Category: Washington Redskin


Just recently I was quick to dismiss the idea that the Redskins would use a high pick drafting a player like LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu. The team has stuck closely to the strategy of drafting high-character, senior classmen prospects and Mathieu fits neither criteria. What I did not take into account was who will be joining the redskins in the war room this April however. Current defensive backs coach Raheem Morris’s affinity for troubled players is no secret; he is, in fact, the man who drafted the likes of Aqib Talib and Tanard Jackson during his stint as head coach of Tampa Bay. That being said, it has recently surfaced that the newest apple of Raheem’s eye is none other than, you guessed it, Tyrann Mathieu. Morris apparently views Mathieu as the most talented nickel back in this years draft, and will be banging on the table for his selection when next weekend rolls around.


Tyrann Mathieu’s playmaking ability and nose for the ball are undeniable traits, but apparently so is his nose for marijuana. Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen have worked hard to slowly change the culture in the locker room, avoiding bringing players such as Mathieu into the fold and still the team has had to deal with headaches of their very own, most notably the suspension of Trent Williams and Fred Davis. Nonetheless, Raheem Morris has influenced many of the teams acquisitions since his arrival in Washington (Just ask EJ Biggers,Kai Forbath, Devin Holland, Tanard Jackson, Dez Briscoe and Jeremy Trueblood) and that doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.

The question remains: have the Redskins built a roster with leaders strong enough to mitigate the risk of drafting a player like Tyrann Mathieu or will he find himself hanging out with Tanard Jackson on the reserved list?

Lets hope the team is sure of their answer and get  your cheap Washington Redskin tickets and enjoy  them live.

The Case Against DeAngelo Hall

This case is not meant to compel me. The case against MeAngelo was made for me when his teammates in his own locker room beat his ass in Atlanta. If that wasn’t telling enough, he was too cancerous for the Oakland Raiders organization. Please, let that wash over you. And, even if let’s say, a duck isn’t a duck, and he was tabula rasa upon his arrival at Redskins Park, I’d merely remind everyone of 9/28/2011. That’s not ancient history. That’s taking into account how he’s “changed”, assuredly. In case you don’t recall, that glorious September evening, let me paint the picture for you:

The Skins are on MNF against nemesis Dallas. Skins are 2-0, looking for control of NFC East. Tony Romo has cracked ribs. He throws for 0 TDs. The defense holds Dallas to 3rd and 21 late in the game. DeAngelo gives up a 30 yard 1st down to Dez, and gets flagged for a facemask, even after he was beaten. Cowboys kick a FG, Cowboys win. DeAngelo’s response was to blame Haz’s defensive playcalling, blame the ref for throwing the flag… Hell, I think he blamed global warming. This is the reflex response for MeAngelo, which is the opposite of what we need in this locker room.

But, like I said, a stroll down memory lane will not compel the Fredericksburgers. I know that. For the five seasons that he has infested the organization, his apologists have become Legion. I encounter them every day. Criticize DHall or, God forbid, mention cutting DHall and they go into a full body spasm. And their memory, or conceptualization of events, is like 3 weeks. Why is this? Why is this guy sacrosanct? Is it generational? Do these young’uns prefer a guy who’ll talk shit on a tackle, even after he’s missed the last five? Is it geographic? Will Skins fans support a guy from VPI or The 7-5-7, no matter what a turd he is? Is it his semi-celebrity status? I’m sure I’ll never understand. But, realizing that, I will try to make a compelling case to the apologists, strictly upon his performance in 2012-13. Here’s a week-by-week rundown of the season that was:

* This recitation of stats comes with the caveat that FSAAMT’s – “failed strip attempts after missed tackles” – were not included. Although valuable for this discussion, the PR Slappies at Redskins Park are only on Week 13’s tape. They hope to be done counting FSAAMT’s by the NFL Draft. Safe to say though, this is one category where D-Hall can proudly say he led the league.

Week 1

The self-titled “Ball Hawk” came out of camp, with the intent of filling the role of “Charles Woodson 2.0”. He did a decent job of filling that role in the opener in N’awlins. He was utilized as a pass rusher on 10 of 43 plays where he lined up in the slot. This resulted in a sack and three hurries of Drew Brees. The Saints were playing catch up most of the day, but the rushing DeAngelo was not an impediment to the team’s gameplan.

Week 2

Sam Bradford, 310 yards. Danny Amendola, 15 catches, 160 yards. So much of that was caused by the Rams’ abuse of our zone. But there is no doubt that DeAngelo Hall deserves a royalty for the millions he helped Amendola make that day. No doubt.

Week 3

On the first play from scrimmage, a guy who hadn’t thrown a pass since October of 2011 against the Syracuse Orangemen, hit A.J. Green for a 73-yard TD pass. Guess who was covering Green? Yes, I know. DeAngelo was quick to assert blame upon himself for giving up the play, but that doesn’t really help for me. The defense gave up 478 yards at home. The team lost by a touchdown. DeAngelo Hall’s touchdown.

Week 4

This game highlighted the poise of our rookie sensation RGIII, and the ineptitude of now departed kicker Billy Cundiff. What gets lost in those highlights is how the Buccaneers got back into this one. The home crowd was booing QB Josh Freeman in the 1st half. It was 21-6 Skins at half. That all changed when Vincent Jackson beat Hall, and Freeman hit him for a 65-yard gain, with the drive ending in a Bucs touchdown. RGIII and Cundiff saved a day that DHall desperately tried to give away.

Week 5

Through Week 5, DHall had given up 268 yards of offense to opposing teams. That was 7th worst in the NFL. This game was memorable for being the game in which RGIII was first hurt. It was reprehensible for the 123 yds given up to Tony G and the 94 surrendered to Julio Jones. 345 passing yards for Matty Ice. I can’t assign any specific blame on MeAngelo, but there was certainly nothing for the apologists to laud him for.

Week 6

This was the shining gem in the case against DeAngelo. If the Skins are dead-set on keeping Hall, they had better get him to restructure enough to also sign Percy Harvin, strictly in the off-chance that the Skins will have to play against him. Once again, whatever free agent money that Harvin receives should come with a clause assigning royalties to D-Hall. Of the nine passes Hall was targeted on while defending Harvin, he gave up six receptions for 102 yards. To add insult to injury, he also missed five tackles. The worst of those came late in the fourth quarter, when Percy turned a 4-yd catch into a 22-yd gain at the expense of DeAngelo’s failure to tackle him. Once again, this wart was covered up by the phenomenon known as RGIII, but not to me. If we have to move forward in the future sans Robert, we can’t have this wart on the roster.

Week 7

There is so much blame that can be placed upon Madieu Williams for his failure on the Victor Cruz TD, that there really isn’t anything that’s left for DHall. But, alas, he helped me out.

“He made the play to beat us, but I don’t feel like he made that play. I feel we gave him that play. We just had one guy set his feet and one guy not do this. I could have thrown that ball and he would have scored. It wasn’t something where he was a rocket scientist and he figured something out. We just played that as bad as possible.”

Those were DeAngelo’s postgame comments. Of course, he wasn’t in coverage on the play, so when he says “we”, he really means “Madieu”. I don’t disagree with the overall sentiment of the statement, but throwing your teammate under the bus hardly seems helpful. Not realizing that is so typical of MeAngelo.

Week 8

DeAngelo got ejected. DeAngelo got fined $30,000. This is a favorite of the apologists, as is every other episode involving Hall and an official, and they have become nearly countless. The retort that it was “the official’s fault” is always the same. I’m less sick of Hall blaming the refs than I am of the Fredericksburgers always falling for that line.

But, okay. Fine. I’ll surrender to the fantasy that the referee was a member of the Klan, and Roger Goodell is complicit in systemic racism. Only involving a washed up 1st-round pick from VaTech, of course, but… okay. We’ll just throw the ejection and tirade and fine out of the conversation.

Through Week 7, MeAngelo had allowed 521 yards of offense to our opponents. Yes, for those counting, that was worst among CBs. Things didn’t improve in Picksburg. The Stillers’ second play
of the game had DHall bite on a fake wide receiver screen, opening up TE Heath Miller. MeAngelo was beaten on five of seven passes for 73 yards, and 60 of those came after the catch. Just pitiful.

Week 9

Through the first half of the season, D-Hall was giving up 1.83 yards/coverage snap, and was the fourth worst CB in the NFL in surrendering YAC. This is the guy the Fredericksburgers want to move to FS.

