Friday, September 28, 2012

John Wall Hurts Knee

John Wall
Wall will miss eight weeks due to a knee injury. (Photo: Keith Allison)
Wizards guard John Wall will be shut down for the next weeks due to what is being called a stress injury to his knee. Michael Lee has the full report here.

Wall visited an orthopedic specialist yesterday after experiencing discomfort. He had an MRI done which revealed the early stages of an injury. Fortunately, surgery will not be required for this injury. Wall will begin rehabilitation immediately.

John Wall is the heart and soul of the Wizards. He is the spark plug that runs the offense and makes everything come together. Wall will join forward Nene on the sidelines as he is recovering from plantar faciitis.

Last season, Wall played in every single of the lockout shortened 66 game season. Wall averaged 16 points per game and eight assists per game. He is expected to once again be the leader of the team.

Shelvin Mack and AJ Price, who was signed this offseason, will assume the point guard responsibilities when the Wizards open training camp this coming Tuesday.

Hopefully, this injury doesn't turn out to be a pesky lingering injury and Wall will be able to recover fully with a little rest. The Wizards will be needing his services this coming season.

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Source: Washington Post

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Porter to Manage Astros

Washington Nationals third base coach Bo Porter (16)
Porter will be finishing his second season with the Nats and then moving to Houston. (Photo: Keith Allison)
The Nationals are now noticing the one of the few downsides of having the best team in baseball: everyone wants a piece of it. More specifically, the Houston Astros wants a piece of it. As reported by Fox Houston, third base coach Bo Porter is heading to Houston to be the Astros new manager.

He's not leaving yet. Porter will be heading to Houston following the conclusion of this season. Hopefully, the Nationals can send him to Texas with a World Series ring.

A couple weeks ago, Porter went to Houston to interview for the position. It doesn't come as that much of a surprise that he was hired. In my opinion, he was the leading candidate in their managerial search.

Porter is finishing up his second season as the Nationals third base coach. He's been sending runners towards home plate since 2011! He's never had any experience as a manager in the majors league. He's been apart of the coaching staff for the Diamond Backs and the Marlins before coming to Washington to be on their staff.

It's not known who, or how, the Nationals will replace Bo Porter with. They could promote one of their minor league managers or even go out and sign a new coach all together. Another interesting wrinkle in this is now they have to replace to coaching positions this offseason. Davey Johnson managerial contract expires after this season and will take on a guidance and consulting role with the club. However, Johnson and the Mike Rizzo have talked about a possible extension so Johnson can manage next season.

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Source: Fox Sports Houston

Wizards Nene Going Easy in Preseason

Nene, above, reinjured his foot in the Olympics. (Photo: Keith Allison)
The Washington Wizards are going to be taking it easy with one of their star players this preseason.

Wizards Center Nene will be be playing it safe this preseason to make sure that he will be ready for the Wizards regualar season opener. Steve Aschburner of has more here.

The Brazilian center that was acquired from Denver last season is suffering from plantar faciitis in his foot. The injury effected him towards the end of last season and he reaggrevated while playing for Brazil in the Olympics this past summer.

Nene appeared in 11 games for the Wizards last season and six of those were starts. He averaged over 14 points per game and over seven rebounds per game. Being a big man, you would expect him to foul a lot. Nene did quite the opposite and only averaged 2-3 fouls per game.

When you combine Nene's ability with the Wizards offseason acquisitions of Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor, the Wizards have the potential for a pretty decent front court this coming season. Then you factor in their backcourt of John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Jordan Crawford and the Wizards could actually have a pretty decent team.

As for Nene, don't expect to see him much until the regular season begins. He will be a huge part of the Wizards front court and team. The Wizards will be keeping a close eye on his plantar faciitis to make sure that it doesn't cause him to miss any time.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Caps Laich To Swiss Team


Brooks Laich has joined Alex Ovechkin and Michael Neuvirth to sign with teams overseas while the lockout is going on the NHL. Michael Prunka of Bleacher Report has the full details.

Laich will be playing for the Koten Flyers in Switzerland's National League A. Laich will play there likely until the lockout ends. Most reports from other overseas signings say that there is a clause in contracts that allow for that particular player to return to the NHL once the lockout ends. More than likely there is a clause in Laich's contract allowing for the same thing.

Laich becomes the third Capitals player to head overseas. Alex Ovechkin signed with the KHL's Dynamo Moscow and Michael Neuvirth is playing the Czech Extraliga. You have to wonder which Washington Capitals players will sign next.

For now, the NHL and the NHL Players Association will continue to meet and discuss the new collective bargaining agreement. Preseason games through the end of September have been canceled and I wouldn't doubt seeing games late into October canceled as well.

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Source: Bleacher Report; (Photo: Keith Allison)

Helu to Injured Reserve

Once again, I told you so. I said earlier today that you could expect a roster move regarding Roy Helu Jr. Today, the Redskins placed running back Roy Helu Jr. on Injured Reserve. Steve Whyno of the Washington Times has to full report.

Helu Jr. yet to see the field during the regular season. He was kept out of most of preseason due to a sore Achilles tendon. Last season, Helu was slowed by another lower leg injury. Both Helu and the Redskins have said this is the best move for him.

It also opened up a roster spot which has since been filled by running back Ryan Grant. Grant was a starter for the Packers the past few seasons and performed quite well each season. Expect he and Evan Royster, who has also been slowed by an injury, to split reps at the number two back position.

Alfred Morris will still remain the teams top running back. Morris has been sensational this season and is definitely the surprise of the Redskins so far this season. Ryan Grant will come into the game when Morris needs a break or to run screen plays or routes on pass plays.

Roy Helu Jr's time with the Redskins may be coming to an end. He's starting to acquire a history of lower body injuries and is now on IR. He was a great back for the Redskins last season when he was healthy.

The Redskins have seen this situation before with LaRon Landry. I understand that they were two totally different with two totally different styles, but the underlying situation and dilemma is there. With Landry, the problem was that he was never on the field due to injury. The same thing is now happening with Helu. He is a talented player that can't seem to get on the field due to injury.

The solution with Landry? They released him this offseason. I don't expect the Redskins to pull the plug on Helu just yet. He has a ton of potential and can still make a huge difference for the Redskins.

For now, however, teams will get a steady dose of Alfred Morris and Ryan Grant. Both backs are more than capable of running the Redskins zone running scheme.

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Source: Washington Times

Redskins Sign Jones, Grant

The Redskins added a total of one player today to their roster. They released one and signed two (see my math there?).

