The Redskins got their first win of the year, 24-14 in Oakland. The good, bad, and more.
1. Game's biggest plays made by Skins. This game wasn't a gem by NFL standards....these 3 big plays were the difference between win and potential loss. In order they were....1) David Amerson's pick 6. Down 14-3 with the Raiders on the move again, David Amerson stepped in front of Moore and made a monster play. Who knows if the Redskins would've generated enough offense today to win. I thought at the time that it was a game-saver and given that they won today, it could prove to be a season-saver. 2) Janikowski's missed 52 yd FG midway through the 3rd quarter was a big play in the game. It easily gave the Skins their best field position of the game and they took advantage of it by marching 58 yards for their first offensive TD of the day and their first lead in the 2nd half this year. 3) Kerrigan's sack/forced fumble on Flynn in the 4th quarter. Oakland had made a first down for the first time in the 2nd half and had great field position. It set up the Skins 2nd offensive TD and their first 2-score lead of the season.
2. Defense. After a shaky start, it shut the Raiders out on Oakland's final 12 drives covering nearly 3.5 quarters. The D generated 7 sacks, scored a touchdown, and had a sack/forced fumble.
3. Pass rush. A lot of the credit for the 7 sacks and the many pressures goes to the Redskins' D but a lot of it was that Matt Flynn is incapable. Flynn stunk. I'm not sure how the Skins would've fared against Pryor but they wouldn't have sacked him 7 times.
3. Brian Orakpo. He had his best day of the season. Not only did he get to Flynn twice, he had a near-pick early in the game and a wicked stop on 3rd and 1 on Jennings in the 3rd quarter.
4. Ryan Kerrigan. He makes plays that help win games and he does it a lot.
5. Up-tempo offense. Down 14-zip and looking like the season was teetering on the brink of disaster, the Skins' O went up-tempo and it caught Oakland by surprise. It didn't produce a touchdown but it did produce a meaningful field goal and it started the process of changing momentum after getting behind 14.
6. Raiders stink. The Oakland defense is legit but with Flynn, they just weren't capable on offense. Add to that, the Raiders committed a couple of potential game-changing penalties including the offsides on Helu's catch and maybe fumble. Their clock/game management was amateur. How come they didn't take a timeout at the end of the half with the ball at midfield and take a shot. They just let the clock run out. Then, down 10 points, they went for it on 4th and 1 when the field goal was the right choice. I knew they'd go for it when they went for the play-action on 3rd and 1 but getting it to 24-17 with 3:23 left and two timeouts out left was the right strategy.
7. Morris YAC. Morris always gets more yards than it appears he should.
1. Special teams. The Redskins had some bad plays on special teams today and several near-misses. There was the blocked punt and the fake punt. There were a couple of bad punts. There was consistent lost punt yardage because Thompson let the balls bounce and roll rather than getting up and fielding them. Thompson almost didn't get out of the way of one of the punts inside the 10. Murphy nearly got knocked into a punt that was still rolling on the ground....a punt that Thompson should've fielded. Skins need a new punt returner. If for nothing else then to save them field position by catching the kicks.
2. Pass protection. Is it Robert's responsibility to recognize pressure more consistently or is it that the O-line that isn't doing its job. Only the coaches know for sure but it would seem that 3rd and more than 6 can be a problem if Robert is going to stay in the pocket. Too much pressure today and some bad throws either because of it or at least influenced by it.
3. No timeout on fake punt. We've seen the Skins through the years call timeouts for less serious situations, why not a timeout when the Raiders shifted into an offensive formation on 4th and less than 1.
4. Did Robert look like he got nicked up on the 11 yard read-option keeper? Garcon's holding penalty nullified the play but it looked briefly like Robert hurt himself.
