Category Archives: Snyder Sucks

The 15 Best-Worst Parts From Football Outsiders’ 2015 Redskins Preview

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This has been a rough week for the Redskins, what with RGIII blaming the media for quoting him accurately and Jay Gruden leaving his franchise QB out there to die. But the thing is, it was pretty rough already. Case in point, read the highlights from Mike Tanier’s (@MikeTanier) excellent Redskins essay in this year’s Football Outsiders Almanac.

I’ve pulled out 15 parts from it (see below), and totally encourage you to buy the book, which I’ve done every summer for nearly a decade. It’s a great resource for A) knowing about the NFL in general on a deeper level, B) getting a handle on expected performance for skill position/fantasy players and C) realizing just how incredibly shitty your favorite team is relative to all of the others. Enjoy.

1. “Checking back in on the Redskins after a few months away is like returning home for your high school reunion and discovering that no one has changed.”

2. “The three-headed quarterback controversy, the closest thing science will ever create to a perpetual motion machine, is back … Jay Gruden, who ended every press conference in his rookie season as head coach by stepping on a rake and thwapping himself in the head, is also back. Dan Snyder is back, because owners cannot be fired.”

3. “The Redskins used to make the same mistake every year. Now they spend three years prolonging the same mistake. It’s a subtle difference.”

4. “A December article on [new GM Scot] McCloughan by ESPN The Magazine’s Seth Wickersham became the defining source text for McCloughan. Unemployed at the time of Wickersham’s profile, McCloughan suddenly became a buzzy name in media and fan circles. Snyder may well have had McCloughan on
his radar before the article was published, but if there is any owner in the NFL likely to hire a new general manager based on something he read in a magazine, it’s Snyder.”

5. “With Griffin in a state of arrested development, the Redskins have virtually nothing to show for three consecutive drafts except Alfred Morris and some oft-injured peripherals like [Jordan] Reed.”

6. “While division rivals acquired instant difference makers like Odell Beckham and Zack Martin in last year’s draft, the Redskins sat out the first round, then grabbed a pair of prospects so unimpressive (Trent Murphy and Morgan Moses) that they doubled down at the same positions this year.”

7. “With minimal star power and an almost complete dearth of mid-tier talent, the 2014 Redskins finished 27th or lower in DVOA on offense, defense, special teams, passing offense, passing defense, adjusted sack rank on offense, and a wide variety of split categories.”

8. “The veteran [free agency signings] will help the Redskins become more competitive, but many of the acquisitions were the kind an expansion team makes just to prevent weekly embarrassment.”

9. “There’s not a playoff-caliber unit on the depth chart, and there’s a lingering sense of dysfunctionality between the underwater-mortgage quarterback and the coach who was supposed to breathe fresh air into the organization but spent 2014 recycling the previous year’s lingering odor.”

10. “Every day in the offseason, Gruden woke, brushed his teeth, perhaps savored a soft-boiled egg, then announced to the Washington media that Robert Griffin is still the Redskins quarterback, as of right now. It was like entering the codes on Lost: if Gruden did not reaffirm Griffin’s status daily, complete with a passive-aggressive undermining clause at the end of the sentence (if the season started today, if he continues to make progress, If Robert and I were the last two humans on earth), the global infrastructure would crumble.”

11. “Gruden managed his three quarterbacks last year as if he was taking requests from message board trolls.”

12. “Gruden coached the end of the [Week 15 Giants] game like he was the Madden AI, not an intelligent adult whose decisions are supposed to achieve some kind of comprehensible goal.”

13. “Griffin now has the footwork of a newborn baby deer, with legs sprawling in all directions when he attempts basic maneuvers in or out of the pocket. His stat sheet for 2014 was like a straw-man argument against completion percentage as a measure of quality. Griffin completed 68.7 percent of his passes, which would rank in the all-time top 20 if he had played a little more. But Griffin led the NFL in failed completion rate: exactly one-third (47 of 149) of his completions were essentially useless.”

14. “[New offensive line coach Bill] Callahan has the resume of an interim head coach if Snyder and McCloughan decide enough is enough after Thanksgiving.”

15. “All teams rely on multiple coaches, players and execs for success, of course. Only Washington is relying on so many people with an obvious capacity for failure.”

How Many Decent Players Do The Redskins Actually Have?

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This is an inexact tally, but if you care to see what new Redskins GM/recovering alcoholic/personnel guru/light beer drinker Scot McCloughlan has to work with, carry on.

What we’re trying to determine is how many players on the Redskins roster are legitimate NFL starters. In this case, that means they’re at least in the top half of starters at their position in the league. Meaning, if Robert Griffin III is one of the 16 best QBs, then he’s considered to be decent. If he is not, then he’s not. (Spoiler: He’s not.)

