk Cousins (more on that later), Dashon Goldson made a nice tackle on third down to force the Dolphins into a tough decision on fourth. Miami didn’t have momentum, but the call was to go for it and the defensive line continues to crush it, led by a strong chase from Ryan Kerrigan. And we saw good stuff from Kerrigan all game, including a batted pass on a critical third down in the second half.

— In fact, the defensive line was playing well enough to where very few blitzes were called in the first half.

— The Dolphins attacked David Amerson a ton just before halftime, clearly chipping away at a weakness for the Redskins. There was a positive from it though where Amerson made a really nice play in the back of the end zone to break up a would-be touchdown catch for Jarvis Landry. If it weren’t for Landry’s own ability to haul in incredible catches, Amerson very well could’ve come down with an interception. He had a full hand on the ball and looked as though he was bringing it down, but Landry simply doesn’t stop fighting for the ball until it hits the ground.

— The good play from Amerson was (extremely) brief. On the next play, Rishard Matthews runs a nice in/out route in the end zone, Amerson bites hard enough to snap his own ankles, and Miami comes away with an easy six points.

preston smith

Preston Smith (pictured above in green demonstrating his length and powering into the backfield alongside a stunt with Hatcher) had an awesome strip on Ryan Tannehill, and after a whole lot of bumbling backwards with nearly every player on the field attempting to recover the fumble, Smith is the one who eventually comes away with the ball. It was a wild play indeed, but one that showed lots of hustle and energy from the rookie. Good stuff.

— The offense proceeded to do nothing with the good field position. Typical.

— There was a huge play in the second half in which Chris Culliver let a ball go right through his hands. Had he caught it, it was a foot race with Greg Jennings for a pick-six, and likely a foot race that Culliver would’ve won. Tough break for the Redskins on what could’ve been an honest game-changer.

— Keenan Robinson also had a possible interception hit his hands, although it wasn’t nearly as attainable as Culliver’s. Either way, the Redskins are a team that NEEDS those kinds of plays.

— Overall, the Redskins tackling didn’t strike me as impressive. Watching the film will show us more, but I seem to remember lots of attempted shoulder shrugs and arm tackles. I also think I yelled at least twice regarding Justin Rogers timidness.

— Also, way too many penalties. Everywhere. The Redskins aren’t good enough to commit 11 penalties for 88 yards and still prevail. When you’re working with what the Redskins are working with, you have to play disciplined football. At times, penalties would completely thwart Washington drives.

punt return

— Quick note about the special teams — the coverage team play on Jarvis Landry’s return touchdown was beyond inexcusable. Guys shouldn’t run free and go untouched when returning a punt. And, as the game would have it, that touchdown was the one the Redskins would never recover from. Overall, the special teams play was bad, including Kai Forbath missing a 46-yarder early on. One exciting piece I suppose: Jamison Crowder seems like an exciting guy to have back there on punt returns.

— Moving onto the offense, the Redskins were lucky to have Jordan Reed, and we should all pray that he stays healthy all season. He’s the Redskins’ largest receiving target, he’s a hard defensive assignment, and he’s a playmaker. With or without DeSean Jackson (he left very early in the game with a hamstring injury), Reed is a massive part of this offense, health permitting.

— There was a lot of concern heading into this game about the right side of the Redskins offensive line, but and they were actually a pleasant surprise. Nice job by Morgan Moses and the rookie Brandon Scherff.

Pierre Garcon looked like his normal self — tough, gritty, and fighting for extra yards. If Jackson misses significant time, Garcon becomes even a larger security blanket for Cousins.

— The Redskins worked to get Cousins into a rhythm early and it worked. He wasn’t asked to do much and he was fortunate enough to be able to lean on the success of the running game. They had some Pistol looks early, which still works with a guy like Cousins, and he was moving the offense the way we saw it during the preseason.

first int

— Sure enough, the mistake came. Cousins scrambled around to buy some time and appeared to feel like he had a safe outlet on the right side of the field if nothing opened up down field. The game tape will show us more, but until then I’m comfortable in saying it was a matter of Cousins losing track of Brent Grimes (who was in that general vicinity) and then underestimating his speed. Great break on the ball by Grimes and a bad mistake by Cousins.

