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#ICYMI, Here is Bryce Harper's New 'This Is SportsCenter' Commercial

One of the few occasions when it is okay for a grown man to cry like an hungry infant is when watching the 1989 cinematic classic Field of Dreams.  Any guy that ever played a game of catch with their old man as a kid probably blubbered uncontrollably through this movie (that includes me).

Even hardened dudes like Bryce Harper get choked up for it. Good thing his signature smeared eye black toughens up his appearance a little bit.

Teddy Roosevelt Raids Vending Machine In New SportsCenter Commerical

Courtesy of AwfulAnnouncing.com

Apparently I am late to the party because this commercial debuted a couple weeks ago. Saw it for the first time today at work during my lunch break and almost choked laughing on the corner of a Wendy's burger.

ESPN anchor Kevin Negandhi is showing off the Universal Remote that controls ESPN's brand new George Jetson-esque all digital set to Hannah Storm. But all does not go to plan.

My main man Teddy may not win many President's Races down at Nats Park, but he scoops up those Jumbo Buns LIKE A BOSS.

Why Were RGIII & Johnny Football Taking Selfies Together?

Maybe they were watching the USA v. Belgium game. A far more likely guess would they were shooting a commercial or something. Manziel's #HeismanHouse hashtag, the framed photos of past football legends and the fact that Griffin and Manziel were both Heisman winners recently lead me to believe it was one of those ESPN/Nissan spots. 

And for a guy that has taken a lot of heat recently because of the party pictures doing dumb shit in Vegas or hanging with Justin Bieber, Floyd Mayweather and his merry band of douchebags, this pic is one the harshest Manziel critic couldn't have a problem with. 

Reports: Wizards to Re-Sign Marcin Gortat

It appears that the Polish Hammer will be delivering more Foreign Facials in the Nation's Capital next season.

Per Dianna Marie Russini, the Wizards have re-signed center Marcin Gortat here on the first day of NBA free agency.

The 30-year-old almost averaged a double-double per game with 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds in 32.8 minutes.

 Gortat became a key figure in Washington's postseason run, including a 31 point, 16 rebounds effort in game 5 versus the Pacers. He shot 86.7 percent from the field that game, the highest ever in NBA playoff history in a 30-point, 15-rebound performance. 

Per Russini, one other team had submitted an offer to Gortat.

Side note: Don't Google Image Foreign Facials, especially not at work.

UPDATE: Per Ardian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Gortat's deal is worth $60 million over five years. 


DeSean Jackson On The Cover of ESPN The Magazine

When ESPN the Magazine releases its "Comeback Issue" on July 7th, it will feature the newest Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson will be on the cover.

ESPN the Magazine is referring to Jackson's comeback from being released unceremoniously by the Eagles just days after gang related rumors surfaced.: "From rumors to released to redeemed (by a new $24 million deal) in 6 days." 

Personally, it don't see how its a "Comeback" considering he set career highs in several stats last year, but still cool nonetheless.

Last year, two DC athletes graced the cover of ESPN the Magazine; Robert Griffin III and Bryce Harper both were ESPN cover boys last May to commemorate their 15 year anniversary

Bryce Harper Last Night for the P-Nats...

Nationals star outfielder Bryce Harper is still on the mend, recovering from a thumb injury that has kept him out of the lineup since late April.

Photo courtesy of USATSI

The Nationals are expecting him back in the majors within the week, but he a rehab start with the team's Single 'A' affiliate Potomac Nationals last night.

And quite a night he had, going 2-3 with two walks. Oh yeah, one of the hits was a ball that he CRUSHED. Watch the video below, it probably cleared the already-towering center field wall by 15 feet (Rumor has it the ball landed in Bethesda)

In case you're wondering, the P-Nats beat the Salem Red Sox 10-1

The 7 Most Gut-Wrenching Losses in DMV Sports History

Any red-blooded American who has any remote interest in sports has been paying attention to the World Cup. So of course, with less than a minute to go in Sunday's game versus Portugal, with a guaranteed trip to the round of 16 in the balance, the equalizing goal to tie the game 2-2 had to feel like a swift kick to the nether-region.

Being a fan of the local sports teams, having the thrill of victory replaced with the agony of defeat is a familiar feeling.

That got me to thinking, "Wow, this sort of thing happens all the damn time, doesn't it."

After taking a second to think about it, I realized that not only does it happen often, but it happens on the biggest stages and to our biggest rivals. So I picked the most gut-wrenching losses for the major local teams and ranked them 1-7. Try not to throw up.

7. Redskins - "Aikman to Rocket" Cowboys 41, Redskins 35 (OT), September, 12, 1999.

It was a most fitting finish to Daniel Snyder’s first game as Redskins’ team owner.

 It the 20+ years that I’ve been a fan of the Washington football team, I have never seen a better played 45 minutes of football, immediately followed by a worse 20. Even to this day, mired in 23 years of general ineptitude, I can’t remember being more sick than I was on this day. 

Behind a re-tooled offense behind QB Brad Johnson and RB Stephen Davis, the Redskins flexed their muscle against arch rival/defending NFC East Champ Cowboys, jumping out at a 35-14 fourth quarter lead and appeared to have the contest well in hand.

Then Cowboys woke up, decided to stop BSing and scored three touchdowns in the final 11 minutes of regulation. The Redskins were dominated in the fourth quarter, making just three first downs to Dallas' 16, with the Cowboys controlling the ball for 11:15 to Washington's 3:45.

Two future Hall of Famers in Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin connected on the equalizing score with 1:50 remaining to send the game to overtime.