Bye Week (Week 10)

DeAngelo tells Mike Jones that Coach Haslett conducted one-on-one interviews with several defensive players. When asked about the meetings, Hall denies knowledge and blames Jones. Jones plays back audio of the quote, and D-Hall decides that he wants to assault a Washington Post reporter. He’s reported as saying, “anybody touches me, I’m knocking them out.” So, to his credit, he has been aggressive with a referee in Pittsburgh, some PR Slappies, and a J-Schooler in Ashburn, but zero opposing receivers. Excellent.

Week 11

This was a spectacular on-field game for D-Hall. He, along with the rest of the secondary, were truly inspired by the return of Brandon Meriweather. Their play was reflective of his play. I don’t know what this says about Meriweather, but I am hopeful that he is able to return.

Week 12

Thanksgiving game at Big D. D-Hall gets an interception of a ball that only could have been thrown by Tony Romo. He also gives up merely 36 yards on 5 passes defended. But, the whole thing could have turned out differently. Hall “punched” Dez Bryant in his facemask. If any of these racist, unfair referees had been paying any attention to Bryant and Hall’s little bitch fight, Hall would’ve surely been ejected. That’s okay for a second year WR, but unacceptable for a nine-year veteran, who formerly wore the defensive team captain’s “C” on his chest. In spite of the officials giving him a pass, the league fined him $37,500 for his actions. Well done, sir.

Week 13

The story of this day was RGIII, who broke Cam Newton’s year-old rookie QB rushing record. The defense held Eli & Co. to 6 points in the 2nd half, and the Skins won. There’s really nothing bad to be said about any of their performances, including Hall.

Week 14

DeAngelo, although not listed on the injury report, showed up midweek for a radio interview on crutches. He decided to play on Sunday against dem Raybins. I wish that he wouldn’t have. He, once again, played starmaker, this time for Anquan Boldin. Boldin caught two touchdowns against Hall. Banner day. To top that off, Hall had a terribly timed missed tackle in run defense, coupled with an unnecessary roughing penalty. It was one of his single-worst games on record. Another wart covered up by Ray Rice’s fumble, and RGIII/Kirk Cousins.

Week 15

Through week 15, D-Hall ranks 96th in the league giving up a reception every 8.3 times in coverage. 96th!!! That’s our guy. He also allowed the ninth-most Yards Per Snap in Coverage, at 1.73. I don’t think that I need to add anything to that.

Brandon Weeden made the entire Redskin secondary look all-pro.

Week 16

Even with Weeden’s help, through week 16, DeAngelo had allowed the second most yards per coverage snap, at 1.7. Against the Iggles, Hall allows yet another receiver to have a banner day: Jeremy Maclin going for 58 yds matched up against him.

Week 17

Here’s the week the Fredericksburgers love to cite. D-Hall shut down Dez. I’ve heard it more than Gangnam Style. Guess what: back spasms shut down Dez. But, it’s cool… D-Hall is an NFC East Champion, and so are the Redskins!!! Hail!!!

Wild Card Week

Well, the Seahawks utilized the run to upend the NFC East Champs. In doing so, many Redskins were horrendous at missing tackles and stopping the rush. Few were worse than DeAngelo.


As it stands today, the Redskins are approximately $4 million over the salary cap. As Rich Tandler reported back in November, “[D-Hall] gets a salary bump from $6 million this year to $7.5 million in 2013. [T[he Redskins can release him with two years left on his deal and not have to absorb any dead cap hit.”[i] Just off the top, that takes the Redskins from $4 million in the red to $3.5 million in the black. We’re not accountants, but that seems to be a no-brainer. Now, the inevitable question that follows what seems like a financially rational move is always – (breathlessly) “But, but, who will we replace him with?!” First, let’s just put out there that is maddening that the suggestion of cutting D-Hall must immediately be validated, to those who disagree, by naming his replacement. Our question is – does it really matter?

That segment of fans has already made up their mind. No player that is named will quell the displeasure associated with the thought of a Redskins’ universe that does not include DeAngelo Hall. So, what will naming one do to alter their feelings? Nothing. What we want the Fredericksburgers to answer is, who wouldn’t be better, especially given the cap considerations? As a fan base, we give MWM and the regime so much credit for drafting a guy like The Butler in the sixth-round, yet there’s no faith in the same brain trust to replace D-Hall with a younger, more cap-friendly option? We’re not talking about replacing Darrell Green here.

Then there’s the (breathless) “But, he’s going to re-structure!” crowd. Again, so what? What has he done on the field that still justifies pledging millions of dollars against the salary cap to bring him back? As evidenced by opposing teams’ propensity to consistently throw the ball to his side, DeAngelo Hall is not an elite, nor near-elite corner anymore. He is simply average. Yet, the plan D-Hall advocates support is to pay him millions of dollars, even with a re-structure, to be an average corner. Even foregoing the on-field reasons laid out above, that decision makes zero economic sense.


So, dismissing the $67,500 in fines, the ejection, and the safety of Mike Jones, let’s just look at what DeAngelo Hall did on the field. He missed 10 tackles. He was penalized eight times, most of them causing damage to the team. He allowed two out of every three passes thrown at the player he was defending to be caught. And he gave up 1,050 yards of offense to our opposition.

There’s no reason that we can’t find someone who can produce better than that at CB and/or FS and save the $7,500,000 owed to DHall.

And think of how much safer all of the PR Slappies will be.


Adam, Hall was in bad position BECAUSE Romo had all that time. If you watch a replay of that play, Hall’s in good coverage for the first 2-3 seconds, in which time the rush should have gotten to Romo. When Dez started ad-libbing, that’s when the coverage broke down and Hall got out of position. Again, expecting ANY corner, let alone Hall, to be in perfect position for the whole play is just unrealistic. You also didn’t bring up any of my other points, regarding this season. You know, like how Hall shut down Bryant in the second Dallas game (BEFORE Bryant’s back started acting up), or that putting the blame on Hall for the Bucs game is asinine when our kicker missed 3 FGs that would have put the game away. But to say that Hall gave that game away, because he allowed a long pass that led to a touchdown? Come on, use some common sense. Or what about saying that Maclin getting 58 yards and no TDs in a loss is a “Banner Day” is ridiculous. As for the AJ Green play: if you go to switch, and the other person doesn’t want to, you can’t just abandon your responsibility and do what you want. And yes, he could have called timeout, but so could have Fletcher, Haslett, or Shanahan, but no one did. We got caught in a bad matchup on the first play of the game. Those things happen. Trying to say that’s on Hall is ridiculous as well.

What an absolutely embarrassing article. Does this writer know the difference between zone and man coverage? Apparently not. If you know nothing about football, you shouldn’t be able to write articles about it. Nobody supporting Hall is calling him a “shutdown corner”, but he had a average year despite a pass rush that was non existent and safeties who wouldn’t even be backups for other teams. How is this so difficult to comprehend? Hall will restructure his contract just like everyone else stated and be a viable corner with his new salary.

All I said was you compared him to Haynesworth, and you did… If I say Lebron James is nearly as good as MJ, I’m comparing Lebron James to MJ, they don’t have to be equal. You compared Hall, to one of the biggest locker room cancers the Redskins have had. Thus I feel your argument continued to grow weaker. Like the author you seem to have it out for Hall, there’s no point in having a reasonable discussion about him with you. If Josh Wilson is as good as Hall, why do the Redskins match Hall up on the #1 WRs more often than not? Just a coincidence in your eyes? Wilson is a descent #2 CB, but he gets burned just like Hall, and there isn’t as high an upside via turnovers with Josh. I personally like them both, and would like to see what the D can do with a pass rush, and NFL level safety play.

in his defenae… Pass rush was down and saftys were average… With rac back and fresh upgrades at safty he should be better. Not saying hes gonna be elite but… He did good in 2011 with a good pass rush. HAIL!

He’s not coming back without taking a pay cut, everyone knows that, most likely it will be cut in half from every report I’ve read. But yes, our #1 cb will still be our highest paid DB. Comparing him to Haynesworth? Your argument grows weaker reply by reply. I suggest you stop now, while you’re not too far behind.

Furthermore the Browns, and Joe Haden, gave up more yards than Hall..

