The Redskins expect to beat the Arizona Cardinals, but not just them.
The Redskins are riding a wave a confidence that swelled up quickly during the abbreviated off-season. Despite just one victory, albeit against a division bully, players can't help themselves in speaking like a team that's destined for positive things this year.
"Since I've been here, this is definitely the best team I've been on from a talent standpoint," said London Fletcher. "This was the feeling that I felt back in training camp."
Earlier this week, Tim Hightower made statements that seemed to imply a guarantee of victory. While avoiding the "G" word, he reaffirmed his position later in the week: "It’s just a matter of confidence. I believe in the guys that we have in this locker room and I believe in the coaches that we have," Hightower said.
Meanwhile, Grossman was on the NFL Network and asked to speak again on his well-publicized off-season prediction about winning the NFC East division.
"We feel like from top to bottom, offensively, defensively, special teams, we're a good team," Grossman asserted. "If you ask me the question again, I'm gonna say, yeah, I think we're going to win the East."
There's no doubt that analysts and pundits around the league are taking notice of not just the Redskins' confidence, but their performances. They consistently played well against starters during the preseason and backed it up when it counted against the Giants in the season opener.
The Redskins had the biggest jump in the ESPN Power Rankings from 29th to 18th. So what, right? But even Vegas has changed its mind on Washington. Before the Giants victory, Redskins were a 20 to 1 shot to win the division. Now it's 7 to 1.
The question is whether the Redskins are still being underestimated by the 'experts'? Could they be as good as they feel? Or are they riding too high and setting themselves up for a hard reality-check fall?
Another convincing victory over Arizona could have people scratching their heads as they ponder a good Redskins team heading to Dallas 2-0.
But first things first, lets see how they do Sunday afternoon against the Cards and Fitzgerald.
Chris Cooley and several of his teammates have used the following word to describe their team and their current season in progress: "special" - as in "we've got something special happening here" and "the chemistry on this team is special" and "I've never been around a team so close-knit, it's special."
Nobody is more bullish than me on what's been happening in Ashburn the last year, but after one regular season game I'm not about to describe it as special. I'm hoping for special, I'm thinking it could be damn good at some point, but it's far to premature for players to brand a team or season as special. When was the last time you heard Tom Brady describe his team as special? The answer, never. His singular focus is on the next game. The Patriots never appear to be satisfied. 'Special' for them is a word they might use during a Super Bowl celebration, might. Implying that things are panning out before they actually do seems to always backfire.
As a fan, I prefer Joe Gibbs-speak and it would work perfectly this week. Coach Joe's team could be 6-1 getting ready to play the 1-6 Cardinals and the only thing he would describe as 'special' would be the Cardinals: Don't look at the Cardinals record...that's a very good team, a special team. This game is going to be a gut-check. We're going to need an incredible effort just to stay close. We're going to need all 55,000 at RFK ready for a war! I just hope we can hang around and have a chance in the 4th quarter. Golly gee I miss Coach Joe.
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have received running back Tim Hightower from the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday and an undisclosed draft pick.
Hightower (6-0, 222) is entering his fourth NFL season after spending the previous three with Arizona, which drafted him in the fifth round (No. 149 overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. He has played in 48 career games, including 36 starts, and rushed for 1,733 yards and 23 touchdowns on 439 carries. Hightower has also made 118 receptions for 801 yards.
Last season, Hightower played in 16 games, including 13 starts, and led the Cardinals in rushing with 736 yards on 153 attempts (4.8 avg.). He also topped the team with five rushing touchdowns to give him 23 over the last three years, tied for the 10th-most in the NFL over that span.
In 2009, Hightower rushed 143 times for 598 yards (4.2 avg.) and eight touchdowns. That followed a rookie campaign in which he appeared in all 16 regular season games and led the Cardinals with 10 rushing touchdowns, tied for eighth in the NFL.
The 25-year-old Hightower was born May 23, 1986, in Alexandria, Va. He later attended Episcopal High School in Alexandria and the University of Richmond.