— With all the attention on how Cousins rebounds from a bad mistake, he did well in this game, coming back for the next series and leading the team to a 17-play, 88-yard drive and touchdown.

3-5 to garcon

— There were plenty of passes throughout the game where Cousins showed nice accuracy and good touch. A converted 3rd-and-5 to Garcon was thanks to nice touch, and there was a nice ball to Jordan Reed on 2nd-and-13 that looked as if the defender hit the tight end in the head before the ball got to him, but no call.

— There’s sure to be critics out there who scold Cousins for tossing a ball up and into single coverage and letting his receiver make a play, probably referring to it as “careless” and “the reason he’s a turnover machine”. I wouldn’t agree (in most instances). Assuming you’re not throwing into double and triple coverage, it’s not a bad play. It worked sometimes (like on Reed’s corner fade) and didn’t work sometimes (multiple shots to Garcon in tight coverage), but it’s not something that bothers me all that much. The unfortunate part, however, is that Reed is the team’s only sizable target.

— With that in mind, DeSean Jackson does a lot for your offense in terms of demanding attention, stretching the field, and clearing out a defense. Being an actual dimension of the offense, it doesn’t make things any easier when he leaves the game unexpectedly.

— Play calling seemed pretty conservative throughout most of the game. Not necessarily a surprise, but hopefully something that changes over the course of the year.

second int a

— Cousins’ second interception was a really nice play by the defender. It was one of those cases where the quarterback was throwing into single coverage and letting his receiver make a play, but it may have been a badly placed ball. Like a lot of Cousins’ long balls, one could make a case that this one had too much loft/float/air under it, and putting the pass more on a line would’ve provided Garcon the best chance to win it. Again, not the worst thing ever, but.

— With 2:22 left in the game and on a critical third down, the play was crap. That was when the doom really set in for me.

last play a

— The Redskins’ final play on 4th-and-7 was a bad one. Empty backfield, only five blockers, the defense showing heavy and obvious pressure (Cover 0), and Cousins isn’t about making any checks at this point (diggin’ the one-on-one situations, perhaps?). At first I thought of this as a Gruden AND Cousins problem, but Gruden addressed the play after the game saying that it was Reed’s job (red) to cross the face of the safety, in which case the ball that Cousins throws (green pathway) probably would’ve had a chance. Initially I was thinking that Cousins should’ve gone long (orange area) rather than short because that gave Reed the best chance to make a play on the ball. The two problems with my initial idea, however, are 1.) that wasn’t how the play was designed, so Cousins was doing one thing and Reed was doing another; and 2.) given Miami’s blitz to send one rusher more than Washington had blockers, Cousins had not only limited time to throw, but also limited space, which would have made for a tough off-balance chuck to the end zone. Meh.

— Was it a terrible game for Kirk Cousins? Nah. Was it a good game for Kirk Cousins? No. Bottom line: the Redskins were in a position to win, multiple times.

The RG3 Era is Over in Washington

Washington Redskins first round NFL football draft pick, Robert Griffin III, looks on at a press conference, Saturday, April 28, 2012, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

c/o Nick Wass – AP


Today is Monday, August 31, 2015 and the wheels have fallen off. The Robert Griffin III era in Washington is over.

With the Kirk Cousins train officially fueled and ready to embark on 2015, what better way to stay on course with the confusion that is the Washington Redskins football organization than to create a list of random thoughts, theories, and ideas surrounding the latest circus act in Ashburn?