The game ended less than five minutes into the extra period when Aikman hit Rocket Ismail streaking through the Redskins secondary for a 76-yard touchdown.

The miraculous victory was the fifth of an eventual 10-straght wins that the Cowboys would take from the Redskins.

 

 6. Capitals - "The Longest Game in Caps Playoff History" Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 4, Penguins 3, Capitals 2 (4 OT) April 24, 1996

 For our younger Capitals fans, know that this rivalry existed well before Alexander Ovechkin v. Sidney Crosby was a thing. No, the Penguins have been kicking the Capitals butts for almost two decades now, each playoff exit more disappointing than the last. But no loss was worse than Game 4 over the 1996 East quarterfinals.

After stealing Games 1 & 2 in Pittsburgh, the Caps returned to the friendly convinces of the US Airways Arena with the chance to sweep the rivaled Pens out of the playoffs. After losing a heartbreaker 2-1 in Game 3, Washington and Pittsburgh had one of the most epic playoff games in NHL history.

The two teams skated until well past 2 AM ET (my parents didn’t let me stay up to watch the end). The game lasted 79 game minutes past regulation. It was the longest playoff game in Capitals history and still is currently the 5th longest game in NHL history. The Capitals had many chances to put the visiting Pens away, including a penalty shot by Joey Juneau in the 2nd OT, but was stopped by Pittsburgh goalie Ken Wregget.

44 seconds from going to a 8th period, Petr Nedved slapped a one-timer past Olaf Kolzig to give the Penguins the win, and eventually the series. In a lot of ways, the Penguins have owned the Capitals since that series almost 20 years ago.

 

5. Wizards – “Don’t Miss This, Or You’re Going Home” Cavaliers 114, Wizards 113 (OT), May 5, 2006

LeBron James is easily one of the most polarizing figures in sport. Many basketball fans, especially in the DMV, don’t care much for King James for one reason or another. I don’t know about anyone else, but the genesis of my hated for him comes from this game.

Down 3-2 in the Eastern quarterfinals, the Wizards had a chance to send the series back to Cleveland for a decisive Game 7. Up a point, all Gilbert Arenas had to do was sink two free throws at the end of overtime to seal the victory (Arenas shot 82% from the FT line that year).

After missing the first, James casually walks up to Arenas, leans in, whispers something in his ear, and continues to walk towards halfcourt. Arenas, visibaly shaken from the comment, ended up missing the second free throw, giving Cleveland the chance to win.

But in typical Wizards heartbreaking fashion, Damon Jones nailed a shot to give the Cavaliers the game and the series. Urban legend says that LeBron whispered, “Don’t Miss This, Or You’re Going Home.”

And as big of a Douchlord as LeBron James is, he was right. DAGGER! *Steve Buckhantz voice*


4. Orioles – “The Jeffrey Maier Game” ALCS Game 1, Yankees 5, Orioles 4 (11 innings) October 9, 1996

 Almost twenty years after this infamous play sent two franchises in opposite ends of the baseball success spectrum, I still can’t help but wonder what could’ve happened if 12-year old Jeffrey Maier never intervened.

Up a run in the bottom of the eighth, the O’s only needed to hold on one more inning to steal Game One of the ALCS from the Bronx Bombers (Baltimore would win Game 2, so a 2-0 series lead heading back to Camden Yards was attainable). But when Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter’s warning track ball was snatched from the outstretched glove of right fielder Tony Tarasco by Maier and counted as a home run, the Yankees were able to tied the game and send it into extras. Bernie Williams would hit a walk-off homer in the 11th and New York, stealing Game 1 and eventually won the series 4-1.

The Yankees went on to win the World Series and have won four more since. The Orioles still haven’t reached the World Series since 1983.



3. Nationals - "Drew Storen’s Meltdown" NLDS Game 5, Cardinals 9, Nationals 7, October 12, 2012 

One second, I’m standing on a table at Caddies in Bethesda buying victory rounds for anyone within the bartender’s reach. The next, I’m sitting with my girlfriend in cab home, hands in palms, with an enormous consolation bar tab. I mean, who gives up a 6-0 first inning lead? The Nats do, that’s who.

Even after teeing off on one of the NL’s best pitchers that year in Adam Wainwright, scoring three in the first and another three in the third, the Nationals could not close the door on the Cardinals, allowing them to hanging around.

Leading 7-6 with two outs and in the top of the ninth, pitcher Drew Storen was twice one strike away from sending the Nats to the Championship Series, but couldn’t deliver. A clutch opposite field single by Pete Kozma capped a four-run ninth inning for St. Louis and delivered a blow that Washington couldn’t’ overcome. The Cards took the game 9-7, and the series 3-2.


2. Ravens - "Cundiff's Miss" AFC Championship Game, Patriots 23, Ravens 20, January 22, 2012.

I remember watching this game at Mad River in Baltimore’s Federal Hill. I don’t make my hatred of the Ravens a secret. In fact, trolling that team up I-95 that wears Purple and Black is one of my favorite pastimes. But a fool I am not and being the lone Redskins fan in a bar full of angry, near-homicidal Balti-morons in not a pleasant place to be, let me tell ya. Especially when their kicker just crapped the bed on a chip-shot to cost them a trip to the Super Bowl

The Ravens’ defense turned in a stifling effort, limiting Patriots QB Tom Brady to just 239 yards passing and holding him without a touchdown pass for the first time in 36 games.

