Redskins-Browns Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games, this time a 24-23 preseason THRILLER against Cleveland.

Cleveland Browns v Washington Redskins

WINNERS

Ryan Kerrigan. Recorded a sack on the first play from scrimmage, added another later in the game on Johnny Manziel, which led to Brian Orakpo doing this.

Ryan Grant. He continues his impressive camp/preseason with four catches and a touchdown. Looking more and more like a lock to make the roster.

DeSean Jackson. A couple catches for 34 yards, including one in which he turned a four-yard gain into an 11-yard first down reception. I’m so excited to watch him this season.

Andre Roberts. Two catches, including the 49-yard over-the-shoulder reception on a perfectly placed bomb from RGIII.

Bashaud Breeland. Seems like a fairly bad man.

Evan Royster. Nice 24-yard catch-and-run, followed up with a two-yard touchdown carry. Both will help his hopes of making the team.

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11 Redskins Fans Who Think Colt McCoy Is Better Than RGIII

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1) Redskins fans, and all NFL fans, really, tend to overreact to preseason games.

2) You don’t have to look very hard on Twitter to find people saying dumb things.

With that, let’s check out what the social media buzz was all about last night as Washington beat New England, 23-6, with third-string QB Colt McCoy leading the way …

Kinda Funny but Treading Lightly

Not Entirely Unreasonable but Still Silly

Quickly Diving Into the Deep End of the Idiot Pool

Incredibly Dense and Also Lacking Originality

This is how Preseason Hall of Famers are made, people.

Redskins-Patriots Winners & Losers

Handing out labels after Skins games, this time a 23-6 preseason win against the Patriots. Yayyyyy football! Booooooo preseason! Via @BurgundyBlog, let’s all yawn at preseason along with Santana Moss.

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Winners

Redskins Running Backs — Originally I had them all listed separately, but that seems silly, for the most part. The RBs rushed the ball 42 times for  177 yards, a solid 4.0 average. Alfred Morris looked trucklike and Morris-y in deliberately limited action. Roy Helu Jr. looked like a more-than-capable #2. Evan Royster looked unremarkable, and bizarre in a #26 jersey. (Every true Redskins fan knows that will always belong to Ifeanyi Ohalete.) Chris Thompson continues to look more like Brandon Banks and less like Darren Sproles. And then there were the two new guys.

Lache Seastrunk — Looked every bit as electric as advertised, rushing 12 times for 63 yards (admittedly against New England’s 11th-string defense).

Silas Redd – Wearing the #24 jersey of preseason legend Marcus Mason, Redd took 9 carries for 45 yards and added 2 catches for 18 yards. Running back is looking crowded this year.

Colt McCoy — Wearing the #16 jersey of Redskins preseason legend Babe Laufenberg and the first name of Redskins preseason legend Colt Brennan, McCoy is a strong front-runner candidate for “player that some idiot fan will advocate for ahead of an actual top-line starter”. (Ed. note — And also the Redskins Preseason HOF!) Continue reading

Jordan Zimmermann, The Quiet Ace In Hand

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I tend to overlook ZNN because he’s been here, and he wasn’t a big draft pick or acquisition to begin with. He has just pitched his ass off ever since arriving for good four years ago.

Aiding the invisibility is the fact that he’s been remarkably consistent along the way …

*ERA 2010-13: 3.18, 2.94, 3.25, 3.00
*WHIP ’10-13: 1.15, 1.17, 1.09, 1.17
*K/BB ’10-13: 4.0, 3.6, 4.0, 5.8

If you look at that last number, this year is actually a bit of a breakout. He’s posting career bests in both strikeout rate (8.3 K/9) and walk rate (1.4 BB/9). Neat trick.

Zimmermann, 28, is a Nat through 2015. I imagine he’ll be overlooked no more.

Just A Great Super Bowl XXII Photograph

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Shared months ago by Mr. Irrelevant Maryland sports correspondent Andy Peden and found in my inbox moments ago is this lovely gem. Here’s the quick backstory:

It was taken postgame of Super Bowl XXII in a bar in San Diego. The four guys in jackets were singers in the Redskins band. The dude in front was a local who was a Skins fan. This is what a Super Bowl victory celebration looks like. Glorious!