  • There’s plenty of blame to go around in this ordeal. Plenty. From owners, to presidents, to players, to coaches past and present, it’s impossible to place full blame on just one guy. That said, it’d be wrong to ignore Griffin’s ego throughout this entire mess, too. From that playoff game against Seattle in 2012 ((Don’t forget the audio captured by ‘Sound FX’ in which Griffin admits to Trent Williams on the sideline early on in the game that he tweaked his leg and to not to say anything.)), to his belief that he was ready to be a dropback quarterback, to his reported declaration on which he plays he would no longer run, to offseason documentaries, to continuous hashtags, etc. I wouldn’t agree to pile on Griffin, but I also wouldn’t call him the victim.
  • Now that head coach Jay Gruden has declared the Redskins Kirk Cousins’ team, be prepared to see/read/hear people ripping Cousins to shreds for his interceptions and play sample over the course of his nine starts. To me, it’s entirely too early for that. Maybe he’s not the next Tom Brady, but there’s serviceable non-Brady starters in the NFL.
  • And while on the topic, even if Cousins turns out to be a below-average starter, that doesn’t change the fact that he’s this team’s best option to start the 2015 season. At this point, given Cousins’ sample size, the current quarterback situation speaks more to the lack of quality amongst this team’s passer group than anything else. And if Cousins ends up becoming a serviceable starter, well, then hooray. Bottom line: going with Cousins is the best decision for the Redskins moving forward.
  • Looking back on what we’ve seen of Cousins — and from a complete couch quarterback evaluation standpoint — my biggest gripe with him was his lack of confidence following a mistake. That look of a deflated balloon following an interception, or his hung head following a blown play. To me, Cousins struggled between the ears more than anything else. Is that correctable? I would guess that it is, but of course time will tell us for sure. My (optimistic) theory is that, in the past, Cousins would come into games and know that he was only a mistake away from being “welp, there’s Kirk being Kirk — nothing more than a second-string passer” and he’d crumble as a result of a botched opportunity. Does that change with the support of coaches and 16 games? Let’s hope so.
  • The Redskins hierarchy is a mess. We all know that. But a move like this definitely looks good for new general manager Scot McCloughan, as well as the idea that was sold to fans when he was hired over the offseason — Scot’s the boss. And call it crazy, but I think Jay Gruden even garners some credibility as a result of this move. This is McCloughan (the boss) backing his head coach (at least for now).
  • It should be a law that we don’t read the comments section of online articles, but I’m guilty. And recently I saw more than a handful of people screaming about the real problem in Washington, which they claim is not having a “quality” coach who can “get the most out of Griffin” and really “maximize” his potential. There’s actually an answer to that demand, and their names were Mike and Kyle Shanahan.
  • Although there’s a sense of relief that comes with the Redskins’ latest decision, it’s also sad to think of how high we were all riding just three years ago. Superman was our quarterback, gullible fanboys such as myself referred to him as the savior of Washington football, the lack of white-knuckling when your quarterback dropped back to pass was a feeling unlike any I’d felt in years. And now look. That wave crashed to the lowest point of the ocean floor and it’s gone forever.

According to Jason Reid, “Several O-Lineman Don’t Like RGIII”

rg3 concussion

Hey, you know what’s a whole bunch of fun? Not Redskins football.

Just a day after Washington lost newly-signed pass rusher Junior Galette to a season-ending Achilles injury, former Washington Post reporter and ESPN 980 radio host Jason Reid had nice things to report regarding Robert Griffin III following the quarterback’s awkward Thursday afternoon press conference.

These comments came after Griffin directed all questions regarding his latest concussion to the team, saying things like, “Talk to the people who report that stuff,” and “I’m following [the team’s] lead, following their protocol, and hopefully I can get out there and play.”

And perhaps Griffin’s best line of the afternoon — and one we’ve heard from him before — was when he was asked whether or not he thought he should’ve played that fourth (and ultimately final) series. “I just work here, man.”

As if we didn’t know already, the ship has sailed.

Hard Knocks, Episode 1: Simple Observations from the Couch


Tuesday night marked the season premiere of HBO’s football documentary series Hard Knocks, as it follows the J.J. Watt Show Houston Texans through training camp and provides us football fanatics with cool behind-the-scenes glimpses of coaches, commentary, workouts, team practices, on-field brawls, etc.

And as a special treat, last night’s episode captured the Texans’ recent visit to Richmond, Virginia to participate in joint practices with the Washington Redskins. Yay!

Here’s five simple observations from Episode 1.

1. I still long for Bill O’Brien. 

Almost two years ago, as the Redskins searched for their next head coach following the disastrous fall and departure of Mike Shanahan, I wrote about possible coaching candidates and mentioned that Bill O’Brien was by far my favorite target.((Along with Mike Zimmer and David Shaw <3)) After using terms like “fire belly” to describe the B’OB and then taking him in during last night’s episode, I continue to wish he was the head man in Washington. That said, however, I understand the difference in hierarchy between both teams. I understand that just because a guy (player or coach) does well in one place, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’d do well in Washington. Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen form to create a different animal, and I get that. But man — Bill O’Brien is awesome.