Driving late and trailing by just three, the Ravens appeared to take the lead when WR Lee Evans made an acrobatic catch in the back of the end zone, but the call was overturned. Two plays later, kicker Billy Cundiff (who, by the way, was 16 of his last 16 in fourth quarter field goals) did his best Ray Finkel impression missing a 32-yarder badly wide left. The Patriots ran out the clock and advanced to the Super Bowl.


Ravens fans were none too pleased. [NSFW]


1. Maryland – “Gone In Sixty Seconds” Duke 98, Maryland 96 (OT), January 27, 2001

This is easily the winner. This was, and still is, the only Maryland v. Duke game I had the honor to attend. The looks on the faces of the red, yellow & white clad, crowd were those of absolutely mortification. The word mortification probably doesn’t even do it justice. Just sheer disbelief. Considering that it was Duke and when you consider the names on that Blue Devil roster (Jason Williams, Shane Battier, Mike Dunleavy and Carlos Boozer are all taboo words in my household) only made the complete collapse by Maryland that much worse. Of all the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching losses on this list, this has got to be the one that still makes my head hurt to this day.

In the first of four of Maryland-Duke games that season (Maryland beat Duke in Cameron Field House a month later, Duke beat Maryland in the ACC semifinals and again the Final Four), the 8th ranked Terrapins led the 2nd ranked Blue Devils 90-80 with :54 seconds left. Chants of OV-ER-RATE-ED rained from the capacity crowd as a win (and a night of partying at Cornerstone, I’m sure) was well within reach.

Then came the sh*tstorm to end all sh*tstorms. Bad possession after bad possession one after another, littered with turnovers, bad shots and missed free throws for Maryland. An unkind rim all over the sudden was far more forgiving for Duke as they sank trey ball after trey ball to inch ever closer. Nate James hit to free throws to tie the game at 90 with 21 seconds left.   

Drew Nicholas missed a contested corner three as time expired and the rest is history. Battier scored six of Duke’s eight overtime points and the shell-shocked Terps never recovered as Duke escaped with a 98-96 win en route to their third National Championship.

Longtime Maryland coach Gary Williams still calls it one of his worse losses that he can remember. I think anyone that remembers this game would agree.


Redskins Draft Profile: Trent Murphy

NO 47 OVERALL

Trent Murphy, DE/OLB, Stanford

Courtesy: Twitter

  • Height: 6'5"  
  • Weight: 250 lbs.
  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.85
  • 20 Yard Split: 2.71
  • 10 Yard Split: 1.65
  • 225 Bench: 19
  • Vertical: 35.5
  • Broad Jump: 9'10"

AWARDS:

- Pre-season All-American second teams: SI.com Phil Steele Athlon Sports

- Pre-season All-PAC-12: Phil Steele Athlon Sports Lindy's All Pac-12

- Stanford Team Captain

- Award watch list and semifinalist: Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Award, Butkus Award, Rotary Lombardi Award 

- Stanford's co-Defensive Player of the Game: vs San Jose State, vs Washington State, vs Oregon State 

- PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Week, October 7 and again October 28 

- Stanford's Jack Huston Award for exceptional performance and unheralded efforts, second year running.

- Stanford's Frank Rehm Memorial Award presented to the Outstanding Lineman in the Big Game.

- Post-season All Pac-12 teams: ESPN.com Athlon Sports Second Team Sporting News

- Post-season All American Second teams; Associated Press CBSSports.com  USA Today Athlon Sports 

- Post-season All American First teams: Walter Camp Football Foundation American Football Coaches Association Football Writers Association of America Sporting News SI.com, ESPN.com

- Based on the votes for All-American honors, "Murphy is Stanford's first consensus defensive player since 1974" 


STRENGTHS:

  • Very stout at the point of attack. Doesn't allow blockers to move him from his position against the run.
  • Surprisingly fluid hips when asked to turn and run with a receiver
  • Has great hands when engaging blockers. Uses club, swim and rip move well when attacking the quarterback. Also has an impressive spin and shoulder dip move to shed blockers.

WEAKNESS:

  • Classic "tweener".
  • Doesn't possess elite speed off the edge that many teams covet from 3-4 outside linebackers
  • Needs to add muscle to his frame to survive the punishment of a 16 game NFL season.

ANALYSIS:

I LOVE this pick. The common fan probably shrugs their shoulders at Trent Murphy due to unfamiliarity, but you can't simply turn your nose up at the best defensive player on one of college football's best defensive teams

The elite teams of the NFC (San Francisco, Seattle & Carolina specifically) deploy a physical smash-mouth brand of football, especially in the trenches. Bringing in Jason Hatcher, as well as drafting Trent Murphy, Morgan Moses and Spencer Long would suggest that the Redskins are trying to follow that trend. And while Trent Murphy isn't the most athletic player at outside linebacker, no one can question his toughness and physicality. 

The 2013 All-American has the reputation of having a play-through-the-whistle mentality and always has his motor running. Murphy has the type of work ethic and high football IQ that not only makes up for his lack of pure athleticism, but makes him a star pupil for coaches to work with and coach up. 

The best part about the selection here is that it will give the Redskins flexibility next year with Brian Orakpo. To keep #98 in the fold in 2015, the Redskins will either have to extend him long term or slap the franchise tag on him again, both of which are expensive options. Good franchises have the foresight to start thinking about replacing expensive players a year too early rather than year too late. It will be nice to have an extra pass rusher on the field on passing downs, which I am sure is in the Redskins plans this Fall. But when Orakpo's contract is up at season's end, the Redskins can opt to let the veteran walk and plug in Murphy as his younger (and cheaper) replacement. 