Their first move(s) today was to release injured cornerback Crezdon Butler and sign cornerback David Jones. JP Finlay has the details on that.

Simpy put, this was a depth signing for the Redskins. Butler was just wasting space on the roster since he was injured so they released and picked up another corner that could step into the game if need be. The Redskins are terrible at cornerback and have the worst secondary in the NFL. It's quite possible that Jones could see the field and get a few snaps this Sunday.

Jones played with the Redskins in the preseason. He had eight tackles before being cut. Jones has been in the NFL since 2007 and is currently working with his third team. He played with the Saints and the Jaguars prior to coming to Washington.

The biggest signing of the day, and possibly the biggest news of the day, was the signing of former Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant. Grant confirmed the signing on his own Twitter page today. Check out JP Finlay's article for more details.

Grant was a stand out runner for the Green Packers for the past few seasons. He was released this offseason and the Redskins signed him today.

This is an interesting signing. I don't expect it to effect the playing time of Alfred Morris very much, however. Expect this to effect Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster. Helu could be finding himself on the outside looking in. Helu is out with a lower body injury and the signing of Grant deosn't bode well for his future on this team in my opinion.

Grant and Royster will likely compete for the second running back spot on the depth chart. Royster has been used as a screen play/pass play back this season and expect the Redskins to try to do some of that with Grant. I don't see the point of the Redskins having four running backs on the roster so I wouldn't be surprised if they did something with Helu Jr.

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Source: CSN Washington

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shanahan Under Review, Apologizes (UPDATE)

UPDATE @ 11:36 PM

The Redskins have been informed by the NFL that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is being fined $25,000 for his profanity laced tirade toward to the officials during and after the game this past Sunday against the Bengals. Rich Tandler has the full story here.

Shanahan went forth with his tirade after the officials nearly wrongfully ended the game by running ten seconds off the clock when it was supposed to be (they ended up putting time back on the clock). Shanahan was also irate when he was penalized 20-yards for being on the field and yelling at the officials. Meanwhile, the Bengals, as a team, had taken the field to celebrate because they thought they had won the game. They, however, did not receive any penalties.

After screaming at the refs on the field, Shanahan then chased them into the tunnel to finish off his rant. Kyle Shanahan, the son of head coach Mike Shanahan, the issued an apologetic statement on Monday.

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Source: CSN Washington

------------------------------------END UPDATE---------------------------------------------------------------

At the end of the Redskins game against the Bengals, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was assessed a 20-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for coming onto the field and yelling at a referee. The NFL is currently in the process of reviewing the actions of Shanahan to decide whether or not further discipline is needed.

For more details, read Mark Maske's full report on the matter. Shanahan did make a written statement yesterday saying that his "...emotions got the best of me and I know that's my responsibility. This will never happen again."

In order to better understand what happened on Sunday to bring about the 20-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, let's go right to that situation.

With seven seconds left, the clock was stopped for a normal reason. Prior to the snap, tight end Fred Davis false started. Usually, that would result in a ten second run off on the game clock and that would end the game. However, since the clock was stopped until the snap, there is no clock runoff.

The entire Bengals bench thought that there was a ten second runoff and therefore thought that the game was over. They all ran off the sideline and celebrated on the field.

Shanahan was then discussing with the officials that the game is not over and that there is no ten second runoff. The penalty was then called on Shanahan for being on the field and shouting at the officials. Which ironic, seeing as how the Bengals as a team were on the field behind the referees.

Shanahan then ran with the officials into the tunnel and was reportedly shouting expletives at them. The NFL is reviewing the actions of Shanahan, as well as a number of other coaches, to see if further action is needed.

Shanahan, at most, will get a fine. I find it hard to believe that the NFL will suspend him. He never touched an official, he simply yelled at them and had good reason. There is no such thing as a 20-yard penalty in the NFL and the entire Bengals team had taken the field while the chaos between the Redskins and the officials was going on.

This is the second straight week in which the Redskins have been negatively affected by the officials in the final moments of the game. Last week, the Redskins were flagged 15-yards after Josh Morgan threw the football at Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan had been playing dirty the entire game and the officials never called a penalty on him.

Yet again, the officials have been the center of attention this week in the NFL. Hopefully, the feud between the regular refs and the NFL will be settled soon although most reports would say otherwise.

In terms of Kyle Shanahan, a fine is likely the worst that he'll get. The NFL doesn't have enough evidence stacked against him to warrant a suspension.

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Source: Washington Post

The Final Straw...

Up until now, the NFL replacement referees had yet to directly decide the outcome of a game. Well, on Monday night football, on the grandest of stages, live on ESPN, the days of the replacement referees hit an all-time low.

It was a closely contested, closely called game that was destined to be one for the ages. The Green Bay Packers were heavy favorites over the home team Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks used their twelfth man, the home town fans, as fuel to fire the upset.

Fast forward to the last play of the game. Russell Wilson stands at the Packers 24-yard line looking to accomplish something that many had never seen before: a game winning touchdown pass on the last play. The score was 12-7 in favor of Green Bay. 

Wilson rolled to his left and fired into a swarm of Seahawks and Packers players in the endzone. The ball disappeared into the mass of men and, after 10 seconds of waiting, one referee signaled touchdown and the Seattle Seahawks were the victors...or were they.

I said that “ONE” referee signaled touchdown. Another referee, standing right next to the referee that signaled touchdown, signaled an interception (meaning that the Packers would be the winners). So, in other words, one referee gave the game to the Seahawks and another referee gave the game to the Packers.

At first glance, it appeared as though it was a simultaneous catch (in that case, the ball would be awarded to the offensive player), but then the officials reviewed the call on the field. When looking at the replays, it appeared as though Packers’ defensive back M.D. Jennings actually caught the ball, which would be an interception. Another interesting bit that the review displayed was that Seahawks receiver Golden Tate shoved a defensive player (which means offensive pass interference should have been called and the play should not have counted).

To put it in simpler terms, there were two key pieces of evidence that went AGAINST the Seahawks winning this game that were revealed in the official review that went ignored. The first was that the pass was actually intercepted by M.D. Jennings and the second was the pass interference against Brandon Tate. If you take both those pieces of information into account, the Packers should have come away with this win.

But, they didn’t. And this is just another instance in which the replacement referees completely messed up a call in a crucial moment of the game. Before now, the referees had yet to decide a game. But now, a decision that they made directly affected the outcome of a game.

The National Football League needs their regular referees back more than they think. Players’ safety and livelihood as well as coaches livelihoods are at stake. Coaches and players get paid and get jobs based on whether they win or lose.