You’ll recall that game was played in San Diego and Doug Williams went off en route to a 42-10 victory over Denver. What I don’t recall, or was perhaps unaware of, is that the Redskins band had singers.

I want to believe this is true, and I also want that gentleman’s Doug Williams T-shirt.

Manny Machado Has An Arm He’d Like To Show Off

On Wednesday night, Manny Machado did this to Albert Pujols:

It was an amazing play, and one we’ve come to expect from Manny. But just to prove it was no fluke, he did it again last night. And again, it was against Albert Pujols:

Both were incredible, and both throws came from about 10 feet into foul territory:

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But what really made the second one special was Manny doing this:

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There’s a man running to first base with no outs in a tie game in the 11th inning, and Manny Machado, about half a football field away from first base, is gonna take a moment to check out the baseball, gather himself, get his grip right, and then throw the runner out. I can’t wait to watch him do this for the next 15 years.

(GIF via @cjzero)

The Nats And O’s Just Made Themselves Better

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A quick post to share my thoughts and gather your own …

The Nats got 28-year-old shortstop/2B (and two-time All-Star!) Asdrubal Cabrera from Cleveland for middling infield prospect Zach Walters, who’s almost 25 himself. He’s a slight-but-clear upgrade over Espinosa at second until Zimmerman comes back, if Zim comes back. He’s also a rental, seeing as how he’ll hit free agency this fall.

The O’s got 29-year-old badass lefty reliever Andrew Miller from Boston for decent lefty SP prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. Miller’s ERA has been below 3.00 and his K/9 IP above 14 each of the past two seasons. Yes, please. Like Cabrera, his contract is up at the end of the year. Fangraphs has a good breakdown.

Walters and Rodriguez may pan out elsewhere, but it’s not worth fretting over. It’s July 31st, the Nats and O’s are in first place, and they’re now at least marginally better for a World Series run. Carpe diem.

Redskins Only Have One Guy On Grantland’s All-Bad Contracts Team

Going back to the Bill Barnwell:

Defensive Tackle: Jason Hatcher, Washington
Contract Flaw: Paying for the Outlier; System Guy Out of System

Hatcher had spent years as a backup 3-4 end in Dallas before 2013, in which two key things happened: The Cowboys moved to a 4-3 defense, and they hired defensive line guru Rod Marinelli to coach their linemen. Hatcher kicked inside to tackle and had an enormous year as an interior pass-rusher, leading a disappointing Cowboys defense with 11 sacks. He’d had just 16 sacks across his previous seven seasons. Washington, exhibiting its usual wisdom, saw this and signed the 32-year-old Hatcher to a four-year, $27.5 million deal in which he will once again become a 3-4 defensive end more than a thousand miles away from Marinelli’s tutelage. And even that might be generous; Hatcher will miss part of training camp after having his knee scoped.

Not the most promising start to Hatcher’s time in D.C.

RGIII Is Still Here, You Guys

Griffining Pose

It’s easy to forget, after the devastating knee injury and nightmarish sophomore season, just how valuable Robert Griffin III remains and how brilliant he can be. Here with a reminder, from his annual trade value column, is Grantland’s Bill Barnwell:

15. Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington

This is the player with the biggest gap between his ceiling and floor, right? The floor is Griffin suffering another knee injury that would make his issues (both in terms of physical fitness and ability to avoid hits) critical and evaporate his value. The ceiling? I mean, you can make a case that Griffin was the best quarterback in the league on a per-play basis as a rookie. He was fifth in completion percentage, first in yards per attempt and interception percentage, fifth in QBR … and that was with Josh Morgan and Logan Paulsen as two of his starting pass-catchers. He replaces those two in 2014 with DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed. The wild card: new offensive coordinator Sean McVay, infuriatingly just 28 years old. Anything is possible from here.

I added a little emphasis on that bit about his rookie season, because I think people forget, if they even knew to begin with. In a league featuring Manning and Brady and Brees and Rodgers, rookie RGIII may have been the best of the bunch. As an added bonus, the Redskins won the division!

That seems like ancient history. It was a year and a half ago.

Mr. Irrelevant is a D.C. sports blog covering the Redskins, Nationals, Orioles, Wizards, Capitals, Terrapins and more.