Redskins Mock Draft 2.0

How did a productive haul in free agency for the Redskins change our predictions from our Mock Draft 1.0? Below is our latest and rebooted installment. 

2nd Round (34th Overall)

Jimmie Ward, S Northern Illinois

Mock 1.0 Pick: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

Call me skeptical, but the Redskins current safety depth chart isn't exactly inspiring. Ryan Clark & Brandon Meriweather are the early favorites to start, but both are in their 30s and out of their primes. Phillip Thomas is coming off a Lisfranc injury. Bacarri Rambo has a long ways to go before he can be a trusted contributor. Tanard Jackson hasn't played a meaningful NFL snap in three years. Needless to say, the defensive back end needs an upgrade.  Insert NIU's Jimmie Ward

Big-hitting strong safeties are going the way of the dodo bird (especially with the NFL’s ever-tightening contact penalties). Versatile joker safeties like Ward that can play free, strong and nickel corner are in high demand. Although Ward’s size (5-11, 191 lbs.) isn’t ideal for a safety that occasionally needs to play inside an eight-man box, he makes up for it with great instincts and sidelie-to-sideline ball hawking capability.


3rd Round (66th)

Carl Bradford, OLB, Arizona State 

Mock 1.0 Pick: Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois

Like safety, the linebacker position is one where the Redskins need more stability. Inside linebacker Perry Riley is back in the fold long term & the team recently exercised the fifth-year contract option on outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Outside of that, no one that contributed last year is locked up beyond 2014.

Brian Orakpo is coming off a strong 2013 campaign, but is playing on a one-year franchise tag as the team has opted (thus far) not to extend him.  Keenan Robinson (been hurt since Thanksgiving 2012), Akeem Jordan & Darryl Sharpton (both on one-year deals) will all try and replace London Fletcher in the middle but none can exactly be counted on.

Carl Bradford would be a very intriguing prospect at 66 because of his versatility. The powerful and uber athletic former defensive end has the skillset to play all four linebacker positions in the 3-4, making him very desirable in the second round to many teams. If somehow he slips to the beginning of the third round, the Redskins would be wise to pick him up. Bradford can spend a year giving spot duty as a nickel linebacker and becoming acclimated to the NFL. In the meantime, the Redskins can decide whether he is better suited as Orakpo's replacement at OLB, or Fletcher's replacement  ILB.

4th Round (102nd)

Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee

Mock 1.0: Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina

I think I speak for everyone when I say I'm tired of seeing Tyler Polumbus getting driven back into RGIII's lap each Sunday. Needless to say, the Redskins are in desperate need of a right tackle. This team has been in need of a right tackle since they let Jon Jansen walk back in 2009 to be more specific. Despite several attempts at a quick fix, the position remains the offense's most glaring area of weakness. 

This particular draft is rich with top-shelf talent at the tackle position. And selecting Tennessee's Antonio Richardson has the talent and playing experience to be a great value at 102 and would be a day 1 starter for the Redskins. 

A mountain of a man standing at 6-6 336 lbs, Richardson is surprisingly quick and agile which will serve him well in pass protection, especially when the Redskins try and move the pocket. However, Richardson has a reputation as a mauler in the run game using his oversized frame to consumer defensive ends. Most importantly, drafting Richardson as the right tackle of the future would complete a much needed bookend dynamic with Pro Bowler Trent Williams holding down the left.

5th Round (142h)

Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford

Mock 1.0 Pick: Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin

Shayne Skov is one of my favorite players in this draft and whoever selects him might be getting one of the steals of the draft.

Then why is he falling this far in the draft? 1. He suffered a devastating knee injury a couple years back and has yet to show the same burst. 2. He ran a 5.07 40-yard dash at Stanford's pro day. But 40 yard-dashes be damned. TURN ON HIS GAMEFILM.

If you watched Skov's tape without knowing of his injury history or measurable, he would easily be a top 50 selection. He is that good when his game is clicking. 

The Stanford graduate (so you know he is smart) has ideal size for a middle backer in the 3-4 (6-2 245 lbs) and uses his frame to aggressively shed blockers and light up ball carriers in their tracks. Skov could be one of the most instinctive linebackers in this draft class. He is excellent at timing blitzes and shooting the gap to make tough plays in the offensive backfield. His best attribution is just his nasty disposition and intensity. What he lacks in graceful agility he makes up for in fearlessness and reckless abandonment, making him an ideal candidate for special teams.

6th Round (178th)

Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty

Mock 1.0 Pick: Andrew Jackson, ILB, Western Kentucky

In a day in age where big, physical cornerbacks with bravado are all the rage, Liberty's Walt Aikens certainly looks the part.

The former Illinois transfer is 6-1, 203 lbs and has 32.5 inch arms, giving him length at that position that the Redskins don't currently have. He likes to get in receivers faces at the line of scrimmage, refusing to relent in jam man-to-man coverage. He also is considered good in run support, using his long arms to separate from, then dispose of blockers to cut down ball carriers on the edges. He impressed at the Senior Bowl in January, displaying awesome footwork and loose hips.

Some consider Aikens a down-the-line starter, which is fine if the Redskins were to pick him up. Washington has established their trio of cornerbacks in David Amerson, DeAngelo Hall  & Tracy Porter, but would be wise to think of those will replace the latter two in a couple years. Giving Aikens a season to learn the ropes, then pairing him with Amerson (& hopefully a healthy Richard Crawford) will set the Redskins cornerback situation up nicely in the coming years. 