In terms of player’s safety, the replacement referees are letting them get away with too much. Players are allowed to simply tee-off on defenseless players without penalty. Players will get hurt and that will affect the way they live and also how much they get paid.

Another way in which the NFL/replacement referees are screwing everything up is the landscape of the NFL. Once the real referees return, the landscape and the playoff picture will be all out of whack. The playoff picture will be ruined due to incidences like the one on Monday night.
In my eyes, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the rest of the front office are all criminals. If they aren’t willing to pay people to do a professional job and referee the right way, they are just as guilty for the poor quality of officiating as the officials themselves. If they truly love the game of football, they will do whatever it takes to get the real NFL referees back.
The NFL is fast becoming a joke. It’s losing its integrity every week that the replacement refs are active. Do something right for once, Roger Goodell; bring the original referees back so the quality of the NFL as a whole will improve.
I don’t blame the referees for the catastrophe that is this NFL season. I place 100 percent of the blame on Roger Goodell. He, and he alone, is single handedly ruining an American pastime and is disgracing the great game of football. 
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Williams Has Bone Bruise

Williams was injured in the second half and returned for a little in the second half. (Photo:
Redskins left tackle Trent Williams is listed as day-to-day after getting a bone bruise in Sundays game against the Bengals. Williams got the injury in the first half. He returned later, but Jordan Black got a majority of the reps at left tackle.

Mark Maske has the full report including a few other injury updates right here. Williams had the MRI done earlier today and it revealed no damage past what is being called, as stated above, a bone bruise.

Hopefully he will be able to play this coming Sunday against the Buccaneers. His backup, Jordan Black, was horrendous. He had a hard time blocking the Bengals defensive ends and did a pretty poor job of protecting Robert Griffin III's blind side. Williams is a much better option at left tackle. The Redskins will likely take it easy on him in practice this week to make sure that he is good to go against the Buccaneers.

Whomever gets the start at left tackle will be taking on Michael Bennett. Bennett is rough and tough defensive end that gives fits to most left tackles in the NFL. Bennett has seven tackles including three sacks and two forced fumbles. If Jordan Black is at left tackle this week, Kyle Shanahan will want to call plays that moves Griffin around the pocket and adds protection to the left side.

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Source: Washington Post

Monday, September 24, 2012

Johnson To Rest Starters

I'm not sure whether it was solid hitting, bad pitching, or the Nationals answering a statement made by their catcher, but, the Nationals offense looked something like that of a...dare I say it...a World Series baseball team.

For those wondering what exactly Davey Johnson said today, click here for a full report from CBS Sports.

Basically, Johnson said that as soon as the Nationals clinch the NL East, which is expected to happen later this week, that he will rest his regular every day starters until the playoffs. This comes as a bit of a shock as just a few weeks ago Johnson said that the starters won't get any rest simply because they don't want any.

But, I'm curious to know what the correlation is between Johnson's statement and the Nationals 12-run explosion today against the Brewers to split the four game series.

Six of the Nationals nine batters to start the game got at least one hit. Every single one of those nine reached base at least once. The Nationals drew seven walks and struckout just five times. As a team, the collected 14 hits and 10 RBI.

The Nationals offense came to life in the fourth inning when they put up six runs; including a three-run homer from Ryan Zimmerman. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki collected two RBI on a double.

Whether it was what Davey Johnson said or not, the Nationals proved that they still got on offense. Their historic offensive performance from a few weeks ago weren't just a fluke. They were for real and could happen anytime they want. Even Jordan Zimmermann collected two hits today.

The Nationals open up a six game road trip tomorrow when they head to Philadelphia to play the Phillies. Then they take trip to St. Louis for three games before returning home for their final series of the regular season against the Phillies.

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Source: CBS Sports

Bengals Fly Past Redskins 38-31

Robert Griffin III, above, had 224 yards passing, 85 yards rushing, and 2 total touchdowns. (Photo:
For the third straight week, the Redskins offense put up 28 points or more. For the third straight week, the Redskins defense gave up 30 or more points. And for the second straight week, the Redskins lost.

It's defense, really. You can complain about the officiating all you want. But, it doesn't matter that Kyle Shanahan was called for a 20 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (which should have only been 15 yards) for keeping the game straight at the end while the Bengals as a team celebrated prematurely.

Simply put, the Redskins lost this game.

The offense came out flat to start the game and the defense got tricked on the first play from scrimmage. Receiver Mohamed Sanu lined up at quarterback and quarterback Andy Dalton lined up at receiver. Sanu than took the snap and receiver AJ Green scorched the Redskins secondary for a 73 yard touchdown reception from Sanu. Before thirty seconds could run off the clock, the Redskins were already down 7-0.

Not to worry, right? Surely Robert Griffin III and the rest of the offense would be able to comeback on the next drive. Wrong. The Redskins would be forced to punt after a short offense performance. On the bright side, Sav Rocca's punt was downed inside the Bengals own 5-yard line.

A few plays later, Rob Jackson, filling in for Brian Orakpo, intercepted a pass in the endzone for a pick-6 and the Redskins had tied the game.

But, for the second straight week, the Redskins secondary got torn apart by a young quarterback. Last week against the Rams it was the duo of Bradford-Amendola. This week, it was the combination of Dalton-Green that proved to be the Redskins demise.

I've always thought that Andy Dalton had the capabilities to have a big time game. I didn't think that he would surgically pick apart a defense like he did today.

Granted, though, the Redskins simply don't have the athletes in the secondary that can cover a receiver as good as Green or is counterpart Andrew Hawkins. Both had huge games today for the Bengals.

Andy Dalton had a field day against this secondary. He became the third quarterback this season to throw for over 300 yards and have 3 touchdown passes against the Redskins defense. Dalton was 19/27 with 328 yards and three touchdowns. His one blemish was the pick-six thrown to Rob Jackson early in the first quarter.

AJ Green and Andrew Hawkins both had big games against this weak secondary. Green had a career performance with nine receptions for 183 yards and one touchdown. Hawkins had 2 receptions for 66 yards and one touchdown. Not exactly a career day, but, he torched the secondary for a 59 yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.

Not everything about the Redskins defense was bad against the Bengals. They held the "Law Firm", running back Benjarvus Green-Ellis, to just 38 yards and held the Bengals as a team below 93 yards on the ground. Still, the secondary gave up 401 yards through the air.

Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense gave it a good old college try in the second half. No seriously. We saw glimpses of the old Navy/Georgia Tech triple offense in a 14 point third quarter that tied the game at 24. Alfred Morris scored the half's opening touchdown and finished with 17 carries for 78 yards.