So it’s Hall or Haslett’s fault that Gomes waived hall off? Haslett because he didn’t prepare his team? 10 other guys on the field knew how to play that play, 1 guy who was later benched didn’t… This falls on Haslett? Why not Raheem? Who’s in charge of the secondary? Or does Raheem still only get credit on this website? Hall because in a matter of miliseconds he didn’t use his “leadership” to either a.) break away from his assignment or b.)stop time and allow enough time for him to explain to gomes why Hall should have the #1 WR… I mean is this serious? How about the fault falls on the guy who didn’t follow his assignment. Would that be too logical? As far as the rest of that game is concerned. AJ green has 110 yards on Hall, when you take away the play that Hall didn’t cover him. AJ Green averaged 84 yards a game. Hall gave up 26 more yards than the league average, and 0 TDs, despite having 0 pass rush. That’s getting torched in your opinion? That’s one of the best WRs doing what they do, IMO.

i like the fact when he had a good week,you barely wrote a paragraph about it or downplayed it with something else.yet you wrote a novel when he didnt have the best game. and look at the wr’s you named on that list,those guys did that against most corners that covered them!

The guy is a bum, hands down. NOBODY in the NFL talks as much shit as D Hall when doing absolutely nothing to back it up. If we were paying him 2 million dollars a year, financially it would make sense, but he would still be a selfish, me first guy who throws teammates and others under the bus without a moments hesitation (translation: Bad for the locker room) This guy has done NOTHING outside of one great game in Chicago, a game that Jay Cutler practically gift wrapped for him. I really don’t understand the logic for keeping this fool, just look at his stats and where he ranks in the NFL. Teams throw at him with zero fear. He keeps his eyes in the backfield far too often, cheats and tries to jump routes to make big plays, CONSTANTLY gets beaten by double moves, and simply cannot tackle, no matter the circumstance (Jake Delhomme running through DeAngelos tackle attempt for a game sealing first down in Carolina a few years back jumps into my mind, as well as the instances of him getting dragged down the field, failing to break down, or just plain giving up) In conclusion, DeAngelo is a BELOW AVERAGE CORNER getting paid top dollar. Its a no brainer, release him and dont even think about bringing him back considering we can get someone who will, at the worst be just as below average as he was, for far less money. Good riddance DeAngelo, smell ya when the wind blows.

Kevin Grant
Adam- I understand that pov but don’t think Hall free lancing helps anything. Technically Gomes was suppose to be on Green with Hall on the boundary vs Dalton. Hall noticed the mismatch and made the call to switch with Gomes and was waved off. You have those types of issues when coaches don’t prepare you for the wildcat during a week of practice.

To start off: the 3rd and 21 was on the pass rush. They couldn’t get to Romo. No DB in the NFL can cover a receiver of Dez Bryant’s caliber for the almost 10 seconds that Romo had to throw the ball. There’s no way that’s on Hall. Most of the stuff you’re using to bash Hall isn’t anything that wouldn’t happen to just about any other CB going up against those receivers. AJ Green, Vincent Jackson, Dez Bryant, Anquan Boldin, Victor Cruz, etc are all top-tier receivers. Just because Hall doesn’t shut them down completely doesn’t mean he’s bad. How does Hall get the blame in the Bucs game? How can you say Hall tried to give it away when Cundiff went 1 for 4? You’re also getting mad at Hall for what *could* have happened in Week 12? If that’s the case, why don’t you just say Hall *could* have allowed 3 TD passes every week and we would have lost those games? Anquan Boldin was already a star. In case you missed it, he did the same thing to the Patriots and 49ers in the playoffs. When is 58 yards and no TDs a “Banner Day” for Maclin? You’re really reaching.

Kevin. The reason the fan base puts the blame on DHall is because he’s the veteran and leader of our secondary. He should have pushed Gomes over to Dalton on that play, not allow Gomes to just take Green 1 on 1. This speaks to Halls lack of leadership. At worst Hall could have double teamed Green with Gomes and allowed Dalton to catch a pass which probably would have only resulted in a first down, if that. The reason part of the fan base blames Hall on that play is because he didnt step up and be the leader of the secondary. He didnt act like the vet and make Gomes move and he didn’t give good enough effort (along with Gomes) who’s at fault also (but young) in stoping Green from scoring.

Kevin Grant
Mac- I already covered the TD play to AJ Green a few months ago - . However, there is a segment of the fan base who still puts the blame on Deangelo Hall.

Mac- I noticed that also, but after that play in which Hall did not make Gomes switch onto Green, Hall stayed on Dalton, Hall had Green most of the rest of the day and failed miserably. There is no reason this franchise can’t find a younger cb just coming into free agency off their rookie contract for cheaper than 8.3 million this year and that player will be “more consistent” than DHall. Hal’s problem is consistency and relying on help too much when he gambles and is burnt. we can’t deal with it anymore if we want to be a Super Bowl caliber team in the near future.

I can’t agree more! Excellent post on why this franchise needs to dump Hall and find someone younger to take his place that actually cares about defending the wr assigned to him and then cares about tackling the guy should he catch a pass. Hall has his good moments and he has talent, but he’s nearly as bad as Albert Haynesworth in his effort on the field. It’s really sad and I KNOW we can do better as a franchise.

Stopped reading when you said hall was covering aj green. Play called for hall to cover him, but a safety who was letter benched, waived him off after the motion. Httr, hits another one out of the park..

The reason I have it out for Hall is that he doesn’t live up to his elite physical god given abilities ala other FA busts this team has signed. Sometimes Wilson does cover the opposing teams #1 wr. The first game in Dallas I saw Wilson on Bryant a lot. When we played Baltimore Wilson shut down Torrey Smith except for a few passes. Flacco picked on the Hall on Boldin match up all game long.

He’s not nearly as bad as Haynesworth. I didn’t say he was exactly like Haynesworth, you are totally taking my post out of context. I said he’s “nearly” as big as a cancer to the secondary as Haynesworth was to the DL in 2010. Teams feast on Hall and they have for his entire career because he plays lax coverage and gambles too much. Sometimes when he gambles be wins, but more often than not he’s burned and he leaves his safeties out to dry covering a wr all by themselves with Hall yards behind the wr. Hall has good games (like a few a year) where fans like those who want him back are like yeah but he was amazing this week. It’s true, Hall is an elite talent, but he’s not an elite effort guy, technique guy or leader ala Albert Haynesworth. He’s not as bad as Albert was and isn’t quite as much of a malcontent but Hall has his moments also, some of them are well documented in this post. He’s really not worth brining back in my eyes because he’s always lived off his name and the fact that he gambles so much that he will have a handful of ints a year. The problem is that he gets those ints the wrong way. He doesn’t get them like a Revis or Bailey. He doesn’t get them off having coverage like glue where there is no way the pass could be completed. Like I said hall gets his ints by making bad reads and gambling too much and it leaves the safeties out to dry covering a wr by theirself. Now that’s fine if you have Ed Reed or Sean Taylor but we haven’t had a safety that could cover a wr on his own in 6 years now. Josh Wilson isn’t as physically gifted as hall but he plays better. Josh Wilson plays sound technique, he makes pass break ups because he’s close to the wr in coverage. He very rarely has lax coverage and he very rarely is the cb that qbs pick on time and time again. Like the article said, you can’t hide behind the yards given up and especially that every 2 out of 3 times a pass is thrown in halls direction it’s completed. This secondary would be so much better if we just cut Hall and signed a cb who’s better fundamentally but maybe not as talented. Ala a Josh Wilson type. Give me Sean Smith, Chris Houston, Keenan Lewis, Antoine Cason, Leodis Mckelvin, Carry Williams over Dhall. If Hall is back sign Kyle Arrington,Brent Grimes, Tracy Porter, Marcus Trufant, Derek Cox, Greg Toler, Mike Jenkins, DJ Moore, Michael Adams as a #3 and we better draft a cb in round 3 or 4 after drafting a safety also! Hall may be worth what Wilson makes, but not a penny more and our secondary wont improve until he’s totally out of town.

That’s fine Marc, bring Hall back as our highest paid DB again and I guarentee you the secondary will not improve because he’s nearly as much of a cancer on hhst secondary as Haynesworth was to the DL in 2010.