7th Round (217th)

Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon

Mock 1.0 Pick: Zach Kerr, NT, Delaware

Could be a risky draft selection, but damnit, what a value at pick 217th if he is still available. 

Colt Lyerla has a laundry list of off the field issues since enrolling at Oregon. Drugs, suspensions, emotional-childlike outbursts & academics led to him quitting the Oregon program last October due to "personal reasons". To be perfectly honest, teams without strong locker rooms should not try to take on a player like Lyerla, but I believe the Redskins have the leadership & strong personalities to keep him on the straight & narrow.

Talent-wise, Lyerla is flat out elite. He could be to Jay Gruden what Mike Shanahan thought he could make Niles Paul into. While he would need work as a in-line blocker, he is a problem in the passing game. Oregon used him in the slot, split out wide, as an H-Baack and even as a running back (Lyerla had 16 career carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns at Oregon). Fast, fleet-footed, great hands and truck-stick ability after the catch makes him almost impossible to guard with your average linebacker. He can be an excellent complement to Jordan Reed (and an insurance policy if Reed's concussion issue continues to linger). Another weapon for Griffin III that has this kind of talent and is this versatile, regardless of past issues, may be too enticing to pass up in the seventh round, in my opinion.

Ranking The Redskins Games We're Most Looking Forward To in 2014

Like players, there are games that fans circle on the schedule once it is released. Whether it is a primetime matchup, a rivalry game or looking forward to seeing your favorite player on another team visiting town, the NFL schedule release has become a highly-anticipated event in football circles. Here at Hail Republic, we're no different. Here are the games we're most looking forward to seeing this fall.

#16 -- Week 7: vs. Tennessee, Sun., Oct. 19, 1 p.m. 

 Jake Locker? Kendall Wright? Shonn Green? Meh. Not much about this game excites me except it being in mid-October and breaking out the Samuel Adams Oktoberfest.

 #15 -- Week 9: at Minnesota, Sun., Nov. 2, 1 p.m.

The Redskins game last year in Minnesota was one of the worst losses of the Shanahan tenure. No more Shanahan & no more Metrodome. The Redskins will have to deal with play-makers Adrian Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson up at TCF Stadium, but have little else to make this game intriguing. Can't say I am super psyched to see Christian Ponder/Matt Cassel slinging the ball in November, but a measure of revenge could be very satisfying up in the Land of 1,000 Lakes.

#14-- Week 15: at New York, Sun., Dec. 14, 1 p.m.

It'll be cold. It'll be windy. And for some reason, the Redskins always save their least impressive performance each year for the Meadowlands. This late season matchup could have playoff implications for both squads. And when the Redskins proverbial back is against the wall, MetLife Stadium is not a place they'll want to be. 

#13 -- Week 2: vs. Jacksonville, Sun., Sept. 14, 1 p.m.

This game is just like the Tennessee game. Not a lot of star power on the Jacksonville sideline, nor is it a rivalry game for us. And while I do think the Jags will be WAY better than a lot of people think, this matchup just isn't doing it for me. The only thing that keeps this out of the bottom of the list is that it is the Redskins home opener.

 #12--  Week 14: vs. St. Louis, Sun., Dec. 7, 1 p.m.

A lot of people are picking the Rams as their sleeper team this season, as they should. They have talent all over the field, but especially on defense. I am looking forward to watching Robert Quinn, who is arguably the NFL's best young pass rusher (19 sacks last year). He will draw Trent Williams' best effort. Whether he sacks RGIII or not, I am looking forward to that isolated showdown.

#11-- Week 16: vs. Philadelphia, Sat., Dec. 20


This won't have the same pizzazz as the week 3 game, but it'll be a huge game nonetheless. This time, it'll be at the friendly confined of FedExField before a national Saturday afternoon audience. With how tight the NFC East finishes have been over the past several seasons, there is reason to believe that this game between the past two division champs will have some meaning.  

#10 -- Week 11: vs. Tampa Bay, Sun., Nov. 16, 1 p.m. 

Tampa Bay North versus Tampa Bay South.

When Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, Raheem Morris & company welcome their former employers to Washington, a tough-fought game should be in the cards. Since 2004, the Bucs and Redskins have played eight times (which each team winning four), and the largest margin of victory was seven points. And with several shiny new toys on both sidelines (DT Jason Hatcher & WR DeSean Jackson for us; CB Alterraun Verner, C Evan Dietrich-Smith, DT Clinton McDonald, DE Michael Johnson for them), another tight game is likely.

#9 -- Week 4: vs. New York, Thurs., Sept. 25, 8:25 p.m. 

The Redskins first primetime game of 2014 comes when they host the Giants on a Thursday night. This will the one of the stiffer tests the Skins new gang of receivers will have to face early on. The Giants loaded up with defensive back this spring, reeling in Walter Thurmond III from Seattle & Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from Denver, in addition to incumbents Prince Amukamara, Antrel Rolle & Stevie Brown.

Weird side note about this game is that it falls during Rosh Hashanah. Considering NYC and DC have two of the highest Hebrew populations on Earth, the scheduling committee may soon realize their error putting of putting this game during the Jewish New Year. Oy vey…

#8 -- Week 6: at Arizona, Sun., Oct. 12, 4:25 p.m. 

Remember what I said about the Giants being one of the stiffer tests? Well, the Cardinals’ secondary will probably pose the stiffest test for the Redskins’ passing game. I would put the Cardinal’s DBs on par with the Legion of Boom, only with less fanfare. Talent and speed everywhere, with uber-athletic Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie and (assuming he is healthy) Tyrann 'Honey Badger' Mathieu.   