In the fourth quarter, the Redskins were once again driving and inside Bengal territory ready to score again. They decided to punt on a fourth and short when they had all the momentum built up in their favor. The Bengals then took that and scored on a 6-yard pass from Dalton to Jermain Gresham to go up 31-24 early in the fourth quarter.

Dalton then hooked up with Hawkins for a 59-yard touchdown dagger that all but sealed the game. The Redskins were able to score on a 2-yard touchdown run by Griffin. Griffin was the games leading rusher with 12 carries for 85 yards.

The Redskins final push for a tie ended in controversy when the Bengals team ran on the field and celebrated prematurely. Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was then penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after yelling at the officials. The game ended after the Redskins failed to convert a third and fifty (50) with seven seconds left.

All-in-all, it was the Redskins secondary that let them down today (again). Giving up 400 yards through the air will never win you a football game. The defensive front seven can dial up as much pressure as they want, but if the secondary can't keep up, it will all be in vain.

One positive thing that came out of today was again the Redskins ability to utilize the strengths of Robert Griffin III. They had him moving around the pocket, running the option, and running quarterback draws. Also, tight end Fred Davis finally had a big game. Davis had seven receptions for 90 yards. Santana Moss caught the Redskins only touchdown pass.

The Redskins have a lot of work to do in order to be ready for this weekends game against the Buccaneers. The offense will be fine (you should be able to score around 30 points each game and win). But, the defensive secondary will need to figure out a way to stop this weeks challenge: Vincent Jackson and Josh Freeman.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Redskins Injury Updates

A few key Redskins are expected to be back in action this coming week against the Bengals. For the complete story, read Mark Maske's post for the Washington Post.

Brandon Meriweather and Pierre Garcon could be returning the game field as soon as this week. Meriweather has been out since preseason with a knee injury. He was expected to be a starter for the Redskins and they certainly need his Pro-Bowl ability this weekend against AJ Green and Andy Dalton.

Garcon injured his foot early in the Redskins regular season opener against the Saints. Prior to his injury, Garcon already had nine catches for over 100 yards and one touchdown. He is the Redskins number receiver and he and Robert Griffin III really have a connection going early in their time together.

Both Garcon and Meriweather have been limited this week in practice.

Cornerback Josh Wilson was classified with a concussion following the week two loss to the Rams. He has since been cleared by the Redskins training staff and I expect that he will play this weekend. Wilson had a fumble recovery for a touchdown against the Rams.

Tight end Fred Davis also suffered a concussion against the Rams. While it was not made public when exactly he got his concussion, he likely suffered it in the second half when he was hit helmet-to-helmet while trying to catch a pass. It was an illegal hit that was not called by the referees. Anyways, he has also been cleared to play on Sunday.

The Redskins lost Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker for the season this past week against the Rams, as well. Orakpo suffered a torn pectoral muscle and Carriker a torn quad within the first five minutes of the game. Jarvis Jenkins and Rob Jackson are both expected to fill in for those two. Markus White was also signed to help out on defense.

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Source: Washington Post

Haslett, Smith on Staff till 2013

After the beginning to this NFL season, two coaches, Danny Smith and Jim Haslett, have come under fire from Redskins fans. Many have called for one or the other to be fired. Up until today, we thought that one, Jim Haslett, was in the last year of his contract.

Another wrinkle that was thrown into the coaching drama was exposed by Hogs Haven this morning in this article written by Ken Meringolo. Meringolo states that he was given a tip saying that defensive backs coach Raheem Morris was the one calling the defensive plays in the fourth. Evidently, he and Haslett had a disagreement on whether to go zone or man in the secondary and Shanahan settled it by handing the play calls over to Morris.

That led many to believe, and rightfully so, that this was going to be Haslett's last season the Redskins defensive coordinator and that Raheem Morris was going to take over the defensive coordinator position.

For Danny Smith, the special teams recent lack of success, two blocked punts already this season, have led many to also believe that could be on his way out. According to a report by Jason Reid of the Washington Post, however, that is not the case.

Simply put, Shanahan smoldered any rumors of those two not returning next year by saying that they were two of a few assistant coaches that were extended through the 2013 season.

I suppose we could still a shift in defensive play calling go from Haslett to Morris, but I highly doubt that. The two of them might discuss a little more about the game plan, but as far as the actual play calling goes, Haslett will still have that duty as long as he's the defensive coordinator.

Hopefully, the Redskins have put to rest any rumors of coaches changing jobs or getting fired. Arguing between coaches is a part of the game. They will disagree on things during the course of the game and, in the heat of the moment, are likely to be seen in heated discussions.

I don't think that there is any reason to read into this too much. Doing that will only cause a headache. The Redskins have their coaching staff for the next two years (maybe more).

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Source(s): Hogs Haven, The Washington Post

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Death Threats to Morgan

Morgan, 15, was flagged for throwing the ball at Cortland Finnegan. (Photo:
Come on, Redskins nation, you're better than this. While some of you are known for jumping on and off the Redskins bandwagon, you're still better than this. You're lucky that any of our beloved football players even call us loyal anyways. You're giving us a bad rep.

If you don't know what I'm taking about  yet, educate yourself by reading this article by Rich Tandler.

There is only one thing worse than watching Josh Morgan throw the ball at Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan and basically ruining the Redskins chances of winning and that's the outcry that came from Redskins "fans" following the game.

Many threatened Morgan and his family. Some even threatened to take his or his family members lives. Are you kidding? I understand what he did cost the Redskins a football game...but that's all that it did. It lost them a football game.

It's just a game. I love the Redskins just as much as the next guy and I love watching them win just as much as the next guy, but I would never privately threaten a player or curse his name, let alone publicly.

How inappropriate can you get? Are you really that invested in your football team that you would kill for it? I understand what it means to be a "die-hard" fan and killing a member of your team has nothing to do with it.

It's ignorant. It's selfish. It's rude. And you have ruined the reputation of the Washington Redskins fan base. Now, Redskins fans will be looked as ones that threaten their players following a loss.

If you posted a Facebook status, tweeted a tweet, or said anything related to killing or harming Josh Morgan, I'm calling you out. You know who you are. I'm questioning your fanhood. A TRUE fan would never threaten a player on his favorite team. A TRUE fan would be there to pick that player up, pat him on the back, and tell him "it's okay".

But not you people. You put him down. You tried to make him feel so low that, if he let it effect him, it might have pushed him to quit the game altogether. What kind of fan base tries to make one of their own feel that low?