To help us figure this out we asked three national NFL writers for their take on the matter. They are Michael David Smith from Pro Football Talk, Bill Barnwell from Grantland and Will Brinson from CBS Sports. We thank them for their time. Here’s what they said …

1. Trent Williams (LT)

“Above average. I’m not as high on him as some people are — I wouldn’t put him in the Top 5 — but he’s certainly in the Top 16 left tackles in the NFL.” — MDS

Top five in the league at his position. — Barnwell

“Easiest guy on the list to say above average for between his talent and the lack of great offensive linemen.” — Brinson

Verdict: Way above average.

2. DeSean Jackson (WR)

“Way, way above average. Elite talent. Not sure I’ve ever seen a WR just keep making big plays no matter who his QB is the way Jackson does. Eagles would’ve been in the playoffs this year if they’d kept him.” — MDS

Above average, at least. — Barnwell

“Surprisingly good year for DeSean considering their terrible season; there aren’t many wideouts like him in the league.” — Brinson

Verdict: Way above average.

3. Ryan Kerrigan (OLB)

“Above average. Sack numbers are a little inflated by one big game against a terrible Jaguars offense, but he’s a good player.” — MDS

Above average. Not quite top five at his position. — Barnwell

“Definitely above average. Winning on the field.” — Brinson

Verdict: Way above average.

4. Tress Way (P)

“There are better people than me to analyze punters but from my observations I’d say average. Kicks it far but too returnable — looks like he sacrifices hang time for length, which makes it harder on his coverage units. I feel like he has the talent to be above average but a better special teams coach needs to get him more in tune with how to kick a less returnable ball.” — MDS

Average to above average. — Barnwell

“Statistically above average!” — Brinson

Verdict: Above average.

5. Alfred Morris (RB)

“Average. Just looked up his Football Outsiders stats. Almost exactly league average DVOA two years in a row. About right with what my eyes tell me.” — MDS

Average to above average, at least. — Barnwell

“Isn’t versatile or dynamic but he’s underrated and consistent. Had 1,000 yards. The 16th leading rusher in the NFL, Russell Wilson, had 849 yards.” — Brinson

Verdict: Average.

6. Pierre Garcon (WR)

“Average. Was overrated in 2013, caught a lot of passes but didn’t make the most of his opportunities.” — MDS

Below average. — Barnwell

“Someone had to suffer after two dudes with 1,300 yards last year joined forces. Feel like he’s an above average WR2.” — Brinson

Verdict: Average.

7. Jordan Reed (TE)

“Average overall. a little above average as a receiver, a little below average as a blocker.” — MDS

Below average. — Barnwell

“Has the talent to be above average, I think it would be close if you broke down the top 16 tight ends.” — Brinson

Verdict: Average.

8. Kory Lichtensteiger (C)

“Above average. Good run blocker. OK pass blocker.” — MDS

Below average. — Barnwell

“Almost definitely maybe above average.” — Brinson

Verdict: Average.

9. Darrel Young (FB)

“Above average. Fullback is a dying position but with the limited stuff an NFL fullback is asked to do these days, he’s better at it than most.” — MDS

Below average. — Barnwell

Verdict: Average.

10. Keenan Robinson (MLB)

“Average in 2014 but trending in the right direction. If he’s healthy I bet he’ll be an above-average player in 2015.” — MDS

Below average. — Barnwell

Verdict: Slightly below average.

11. Chris Baker (DT)

“Average. One of those big guys you need in the middle but doesn’t make many splash plays.” — MDS

Below average. — Barnwell

Verdict: Slightly below average.

12. Bashaud Breeland (CB)

“Below average. I didn’t see anyone playing even average in the Washington secondary this season.” — MDS

Below average. — Barnwell

Verdict: Below average.

That’s it. Only 12 Redskins players even made it into the conversation. Of those 12, only nine came out average or better. Of those nine, excluding punters, only three were clearly above average at their position and only one plays defense.

Who knows what these numbers look like for a good team, or even an average team. All of which is to say, please join us in welcoming Scot McCloughlan.

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Note: We didn’t include Brian Orakpo here, because his contract is up, and we don’t expect him to return. And didn’t include DeAngelo Hall because, well, we forgot about D-Hall. Sorry, dude.

17 Redskins Sponsors You Can Try To Live Without

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At this point, I think the only thing we can do as Redskins fans to affect change is to A) switch teams or B) stop giving the team money.

With regard to Option A, I’ve tried to adopt my home state Panthers as a favorite team in-waiting. Of course, they’re on a five-game losing streak, with the latest loss coming on a pair of misses from ex-Redskins kicker Graham Gano. So that’s going well.