1. Rg3's game was mixed. He missed throws including a potential deep TD pass to Moss. He made some curious decisions including throwing to Fred Davis deep when Garcon was open on the bootleg and the intentional grounding throw on 2nd and goal in the 2nd quarter. His mobility still doesn't look anything like last year however; he did make several "off-schedule" pass plays by extending them with his feet. The 3rd and 10 to Helu in the 2nd quarter was a great play. He made a nice play to find Paulson on one of the only solid 3rd and long plays of the day although Paulson fumbled. The 3rd down TD throw to Garcon was perfect and the escape and throw to Helu for 28 yards after the Kerrigan sack/fumble was the kind of play he must make for this team to have a chance.
2. Lots of injuries. Both teams lost several players during the game.
3. Was Fred Davis dressed? That's an exaggeration but if not for that deep "uncatchable" ball in the end zone I wouldn't have thought he played.
4. I liked the 3rd and 8 draw call to Helu right with 2:30 left. The Raiders were guessing run as they should've but the play made them hesitate and Helu went for 9 and a first down that iced the game.
5. Did Robert look like he got nicked up on the 11- yard read-option keeper? Garcon's holding penalty nullified the play but it looked briefly like Robert hurt himself.
QB (3)--Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman-- I still think the overwhelming odds favor 3 QBs vs. 4 with Pat White. Maybe White will conveniently hurt his shoulder tomorrow night against Tampa and find his way to the IR....#stash.
RB (4)--Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster, Chris Thompson--I guess Royster's injury could cost him a spot to the impressive Keiland Williams' preseason but I think they believe he's their most natural runner and is more capable as a 20+carry per game back if he had to do it. I think Thompson is too much of a practice squad risk.....his potential as a speedy playmaker and potential returner is too enticing.
FB (1)--Darrell Young
TE (4)--Fred Davis, Logan Paulson, Jordan Reed, Niles Paul-- 4 tight ends has been the # since before camp started....nothing we've seen changes that.
OL (8)--Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Wil Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Tom Compton, Adam Gettis, Josh LeRibeus--LeRibeus reporting to camp in poor shape still puts him in some jeopardy. I don't think his draft status as a 3rd-rounder will make much difference in the decision so it won't shock me if they cut him. I think Pashos goes knowing they could probably get him back if needed.
NT (2)--Barry Cofield, Chris Neild
DE (4)--Stephen Bowen, Kedrick Golston, Chris Baker, Phillip Merling-- Jarvis Jenkins back after Week 5.
OLB (4)--Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Brandon Jenkins, Darryl Tapp-- Rob Jackson comes back Week 5.
ILB (4)--London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Nick Barnett, Brian Kehl-- Barnett gives them their only experienced back-up LB.
CB (6)--DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, David Amerson, EJ Biggers, Chase Minnifield, Jerome Murphy-- Murphy makes it after the injury to Crawford. He may have made it anyway.
S (5)--Brandon Merriweather, Reed Doughty, Baccari Rambo, DJ Gomes, Jordan Pugh-- If Gomes goes then it's Gumbs.
I think it's really hard for fans to learn a lot about a team's regular season prospects during the preseason but with Skins' camp opening up this Thursday, here's a short wish list.
1. RG3 returns to form. His health is obviously the #1 storyline entering camp and it'll be dissected by all forms of media moment by moment. His rookie season was so spectacular before the injury against Baltimore that I'd love to see him progress without any physical limitations in his second season. His rehab has been described so optimistically by so many people that expectations are for a full recovery in time for the season opener. We'll find out how right they were in 6-7 weeks.
2. they can get through camp with no serious injuries. While many will try to figure out how well guys like RG3, Orakpo, Davis and Merriweather are performing coming off surgeries, chief among wish list items for the coaches is getting as much of the roster through 40+ practices and 4 preseason games without any new ones.
3. the rookies can play. Players will tell you that it doesn't take long to figure out if a new guy can play.....let's hope guys like Amerson, Reed, Thomas, Rambo, Jenkins, etc., prove they were worth drafting. The salary cap penalties of the last two years have made drafting well even more important than usual. Griffin III, Morris, and Cousins lessened the pain of an $18 million hit last year; this year's group needs to do the same.
4. Forbath is for real. He went 17-18 last year with little expected, expectations are much higher now. While you don't learn much about offense and defense in preseason games, you can learn a lot about a kicker. A good solid 4-4 on field goals with no missed PATs in the preseason would keep his confidence and momentum rolling.