Brian there is t much to write about in good weeks other than Hall played well. What are you going to write about exactly? Give an example. The truth is the bad with Hall outweighs the good by a huge amount! It speaks to the huge amounts of inconsistenty which hall plays with and that he’s not worth 8.3 million

Kevin, I totally understand what happened on that play with Sanu’s bomb to Green, but Ill never accept the fact that our leader of the secondary allowed Gomes to waive him off and take Green 1 on 1. Again, he’s the leader the most veteran of our DBs in our system on the roster. Wether he was waived off or not, is irrelevant. He should have gone to Gomes and pushed him over to Dalton. He could have backed up on Dalton and played over the top on Green, leaving Dalton open to catch a 5-10 yd pass. He could have Freakin Called Time Out!! He did none of those things, he failed in a chance to show he’s a bright player who knows situations right there. Now to get to Jon’s point about Hall’s not at fault vs Dez Bryant. I’ll say this- Hall Deserves Most of the blame! It was a zero blitz, everyone knows that and Romo did a great job escaping the blitz and everyone knows it would be hard for Hall to cover Bryant who’s bigger and stronger 1 on 1. The problem I have is that Hall didnt have good position on the play, Hall then grabbed his face mask making it a 15 yard penalty. Then, as the article said Hall blamed everyone else but himself for not being able to cover Bryant! That shows a lack of leadership. Blaming others, including your coach for when you failed to get the job done. Hall has a history of doing this over his 10 year career with the Falcons, Raiders and now Redskins. This is the biggest problem with Hall. He blames others, doesn’t accept responsibility right away when he messes up and doesn’t have much accountability. I also say that he doesn’t always give his greatest effort. Hall has Champ Bailey type talent. Hall will never be that though because of the lack of leadership, questionable work eithic, effort issues and lack of focus on the field. That’s sad and that’s not worth 8.3 million dollars of Dan Snyder’s $$$ next year.

John Hall gave up 1045 yds to opposing wrs. 2nd worse in the NFL! That speaks for itself. Adios Hall

At 3-6 Once More, It’s Hard To Think Mike Shanahan Will Be Here in 2014

Last year, when the Redskins stood at 3-6, with the fan base in full “woe-is-us, fire everyone” mode, after a devastating loss to a poor Carolina Panthers team, the players still seemed to have a weird, incomprehensible swagger. While everyone else seemed to be in full blown panic mode, the Redskins themselves seemed calm cool and collected. And then they railed of 7 straight victories like it was nothing, with all the confidence in the world, even when things were at their darkest.

This year, the Redskins sit at 3-6, the fan base is in full on “woe-is-us, fire everyone mode”, after a devastating loss to the 1-7 Minnesota Vikings, and there doesn’t seem to be any of the swagger, any of that confidence. There only seems to be simmering resentment, hurt feelings and a palpable air of pissed-off around everything.

Mike Shanahan has basically never had what one could call a “normal” offseason. In 2010, he was hampered by the expiring CBA and restricted free agency killing efforts to rebuild a 4-12 team with few draft picks to rely on. In 2011, the lockout shortened free agency, and a poor quarterback class left us with Rex Grossman and John Beck. In 2012, he got his franchise quarterback, only to be robbed up important cap space at the very last second.

In 2013, with no first round draft pick and an ailing quarterback who would miss most of the offseason. Mike Shanahan chose to keep as much the same as possible from when the Redskins won the division. Cutting players like Josh Wilson, London Fletcher, Santana Moss, Chris Chester and Josh Morgan would’ve relieved cap space, but he kept him. He re-signed guys like Kory Lichtensteiger and Logan Paulsen and Tyler Polumbus and Fred Davis. He patchworked where had to. He spent his first pick of the 2013 NFL Draft on a corner and two safeties that would likely be thrust into starting roles early. He tried to keep as much continuity as possible.

The coaching staff remained largely unchained, including Jim Haslett, who’s defensive unit had stunk up the first half of the season, but cobbled together a decent second half. The only coach that changed was Ike Hillard, the wide receiver coach, who moved on to Buffalo, who was replaced by Mike McDaniel, who has spent much of his young career coaching running backs, not wide receivers.

Often times what happens to teams who explode one year and fall off a cliff the next is one of two things happens; either you change too much and lose the identity you established, or you don’t change enough, and the identity you established becomes tired and stale, and the same old messages start to fall on deaf ears.

We have reached a crossroads in Mike Shanahan’s tenure as the Redskins head coach that I don’t think can be overcome. No matter what angle you look at it, it’s hard to imagine that Mike can both drastically change the team enough to make a difference, and keep enough the same that it’s not some football form of culture shock.

Aside from Trent Williams, the Redskins don’t have a single, reliable offensive linemen. Tyler Polumbus has improved but is FAR from ideal. Kory Lichtensteiger’s play has falling off a cliff. Will Montgomery went from being to only pass protect and not run block, to being the best at his position at both, to not being able to do either in 3 seasons. Chris Chester is 30 and his play has suffered. Shanahan drafted three linemen in 2012; none of them seem like they’ll play anytime soon. The team views Tom Compton as a left tackle only. Adam Gettis still lacks functional strength. Josh LeRibeus has eaten his was out of what probably would’ve been a surefire starting job.

At wide receiver, other than Pierre Garçon, everything else is a question mark. Leonard Hankerson is a solid if unspectacular number two who will need a lot of strong coaching (i.e not someone who has spent more time coaching running backs than receivers) if he ever wants to be more. Aldrick Robinson is fast and can’t catch anything. Josh Morgan’s numerous surgeries have removed his explosiveness. It’s hard to imagine Santana Moss has much more gas in the tank.

The d-line is all over the place. Barry Cofield has established himself as one of the leagues better nose tackles. Chris Baker flashes. Jarvis Jenkins flashes. But neither performs consistently. Kedric Golston could’ve been cut half a dozen times if not for injuries. Stephen Bowen is always knicked up just a little bit.

London Fletcher’s play has fallen off a cliff. He hit the age wall fast. Perry Riley is great coming down hill and sucky moving backwards. Keenan Robinson has gotten hurt for the second year in a row.

And the secondary is still in flux. D-Hall’s playing the best football of his career, but there’s no guarantee that’ll continue if he’s re-signed. Josh Wilson is average ish, Richard Crawford and Phillip Thomas will be coming off a tough injuries. Amerson and Rambo are bright spots but still raw, as is current practice squad cornerback Chase Minnefield. Reed Doughty will likely be here until the End of Times, but it’s hard to think the same of Brandon Merriweather,

Four years into Mike Shanahan’s rebuild, we, basically, still have to rebuild or at the absolute least tweak most of our units. We even have to rebuild special teams.

The coaching staff is a mess. Jim Haslett’s streakiness has reached the boiling point. Bob Slowik can’t coach his way out of a paper bag, and his inability to do so has hampered the development of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. No one on special teams seems to like Keith Burns.

And the relationship between the offensive coordinator and quarterback (and now, the rest of the offense it seems) is in shambles. Chris Russell reported that if there was a steel cage match, it’s be RG3, Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder versus the Shanahans. My take is something less extreme; essentially, Mike Shanahan is trapped between trying to please his quarterback and ownership, and trying to protect his son.

Dan Snyder has a tough choice to make over the next seven games. Even if the Redskins do, once again, miraculously turn it around, can he honestly give Mike Shanahan an extension?

He can’t let Mike Shanahan play next season as a lame duck. It’s hard to attract free agents with a lame duck head coach, and Shanahan could feel extreme pressure to succeed, which could result in the kind of big name free agent spending spree he’s avoided much of his tenture here. If the team somehow finishes 8-8, or 9-7, hell, even if they finish 10-6 again and win the division, you want to think that you shouldn’t have to keep doing sprints to the finish line in order to make up the playoffs.

Much of the coaching staff and the personnel needs an overhaul. Mike faces the prospect of having to fire his son and find a new coordinator that both jives with his philosophy and that with his ever more political, ever more opinionated franchise quarterback. He faces huge questions about schematic changes defensively.

Basically, if Mike Shanahan stays head coach, he has to rebuild most of the roster again, and this time he’ll have an even shorter leash and shorter time table to do it.

I don’t think Mike Shanahan will be coach of the Washington Redskins next year. It’s got nothing to do with how I personally feel about Mike Shanahan. I think, given the circumstances of his tenure, he’s basically been dealt a bad hand every year he’s been here. But lots of coaches are dealt bad hands. It’s how you overcome those things that makes the difference.