2. Watching Vince Wilfork do anything is entertaining. 

Like, anything at all. Watching him play football is obviously entertaining, but so is watching him talk with his teammates, or walk at a rapid pace, or better yet, shoot a basketball. He’s a barrel of fun.

3. It’s the JJ Watt Show. 

We knew this going into the season though. JJ Watt is everything you want in a showman athlete and he’s made for the screen. He’s a massive specimen, he’s well-spoken, he’s an All-Pro, a hard worker, a family man, a tough guy, a leader, and the list goes on. It’d be silly for HBO not to hone in on Watt and his awesomeness.

Also, while on the topic of physically imposing athletes, we shouldn’t overlook Duane Brown. Sure the left tackle’s listed specs of 6’4″, 303 pounds tells us he’s a large guy, but the shot of him getting out of his SUV on his way to bring his wife (radio DJ Devon Anjelica) some lunch at her work made him look the size of a dump truck.

4. Redskins field guys ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

There’s a clip from the show with the Texans warming up on the field soon after arriving in Richmond to practice with the Redskins. The cameras catch J.J. Watt doing his high kick stretches and he takes special note of how crooked the painted field lines are (which were, notably, very crooked), alluding that the person who painted them must have been drunk.

As any Redskins fan will tell you, there’s some historical irony associated with Watt’s observation.((Whether it’s a home game at FedEx or a practice in Richmond, the Redskins always seem to find themselves playing on shaking field surfaces. Consistently mind-boggling, really.))

5. The Royal Rumble(s)

An obvious selling point of the first episode were the brawls between the Texans and Redskins on the final day of joint practice, and it seemed to be fueled by the usual suspects: DeAngelo Hall, Pierre Garcon, and Niles Paul.

Amongst the mess it was tough to determine who was who and who was swinging what, but Hall’s back-and-forth with Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins (DON’T TOUCH NUKE) was well documented; as was Garcon’s jawing amidst a large scuffle that led to Houston linebacker Brian Cushing saying something along the lines of “I remember him in Indianapolis [Garcon’s former team]…he’s always talking”; and then Paul just being the rough brusier type we’ve all come to know, getting his slow-motion close up as he attempts to mush an opponent.

Entertaining stuff.

NFL Draft Hangover: Redskins Select Brandon Scherff

Brandon Scherff

Scot McCloughan is so damn good. Even if you didn’t like the Redskins selecting Brandon Scherff with last night’s fifth overall pick((…which you SHOULD like it. Like, a lot.)), it’s impossible to actually hate it. You may have preferred Leonard Williams after he surprisingly fell past Oakland((I’m a Leonard fan too.)), but Scherff checks every single box for not only McCloughan, but for the Redskins’ improving efforts on all levels.

And assuming reports are true, McCloughan stuck with the draft strategy he said he would. According to’s Albert Breer, Scherff was atop the Redskins’ board when their name was called to make a selection.

A few notes and nuggets regarding Brandon Scherff as the Redskins’ top pick in 2015:

* We’re not sure how the rest of the draft unfolds for Washington, but the Redskins improved the surroundings for Robert Griffin III, further establishing the support behind him as he heads into next season. Had Amari Cooper been the Redskins pick, we would’ve been talking about the same thing — providing Griffin with every opportunity to shine in 2015. McCloughan is straight-face serious about seeing what Griffin can do and deciding how to move forward at the quarterback position.

* Judging a draft pick is also easier when your team has multiple areas to improve and just about any position is viable with your top pick. Such is the case in Washington, where upgrading the offensive line was addressing an area of need.

* “When you get done playing [the Redskins], you know you’re playing them. You’re going to feel it. I want those guys,” McCloughan said, according to Tom Schad of the Washington Times.

Quotes like that make me giddy. Not only because that’s the sound of a true football mind leading up your favorite team’s front office, but also because that mission was achieved in the first round with a guy like Scherff who will bring a new attitude to the offensive line and a heavy dose of nasty for new offensive line coach Bill Callahan to coach and groom.