5. for no more RG3-related extracurricular drama. It would be nice if we don't hear from people close to him about how they think RG3 should run less or hear from Dr. Andrews about how superhuman he is or hear, see, or read anything controversial from places like Twitter and Instagram.
The Washington Redskins may not have much money to spend, but they sure are keeping us on the edge of our seats through three days of free agency. In case you have been sleeping under a rock, here's what has transpired.
The Redskins re-signed Inside Linebacker and special teams ace, Bryan Kehl to a one-year deal on Thursday afternoon. Kehl confirmed the deal to ESPN 980 just after he signed his contract to return.
Kehl spent part of the year with the Redskins last season. He was waived at the end of a very productive, standout training camp and preseason - only to be signed by the Kansas City Chiefs - who then waived him in November. Kehl was quickly claimed back by the Redskins. He was active for his first game back, on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants.
Kehl essentially replaces Lorenzo Alexander, who besides being an outstanding special teams captain, played various positions at linebacker, including some at inside linebacker and in a 3rd down pass rush specialist role - especially when Rob Jackson was elevated to the starting ROLB position.
Make no mistake -- Kehl is not Alexander on special teams, but he may be more proficient when on defense - simply because he has played the position more.
**Speaking of Alexander - the Redskins officially lost a large part of their heart and soul on Wednesday, when Alexander decided to join the Arizona Cardinals. Alexander told various members of the Redskins media that the team dramatically slashed the guaranteed bonus money they had offered on Monday and by Tuesday - Alexander faced the reality that he would have to walk away.
John Keim of the Washington Examiner wrote this on Wednesday night. http://washingtonexaminer.com/lorenzo-alexander-arizona-offered-more-guaranteed-cash/article/2524286
In a nutshell, a team spokesman denied what Alexander claimed, which is convenient for them to do. I find it hilarious that they chose to do this, when simply getting a confirmation of a widely reported move, is always met with a non-response.
The point is - basically by saying that part of Alexander's words were not true, the team was clearly saying that Alexander chose to leave for his own reasons, as opposed to a clear reduction in offer, as Alexander asserts.
Either way - it's sad to see it come down to that and I just have a hard time believing that Alexander is flat out lying to make the team look bad. Everybody knew it would be hard to bring him back, with an undefined market and a team that has been treated in completely unfair ways by the National Football League.
I wish the reported ugliness wasn't the apparent reality of the situation, but it appears that the separation comes in ugly fashion.
I will say this - Lorenzo Alexander is a better human being than a football player. He could joke around, and at times - you could tell he was tired and worn down. No doubt, your mind and body takes a beating in this sport.
He was the first Redskins player to truly welcome me to Redskins Park and allow me to do my job better. We quickly became pals, and he asked me to emcee his first annual "Ride to Provide" www.ridetoprovide.org bike event with Kedric Golston. I've done the event every year, and plan on doing it as long as Lorenzo still hosts the event.
I got to know Lorenzo a lot better than any other player over the last four years, as our families even had dinner one night in Williamsburg - when we were both on vacation in the same area. Lorenzo was the first person in the Redskins community that I sought the advice of when deciding to leave 106.7 to join ESPN 980.
Lorenzo would always ask how my family was, and I would do the same. At the very first "Ride to Provide" - he graciously allowed my kids to be up on stage with me during the festivities and to participate on the microphone. I have enjoyed the times I have been able to talk with his wife, a wonderful lady named Manjanique, and have seen his children grow up over the last 48 months.
Another example of the kind of guy Alexander is and will always be - he heard I was working all day long last Thanksgiving and invited me over to his home, for a dinner in between shifts. I chose not to attend to not overstep my boundaries, but that's not the point. There are the kind of things that I've never really talked about.
I can tell this process and dealing with the media pressure and the enormity of the decision has really taken a true toll. As a result, I have tried to give him some space and hope to be able to talk to him more when things calm down. In addition to all of this, for some reason the NFLPA decided to schedule some very important player rep meetings out of the country, so Alexander has been busy attending those and making the decision of a lifetime.