Given how daunting the task ahead is, and given that Robert Griffin III has as much, if not more pull, and given his importance to the team as opposed to Mike’s, I don’t think Shanahan, short of some insane, Giants-esque run to the Super Bowl, is coming back. And I’d hate that, because I do believe he’s a great head coach. But he just might not be the right coach for this team, at this moment.

Which sucks, considering all the work he’s put in to make the team seem less like a laughing stock.

A new head coach allows a fresh start and may breathe a little more air into the team. If the Redskins could find a head coach who also didn’t want to be the general manager, maybe that’d allow our scouts even more freedom to do their job (though arguably they get listened to more with Mike Shanahan than they did with Joe Gibbs, Mike still has the final say). That’d allow the coach to focus more on doing his job (i.e COACHING) while Bruce Allen handled the football operations.

Maybe a new head coach would allow his coaches total autonomy over their units, leaving the defense to the defensive guys and the offense to the guys. Maybe they wouldn’t view certain positions as “entry level”.

It’s a tough head space to be in. It’s not that I want Mike Shanahan gone. I actually don’t.

It’s just that I think if we want to get to the promise land again, he might have to go.

What the 2013 Draft Says About the 2011 Draft

Maybe it says nothing. But the picks we made over the weekend have me reflecting on the picks we made in 2011. And I can’t help but wonder if my excitement over the latest additions to the Redskins roster should be tempered when I look back at 2011.

In my opinion we stole Jawan Jamison in the 7th round. He’s not a speedster but I think that’s an overrated trait in 3rd down backs to be honest. Make no mistake, it’s important. But I want someone who can catch passes out of the backfield and be an effective blocker on 3rd down. And those are Jamison’s best qualities.

So, should I be excited that we drafted Jamison…or disappointed that 2011 draft choice RB Evan Royster went from penciled in as the starter last summer to 3rd down back last winter to probably off the roster?

I expected Chris Thompson to be a 7th rounder/UDFA to be honest. His injury history scared me more than his talents excited me. Of course, now that he’s a Redskin I think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. The one thing I clamored for on Twitter (follow me @TMM75) was the need for a COP (change of pace back). Yeah, I was the guy pushing for Andre Ellington. Maybe it’s because in my (flag) football days, I was the COP back I have a soft spot for them. Thompson has the speed and big-play ability to be the home-run hitting COP back that will make Kyle Shanahan’s offense even more explosive than it already is.

So, should I be excited that we drafted Thompson…or disappointed that 2011 draft choice RB Roy Helu has been unable (largely due to durability concerns) to hold on the COP back position that Kyle had anointed on him as recently as a January 2012 interview on ESPN980?

Jordan Reed offers a lot of flexibility as a “move” TE. He’s a Fred Davis clone in so many respects, both good and bad. He’s fast, good hands…and a poor blocker. With Davis coming off an achilles injury and one year removed from being a FA, it makes sense to grab a guy like Reed to complement the more “traditional” TE in Logan Paulsen.

So, should I be excited that we drafted Reed…or disappointed that 2011 draft choice WR/TE Niles Paul didn’t show the ability last season to make the transition to TE that the Shanahans envisioned for him and could be nothing more than a special teams gunner in 2013?

I’m higher on Phillip Thomas than most others and not as high on Baccari Rambo. But combined they’re potentially a potent safety tandem. Thomas is extremely versatile, but particularly shines as a solid “in the box” Strong Safety while Rambo plays the single high Free Safety well enough that maybe we can abandon the D.Hall at FS experiment.

So, should I be excited that we drafted Thomas/Rambo…or disappointed that 2011 draft choice S Dejon Gomes has failed to make any real positive impact?

I suppose it’s a little of both. I’m very happy with most of our selections over the weekend (not thrilled with the Jenkins choice). But I can’t help but be a disappointed with the verdict this weekend has seemingly given the middle of our 2011 draft.



A Crash Course In The Pistol Formation, West Coast Offense, and RG3 as a Passer

Washington Redskins fans may be crazy, but they are not (always) dumb. Robert Griffin III’s 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns with 5 interceptions proved that he is for real. You don’t have those kind of stats by accident, and that takes into account he actually missed a full game.

However, we are a fretful bunch. One of the those things that have crept up; Robert Griffin III becoming a “pocket passer”, and learning how to play “under center”. What that means, is playing what’s typically described as a traditional style as quarterback, in the vein of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and the like. 3 and 5 step drops, from under center. The NFL has created the “myth” of the pocket passer, the guy who stands in there with chaos all around him taking all the shots and performing accurately from the pocket.

And with that there has been a certain degree of worry that the Redskins’ use of the pistol formation will stunt his growth. There seems to be a lot of misinformation about what the pistol is, how it works, and whether or not it hampers the growth of quarterbacks. So I think it’s time for a crash course, to better inform people of it’s use and what it means for Robert Griffin III going forward.

The Pistol’s Invention

The Pistol offense was first innovated and used heavily by former University of Nevada head coach Chris Ault as as a means to add a greater dimension to the run game while still keeping the spread concepts that made passing out of the shotgun successful.

A typical shotgun formation (pictured above) is a great tool at spreading defenses out and attacking them versus the pass. But your options in the running game are extremely limited, mostly to outside runs. You could run a spread offense, but you wouldn’t have the threat of the run in the shotgun the same way you would under center.

Ault’s solution was to take the quarterback and set him four yards behind the center, with the running back lining up three yards behind the quarterback.

In this formation, it became much easier to to have a traditional run game, while still be able to run spread shotgun concepts. In a traditional shotgun, for example, typically the running back will always run to the opposite side of where he’s lined up. For example, if the running back is lined up on the right hip of the quarterback, he will almost always run to the left.

In the pistol, you have you full package of run plays, to either side of the formation. In addition, unlike most shotgun plays, you can maintain your 3-step and 5-step rhythm passing plays. A.K.A, some of the core principles of the…

West Coast Offense

Better that you watch this and learn from the master himself than me try to explain it…

Naturally, though, with decades passing since it’s inception, things have changed a little bit. The fundamentals are there, though; shallow crosses, rhythm passing and timing routes.

But the Shanahans’ offense does thing a little bit differently. For one, the reads are inverted. Where as a more traditional West Coast Offense (such as the one Colin Kaepernick runs in San Francisco), the reads move from low to high. In a Mike Shanahan offense, the reads start high and work their way low.

Operating out of the Pistol formation allows the Redskins to run the exact same offense as they always have, while giving Robert a better snap shot of the defense than he’d get under center and enabling the read option run game. The Pistol is the best combination of the shotgun spread principles Robert ran while at Baylor, and the West Coast Offense run by Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan in the NFL, marrying the two to provide an easier bridge for RG3 to acclimate to the NFL.

Pre-Snap Recognition

One of the more frustrating things to hear about Robert Griffin III’s evolution as a passer in the idea that he plays in a “simple” offense where he doesn’t make many reads or progressions. This is usually said by people that don’t have a full and refined knowledge of how the Redskins offense works. For some quarterbacks in other styles of offense, they begin their reads post snap, having a defined set of progressions. They begin their decision making process after the ball is snapped based on what the defense is doing.

The quarterback in a Redskins offense. will typically use pre-snap motion to determine whether or not the coverage is zone or man. Based on his read, he will then determine the weakness of the defense. That tells him where to go with the football.


Robert Griffin III’s first touchdown pass is a good example of this. Robert comes to the line and send Fred Davis in motion. The defense shifts with Davis indicating the defense is in a cover 3 shell. This alerts him that there is one rusher likely to come free, which means he’s throwing hot to Niles Paul. Unfortunately, Niles gets covered in the flat by the linebacker. But, Robert has enough time to get his eyes back down field and find his number one target Pierre Garçon.

Another good example of RG3 reading a defense with pre-snap motion is actually this touchdown run. This play was wrongly referred to as a “called run” by John Lynch on commentary, but it wasn’t. Robert sends Fred Davis in motion to get the Vikings to declare coverage, and safety Harrison Smith moves with him, indicating man-coverage. The Vikings “sugar” their linebackers, or put them up close to the line of scrimmage between the two tackles.

When the ball is snapped, Robert identifies that the two linebackers blitz the same gap. That leaves a big hole in the defense. Robert hits the hole, breaks a tackle, and it’s six.

You can see more examples of the Redskins using pre-snap movement in Kevin’s article about a change-of-pace receiver.