* Would the Redskins have preferred to trade back and still land Scherff? Uhh, yeah I’m sure. But it takes two to make a deal and perhaps it wasn’t worth the risk. If the Redskins trade back and acquire more picks, but as a result land behind, say, the Giants at nine, it’s a safe bet New York takes Scherff instead of Ereck Flowers and suddenly the Redskins are moving down their board. So when we’re discussing value here, I think the Redskins score well. They got a position they wanted, a player they wanted, and a high-floor/safe guy in Scherff. After the dude starts a dozen seasons in the NFL, no one will talk about how No. 5 was “just too high”.

NFL Draft: Weighing the Redskins’ Options at No. 5

scot mccloughan 2

As time ticks down to the start of the 2015 NFL draft, being a Redskins fan suddenly doesn’t feel the same this year. Not only is having a first-round selection after going two consecutive years without one a nice change of scenery, but competency in the front office by way of new general manager Scot McCloughan also helps to reassure the organization is in good hands (at least from a roster development standpoint).

Given that they hold the fifth-overall pick, as well as a disastrous 4-12 record from a season ago, the Redskins could/should/maybe will have a number of different ways to go by the time their name is called on Thursday night. And while the entire idea of mock drafts is nothing more than a laughable game of darts and guesses (here’s our latest version, by the way), the following is meant to form a list of possibilities for Washington at No. 5 and rank them from least likely (10) to most likely (1).

The Redskins are one team I really don’t know what they’ll do. Scot McCloughan keeps it pretty close to the vest.

— League executive regarding the draft’s top-ten [source]

* * * *

10. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Ever since McCloughan mentioned that he and his staff wouldn’t rule out a quarterback at No. 5, the Mariota-to-Washington thing (if you can even call it a thing) has been somewhat of a hot topic.

Sure, you could argue a need at the quarterback position in Washington, but this feels more like strategic posturing than anything. It’d be silly for McCloughan — who has admitted interest in acquiring more picks in this draft — to completely write off his own team’s interest in a prospect that should/would/will garner a potential trade-up opportunity. He’s keeping things interesting, maintaining a poker face, and making things a little tougher on contending front offices.

9. Bud Dupree, EDGE, Kentucky

With his freakish athleticism and natural twitch, Bud Dupree is one of the more intriguing pass rushers in this draft, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Redskins address the position this early on.

At this point in the draft, however, you’re assuming either Dante Fowler Jr., Vic Beasley, or possibly both are still available, and I think both of those guys rank higher on boards due to them both having a higher floor than Dupree. As mentioned in the scouting report, there’s a ton to like about Dupree, but he’s rawer than others at this stage in his career.

8. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

Although no position would truly be a surprise in this draft, it seems like drafting a wideout would draw the most inadvertent WTFs amongst the Twitterverse. People see Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson and wrongfully assume the position is solidified. Look a bit further down the depth chart and you’ll notice that, after those guys, there isn’t much left to wow you. Not to mention, adding a threatening red zone target wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Kevin White is the complete package in terms of size, strength, speed, and ball skills. At 6’3″, 215 pounds, White would immediately become the team’s most lethal target in a number of areas and he’d fit the criteria of the front office looking to surround Robert Griffin III with as much talent as possible.

7. La’El Collins, OT, LSU

Upgrading the offensive line with power and size is on the menu with McCloughan and new offensive line coach Bill Callahan in the kitchen, and there should be plenty of bulldozer talent to choose from at No. 5.

With Trent Williams at left tackle, La’El Collins would likely slide in as your starter along the right side. He has quick feet to go along with a powerful frame and the ability to swallow oncoming defenders so long as his technique is sound.

And depending on how the Redskins view his athleticism, they may even view Collins as a mauler at the guard position. The only trouble there, however, would be the idea that drafting a guard at No. 5 is too high. Whether McCloughan gives a hoot about such theory is yet to be seen.

6. Leonard Williams, DL, Southern Cal

Regardless of what your team needs, whether you’re picking first or 32nd, Leonard Williams is an upgrade to your team’s roster. At 6’5″, 300 pounds, Williams is an imposing and forceful load along the defensive front, and he very well may have the highest floor of any top-rated prospect in this class. Even with their recent free agent additions up front, the Redskins clearly fall into play here.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine Williams making it past Oakland at 4. His talent is deserving of the first-overall pick and every team picking before the Redskins (TEN, JAX, OAK) could easily benefit from his services.

If he’s there for the Redskins at 5, great — I just wouldn’t count on it.