Oh yeah, did I mention that they still have Larry Fitzgerald and no one on the Redskins will be able to guard him?

#7 -- Week 17: vs. Dallas, Sun., Dec. 28, 1 p.m.

Could this be another win-and-you’re-in season finale featuring Dallas? Certainly has a chance to be. If it is, there is nothing I’d like more than to see the Redskins expel the Cowboys from post-season contention for the fourth year in a row.  If we’re lucky, we may even get a season-ending interception from Romo (and then a subsequent crestfallen Romo GIF) and we can all have a Merry Christmas 

#6 -- Week 12: at San Francisco, Sun., Nov. 23, 4:25 p.m.

Along with Seattle, San Francisco represents the class of the conference. If you want to be the best, you’re going to have to beat the best, even if that makes traveling cross country in late November to do so. The Niners have whooped the Redskins in each of their last two meetings, but this Redskins team should be better than the 2011 & 2013 teams.

This game also kick-starts a hellish six-game stretch to close the regular season.

#5 -- Week 1: at Houston, Sun., Sept. 7, 1 p.m.

The Redskins season opener comes on the road & features 2013’s two worst teams. Rookie head coaches Jay Gruden & Bill O’Brien will get their first NFL tests against each other. Could this also be a matchup of former Heisman winners in RGIII v. Johnny Football? Or maybe a matchup of Pro Bowl right tackle Trent Williams v. rookie phenom  Jadaveon Clowney?

#4 -- Week 8: at Dallas, Mon., Oct. 27, 8:30 p.m. 

Cowboys. Redskins. Monday Night Football. No explanation needed. Next.

#3 -- Week 13: at Indianapolis, Sun., Nov. 30, 1 p.m. 

Andrew Luck & Robert Griffin III will forever be linked & compared to one another. After two long seasons, the first & second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft finally will square off against one another. Expect a lot of fireworks when these two quarterbacks & their high-powered offenses go head-to-head in Indianapolis.

#2 -- Week 3: at Philadelphia, Sun., Sept. 21, 1 p.m. 

DeSean returns to Philly to what (I’m sure) will be a day filled with drunken Silver Lining's Playbook-esque Eagles fans burning Jackson jerseys in the Link parking lot. The newest Redskins wide receiver said “There's going to be something special about those [Eagles] games for sure,” on the Arsenio Hall Show last week. Not sure what that means, but I am sure Jackson is looking forward to exacting some revenge on the team that unceremoniously released him last month.

#1 -- Week 5: vs. Seattle, Mon., Oct. 6, 8:30 p.m. 

FedEx will surely be rocking for this Monday Night match-up with the defending champs. Let’s take it back to the last time these two teams met. RGIII tore his ACL & MCL, Trent Williams punched Richard Sherman and Seattle would knock Washington out of the playoffs for the third straight time. A year later, the Seahawks would go on to become Super Bowl champions, while the Redskins suffered their worst season in two decades.

Also add to the fact that these two teams straight up hate each other. The disdain may not reach Dallas levels, but I would go as far to put Seattle in the same breath as Philly & New York in terms of current rivals. Only different is we only see Seattle once in a while instead of twice a year.Absence makes the heart (or hate in this situation) grow fonder.


CLINCHED.C.- Wizards Headed Back In The Playoffs

See what they did, there? Clever. Not as bad as the Nats' slogan Natitude, but it's awfully close. Either way, congrats to the Wizards for securing their first playoff birth since 2008. Somewhere,, Soulja Boy is thinking about us & smiling.

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Eagles Fan Loses His Mind Over DJax (NSFW)

I can imagine this is how a lot of Eagles' fans are feeling this week, but this guys goes all the way to DEFCOM 1. If you have eight minutes, (& headphones if you're watching at work) totally worth it. Enjoy. 

Top Ten Hits In Redskins History

And when we say "Top Ten Hits in Redskins History", what we really mean is, "Hey guys, check out this Sean Taylor highlight reel."

Thanks to our friends over at Purple Reign for the idea.  I like my list better, though.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

LaRon Landry Hits Laurent Robinson (2011)

Lorenzo Alexander Crushes Lamont Jordan

Sean Taylor Pile Drives Tatum Bell (10:06 Mark)

10) Lorenzo Alexander Hits Jorrick Calvin

9) London Fletcher Hammers Brandon Jacobs (2008)

8) Sean Taylor Punks Reggie Brown (2007) (6:12 Mark)

7) Mike Sellers Trucks Kenoy Kennedy (2007)

6) Sean Taylor Smacks Patrick Crayton in Dallas Miracle "Brunell to Moss" game (2005)

5) Pound for pound the best Redskins hit ever, little Martin Mayhew Crushes Andre Reed in Super Bowl XXVI (2:31 Mark)

4) Sean Taylor Annihilates  Jerry Porter (2005) (8:19 Mark)

3) Sean Taylor Destroys Brian Moorman in the Pro Bowl (2008)

2) Big Dexter Manley Knocks Danny White Out of NFC Championship Game (1983) (1:35 Mark)

1) LaVar Arrington Ends Troy Aikman's Career (2000)

Bonus footage: for those who enjoy some Redskins on Redskins crime.  






Best & Worst Offseason Moves in Redskins History

WORST

1. Signing defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (2009)

Of all the half-baked free agency moves that Vinny Cerratto and Daniel Snyder made, this was (by far) the most Cerratto and Snyder-iest.