With regard to Option B, most of us stopped going to games and buying merch long ago. The last game I went to at FedEx was JMU-West Virginia, over two years ago. And I can’t remember the last bit of Redskins apparel I purchased, though my wife did get me RGIII socks for Christmas 2012. (“Unbelievably Believable” had a different meaning then.)

So, what do we do? We could quit the team, but that doesn’t feel right. Or we could hit Dan Snyder in the wallet, where it hurts.

To that end, here’s a list of Redskins corporate sponsors* to consider boycotting. Who knows how much it’ll help, but it’s stuff like this that forces Snyder to consider two options of his own: A) sell the team or B) at least put a real football mind in charge.

*This list is incomplete and some of the companies may not be active sponsors. Our apologies for the revenue shortage they’re about to experience.

1. Harris Teeter — Between Giant, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc., this shouldn’t be hard. (If it’s the complimentary sugar cookies you want, feel free to swing by and dip your fingers into that little germ-riddled plastic box.)

2. FedEx — Do people still ship things? LAME.

3. Bank of America — There are other, perhaps less American banks.

4. Coca-Cola — It’s gut rot anyway.

5. Papa John’s — Miss you already, garlic sauce.

Continue reading 17 Redskins Sponsors You Can Try To Live Without

Dan Snyder Is Hardline On Redskins Name Change, Even By 1972 Standards

Dan Steinberg did the good service of curating 40-plus-year-old newspaper clips about the Redskins name-change issue. While the material rings familiar to those following the modern debate, which is kind of the point, this bit is noticeably different.

In response to protests from American Indian groups, then-owner Edward Bennett Williams modified the more cloying lyrics to “Hail to the Redskins” and changed “psuedo-Indian” outfits the Redskinettes wore at the time. He also had this to say:

“All the reaction I’ve received on the nickname question has been unsympathetic to the protesting Indian groups. We would not carry a symbol offensive to any group. No one has persuaded me that the Redskins, as a symbol of our football team, is offensive.”

“Had I been persuaded,” Williams added, “we would have taken action accordingly.”

Williams stressed that he doesn’t have a “closed mind” on the subject.

That was 1972. Now, contrast it with what Dan Snyder told USA TODAY Sports last year:

“We will never change the name of the team. As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season.”

What if his football team loses an ongoing federal trademark lawsuit? Would he consider changing it then?

“We’ll never change the name,” he said. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

Seasons change, as do owners. The name does not.

Champ Bailey Seems To Really Miss Being A Redskin

If you follow @Redskins on Twitter, then you understand it is a national treasure. Most of the content in its feed attempts to spin the overwhelming negativity around the organization into something worth our time and money. Today, we got a prime example when this tweet went out:

“See, guys! We once drafted good players! Bet we could again someday, huh?!” But really, it’s nothing abnormal. Slightly sad and pathetic that the team is tracking the successes of former Redskins who go on to bigger and better things, but again, nothing abnormal for @Redskins. Then I read the article it is promoting. And boy oh boy:

“Leaving the Redskins was the best thing to happen to my career. I wouldn’t be here if that hadn’t happened.”

“But things just didn’t work out and I was blessed to go to an even better organization with the Broncos. That was probably the best thing to happen for my career because I’ve been in a good place, a good city, and have worked for some of the best people in the world.”

So, to summarize, leaving the Redskins was the best thing to ever happen to Champ Bailey because he went to a better organization. Seems pretty cut and dry. Because that’s exactly what he said. But Gabe Hiatt, official Redskins team blogger, didn’t see it that way:

In fairness to Bailey, I think he was showing love to his employer of the past 10 years rather than throwing shade on the club that drafted him.

Kinda like how they claim the Redskins team name isn’t “throwing shade” on an entire race of people, you see. [/rimshot] [but seriously, they do this]

Who Wants A Bigass Mega-Sports Dome To Replace RFK?

Well, this sounds sufficiently insane:

[D.C.] councilmember Vincent Orange (D-At Large) introduced a bill today that would explore the possibility of tearing down RFK Stadium and transforming it into a massive sports and entertainment complex.

The proposed bill […] would require the mayor to “conduct a feasibility study of the acquisition and the development” of RFK Stadium, as well as surrounding areas including Stadium-Armory and the Langston Golf Course. These areas would be revamped and turned into a 100,000-seat domed stadium complex, an 18-hole PGA championship golf course, a multimedia soundstage, the Ellsworth J. Davis Film and Photography Center, an indoor waterpark, and a hotel complex.

Seems like kind of a drastic response to allegations that the FedEx Field turf is to blame for RGIII’s knee, but I’m sure Danny Boy cherishes the thought of one-upping his dear friend down in Dallas.