5. Shane Ray, EDGE, Missouri

There’s a wide range of opinion when it comes to Shane Ray. On the one end, people see Ray as the best pure pass rusher in this class and they use his game tape to prove it. On the other end, many view Ray as limited due to his lack of versatility and size.

Although I tend to lean toward the former (you can check out the scouting report here), I recognize the latter as well. For what it’s worth though, I don’t think it affects Ray’s stock much. Teams who look to add him are going after a guy they can throw on the field to hunt the quarterback and go full speed at all times. Ray gives you that.

What may affect Ray’s stock, however, is his latest citation for marijuana possession just three days before the draft. As it is in most situations like these, it’s not exactly the drug choice that teams are worried about, but rather the judgement. What does it say about the guy if he’s this careless only days before (possibly) earning millions of dollars?

The Redskins could use some beef to rush the passer, but Ray’s recent run-in may not bode well for a perfect fit in Washington((And despite the weed thing, I still don’t see Ray getting past Atlanta.)).

4. Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa

Arguably one of the safest names on this list, Brandon Scherff would immediately bolster the Redskins offensive line. Coaches would have their choice as to whether to play him at right tackle — where he has plenty of strength and athleticism to win — or kick him inside to guard and perhaps get the best return on their investment.

You’ll hear stuff about No. 5 being entirely too early to draft a guard (if you see him as that), but in terms of what McCloughan covets in a lineman, Scherff checks all of the boxes — high floor, solid worker, tough as nails, big and strong.

If the Redskins go offensive line at No. 5, my money’s on them doing so with Scherff.

3. Dante Fowler Jr., EDGE, Florida

When it comes to edge rushers, Dante Fowler Jr’s name probably sits atop a fair share of team’s boards. He has great size, athleticism, versatility, and effort, all of which will translate seamlessly to the NFL, and he may tote the highest ceiling of any pass rusher in the draft. Check out the rest of the scouting report here.

Fowler would be a great fit in Washington, and we know the Second-Team All-American has recently visited Ashburn for a private workout. It’d be hard to see the Redskins passing on Fowler if he’s there, unless of course they liked another edge rusher just a bit more.

2. Vic Beasley, EDGE, Clemson

If the Jaguars go with an edge rusher at No. 3, my gut says they go Dante Fowler, in which case the Redskins should have their stab at Vic Beasley — an explosive athlete with underrated power and good balance. While arguably not as versatile as Fowler, Beasley is very good at what you’re drafting him to do, and that’s getting after the quarterback.

It’d be interesting to see how the Redskins react with both Fowler and Beasley sitting there at No. 5, but that situation doesn’t seem likely. Either guy would fit the bill of improving the pass rush in Washington, but Beasley gets my nod based off (anticipated) availability and overall talent level (although it’s close).

1. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Availability, best player available, improving your roster, improving your current players — throw all those things into an equation machine for the Redskins and you’re likely coming up with a product named Amari Cooper.

Touted as a can’t-miss prospect, Cooper has the full package in terms of speed, hands, and route running. He has great feet combined with a good understanding of coverage and his potential is that of a quarterback’s best friend.

Kevin White may be the flashier name atop the receiver board, but Cooper is the more sure thing. If McCloughan really goes into this thing with BPA mentality, it’d be hard to argue anyone over Cooper if he’s still there at 5.


Contract Option or Not, RG3 Sets Out to Prove Himself in 2015

Robert Griffin III

In an interview with’s Jeff Darlington, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III talked about his offseason preparations, the way of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and the looming deadline in which Washington will choose whether or not to pickup the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.

On if he’d be upset if the Redskins chose not to pickup his option; which would guarantee Griffin $16 million in 2016 regardless of injury:

I wouldn’t be bummed,” Griffin said. “Either way, we’re going out there to prove it this upcoming year — not next year. I just want to win. I want to win games and have fun doing it. The rest will take care of itself. They can pick up the option — or they can decide not to pick up the option. It’ll work out either way. I’m focused on this year.

Another good one from Griffin was after talking about Tom Brady and the efficient way in which the Patriots operate, he refers back to Brady and other great quarterbacks who he can study and learn from:

I’ll continue to watch tape on him and (Aaron) Rodgers and Peyton (Manning), and see how they go about the game. I’m not going to mimic their game — I just need to better my own. You can’t be somebody else. You need to accept who you are — and understand your style of play. Not everyone is going to play the game like I do. I’ve got to do it my way.