Get a life, you people, and get some REAL fanhood. Pick your team up. Don't put them down. I'm tough on this team because I'm a writer and an evaluator, but I would never threaten a player based on a mistake he made. Let the coaches put him down. Fans are there to pick the team up.

Sure, it was a terrible mistake and he lost his cool. He's already been fined an undisclosed amount of money by the team. The last thing he wants is for the hometown crowd, which he will play in front of for the first time this Sunday, threatening him and putting him down.

If you threatened Josh Morgan on Twitter or Facebook in the past three days, you have too much time on your hands. Become a fan, pick your team up, and cheer your team on. Win or lose, you should always be supportive.

Where's your fanhood? Hail.

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Espinosa's MRI Negative

Espinosa, above 18, has been solid for the Nationals as of late. (Photo:
Not only did the Nationals get the night off thanks to a huge rain storm that passed over Washington, DC, but they also got good news on Danny Espinosa's shoulder. The Nationals sent him to get an MRI on it this week. Mark Zuckerman has the full story.

Earlier this week, Espinosa complained of pain in his left shoulder. He had a hard time swinging the bat against the Braves and reported the problem to the training staff. Everyone in the Nationals organization thought the worst, a torn labrum, but thankfully, his MRI came back negative.

A injury like a torn labrum could have caused the Nationals second baseman to miss the entire post-season. Something that the Nationals would not benefit from as Espinosa has been hitting .259 this month. His ability at the plate has really picked up from the beginning of the season.

At one point in the season, it appeared as though Espinosa might find himself in the minors. In July, however, Espinosa found his swing and batted .300 throughout the month. He hasn't looked back since and has been above .250 since then.

In September alone, Espinosa has 14 hits including six doubles. He's got five RBI and two home runs. Espinosa has also drawn three walks and has stolen two bases. He's got an on base percentage of .310 and a slugging percentage of .463.

What the Nationals would miss more, however, is his ability in the field. In 111 games at second base this season, Espinosa has five errors, but has turned 56 double plays for a fielding percentage of 98%. He also has 292 assists. He's a machine at second and an expert at turning the double play.

Luckily for the Nationals, Espinosa will likely miss a game or two. It is possible that Steve Lombardozzi will get the start in both games tomorrow for the Nationals. It might not be a bad idea for the Nationals to let Espinosa rest a day or two to make sure that his shoulder is 100%.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Home Stretch

Sixteen games in sixteen days is all that separates the Washington Nationals from the playoffs. They have come this far and they are almost there. Here's how the rest of the season breaks down.

The Nationals have a 5.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and a 1.5 game lead over the Cinncinati Reds in the MLB. The Nationals won't get the chance to play either team before the season ends.

Tonight, they begin a seven game homestand against the Dodgers and then Brewers. The only other time the Nationals have faced the Dodgers was when they were swept in LA. The Nationals will look to change that and, hopefully, sweep them back to LA.

Against the Brewers, the Nationals are 3-1 in a four game series that took place not long after the All-Star break. The Brewers haven't gotten much better since then so expect the Nationals to have the same success this time around.

The team then ends the season with two three games series against the Phillies and a three game series against the St Louis Cardinals.

The Nationals will have the chance to lockup the season championship when the face the Phillies, but the Phillies have been a formidable opponent for the Nationals. The Nationals can't seem to find the handle when playing the former World Series Champions. Those two series will by far be the toughest parts of this final 16 game stretch.

This is it! The Nationals have 16 games to lock up the NL East title and the MLB regular season best record bragging rights. The Nationals have almost completed one of the single greatest turn-arounds in sports history. All they have to do now, is finish.

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Capitals Head Overseas (UPDATE)

UPDATE @ 9:31 AM

As reported on by Adam Vingan this morning, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin has signed with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL. This comes just one day after reports first surfaced of him being in talks with the Russian hockey franchise.

Ovechkin's deal will reportedly exceed the limit that was set by the NHL for players to make when they go overseas. The cash limit on overseas deals is 65% of what they would make in the NHL. For Ovechkin, that would put him at $5.8 million.

Much like Michael Neuvirth's deal, I'm sure that there is a clause in his contract that would allow for him to return to the NHL once the lockout ends. According to Ovechkin, however, that won't happen anytime soon. He told reporters recently that there is a chance that the upcoming NHL season will be lost.

Source: NBC4

-----------------------------------------------END UPDATE---------------------------------------------------

UPDATE @ 5:30 PM

The Alex Ovechkin negotiations to send him to Dynamo Moscow in the KHL has hit a bit of a snag. Chuck Gormley has the official report.

Basically, working out a contract with arguably the NHL's biggest name is difficult because he wants to get paid and paid big. Ovechkin wants to make sure that no money is lost between what he would make in the NHL and what he is going to make in the KHL.

If you're wondering if Ovechkin will change his mind and just not go to the KHL, that's not going to happen. The report states that the announcement of the signing is expected to come either Thursday or Friday.

Source: CSN Washington

-------------------------------------END UPDATE------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE @ 4:10 PM

Reports have surfaced this afternoon that Capitals star Alex Ovechkin is planning on joining Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). The All-Star was also entertaining offers from CSKA Moscow.

Like most other contracts that NHL players have signed overseas, I'm sure there is a clause in his contract that allows him to return to the NHL in the event that the lockout ends (something that Ovechkin himself said won't happen this year).

If reports are true, Ovechkin joins a long list of players that have already left to play for overseas professional hockey leagues. Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar, and Ilya Kovalchuk have also left to play in the KHL.

Source: TSN

---------------------------------------------END UPDATE--------------------------------------------------

We knew this was going to happen. If the NHL locked out, a number of current NHL players were going to go overseas to play professional hockey. Well now, the first Capital has left the states to play for another league.

Michael Neuvirth has signed with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga. This comes just one day after he was on the ice with his teammates at Kettler Iceplex. The 24 year old goaltender signed a one-year contract with the club. Some experts believe that there is  a clause in the contract that will allow Neuvirth to return to the Capitals once the lockout has ended.

Neuvirth does have history with Sparta Praha. He played for them for three seasons prior to being drafted by the Capitals.

In 38 games last season for the Capitals, Neuvirth was 13-13-5 and a 2.82 goals against average. He was inconsistent and was hampered part way through the season with a knee injury.

Don't expect Neuvirth to be the only Capital to head overseas while the lockout is going on. Early reports today say that Alex Ovechkin will most likely sign with a KHL team in Russia. Another Capitals player that has looked at his options is Nicklas Backstrom. He may return to Sweden to play professionally there.