Lorenzo will be missed in the building, in the locker room and in the community perhaps even more. Even though, he will still spend time here and plans to make Virginia his post football home, make no mistake - it is a lot easier to have a greater impact when you are a member of the Redskins.
***One signing I somehow forgot to mention, was the inking of veteran right tackle Jeremy Trueblood, which pretty much closes the door on Tyler Polumbus returning. Polumbus is visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday, but while the Redskins had shown some interest in bringing him back - it was lukewarm at best.
They signed Tony Pashos on Monday, after a nasty looking foot injury last year. On Thursday, they made it 2 right tackles in four days. It will be one hell of a competition (maybe not) during camp a la Richmond, as the Redskins appear to be setting up a "Fatal 4-way" type match between Trueblood, Pashos, Maurice Hurt and Tom Compton.
***The Redskins are said to be pursuing stud cornerback Aqib Talib, formerly of the Tampa Bay Bucs and most recently of the New England Patriots. They may want to check out his Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqib_Talib and reverse course.
In case they don't want to do that -- here is a quick summary of Mr. Talib's not so friendly highlight package. He was suspended by the NFL for four games for adderall use in 2012, including when the Redskins played against the Bucs. He was then let go by Tampa, a team desperate for help in the secondary. He was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, before those charges were dropped.
Talib was also involved in a fight with a fellow rookie teammate in 2008, and just for good measure -- allegedly battered a taxi driver leading to a charge of resisting arrest and simple battery.
There is NO doubt that Talib is a supreme talent, as @UKRedskin1 (Mark Bullock) shows here, http://www.hogshaven.com/2013/3/14/4105916/film-breakdown-of-redskins-latest-signing-aqib-talib but when does the risk out-weigh the reward. On a team with NO margin for error, it's just not a chance I could ever take. Sorry. Not when I've been burned by Tanard Jackson, who also had a relationship with Raheem Morris, while coming to DC with a troubled past.
The difference between Jackson and Talib - is that Talib is going to cost a lot more money and has a documented history of violence and alleged violence, in addition to clearly not understanding what he can put in his body and what he can't. Jackson, had a history of issues with illegal substances. I do believe that a difference does exist. Don't you?
**Another possibility for the Redskins is Antoine Winfield. The veteran cornerback is very likely out of their price range, but a source did concede to ESPN 980 on Thursday, that a chance does indeed remain for the two sides to make a deal.
Winfield is 35, which would prevent any team from making a large contractual commitment - despite his high level of production. He's a three time Pro Bowler, and graded out as a + 25.5 in 1,057 snaps by ProFootballFocus.com.
If somehow the Redskins could convince Winfield that they will take better care of him financially next year, as opposed to this year - Winfield could decide to take a shot in the NFC East on a team that has a chance to go far in the playoffs.
Again, it would be very hard to fathom this concept, but if Winfield wants a chance to win - Washington might be a chance he takes.
***Could Fred Davis be heading home. The Ohio native is reportedly drawing heavy interest from both the Browns and the Redskins. As we know, the Redskins have very little money and the Browns have much more. My money is on the Browns as I have a difficult time believing that Drew Rosenhaus would let his client go from 5 plus million dollars a year (franchise tag) down to a much smaller pay level, even with the various issues (injury, suspension history) that Davis possesses.
If you missed our complete recap of Day one in free agency - just check out this http://redskins.espn980.com/bloggers/chris-russell/item/836-nfl-redskins-free-agency-blog to read about Kedric Golston, Sav Rocca, Adam Carriker, Santana Moss and more.
If you need a great laugh to break up the free agent monotony or how boring the college hoops are, check this out from good guy Rob Jackson http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/243a3de611/rob-jackson-s-st-paddy-s-day. Yes, ladies and gentlemen - your starting right outside linebacker perhaps just gave the Redskins some luck of the Irish in 2013.
