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Redskins Invite Vernon Gholston for a Tryout

c/o Ed Betz  - AP

c/o Ed Betz – AP

Many probably don’t remember much about Vernon Gholston. But for those who sink their teeth into the draft and everything leading up to it can remember back to 2008 when Gholston set Indianapolis ablaze with his combine performance.

From his 4.67 40-yard dash, to his 37 reps on the bench press, to his 10.5-foot broad jump, Gholston added all the flashy workout numbers to an already chiseled 6’4″, 260-pound frame. It was that performance, that physique, and the fact that he was being compared to guys like John Abraham, Dwight Freeney, and Jason Taylor that pushed the New York Jets to draft Gholston sixth-overall.

Long story short, Gholston spent the next three seasons with Jets, starting just five games and registering zero sacks. He hasn’t played a regular season snap since.

Meanwhile, the Redskins roster is rotten, and it’s in dire need of help at numerous positions.

No, it’s not a guaranteed roster spot. No, it’s not a free agent signing. It’s just a workout. And chances are, nothing firm evolves from it. But as a guy who remembers back to when Gholston was filed on the “INSANELY ATHLETIC, HOLY SHIT EXPLOSIVE” list, I can’t help but imagine this fast/strong/explosive athlete finding his groove at 28 years old (he’ll be 29 in June) and earning a spot on Washington’s roster, only to terrorize opposing quarterbacks and once and for all prove himself as nothing less than a late-blooming football talent.

Can the Nationals Win With their New Faces?

Max Scherzer

After a disappointing and quick exit from the playoffs in 2014, the Washington Nationals got to work this winter. Not only did the team focus on developing some of their best young players currently a part of their system, but management also went after two big names to strengthen their chances this upcoming season. Now, fans, writers, and media both nearby and nationwide get the feeling that this season is the Nationals’ best shot at their first World Series in franchise history.

What should people expect out of the new faces on the roster?

Max Scherzer is the marquee newcomer for Washington, and he’s the assumed ace of the staff. The 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner is still in the prime of his career, and he has been one of the most consistent pitchers in fantasy baseball money leagues. It might be a bit difficult for him to switch leagues initially, but he has the dominant stuff off the mound that shouldn’t struggle to translate. He’ll be asked to headline one of the best pitching staffs in the game.

The other new name set to make a significant impact in 2015 is Yunel Escobar. Once people moved around a little bit in 2014, the Nationals ended up with a sort of hole at second base. Instead of retaining Asdrubal Cabrera as their long-term option, they decided to trade for Escobar. He might not be a dominant player in fantasy baseball money leagues, but he does upgrade the talent level at that position.

Instead of going out and adding players without rhyme or reason, it looks like Washington made calculated moves during the winter. If Scherzer lives up to expectations, he gives them a frontline starter capable of pitching well not only in the regular season, but in Game 1 of a playoff series.

The Nationals should be an improved squad in 2015, and that’s all fans can ask for as they push their chips all in for a World Series.

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins Works with Jon Gruden

Kirk Cousins

It’s not exactly news, but the Redskins continue their quest to meet any and all drama head on, whether it be hours before a Sunday kickoff, or in the midst of an offseason.

On Tuesday, ESPN980 Redskins beat reporter Chris Russell reported that, according to multiple team sources, quarterback Kirk Cousins recently spent several days working with former NFL head coach Jon Gruden.

Often times when it comes to the Redskins, mountains are made from mole hills and things are typically blown up much more than they should/need to be. But in this particular case — that is, a backup quarterback spending several days working with a former coach who just so happens to also be the brother of his team’s head coach — it’s a really big frickin’ deal.

Why is this a big frickin’ deal?

— While an open competition at the quarterback position makes the most sense, there always seemed to be an underlying feeling of Robert Griffin III being the No. 1 guy heading into next season, which was especially true following Chris Cooley’s “bold prediction” of Griffin being named the starter in 2015 without competition. And when you take that into account, this is the BACKUP quarterback going off to study with Jon Gruden, who works with various young passers leading up to draft time.

— Jon Gruden isn’t just any quarterback coacha. He’s the head coach’s KIN. Are we to assume that Cousins was sitting around the house one day when a random light bulb went off and he said to himself, “I should go train with a respected guru like Jon Gruden!” Nah, man. This isn’t coincidence. Someone either encouraged or instructed this offseason hookup.