The Shanahan’s system is really a quarterback friendly system, provided you know your stuff. It’s all about reading the defense, taking the proper amount of hitch steps and delivering the ball to the (usually) open receiver. Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan both have a knack for designing plays that get wide receivers wide open, which may be why analyst insist on saying that Robert plays in a simple offense with receivers that are wide open. Receivers have been wide open for a while; just no one’s been able to get them the football.

Furthermore, Robert has far more latitude and ability to audible and change plays at the line of scrimmage than any quarterback that’s played under Kyle or Mike Shanahan in recent memory.

The Pistol Formation is NOT the zone-read offense.

Besides a nagging insistence that Robert was hurt using the zone-read (he wasn’t), another thing people tend to get confused on is separating the pistol formation away from the zone-read.

The two are not one in the same. You can go a whole game in pistol and never run one zone-read play. You can run the zone-read option in nothing but shotgun (which is mainly what RG3 did at Baylor).

Just because the offense lines up in the pistol does not mean it’s a zone-read play. The Pistol is a formation. The zone-read is a play that can occasionally be run out of pistol.

It’s why any one claiming that the pistol can be stopped is being ridiculous. The Pistol can’t be stopped anymore than the shotgun can.

The Pistol FORMATION is not the Pistol OFFENSE

There really is no such thing as a “Pistol Offense.” The pistol is formation, like the shotgun is a formation, like the I-formation or “Ace/Singleback” formation. A team could in theory run absolutely any offensive scheme — West Coast Offense, Air Coryell, Run & Shoot, Air Raid, The Spread — out of the Pistol formation.

Chris Ault’s Wolfpack did, technically, play in the “Pistol Offense”. But the formation itself is just a formation; Ault built his own schemes and concepts into the formation.

Media analyst can’t seem to separate the formation from some of the plays that are used in the formation, such as the aforementioned read-option. There were times during the season when the Redskins heavily utilized the pistol, but Robert didn’t run much read-option at all.

The Pistol is means to an end. It is not in itself an offense with it’s own core set of principals. It is a tool to which you can apply offensive concepts to.

Robert’s Development In The Pistol

Fans seem to worry that because Robert operates in the pistol a lot, his growth as a dropback passer will be stunted.

The truth is that the utilizing the pistol likely helped ease Robert’s transition, and allowed us to run our base, conventional offense. There is some risk that taking lots of snaps from shotgun, as it can adversely effect your footwork and since of timing. But the pistol actually helps ease that problem, by keeping the quarterback in rhythm and maintain the same sense of timing.

In addition, Robert Griffin III actually spent far more time under center on pass plays than he spent in the gun or in the pistol. In 393 pass attempts, Griffin lined up in the gun or the pistol on 54.1% of his pass attempts.

Compare that with some of his contemporaries. Andrew Luck spent 66.5% of his time in the shotgun his rookie year. Cam Newton spent around 77.3% of his passing snaps in the shotgun or pistol, and Ryan Tannehill was in the gun for 69.6% percent of the time. Nick Foles was in shotgun 80% of the time.

That’s to say nothing of veteran quarterbacks like Peyton Manning (80%), Tom Brady (72.3%), Joe Flacco (59.8%), Aaron Rodgers, (78.6%), and Eli Manning (62.6%).

Roberts time in the gun and pistol is much more in line with Matt Ryan (56.0%), and his contemporaries Colin Kaepernick (46%) and Russell Wilson (57%).

Robert’s not losing anything by being in the pistol or the shotgun; in fact he’s in it far less than a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL. Mike Shanahan has always run a play action heavy offense, and Kyle Shanahan has always been successful at getting receivers open in his scheme. Robert threw for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions.

You don’t throw 5 interceptions if you don’t go throw progressions and reads, and you don’t get a 3,000 yard passer, 1,600+ yard rusher, and four receivers with over 500 yards if you run a “simple” offense where the quarterback is a passenger.

Let’s get RG3 healthy, and then watch him take the next step in a long, brilliant career. The offense will continue to grow, and the pistol will stay, even when Robert Griffin III isn’t running the read-option.

Dear Daniel Snyder; You’re Embarrassing Redskins Nation

Dear Dan Snyder;

You’re embarrassing us. Please stop.

I thought about starting this letter yesterday. And then I reconsidered. And then I awoke to find that you had written an open letter to season ticket holder of the Washington Redskins. Some would call it “emotional”. I’d personally call it schlocky. But it is just one of the many PR goofs that you’ve made on this issue, ever since the team you owned returned from relative obscurity after last season’s 10-6 season and NFC East Championship.

It’s frustrating, because last season’s 7 game winning streak, and the first division title since you bought the team, signified just how far you’ve come as an owner. At the end of the 2009 season, an abysmal 4-12 mess, something clearly changed. You realized you weren’t handling things the right way, and so you stepped back. You found a general manager who could restore some of the history and tradition of your program. You found a head coach that could build a winner. And though the ride was bumpy, ultimately, you stepping away from the football operations has proven to be the best thing that’s happened to the franchise. Few people realize how little you’re involved in basic day-to-day operations anymore. They still think you’re the puppet master. But that’s fine. Let them be misinformed. You stepping away has undoubtedly helped.

But all that good work has been undone by how poorly you’ve handled yourself away from the field. The near constant public relations failures of this team are as baffling as they are frustrating, if not occasionally maddening. For a multi-billion dollar sports franchise to have a public relations department with so little self-awareness is inexcusable.

This isn’t even about the name. I used to defend the Redskins name with a passion. The more PR blunders that came from the team, though, the more I started to change my mind, and I became pro-name change.

Now I’m indifferent. I’m neither pro-keep-the-name or pro-name change. What I am is exhausted. I’d change the name to the Washington Whatevers if it meant not having to engage in the debate anymore, and not having to watch you fumble your way through the dark on this issue, incapable of finding a way of expressing your pride over the name without also showing the kind of maturity that made Redskins fans despise a younger, more naive Dan Snyder.

For whatever reason, you have embraced the role of the heel in the narrative that today’s media culture has created for you. There are far, far worse owners in sports. You are not being indicted on federal charges like Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam. You’ve never been on trial for fraud and racketeering like Ziggy Wilf. That is not to say you’ve been an angel and you haven’t done your fair share of occasionally shady things. But with owners like Haslam, and Wilf, and Donald Sterling, and others, somehow you have surpassed them all and been labeled one of the worst owners in sports.

In your own division, there is an owner that has been more meddlesome and more detrimental to their teams Super Bowl chances than you could ever hope to be. Jerry Jones has given out just as many bad contracts. He’s traded just as many draft picks away. He’s drafted more busts, and somehow managed to have even worse quarterbacks. Since you took over the team, the Redskins have a record of 102-126. Jerry Jones’ Cowboys has 114-116. And Jerry Jones runs every last facet of the team. What most people don’t know about you is how much you did defer to your coach and general manager, particularly when Coach Joe Gibbs returned. You run less on the team than he does. You’ve been practically non-existent in the press since handing the keys to the franchise to Allen and Shanahan. And yet he get infinitely less guff from the media than you do.

Why? Because Jerry Jones has learned a skill you either haven’t learned, or refuse to learn. He has learned how to work the media. He has worked his charm, with that southern drawl, and the smile, and always saying exactly what they always want to here, and keeping his off-the-field issues in the dark. And when he does get criticism from the media, both nationally and local, 90% of the time, he lets it roll off his back. You are not a worse owner than Jerry Jones. The mere fact that you were able to self-evaluate and see that the level of involvement you had with the team was too much more than suggests that. But everyone on the planet still thinks you are.

Because you seem intent on going out of your way to prove them right. The press has branded you a thin-skinned, insecure owner with a Napoleon complex who treats his football team like his own fantasy league. And while most Redskins fans know that you haven’t ever really treated your team like a fantasy team, or think that even though you once did, you have embraced a new commitment to not doing so, that whole first part, that’s the part you seem intent on replaying.

Dave McKenna was a small-time reporter, at a small-time paper, who seemed to have a weird personal vendetta against you. He published a sort-of-funny, sort of dumb “Guide to the Cranky Redskins fan”, which was the kind of “journalism” you’d find on your high-brow, sophisticated news site like Bleacher Report or Buzzfeed. In it he insulted you, which was, admittedly, unfair and stupid. McKenna made it personal, and I can understand why it mad you mad.