Chris Russell // SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com // www.twitter.com/russellmania980
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have signed free agent tight end Chris Cooley. The team also placed tight end Fred Davis on its Reserve/Injured list.
Cooley (6-3, 243), the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions by a tight end, was released by the Redskins on Aug. 28, 2012. He spent his first eight seasons with the Redskins and posted 428 receptions for 4,703 yards and 33 receiving touchdowns.
Last season, Cooley became the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions by a tight end, surpassing Redskins legend Jerry Smith (421). Cooley’s 428 receptions rank 20th all-time by a tight end in league history.
Cooley holds four of the top five single-season reception totals by a tight end in team history, including recording at least 70 catches in 2005, 2008 and 2010.
Davis (6-4, 247) leads the team in receptions (24) and receiving yards (325) through seven games. In 2011, he established single-season highs in receptions (59) and receiving yards (796). The 796 yards were the fourth-most in a season by a tight end in Redskins history. During his five-year NFL career, Davis has recorded 155 receptions for 1,973 yards and 12
Four games, four nailbiters, this one shouldn't have been. The good, bad, and more.
RG3. I know it's only four games but it's official....he's the real deal. His two runs in the redzone in the first half are a perfect example of why the Redskins are so different offensively this year. They can score touchdowns. I know he fumbled on the first QB draw but did you see his acceleration and toughness! It's his arm, legs, smarts, toughness, it's everything. He's already the best player they've had here since....?? Now, was that penalty on Mark Barron in the first half for unnecessary roughness a BS call...for sure. It was almost like he was getting NBA superstar treatment on that play. His command and confidence are growing. The hardcount cadence drew at least one offsides penalty, may have been two. The final drive was poised and flawless...seemed that it was never in doubt. Finally, after a long wait, the Redskins have a quarterback and leader.
The offense. 474 total yards. Not nearly the total points they could've or should've had but that was a result of missed field goals and penalties. They are so hard to defend right now. RG3 threatens a defense in so many ways that preparation for the Redskins must be a bitch. Alfred Morris is a perfect fit and then some. He's a perfect zone-stretch runner. He's a perfect spread/zone-read runner. He's a perfect triple option fullback. Not bad for a 6th rounder. Thank goodness Skins' brass didn't succomb to the "do the right thing and let Donovan go" crowd. That 6th rounder back from Minnesota for McNabb is Alfred Morris. Additionally, the Skins finally have receivers who draw P.I. penalties and run after the catch. It's nice to see additional yards after a catch instead of the "catch and immediately fall down" move of recent vintage. BTW, it helped today that Trent Williams was back. He's easily a top 3-4 must-have player on this team and he led the offensive line to a very good day against a pretty good front 4.
The fullback and tight ends. Darrell Young has been and is currently a very underrated player on this team. He's a very good blocker. He can catch passes and make yards after the catch. He can run it too even though we haven't seen much of that this year. The tight ends (Davis and Paulson) have been very good the last two weeks. Paulson is a big-time blocker and Davis is catching everything and making big plays after the catch.
Ryan Kerrigan. Multiple pass deflections and a sack. Plus, a huge third-down stop on a screen late in the game with the Skins holding a 21-19 lead. He's very good, getting better, and has become a fixture on this list.
Billy Cundiff. He missed three kicks before barely making the game-winner. He looked like he was either going to cry or vomit on that final drive and actually looked terrified right before the final kick yet somehow he managed to get it through that left upright. I'd cut him and re-sign Rackers or Gano tomorrow. He can lead the league in touchbacks till the cows come home but his field goal kicking is going to cost them a game or two. The missed 57-yarder at the end of the first half really makes wonder what Shanahan was thinking in St. Louis. I know it's indoors versus outdoors but he was 3-5 yards short on that one today. His missed 31-yarder was brutal, the 41-yarder wasn't close, and I still can't for the life of me figure out why they signed him and cut Rackers and Gano.