And that’s a bit ironic, considering former Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan was the guy (presumably) behind the idea that Griffin plays the game a different way and that the offense should cater to his talents (see: Griffin’s 2012 rookie season). But according to Mike Shanahan’s interview from a couple months ago, it was Griffin who demanded the offense be changed.

The draft needs to hurry up and be here now.

RG3 on Gruden: “Players are Going to Hold Him to His Commitment”

rg3 jay gruden

Nothing to see here. Just your typical plucking of frustrating/awkward comments from the latest sit-down with Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Most recently with Larry Michael [source].

When asked about his relationship with Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, Griffin said, “Jay came in here with the plan to help develop me as a quarterback, and help this team win. He wants me to go out there and be the quarterback he knows I can be, and I will be.”

He also added, “My job is not to characterize or judge him as a coach”.

And then (my favorite), “He’s going to hold me to my commitment to him, and the players are going to hold him to his commitment to us.”

We’re only in April.

Redskins Land S Dashon Goldson in Trade with Buccaneers

dashon goldson

General manager Scot McCloughan continued his mission to drastically improve the Redskins defense in 2015, trading for veteran safety Dashon Goldson on Friday.

Goldson is coming off a horrible 2014 season in Tampa Bay (Pro Football Focus rated him -14.5 for the year) and is already 30 years old. However, he’s a McCloughan guy, having been drafted in 2007 by the San Francisco 49ers, and the Redskins didn’t give up a ransom to land Goldson.

When it comes to money, Goldson isn’t exactly cheap (at least in terms of his recent production).

According to Pro Football Talk, “Goldson, who signed with the Buccaneers as a free agent in 2013, has a $7.5 million base salary for 2015. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, there wasn’t much of a market for Goldson — and he would have been cut by the Buccaneers but for the emergence of a trade partner in Washington. Which likely means that Goldson may be restructuring his deal in Washington.”

The Redskins will be on the hook for $4 million ($3.5M + $500k workout bonus) this season in exchange for Goldson’s services.

This move from McCloughan is unlike his others this offseason, as Goldson is an older player, somewhat pricey, and underperforming the past couple seasons. But the secondary in Washington needed more than a couple upgrades, or at least shots at improvement.

Signing Goldson shouldn’t bring too much excitement; but no reason to hate it either.

NFL Free Agency: Redskins Sign Jeron Johnson

jeron johnson

Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan — who has rightfully earned the nickname The Ninja — continues to shape Washington’s defense this offseason, signing former Seattle Seahawks safety Jeron Johnson to a two-year, $4 million deal, according to reports.

It’s another point for the defense, as Johnson joins Ricky Jean Francois, Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea, and Chris Culliver as the Redskins’ top additions since free agency began less than a week ago.

1. Stickin’ to the plan. It may sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s the result of Redskins fans not being accustomed to quality contracts, promising players, and long-term franchise goals. Since McCloughan discussed his plan during his introductory press conference as the team’s general manager earlier this year, he’s done exactly what he said he would.

2. The money. Like the other contracts we’ve seen dished out by the front office so far, this one for Johnson is a fair one. Clearly it’s inexpensive, but also perfect for a backup who may have some potential, but who needs to be given a chance in order to see if he’s deserving of a long-term starting spot and the contract to reflect it. Additionally, there’s very minimal risk. If Johnson doesn’t cut it at safety, he remains a proven asset on special teams.

3. The fit. He fits because the Redskins secondary was terrible last season. From notes and reports, Johnson sounds like a more of a strong safety than a free safety, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him at either position; McCloughan is likely a fan of safeties who can play both spots. Not to mention, Johnson has played about four games worth of snaps in his career; are we really going to call him one kind of safety or the other at this point? Let’s wait and see. And again, in addition to his potential at safety, Johnson is a solid contributor on special teams.

4. The player. Johnson has only one start under his belt since signing with the Seahawks after going undrafted in 2011 out of Boise State, but he’s built a reputation on special teams. His ties to McCloughan may have given Washington a leg up in negotiations (or maybe not). For a signing like this, we’re excited more so about potential and cost than we are about past performance — and that’s far from a bad thing.

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