I can not understand why you then sued McKenna and the Washington City-Paper for libel. That gave small timer Dave McKenna a big national platform with which to shout your alleged evilness from the roof tops, including a valuable ally in the folks at Deadspin. That gave McKenna an even bigger reason to continue his personal vendetta against you. It prompted ESPN the Magazine to call you the NFL’s most despised owner after Al Davis died, and branded McKenna — the guy who insulted you unprompted — as the every man trying to stick it to your evil corporate douchebag stereotype.

A better owner would have ignored that, would have just let it slide off their back. But you didn’t. Just as you continue to have an unending feud with the Washington Post, who continue to antagonize you, and you continue to try and restrict their access.

But I’m getting off track. This is about how you’ve handled this particular issue. The name issue. I have no doubt that you have a personal stake in the team’s name, just like millions of fans. And you are first and foremost a fan, a man who grew cheering for the team with your father. One thing that people should always understand is how everything you’ve done is not motivated by ego, but by the unending desire to see your team — figuratively and literally your team — continue to succeed in flourish. I doubt there is an owner in sports that wants to win a Super Bowl more than you. It’s personal to you.

It’s time to put the personal pride aside an re-evaluate how you’re attacking the issue. Because you, Mr. Snyder, are embarrassing us.

I was embarrassed when the name issue flared up once more; when columnist like Mike Wise used the emergence of quarterback Robert Griffin III to push their agenda, more or less calling RGIII a coward for not speaking up, and when Courtland Milloy suggested that RGIII’s torn ACL was “karma” for the name. I was embarrassed because, rather than let these attention seekers continue to wallow in the smug superiority and their moronic responses to a complex issue, you fed right into them.

Through the team’s blog, you began to point out the high school’s that used the team. Seriously. You forced the great people who work at the Redskins Blog to go out and search out high school’s that used the name. This, if you’re not sure, is the rough equivalent of dropping the n-word in mixed company and then saying “No, it’s cool, I have a black friend and they let me use it all the time”. I was more embarrassed when it became apparent that a few of those schools actually had changed their names in a bid to be more sensitive, and that those name changes were actually driven by students.

Teenagers have showed more maturity on this issue than a multi-billion dollar sports empire. This is a problem.

The reaction to those posts was all negative. No one liked them. And yet they persisted. And they only made the issue larger, as symposiums were formed, and national media outlets began to rally against the name. Your immaturity on the issue had taken something that was mainly local, and made it national.

I have no bones about the team-sanctioned television program “Redskins Nation” being used primarily as a vessel to promote the team; most teams in the league have shows that are identical in their homerness. But man, I was embarrassed when I and found out that you had gone out of your way to find an “Indian” Chief.

I was embarrassed that you were so chaffed by the name issue, you actively had to go out and find an Indian chief. And that was bad enough, and it was sort of racist. But I could’ve dealt with that, if you didn’t find an Indian chief who wasn’t even a Redskins fan. And worse yet, he was a Philadelphia Eagles fan. That was insulting as all hell to me, and an embarrassment. But at least that seemed like it would only be a local embarrassment.

…Until your old friend Dave McKenna went ahead and did some research, and found out that “Chief Dodson”, the one Native American you could find to come on your program and defend the name, was a complete and utter phony. “Chief Dodson” is not an Indian chief, and in fact, he may not even be any sort of Indian period. Because you either 1.) knew he was a fake and didn’t care or (and this one is more likely) 2.) didn’t do you research and didn’t know that the Eagles fan you had gotten to come on your show and defend the name wasn’t who he said he was.

But just days after that, in another bone-headed move, at a charitable event no less, at an event where your franchise quarterback raised $33,000 for the American Cancer Society (this is what one would call “positive press”), once again, when asked about the name, instead of being smart and deferring, or making some small, innocuous comment in the vain of “It’s a complex issue , we’re taking it under advisement, we’ll talk about it another time”, you proudly (and dumbly) proclaimed “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER. You can use all caps.”

For some jerk on the internet like me, this response would be perfectly acceptable. For you, Mr. Snyder, as the owner of this franchise, as much as it seemed to earn you brownie points with the fans, I thought that response was despicable. It was tone deaf. It detracted from all the good work you had done. And one again, it made the issue explode nationally. And then everyone found out about the fake Indian chief, which only made things worse.

The President was asked about the name. He’s been getting asked about it for months, and he always deferred, but in a sitdown interview, he gave his opinion on it. However you feel about Barack Obama, he was asked a question, he gave a fairly static answer that wasn’t inflammatory in any way. In light of a government shutdown and a looming fight over the debt ceiling, the issue of the Redskins name probably would be dead…

Had you not, once again, felt the need to respond, again. And this time you did it through Lanny Davis. Davis is a personal friends of yours and has acted as a lawyer and adviser. That’s fine. But at no time has Lanny Davis ever, ever been a spokesman for the Redskins. Nearly every person on the Redskins beat was confused by the distinction. But again, in your hamfisted way, it seemed as though you had searched up a guy who voted for Obama, just to be able to tell him off.

The Obama issue did not need a response. It did not need a prepared team statement. It should have died. It was an interesting nugget in interesting times. And instead of letting it die, you, once again, made it a bigger issue. You made it an issue that was debated on all the Sunday debate shows. You, Mr. Snyder, embarrassed me. Again.

And your open letter to the fans — also known as the only people who you think agree unilaterally on this issue with you — is embarrassing. It’s insipid. It speaks directly to the kind of people who will gobble it up and keep their heads buried in the sand on the issue, whether they want the name changed or not. Despite playing lip service to listening to the issue and respecting people’s opinion, time and time and time and time and time and time, and yes, even more time again, you prove you don’t respect people’s opinions. You don’t respect them, because you will never change the name. Did you forget you said that?

That is not showing anyone respect. Being thin-skinned and unable to, occasionally, let the controversy of the moment not bloom into the controversy of the week doesn’t show respect to your team. Loudly proclaiming you’ll never change doesn’t respect the fans who line your pockets while simultaneously being called willing enablers of racism by other teams fans.

Every fan should be embarrassed over the things you’ve done. They show none of the growth you’ve exhibited in handling your football team. It feeds into every mean, ill-informed stereotype ever written about you.

As for that “emotional” letter, a history lesson. When George Preston Marshall moved the then Boston Braves to Fenway Park, he made the monetary decision that he couldn’t keep them named the Braves. So he changed the name to a hybrid to pay tribute to the Redsox and keep part of the Braves heritage; the Boston Redskins. And then they hired Lone Star Dietz, who, despite your romanticizing of him as an American Indian head coach, actually wasn’t, as he’d been accused of stealing the identity of an actual Native American, in order to get out of going to the first World War. (Ain’t that a proud heritage.) It was was a pretty obvious bid to say “Hey, come watch the Indian guy coach the team named for Indians! And they even have Indian players!”, from an owner who had to be forced by the federal government to integrate his football team, otherwise he wouldn’t be allowed to play in RFK Stadium.

Which once again shows the kind of thought provoking research you put into defending the name. Or that you don’t care.

Mr. Snyder. I understand that you don’t want to change the name. I understand that you have a personal stake in it. I understand (like no one else does) that even if you were to have a spontaneous change of heart and wanted to change the name, the NFL has to improve it, and they have a business stake. I understand that crafting a new brand for an 81-year old franchise can be pain-staking, expensive work. I understand that some fans would never forgive you for changing it. I understand there are legitimate reasons for not changing the name, just like I understand there are legitimate reasons to change it.

What I don’t understand is how tone deaf all these responses are. What I don’t understand is how you don’t have people around you, constantly face palming as you careen through this issue, one horrific response at a time, completely unaware of how bad it makes you and the team look. I’m a little tired of seeing my Twitter and Facebook timelines filled with Redskins fans fighting about it, and I’m sort of tired of this issue being an issue and you not letting sleeping dogs lie. I’m tired of head coach Mike Shanahan, and general manager Bruce Allen, and Robert Griffin III, and Fred Davis, and all the players who have been asked, being asked this question. I’m tired of hearing Mike Wise’s meek voice asking the same question over and over again, sneaking into the frame behind RGIII press conferences wearing shirts with American Indians on them. I’m tired of seeing the issue debated on ESPN, and on cable news, and now on broadcast news shows. Poor Dan Steinberg is going to go crazy writing about this every day. I’m sick of it being in the paper, I’m sick of seeing your face on Deadspin, I’m sick of news outlets making bold proclamations that they’re not going to use the name Redskins, usually prompted by something the team did or something you said.