Penalties. Too many big ones that resulted in drive killers. The clip on Montgomery killed the first drive of the 2nd half. The 15-yarder on Garcon killed the 2nd drive of the 2nd half. They got bailed out by some big calls against Tampa so things were evened out a bit but still, an offense that was humming stopped itself a few times in the 2nd half and missed opportunities to make this a no-sweat win.
3rd down conversions. They made 2 of 11and one of the two was the razzle-dazzle Banks-to RG3-to Niles Paul play. What's interesting is that it didn't really hurt them. They rolled up 27 more first downs for the game and are now near the conference lead with 98 first downs in 4 games.
1. Good clock mgt/questionable clock mgt. They did a nice job at the end of the first half being aggressive and using their last timeout to get the ball back. It gave them a chance on a long field goal attempt. With that said, they looked confused on the final play before the game-winning Cundiff kick. After the spike stopped the clock with 18 seconds left, Shanahan carried on a conversation with RG3 on the sideline as if he was in timeout mode. It cost them a frantic false start penalty and five yards. That five yards could've been the difference between win and loss. The next play was a 7-yard completion to Moss after which there seemed to be some confusion on the Skins sideline as to what to do next. They should've let the clock tick down to 3 seconds and made the field goal the final play of the game. Instead, they kicked it with 7 seconds leaving time for a potential miracle kickoff return.
2. The five yard penalty against Tampa on their 2-pt conversion was huge. It was the difference between a Skins' win and overtime.
3. It seems obvious to say that the pass coverage was bad in the 2nd half because of the numbers but I didn't think it was as bad as the last two weeks. Unlike the last two weeks, Skins' defenders were closer to making plays with the exception of that first long one to Williams that got Freeman going. I thought Freeman and Jackson in particular made some really good throws and catches.
4. Sav Rocca and the punt coverage team had a pretty good day.
5. The Redskins got bailed out of that horrible field position on their 2nd drive of the 2nd half by two huge plays. The first was the play that nearly ended in safety and the second was the next play which resulted in a late-hit on RG3 in the back of the end zone.
6. The 3rd and 9 stop before the go-ahead Bucs field goal by Wilson on Underwood was huge. Without it, the Bucs go-ahead field goal would've been a game-winning field goal.
7. RG3 needed to stick that ball out in front of the first-down marker on that key 3rd down with 3:45 left. Shanahan's challenge on that play was questionable.
8. Merriweather and Robinson getting hurt before the game....are you kidding me!
9. The Skins have won the turnover battle in all four games. They have just 2 turnovers on the season, tied for the best in the NFL.
Upon further review of Sunday's win over the Saints...
1. Alfred Morris was good but could've been slightly better. He ran hard and was physical at the point of attack. His 2nd touchdown in particular was impressive. He had great vision on most of his runs. With that said, he missed a few cutbacks that would've resulted in more yards. Not many, but a few. His 3.4 yards per carry isn't quite what Shanahan wants out of his running game. He's looking for something closer to 4.5 to 5. I'm surprised that Shanahan made it a point during his Monday press conference to say Morris was the starter moving forward. I'm suspicious and think he might give Royster and/or Helu more carries in St. Louis.
2. Kory Lichtensteiger's holding penalties were questionable. He had two of them and neither was obvious. Additionally, his mobility and dare I say it speed, are why the Shanahans love him. He was very good.
3. RG3's decision-making was interesting in a few cases. I wonder what the Shanahans think of some of the decisions he made. His across-the-field pass to Fred Davis on the first play of the 2nd quarter wasn't as easy as the wide-open bootleg dump-off in the flat to Darrell Young. A pass to Santana Moss later in the 2nd quarter for a first down looked like a play where running the ball or throwing a pass to Helu would've been easier and resulted in a first-down as well.
4. Their intention at the end of the first half WAS to score. Some have questioned why they weren't more aggressive on the drive that ended with the blocked punt. I think their intention was aggressive but with 1:46 left and the ball at their own 22, their first-down draw was bungled between RG3 and Royster resulting in a 2-yard loss. The Skins' 2-minute offense the past two years has almost always started with a draw or screen. I think the draw was the first play in their 2-minute drill but after the 2-yard loss, they turned conservative and decided to run clock, force the Saints to burn timeouts, and give it back to them if they couldn't make a first down running the ball. I AM surprised that after an 8-yd run from Royster to set up 3rd and 4 that they didn't throw the ball for the first down. At that point, there were still :52 seconds left and the Saints had two timeouts. Running the 3rd and 4 draw seemed a bit too conservative in that spot.