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Source: CSN Washington

Redskins Sign Two

After losing half of their defensive line yesterday, the Redskins signed two defensive linemen today. The Redskins promoted Doug Worthington off the practice squad and signed Markus White off of the Buccaneers practice squad.

The move to sign White off of another teams practice squad is legal as long as that player, White, is added to the teams 53 man roster...which he was.

These two moves come just one day after the Redskins announced that both Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker would be out for the season. Carriker tore his right quad and Orakpo tore his pectoral muscle again the first five minutes of Sunday's game against the Rams.

Worthington and White both saw a lot of playing for the Redskins during the second half of their four preseason games. White was one of the last players cut on August 31st while Worthington was added to the practice squad.

White was also a member of the Redskins for the entire 2011 campaign, but only appeared in just two games. Expect to see him a lot more this season.

Both Worthington and White can make a difference for the Redskins. Worthington was a standout defensive lineman for the Ohio State Buckeyes and many expected him to have quite an impact in the NFL.

You never know, one of these two players could end up being another surprise like Alfred Morris has been. They could just need their chance to shine and this might be it. However, losing the likes of Orakpo and Carriker certainly hurt the defense. Expect the Redskins to dial up some blitz packages this weekend against the Bengals.

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ANOTHER Redskins Injury

It wouldn't surprise me if Davis' concussion came on this hit in the second half. (Photo:
The Redskins have already lost Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker for the season, but now, as Mike Shanahan told reporters yesterday, tight end Fred Davis suffered a concussion sometime during the game against the Rams.

It was not made known when Davis acquired his concussion. It could have been as early as the first quarter and trainers let him play anyways.

No matter when the injury occured, Davis will not be allowed to play until he passes the NFL's concussion test. Meaning, he could be out for this weekends game against the Bengals.

Davis hasn't had a huge impact yet this season. After last years team leading (until he got suspended for the last five games) receiving performance, many expected him be a huge factor and target this season for Robert Griffin III. Instead, Davis has just four receptions for 52 yards and no touchdowns.

If Davis can't play this weekend, he would end up the third starter, joing Orakpo and Carriker, not to play against the Bengals. Niles Paul and Logan Paulson will take over the reps at the tight end position if Davis can not play this weekend.

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Source: CSN Washington

Monday, September 17, 2012

Redskins Draft Profile: Alfred Morris

Morris, center with football, was drafted 173rd overall. (Photo:
Meet Alfred Morris. He's a running back from Florida Atlantic University and the Washington Redskins selected him in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Morris was a standout running back for FAU. In two separate season for the Owls, he had over five 100+ yard rushing performances. He had 16 100+ yard rushing performances over his four year career. His best game came in the second to last week of his senior season against UAB. He rushed for 198 yards and four touchdowns.

Following his senior season, Morris was named to the Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference squad. For his career, Morris finished with 3,529 yards and 27 touchdowns.

First off, looking back at your career for Florida Atlantic University, what is the fondest memory you have of playing for them?
"I would have to say the connections I made and the relationships that were built. They say you make lifelong friends in college and I definitely can attest to that."

Where were you when you received the call from the Redskins saying they were drafting you?
"I was back home in Pensacola sitting outside patiently waiting for the call while enjoying my family."

What was the moment like when it was announced that the Redskins had drafted you and it became official?
"I didn't actually get to see my name pop up on the screen, but when I received the call with Coach Shanahan on the other end it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulder."

How were you received when you first arrived at Redskins Park to be introduced?
"I was received just as everyone else. They treated us all the same and I know as rookies we will have to pay our dues, so I'm curious what's to come."

What are your expectations or goals that you have for yourself this season?
"My main goal right now is to make sure I make the 53 man roster. Without reaching that goal, none of my other goals will even be possible."

How are you going to contribute to and help improve the Redskins offense?
"I will do my best to learn under the vets the ins and outs and do my best to compliment the ground attack with my hybrid style of running."

How do you plan to get involved in the Redskins community?
"I love doing charity and reaching out to others. I've helped with Special Olympics, Autism programs, and habitat for humanity, just to name a few. I will definitely by finding who's in charge of community outreach with the 'skins' and volunteering as soon as I get a chance."

Once you get that first pay check, what is your first big purchase going to be?
"I don't have any big purchase planned. I don't see a need in buying some extravagant toy that I don't need. If anything I would probably donate to a cause of choice."

What excites you the most about becoming a Washington Redskin?
"To me it's like the ultimate fan experience. I was a fan of the Redskins for quite some time and to actually get drafted by them is a dream come true."

Orakpo, Carriker Sidelined (UPDATED)

UPDATE @ 4:44 PM:

Another crushing blow has been dealt to the Washington Redskins. Not only have they lost Adam Carriker for the season due to a torn quad, but now they have lost Pro Bowl defensive end Brian Orakpo for the season due to a torn pectoral muscle.

Both of the players sustained their injuries in the first five minutes against the Rams.

Expect Jarvis Jenkins to get a lot of playing time for the rest of the season. He filled the void when the Adam Carriker went down this past weekend and will likely get the start this weekend. Rob Jackson will most likely fill start in place of Orakpo.

For a more in-depth look at how this effects the Redskins, read the rest of this post.

Source: ESPN

--------------------------------------------END UPDATE---------------------------------------------------

The Redskins released two updates on two of their top defensive players.

In the first five minutes of the Redskins game against the Rams yesterday, two starters on the defensive line went down.

The first player was defensive end Adam Carriker. Carriker tore his right quad and had to be helped off the field. Tests following the game showed that he indeed did tear his right quad muscle. Carriker will be out for the remainder of the season.

The guy that will most likely fill the void will be Jarvis Jenkins. Jenkins missed all of last season with a torn ACL in his right knee. Jenkins had one solo tackle against the Rams and has appeared in both games this season for the Redskins.

The Redskins will certainly be losing some talent. Carriker is more aggressive and is much tougher in the trenches. Jenkins can hold firm, but look for the Bengals to be running his was this weekend.

The next player that the Redskins updated the injury status of was outside linebacker/defensive end Brian Orakpo. Not long after Carriker was removed from the game due to injury, Orakpo came off the field, as well.

According to Orakpo's backup, Rob Jackson, Orakpo reaggrevated his left pectoral muscle that he tore last season. Orakpo is expected to miss this weekends game against the Bengals.

This will be a huge blow for the defense. Orakpo is one of the Redskins best pass rushers and can also cover in the field. Rob Jackson doesn't quite have the speed and agility of Orakpo and I don't expect him to make much of a difference on the defensive line.