The Redskins brass ignored red flags surrounding Albert Haynesworth, signing him to a seven year, $100 million deal, giving him $41 million guaranteed. 

So what did the Redskins get in exchange for their investment?

20 games played, 53 total tackles and 6.5 sacks. After failing several conditioning tests, speaking out against coach Shanahan's plans to move him to the nose tackle position and several off the field incidents, the Redskins shipped Haynesworth to New England for a 6th round pick (pick used for Alfred Morris)


2. Replacing safety Ryan Clark with Adam Archuleta (2006)

Back in 2005, Sean Taylor paired with LSU product Ryan Clark to create a very exciting and opportunistic safety tandems in Washington. At 21 and 26 years old respectively, the duo where on the verge of becoming one of the best young duos in the league.

But then Danny Boy went Danny Boy on us, opting not to resign Clark. Instead, he inked former Rams' safety Adam Archuleta to a six year, $30 million contract (which, at the time, was the largest contract for a safety in NFL history).

AA was never a good fit for the Redskins. He started only seven games before being relegated to special teams and spot duty behind Vernon Fox and Troy Vincent. Just one year into his deal, the Redskins dealt Archuleta to Chicago for a sixth rounder.

Meanwhile, Ryan Clark held down the starting safety position for eight seasons in Pittsburgh, winning a Super Bowl during that span.

Dagger.

3. Signing cornerback Deion Sanders (2000)

Don't lie. You were cised when we signed Deion. Seeing him on stage in the sweet Burgundy & Gold was enough to give even the most skeptical of Redskins fans hope.

(Mind you this was the first offseason Daniel Snyder spent big money. Us Redskins fans didn't know better as of yet.)

BARFFFFFFFFF

They paid Neon Deion a deal worth $56 million over eight years. He managed four interceptions and chipped in on returns, but at 33, he was clearly past his prime(time). He last one of those eight before retiring at season's end. I am fairly certain that the Redskins are STILL paying off his contract.

You would think that after this disastrous blunder back in 2000, the Redskins would learn their lesson about overpaying free agents. Little did we know that this was just the beginning.

4. Signing quarterback Jeff George for (2000)

Speaking of the 2000 Redskins, you can argue that the Jeff George signing was just as bad as any other name on this list. While the money wasn't really that bad (four years, $14.8 million), the George signing did manage to drive your Pro Bowl quarterback (Brad Johnson) out of town and derail a team that could have accomplished something significant.

Fresh off a NFC East division winning season behind Johnson's All-Pro season, the Redskins (for some reason) picked up George. Enamored with his arm strength, and ball placement, George eventually surpassed an injured Brad Johnson and started seven games for the team, winning just one of those games.

Following a subpar 8-8 with George at the helm, the Redskins hired Marty Schottenheimer to replace Norv Turner. Behind George, the Redskins lost the first two games to open the 2001 campaign by a combined 67-3. George was promptly released and replaced by the combination of Tony Banks and Kent Graham. Less than 18 months later, Brad Johnson won a Super Bowl for Tampa Bay. Who knows what could have been.

HONORABLE MENTION

5. Signing defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield & trading for defensive takcle Dan Wilkinson

6. Trading a 2nd & 4th round pick for quarterback Donovan McNabb/Giving McNabb $78 million extension (2010)

7. Trading a 2nd round pick for defensive end Jason Taylor (2008)

8. Trading a 3rd & 4th round pick for wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (2006)

BEST

1. Trading two 1st round picks for linebacker Wilber Marshall (1988)

Back in 1988, free agency was a brand new concept to the NFL.  In fact when linebacker Wilber Marshall signed a five year, $6 million deal that spring (which the Bears failed to match), he became the NFL's first free agent to join another team in eleven seasons.

Marshall started every game during his five years here in Washington, registering 621 tackles, 24.5 sacks, 12 interceptions during that time. The former Bear became the heart and soul of the resurgent Redskins defense that finished ranked second overall in 1991 en route to Super Bowl XXVI.

Marshall turned in his most dominant season as a pro in 1992, tallying 138 tackles, six sacks, three forced fumbles and two picks en route to win the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award. In 2002, he was named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins of All Time.

2. Trading quarterback Norm Snead & cornerback Claude Crabb for Sonny Jurgensen (1964)

Next time you complain about the Donovan McNabb trade, just remember we screwed the Eagles out of a pretty decent quarterback 50 years ago.

Despite setting NFL records for passing yards (3,723) and touchdowns (32) in 1962, Philly still dealt Sonny Jurgensen to Washington in exchange for quarterback Norm Snead & cornerback Claude Crabb in 1964.

"Jurgensen is a great quarterback. He hangs in there under adverse conditions. He may be the best the league has ever seen. He is the best I have seen."

-Vince Lombardi

Jurgensen played 11 seasons for the Redskins, becoming not only one of the finest quarterbacks of his era, but one of the best players in franchise history. His long list of accolades includes eight times All-Pro, five NFL passing yardage championships, five Pro Bowls and two passing touchdown championships. Jurgenson is in the Redskins Ring of Fame as well as the 70 Greatest Redskins list.

He was named to the NFL 1960s All-Decade team and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983

The only factor keeping  the Potbelly Passer from being No. 1 on my list is that Billy Kilmer, not Jurgensen, started Super Bowl VII versus the undefeated Dolphins.

3. Trading two 1st round picks & and 2nd for defensive tackle Dave Butz (1975)

This transaction technically went down before the NFL's free agency period began back in the late 1980s. But when you get one of the best defensive players in the history of your franchise for the cost of a couple draft picks, he belongs on the list.