5. Jimmy Graham is the best tight end in football. He might be one of the best 5 to10 players in the game. At 6-7, 265, with incredible athleticsm, strength, and more importantly soft hands, Graham is the best at his position. He must be doubled and even then it's nearly impossible to stop him if Brees puts the ball up high. An amazing athlete and football player.
The names are certainly changing around Redskins Park these days.
Redskins Fan favorite and all-time franchise leader for receptions by a tight end (428) Chris Cooley was released yesterday. Fan favorite and 2nd in in all-time rushing yards (6,824) Clinton Portis finally officially retired last week.
In fact, in the four primary point producing positions: quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, and running back, the Redskins have a new quartet of faces - threel new to the franchise this year.
The new guard
Robert Griffin III - We all know about him of course, the rookie quarterback who doesn't talk or play like one and poised to be the franchise quarterback everybody wants him to be.
Pierre Garcon - The biggest pickup of the offseason in free agency, a proven commidity who honed his skills with one of the greats Peyton Manning. Garcon has been a frequent target of Griffin so far in preseason and looks primed and eager to relish the role of #1 receiver this season for the Redskins.
Fred Davis - Recently voted the offensive player of the 2011 year (despite his suspension) at the Redskins annual Welcome Home Luncheon, Davis is considered by many to be a Top 10 tight end talent. This season Davis will strive to cement himself as a true undisputed top tight end in the NFL.
Alfred Morris - That's right, 6th round draftee and rookie running back Alfred Morris is the fourth face on Mount Rushmore for Redskins' optimists. With Helu, Hightower, and Royster all dealing with injuries and rehab, Morris has taken advantage of the opportunity. Morris turns 2 yard stops into four yard gains. He falls forward. He bounces and spins. He used to be a linebacker and its apparent. It's too early to call right now, but Alfred Morris may be that late round nugget that the Redskins were looking for - and don't be surprised to see him as the starter for the beginning of the season as the other guys figure it out.
ASHBURN, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have signed unrestricted free agent cornerback Cedric Griffin and tight end Fred Davis signed his franchise tender. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Griffin (6-0, 203) spent his previous six NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings after being selected in the second round (48th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Texas. He has played in 80 regular season games, with 70 starts, and recorded 383 tackles, eight interceptions, 14 forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 58 passes defensed.
Last season, Griffin played in 16 games, with 14 starts, and registered 81 tackles, one interception, three forced fumbles and 11 passes defensed. That followed a 2010 campaign in which he was recognized by his teammates as the Vikings’ Ed Block Courage Award recipient, coming back from a torn ACL suffered during the 2009 NFC Championship Game.
In 2009, Griffin led the Vikings with a career-high four interceptions while starting all 16 regular season games and two postseason games. He had a career-high 100 tackles in 2008, playing in all 16 regular season games with 15 starts. He also started in his first playoff appearance and had the team’s only postseason interception.
Griffin was one of two defensive backs to start all 16 games for the Vikings in 2007 and scored his first career touchdown, taking a lateral of a fumble recovery 50 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. As a rookie, he appeared in 14 games, with seven starts, and earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against the Detroit Lions in Week 14 when he had an interception, forced fumble and fumble recovery.
Griffin played collegiately at Texas where he was a first-team All-Big 12 selection as a senior and a member of the 2005 Longhorns National Championship team. Griffin attended Oliver Wendell Holmes H.S. in San Antonio.
Davis, 26, returns after a career season in which he established single-season highs in receptions (59) and receiving yards (796). The 796 yards were the fourth-most in a season by a tight end in Redskins history. During his four-year NFL career, Davis has recorded 131 receptions for 1,648 yards and 12 touchdowns.