— What’s Griffin thinking/feeling right about now? While he continues to work with Terry Shea in the offseason (who somehow gave him an above-average grade for the Tampa Bay performance last seasonb), the other guy gunning for the same starting roster spot is down south working with a Super Bowl winning coach who also happens to have a mutual relationship with the Redskins’ primary decision maker (when it comes to the roster) that includes LOVE, TRUST, and FRIENDSHIP.

— If we assumed Griffin had the edge heading into next season, not only does a report like this seem to level the playing field, but you could make an argument that Cousins is the favorite.

— Regardless of Jon Gruden’s track record developing quarterbacks, he’s a guy who knows the ins and outs of every play and facet of his brother’s offense. The same can’t be said for any other offseason coach working with any other Redskins quarterback.

Why is this NOT a big frickin’ deal?

— The report mentions Cousins working with Gruden for “several days” from “8 a.m. to 6 p.m.” a day. But what does “several days” mean in relation to an entire offseason? If we’re talking about a handful of 10-hour sessions amongst the entire offseason, I’m not sure how effective a coaching tool that is.c

— Could this just be a ploy by the team to help increase Cousins’ draft stock in a sort of indirect, covert kind of way? Probably not, but still.

— What if we’re all wrong for assuming Griffin and his undeserved status heading into next season? Aside from gaudy physical traits, a price tag equivalent to a king’s ransom, and one helluva rookie season, Griffin hasn’t earned anything. And in that case, perhaps Griffin is comfortable with Shea as his quarterback coach, while Cousins was looking for a solid recommendation from his head coach. It might go something like this…

(Cousins knocks lightly on partially opened door)
(Jay Gruden looks up from his desk)

Cousins: “Hey, coach. Do you have a second?
Gruden: “Sure, Kirk. C’mon in.”

(Cousins pulls the chair away from the desk and settles in)

Cousins: “So, heading into next season, I was thinking of teaming up with a coach this offseason in preparation for what I hope will be a competitive camp this summer. I’m not really gun-ho on anyone in particular and I was wondering if there was anyone you might recomm–”
Gruden: (interrupting) “Hell yeah I do, Kirk! I’m glad you asked. (digs into his pocket and retrieves a flip phone) I’ll call Jon! He’s a quarterback wizard, he knows what he’s talking about, he watches a lot of tape, he’s a fan of yours, and, oh yeah, I LOVE HIM.”

 

Here’s a link to buy your new Kirk Cousins jersey.

 

  1. In fact, his track record for quarterback development isn’t anything to write home about  (back)
  2. Seriously. It’s one of the most absurd cases of delusion I’ve ever heard.  (back)
  3. However, if the frequency changes to say, a month or two with Jon, the discussion then changes too.  (back)

An Uneasy Kim Kardashian Looks On as Kanye West Rants Like an Idiot Following the Grammy Awards

You probably won’t catch many people sticking up for a boring Grammys production on Sunday night, but Kanye and his post-award show rant are worth taking a look back on.

Actually, correction: taking a look at Kim Kardashian’s face as her husband Kanye rants about how the Grammys are “disrespectful to inspiration” and that this year’s winner (Beck) should “respect artistry and give his [Album of the Year] award to Beyonce” is what’s really deserving of a second look.

Uneasy Kim K Face

And in case you were wise enough to skip the award show in favor of the season premiere of “Better Call Saul”, HBO’s “The Jinx”, a new episode of “Shameless”, or endless reruns of Tom Segura’s latest standup special, Kanye pulled a funny as Beck walked on stage to accept his Album of the Year award, jokingly (and briefly) imitating that one time he really did steal the stage from then-award winner Taylor Swift. The crowd seemed to get a chuckle out of it.

Kanye also provided us these ridiculous observations:

“And at this point, we tired of it because what happens is, when you keep on diminishing art, and not respecting the craft, and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration.”

Kanye clearly has no idea who Beck is.

“And we as musicians have to inspire people who go to work every day and they listen to that Beyoncé album, they feel like it takes them to another place, then they do this whole promotional event that, they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, the artist, because they wanted commercial advertising.”