Due to a contract error, Dave Butz was granted free agent status just two years after the St. Louis Cardinals selected the defensive tackle from Purdue fifth overall. Head coach George Allen (father of current general manager Bruce Allen) acquired Butz from the Cards for two 1st round picks and a 2nd round pick.

Butz went on to play 14 years for the Burgundy & Gold, including three Super Bowls. He made his only Pro Bowl in 1983 after registering a career-high 11 sacks. Butz officially recorded 35.5 sacks in his career, largely in part because sacks were not an official NFL stat until 1982. Unofficially, his 59.5 career sacks would have been good enough for third in Redskins history.

Butz was named to the NFL All 80s Team and was named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins of All Time.

4. Trading Laveranues Coles for wide receiver Santana Moss (2005)

Of all the over-promising under-performing players acquired during the Daniel Snyder era, trading for wide receiver Santana Moss is one move that really has panned out, paying great dividends over the past eight seasons.

Looking for explosive weapons on the offensive side of the ball, the Redskins traded wide receiver Laveranues Coles to the Jets in exchange for wide receiver/return man Santana Moss. Over the past eight seasons, Moss has become not only a fan favorite, but one of the most prolific receivers in the history of the franchise.

The Cowboy Killer resides near the top of the list in many Redskins franchise marks. He ranks second in career catches (722), third in single season catches (93 in 2010), fourth in career receiving yards (7,299), first in single season receiving yards (1,483 in 2005) and second in career touchdown receptions (66).

HONORABLE MENTION

5. Signing linebacker London Fletcher (2007)

6. Signing running back Terry Allen (1995)

7. Signing linebacker Ken Harvey (1994)

8. Signing wide reciver Henry Ellard (1994)

Clinton Portis Defends His Tight Pants....

...is a line I never thought would come out of my mouth. But here we are.

I don't think his football tight fit this snug

I don't think his football tight fit this snug

CP rocked this outfit on Tuesday morning's NFL AM on NFL Network. Tight pants included. 

Portis, known for his bold wardrobe and flamboyant style, received some homophobic backlash on Twitter after his appearance on the show. The former Redskins running back told TMZ Sports, "People are really judgmental. They'll make comments, but I'm comfortable with myself. I know I like girls. I felt good about the outfit."

 

Keep doing you, 26. If you want to wear jeggings on TV, then kudos.

 

Redskins Sign Andre Roberts

Welcome to the official start of the Redskins free agency period.

Per Mike Jones of the Washington Post, the Redskins will come to terms with former Cardinals wide receiver Andre Roberts when the league year begins today at 4PM EST. Initial reports say Roberts will get four years for $16 million

Going into his fifth NFL season out of the Citadel, Roberts just turned 26 in January and is from nearby South Carolina. While I anticipate the Redskins will try and use their new signee in the slot, Roberts can play both outside and in the slot. The move likely ends Santana Moss' time in Washington.

Who Should The Redskins Target in Free Agency?

1. Panthers' Safety Mike Mitchell

Can't wear 21 here though, buddy

Can't wear 21 here though, buddy

The Redskins have not had a reliable player at the free safety position since the days when Sean Taylor was patrolling the secondary. Adding former Panther Mike Mitchell into the fold would solve some problems in the back end. In 15 games played last season in Carolina, Mitchell set career highs in tackles (66), sacks (3.5), passes defended (8), interceptions (4) and forced fumbles (2) 

2. Ravens' Defensive End Arthur Jones

Adam Carriker is gone, Stephen Bowen might be right behind him and Jarvis Jenkins hasn't yet returned to the form he flashed in the 2011 preseason before tearing his ACL. Arthur Jones has experience playing the five technique in Baltimore and would be the upgrade at end the Redskins desperately need. 

3. Seahawks' Cornerback CB Walter Thurmond III

Mitchell.JPG

The Redskins went with a nickel corner on 62% of their defensive plays last season. Josh Wilson won't be back so adding a quality third corner should be a high priority. Walter Thummond III was an effective slot corner during the Seahawks Super Bowl run and would be an ideal fit with DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson.

4. Packer's Tight End Andrew Quarless

Mitchell.JPG

Uber talented tight end Jordan Reed will be a valued part of the Redskins' offense in 2014, but they have to upgrade the TE2 spot on the depth chart. The Packers will likely try and retain the former Penn Sate Nittany Lion, but if he becomes available, he would be perfect for that slot. Andrew Quarless is far more talented tight end than both Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen in the passing game , yet is an underrated in-line run blocker. His receiving and run-after the catch ability would only create more match-up problems for opposing defenses.

5. Bengals' tackle Anthony Collins

Mitchell.JPG

This one is a no brainer. Anthony Collins already has knowledge of Jay Gruden's offense and can transition seamlessly into the Redskins starting lineup. Even though Collins may seek left tackle money, he will still likely cost less than some of other tackles available in this free agent market (Branden Albert, Michael Oher, Rodger Saffold )

 

6. Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt & Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins

These would be two SNEAKY good signing if the Redskins can actually pull it off. Like Anthony Collins, Andrew Hawkins knows Gruden's offense and could become a valued slot receiver to replace Santana Moss. Kenny Britt has had several consecutive turmoil filled and unproductive seasons in Tennessee, but the guy definitely is talented target that you can put opposite of Pierre Garcon. Griffin III needs more playmakers around him, and these are two that you can get on the cheap. The Redskins can probably ink both players to one year deals in which they can prove their worth.