Some fights are going to be loss. You are not going to “win” on this issue, Mr. Snyder. You are not going to wake up and find that the world suddenly agrees with you that because other teams use Native American imagery and because some high school uses it and because the team once had a fake Native American coach and you found a fake Indian guy who liked it and you’ve been using it for 81 years that you people will just agree with you. As I said, this is a complex issue, sir, and complex issues deserve legitimate, adult conversations, of which there have been far too few. Particularly from the team side of things.

You’ve come along way, Mr. Snyder. But the more gasoline you pour on this fire, the bigger the chance that it’ll blow up in your face, and eventually the public pressure will get so high that it won’t matter if you want to change the name, Roger Goodell will force you to change the name. Hire a new PR department, or maybe do some soul searching and ask if what you’re doing is helping or hurting the franchise. Really think about it, and then maybe put some brain power into never responding the way you have before.

Despite a slow start, this is still the most exciting it has been to be a Redskins fan in a long time.

You’ve gotten really good as not becoming a distraction. I’d appreciate it very much if you didn’t continue on this path.

With Regards

Kenneth Clyburn

2013 Redskins Predictions

Glancing at the 2013 schedule, I decided that I’d take a shot at predicting how things might turn out. With so many variables still undecided (health, final roster, etc.) I decided to weigh all the pros and cons while considering the best- and worst-case scenarios. In the end, I tried to blend it all together into predictions that were as objective as I’m capable of.

Week 1, Eagles at Redskins (Monday Night Football)
I think Chip Kelly will be successful in the NFL and believe the early stages of this opener could be dicey. However, I think the Redskins will look sharp and efficient on offense, disciplined on defense, and dominate the second half. Robert Griffin III will look completely healthy and thrive in a game plan that more resembles Mike Shanahan’s traditional offense (but still features the pistol formation).
Redskins 31 Eagles 20 (1-0)

Week 2, Redskins at Packers
In an early-season battle of great quarterbacks, Griffin will look every bit like he belongs in a showdown with Aaron Rodgers. I see the running game keeping things close into the fourth quarter as well. But, something about Aaron Rodgers going against a still-questionable defense makes it tough for me to think the Redskins will get the big stops when they need to.
Packers 30 Redskins 24 (1-1)

Week 3, Lions at Redskins
Another game, another shoot out. The defense will once again have its hands full trying to slow down a very dynamic Lion offense that features Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. This time I see the running game doing enough to keep Detroit off the field while the defense tightens up in the red zone to minimize damage.
Redskins 27 Lions 23 (2-1)

Week 4, Redskins at Raiders
I’m tempted to look at a west coast game and factor in some sluggishness. But, sitting here in late-July and just analyzing match ups on paper, I think this is the first comfortable win of the year for the Redskins. The defense makes a couple big plays and the offense stays safely in cruise control for much of the second half. I think Alfred Morris will lead a 200-yard team rushing effort and Griffin will hand the keys over to Kirk Cousins at some point in the fourth quarter.
Redskins 38 Raiders 14 (3-1)

Week 6, Redskins at Cowboys (Sunday Night Football)
Since becoming the coach of the Redskins, Shanahan has only won once after a bye week. The good news is that win came in his only season being paired with Griffin. The passing game will pick up where it left off this past Thanksgiving and the defense will make the Cowboys earn every yard. Both quarterbacks will eclipse 300 passing yards, but Tony Romo’s numbers will come in catch-up mode, including a late, cosmetic touchdown.
Redskins 27 Cowboys 21 (4-1)

Week 7, Bears at Redskins
I think the Bears are a very good, under the radar team in 2013 and see them coming in and handing the Redskins the first home loss of the season. Jay Cutler will get revenge for sending DeAngelo Hall to the Pro Bowl a couple years ago and the Redskins will not be able to keep up, playing from behind most of the afternoon.
Bears 24 Redskins 17 (4-2)

Week 8, Redskins at Broncos
The schedule stays tough for the Redskins as they travel to Denver to play arguably last year’s best AFC team. Given the recent issues with covering shifty slot-receivers, I have a bad feeling about how Wes Welker will look with Peyton Manning throwing him the ball. I know this is based in nothing but superstition, but Halloween week has meant nothing but ugly road losses under Shanahan (2010 Lions, 2011 Bills, and 2012 Steelers).
Broncos 34 Redskins 21 (4-3)

Week 9, Chargers at Redskins
In the only home game in a four-week span, the Redskins will treat their fans to a solid win over San Diego. The long trip east with the early start time will help the hosts in jumping out on the Chargers. A couple late turnovers will put the exclamation point on the game and close out the first half of the season on a high note.
Redskins 37 Chargers 17 (5-3)

Week 10, Redskins at Vikings (Thursday Night Football)
A quick turnaround will lead to a low-scoring and slugging game between the Skins and Vikings. On just four days of rest, I have to give this one to the home team boasting the best running back in the league.
Vikings 20 Redskins 13 (5-4)

Week 11, Redskins at Eagles
The silver lining of a short week is that it becomes a long week. With the bye coming so early (week 5), the Redskins will benefit from the extra half week of rest and hit the home stretch of the season with relatively fresh legs. Despite a now-dangerous Eagles team hitting its stride at home, I believe the Redskins find a way to control the line of scrimmage and clock to complete yet another sweep of the Eagles.
Redskins 28 Eagles 24 (6-4)

Week 12, 49ers at Redskins (Monday Night Football)
The Skins kick off a three-game home stand by hosting the defending NFC champions. In a battle of very similar quarterbacks, Griffin will take this one personally and will the Redskins to victory. I look for him to carry the ball more in this game than any other game during the year. Of course, he’ll wisely get to the sideline or slide to avoid hard contact. The Redskins’ defense will do a nice job against the read-option and stifle Colin Kaepernick. In nationally televised statement game, the Skins will prevail.
Redskins 24 49ers 16 (7-4)

Week 13, Giants at Redskins (Sunday Night Football)
Recent history suggests that the Giants usually figure out a way to beat the Redskins in their first match up of the season. Even during seasons in which the teams split their games, the Redskins tend to drop the first game and rally to win the second one. I see this being a close one, but the Skins drop their first December game of the year.
Giants 23 Redskins 21 (7-5)

Week 14, Chiefs at Redskins
This one scares me, but for the Redskins to make the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in over 20 years, they will have to find a way to beat Andy Reid and the Chiefs. The Redskins have only beaten Kansas City once…ever. Combine that with Reid’s familiarity with the Skins and I see the underdog Chiefs giving the home team all that they can handle. Kai Forbath will be the hero and put the game out of reach late.
Redskins 26 Chiefs 17 (8-5)

Week 15, Redskins at Falcons
In what I believe should have been last season’s NFC Divisional Playoff match up, the Redskin offense will take full advantage of the fast track in Atlanta. But, the pass defense will struggle to contain the Falcon passing game and the Skins will lose a shootout.
Falcons 42 Redskins 31 (8-6)

Week 16, Cowboys at Redskins
Similar to last year, the Redskins will have late division games that will make or break their season. First, they host the Cowboys who will have no margin for error and be looking up at the Skins in the NFC East standings. Unfortunately, I think the more desperate team will win here, and Dallas will finally get the best of Griffin’s Redskins. Humbug.
Cowboys 21 Redskins 20 (8-7)

Week 17, Redskins at Giants
It’s tough to tell how much will be at stake in New York right before New Year’s. I can’t see 9 wins being enough to win the East, so I’m going to project that the Giants will have the East won and be gearing up to host a wild card game the following week. Here’s the cool part, when the Redskins claw their way to the W at Giants Stadium, they will clinch the opportunity to be New York’s opponent the following week. One more interesting note, the winner of the first round matchup will be one step closer to playing in Giants Stadium AGAIN in the Super Bowl.
Redskins 23 Giants 10 (9-7)

Final Record: 9-7 Overall, 4-2 vs. NFC East, 6-6 vs. NFC, 3-1 vs. AFC

So, there you have it. I’m projecting a slight backslide record-wise, but it would be tough to disappointed with 9 wins against this schedule. I see the Redskins beating the Giants in New York in the first round and having every chance to win on the west coast (San Francisco or Seattle) in the divisional round. A win out there could potentially set up a return trip to Green Bay for the NFC Championship Game. Once a team gets that far, you never know.

What do you guys think? How do you see the season unfolding?