A lot of pressure will be applied to the secondary this week against Andy Dalton and the Bengals. With the absence of two of the Redskins best pass rushers, Andy Dalton will make time to make good reads and deliver good passes. Usually, we need the front seven to apply pressure and help the secondary. This time, however, the secondary will need to tighten down so the Redskins pass rush can get to Andy Dalton.

Expect plenty of blitz packages from Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett this week. They'll need to blitz extra players in order to apply some pressure to Andy Dalton. If Dalton has time in the pocket, he and receiver AJ Green could pick apart the Redskins defense much like Sam Bradford and Danny Amedola did this past weekend.

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Source: Washington Post, Washington Times

Redskins fall to Rams

Robert Griffin III, above, had another good game that included two rushing touchdowns. (Photo:
In what can only be labeled as a classic Redskins game, the Redskins lost today to the St. Louis Rams 31-28.

It was a game littered with poor officiating, dirty play from their opponents, but yet it was the same two players that kept the Washington Redskins in contention the entire game.

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford absolutely had a field day against the Redskins secondary. Bradford was 26-35 with 310 yards passing and three touchdowns. He threw just one interception and that was to London Fletcher in the endzone mid-way through the fourth quarter.

Bradford's main target was receiver Danny Amendola. Following Amendola's game opening fumble that resulted in a touchdown for the Redskins, he had 14 more catches (to create 15 catches) for 150 yards and 1 touchdown. Amendola fell just three receptions short of tying the Rams single game receptions record.

Bradford picked apart the Redskins zone defense the entire game. They Rams receivers simply found the holes in the zone and sat in them. The Redskins pass rush was also hampered early when defensive end Brian Orakpo was injured. Orakpo my have re-torn his pectoral muscle.

You commonly hear the phrase "they're just letting them play" used when referring to basketball. However, the same could be said for yesterday's game.

Both teams were guilty, but the Rams got away with multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The only one that was called against them was when running back Stephen Jackson spiked the ball in the endzone following being denied what looked liked a touchdown.

The killer penalty of the game, however, was not a blown call by the officials. Follow a catch in the final two minutes of the game, Redskins receiver Josh Morgan proceeded to throw the football at Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan. Upon further review, Finnegan did bump into the helmet of Morgan and then Morgan threw the football. No matter who is officiating the game, the one that retaliates is always the one that gets in trouble. That is exactly what happened here.

That penalty moved the Redskins back 15 yards and gave Billy Cundiff a (nearly) impossible 62 yard field goal attempt to tie it. Cundiff's field was wide left and no good (as expected) and the Rams left the victors 31-28.

The two bright spots for the Redskins were Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. For the second consecutive week they displayed why they are the center points of the offense.

Griffin scored the Redskins first offensive touchdown when scampered in from five yards away. He finished with another rushing score and a 68 yard touchdown pass to Leonard Hankerson. The former offensive player of the week was 20-29 206 yards and a touchdown pass. He also threw his first interception of the season with on awkward pass play.

Alfred Morris was the games leading rusher. He had 16 carries for 89 yards. Morris got a majority of his yards in the second half. The Redskins relied on him heavily then and also had he and Griffin team up for a few option plays. Griffin had 82 rushing on 11 carries with two touchdowns.

The Redskins played a sloppy game overall today. The offense was inconsistent and had to rely on RG3 to put his body on the line to often today. They made plays, but it will need to improve if they want to win more games this season.

The defensive secondary is going to have to figure out how to play zone. They left too many holes and good quarterback picked them apart. Hopefully Adam Carriker and Brian Orakpo can return soon as they'll be able to help take the pressure off of the secondary. Next week, I'd like to see them run more man-to-man coverage as I believe they have the athletes to do that.

Speaking of next week, the Redskins come home for the regular season home opener against the Bengals. The Bengals have a pretty good offense behind Andy Dalton, AJ Green, and Benjarvus Green Ellis. The Redskins will have their hands full again. The offense should be able to play well, but the secondary will once again be tested.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

NHL Lockout Looms

There's been a lot of this, talking, at the NHL negotiations in New York. (Photo:
Brace yourselves, hockey fans, an NHL lockout is imminent. Simply put, the NHL and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) are too far apart on one simple concept: revenue sharing.

It's the same problem that we had in the NBA and the NFL; the players want more money, but the owners don't want to give it up. In the NHL, however, it has been taken to a whole new level.

In the current expiring collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the players get 57 percent of the total revenue. However, in talks for the new CBA, the owners have offered the players as low as 43 percent of the total revenue. That's absurd.

Recently, however, the owners have reportedly been offering more and more to the players. Reports have stated that they have offered them 47 percent and 49 percent in their most recent proposals. Both numbers are still too low and don't expect the players to agree to them.

Another interesting note that says a lock out is coming is the fact that the owners signed an agreement saying they have no problems going to a lockout. That, in and of itself, is enough to say that the NHL will be locked out this coming Sunday (the CBA expires Saturday night at 11:59 PM).

In my opinion, the players should settle for nothing less than 52-54 percent of the total revenue. They are the ones on the ice playing night after night and they are the reasons for the revenue. They should get a majority of the money that they, inadvertently, raise. Fans buy tickets to see them and fans buy their jerseys.

Unfortunately, the NHL is much like the NFL, MLB, and NBA in that it is a business and all about the money. I agree that players should be paid less than 57 percent, but I definitely think it should be more than 50 percent.

Another thing you have to look at is the fact that the NHL has grown since the last lockout. The NHL is making more and more money every year. Since the lockout, D.C. has caught hockey fever and the Capitals fan base has grown ten-fold. People that watched hockey once in a blue moon were starting to make time to watch a game.

In comparison to 2005 (when the last lockout ended), 57 percent of the total revenue is a lot of money. Like I said above, the NHL has grown in popularity and therefore it brings in more money. Lowering the percentage owed to the players makes sense, and in my opinion, they'll still be making a lot of money.

As a hockey fan, I hope that they can reach an agreement soon. I have grown to be a huge hockey fan in the past eight years and it has even come to be a part of this blog.

But, as a journalist, I don't see the NHL hockey season starting on time. Barry Melrose said something interesting in an interview on ESPN today. He said that once the money stops rolling in to the players (because they will no longer be getting paid once the current CBA expires) negotiations will pick up speed because they need that money. It's a small little statement that makes a lot of sense. They need to pay for their fancy cars and big houses.

Melrose also went on to say that he thinks the NHL will back in November. Pierre LeBrun and Katie Strang, both also of ESPN, think that the lockout will end in December. I agree with all three in a sense that I think it will end before the new year. I don't expect the NHL to lose another season in ten years due to a lockout.