K.

“And by the way, I got my wife, I got my daughter, and I got my clothing line, so I’m not gonna do nothing to put my daughter at risk, but I am here to fight for creativity.”

Kanye stood on a light and sang auto-tune. But yes, hooray creativity.

“That’s the reason I didn’t say anything tonight. But y’all know what it meant when ‘Ye walks on that stage.”

The Grammys sucked. So does Kanye.

Odell Beckham Jr. Can Do Everything, Including Viciously Dunk

Just when we thought Odell Beckham Jr. was really really good at footballa, he goes and throws down an insane dunk like this, which may be all the proof we need that he’s a mutant.

Proposition for the leagues: for three consecutive weeks of the NFL season, the NBA allows for LeBron James to line up at wide receiver for the Browns. In exchange, OBJ is allowed to participate in the NBA Dunk Contest.

  1. …because he is really really good at football.  (back)

WARNING: Don’t Leave Russell Westbrook Hangin’

Not sure if Jeremy Lamb thought he was being funny or cute, but it’s safe to assume Russell Westbrook wasn’t thinking either of those things when he was left hangin’ on his way to the Oklahoma City Thunder bench.

Arguably one of the most intimidating stare downs of note.

Also, we’ve checked on Jeremy Lamb. He’s alive and doing well.

Tim Brown Describes RG3 as “a Little Different”

RG3

So this is, um, awkward.

On Thursday, Heisman Trophy winner and longtime Raiders great Tim Brown made an appearance on ESPN 980’s The Drive, with hosts Al Galdi, Steve Czaban, and Chris Cooley.

Toward the end of the segment, Brown was asked about Robert Griffin III; and that’s about the time this weird cloud of discomfort began rolling over the airwaves.

(h/t to Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog for transcribing)

I was happy to see him come back the last couple games and play decent, play a lot better than what he had been playing. And I hope that’s enough to give him another shot in D.C., and really give him the confidence that he can get this thing done.

Routine stuff. Pretty neutral.

Brown continued.

But I know RGIII well enough to know that he’s a little different. I mean, I know he is maybe not the brother that you’re gonna be hanging out in the locker room with. And from that standpoint, that’s something that he has to work on.  If he’s going to be a leader, he has to be a leader of everybody in the locker room, and not just one or two guys in the locker room.

This is your oil in a hot pan starting to crackle and pop. This is standing on the frozen pond and hearing the ice begin to snap beneath your feet.

Then Cooley asks, “How is he when he gets together with all the Heisman guys?”

Brown responds.

He’s … he’s tough. He’s a different, guy, you know? And there’s no laughter, there’s no let me get in here with the boys. Everybody’s telling jokes on each other, and nobody’s trying to be mean. But you say something to him and it’s like, ‘oh wow really? Really?’

And this is Tim Brown (kind of, somewhat, pretty much, ehhh) calling RG3 soft, right? As if the young quarterback is too self-conscious to handle jokes and subtle shots amongst his peers?

Brown went on.

So instead of taking it further, what ends up happening is [it’s like] he’s not in the room. So you end up talking around him the whole time. And that’s not cool. Because now you’re literally having to talk around a guy, [when] everybody else is in here having fun and having a jovial time. So I think that’s just something that he has to understand. This is a team sport you’re playing. It’s not golf . If it was golf, brother, I’d say go for it, do what you do. But if you’re going to play a team sport, and you’re going to be the leader of a team sport, you’ve got to loosen up a little bit and be a part of the team.”

You don’t want to make a mountain out of a mole hill — or in this case, a few words from Tim Brown — but this is bad. And perhaps even worse, given what we’ve seen and heard pertaining to RG3 and his time in Washington, it’s all very believable.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Report: Raheem Morris Leaving Redskins for Falcons

Raheem Morris

UPDATE (01/26/15 @ 11:15 AM): Report is confirmed. Raheem Morris to Atlanta.

It’s not official quite yet, but multiple reports indicate defensive backs coach Raheem Morris will be leaving the Washington Redskins and joining the Atlanta Falcons as an assistant head coach and pass defensive coordinator.

A move like this would essentially put any rumors of Morris sticking in Washington and having an effect on the Redskins next defensive coordinator to rest.

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