It's all about money. The owners want more and the players want a majority. I think that the players deserve more than 50 percent of the revenue. It's them and their names that are making that money. Pay them and give them their due.

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Source: ESPN

Nats Just Fine Without Strasburg

Lannan, above, will win games for the Nats in the post-season. (Photo:
Do you believe me yet? I've been saying the same thing all summer long: the Nationals can win the World Series without Stephen Strasburg. Hopefully, after 5.2 innings of baseball last night, you've been convinced.

John Lannan, while he may not be as good as Stephen Strasburg, will still get the job done. At the end of the day, they both do the same thing: win. In three starts this season, all against NL East opponents, Lannan is 3-0 with 2.41 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and nine strikeouts. I hate to break it to yo nay-sayers, but Lannan's numbers are just as good as, if not better than, Strasburg's.

In his latest outing, Lannan went 5.2 innings giving up just five hits and one zero runs. He walked one batter and struckout two. Simply put, Lannan was lights out on the mound.

He's not a strikeout hitter. Lannan simply gets players out. In each of his three starts, he's forced at least 10 ground outs and at least 6 fly outs. In his best strikeout outing, he K'd four batters. While he may not be the power strikeout pitcher like Strasburg, he gets outs any way that he can and doesn't use very many pitches doing it. Not throwing a lot of pitches will allow him to go deep into ball games.

Lannan has certainly come a long way since the end of spring training. At the end of preseason, Lannan was calling for a trade because he was unhappy about being demoted to Triple A in favor of Ross Detwiler. Lannan carried that negative attitude into the beginning of the season and got roughed up in his first few starts for the Chiefs.

Now, however, Lannan has a whole new swagger. His game has picked up and he looks like the John Lannan of old when he was the opening day starter in 2009 and 2010. His stuff is solid and, like I said above, is simply getting people out.

If your still worried about whether or not the Nationals can make it to the World Series without Strasburg, your not a true Nats fan (that's right...I said it!!). There is so much more to this team than Strasburg. They can score runs at will and they have four, well...five, other starters that have won at least, or are one less, than ten games (Detwiler and Edwin Jackson have won nine games each).

On offense, the Nationals rank in the top 11 in the MLB in runs (647, 9th), batting average (.262, 10th), on base percentage (.323, 11th), and slugging percentage (.428, 7th). Six Nationals (Adam LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa, and Michael Morse) have all hit at least ten home runs. Tyler Moore is close behind with nine home runs. Those same six have hit at least 49 RBI this season with LaRoche leading the way with 92.

And you know what else? This team is just now starting to peak offensively. In the beginning of the season, runs were hard to come by for the Nationals at times. Now, they can't seem to stop scoring runs and are seemingly scoring at will.

For the rotation, Gio Gonzalez is currently a top candidate for the Cy Young (and you thought Strasburg was the best pitcher). He's got 19 wins and a 2.93 ERA. Jordan Zimmermann has 10 wins and a WHIP of 1.17. Ross Detwiler and Edwin Jackson both have ERAs under four and WHIPs under 1.30. That's outstanding.

The Nationals rotation are second to just Cincinnati and Tampa Bay in ERA, quality starts, strikeouts and batting average. Combine all that with the bullpen and one of the MLBs best closers in Tyler Clippard and you've got a World Series caliber pitching staff.

So if your still saying/thinking that the Nationals can't go to the World Series without Stephen Strasburg...I've got one questions for you:

Where's your #NATITUDE?

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Capitals Extend Brouwer

Brouwer, above, scored 18 goals in 2011 for the Caps. (Photo:
Today, the Washington Capitals extended froward Troy Brouwer contract by three years for $11 million. Brouwer will be paid around $3.6 annually and is entering the final year of his contract.

It's nice seeing a "normal" contract in the NHL. Nowadays you see players getting 13-year $150 million contracts. 3-years and $11 million doesn't really seem so bad. 

Resigning Brouwer had to have been near the top of the Capitals offseason to-do list. Brouwer had 18 goals and 15 assists in his first season with the Capitals. He also collected 61 penalty minutes. He by far one of the most aggressive players in the NHL as he finished the season with 247 hits. On defense, Brouwer was a shot blocking machine as he stopped 60 shots from reaching the net.

Brouwer  was a quality player for the Capitals last season. His aggressive style and big man size allowed him to be a force on the ice and he scored two goals and two assists in the playoffs for the Capitals.

Brouwer is also an experienced player that the Capitals have. He's been in the NHL since 2004 and won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. His playoff experience will really help the Capitals in their run to the postseason.

The Capitals still have some more business to take care of. One key player, John Carlson, still does not have a contract for the coming year. Hopefully they'll be able to reach one soon.

A few key players that are entering the final year of the contract include Mike Riberio, Karl Alzner, Roman Hamrlik, Tom Poti, and John Erskine.

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Source: CSN Washington

Wizards Ink 3 For Training Camp

Yesterday, the Washington Wizards signed three players for training camp. While technically they are under contract, it isn't a guaranteed contract. If they don't make the regular season roster, they don't count against the salary cap.

Before I start, these three have simply been offered tryouts. The chances of any of them making the roster are very small.

The first player that the Wizards signed was Earl Barron. Barron has been in the NBA for six years and has played on six different teams (Heat, Knicks, Suns, Bucks, Blazers, and Warriors). He's appeared in 112 games and has averaged 5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

The second player that the Wizards have invited to training camp is Steven Gray. Gray is a rookie out of Gonzaga and had a solid summer league. He shot 50 percent from the floor and averaged 17.3 minutes per game. He's a 6'5" guard that doesn't stand much of a chance with John Wall, Jordan Crawford, and Bradley Beal also playing at his position.

The third, and final, training camp invitee is Shavlik Randolph. The 28-year-old forward has been out of the NBA since 2010 and not because he wants to be. This past March, Randolph worked out for a number of teams, but none of them had any interest. Last we saw of him, he was averaging 2 minutes per game for the Portland Trailblazers.

Like I said at the beginning, chances of any of these players actually making the roster are very slim. But, you never know. One of these three players could end up being this years NBA Breakout Player of the Year.

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Source: Washington Post

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gio Dominant Again

So you're worried about the Nationals future because Stephen Strasburg was shut down, eh? Well...little do you know how much you are insulting the rest of the Nationals rotation...mainly Gio Gonzalez.

Which Nationals starting pitcher has the most wins? Which Nationals starter has the lowest ERA? Which Nationals starting pitcher has the best WHIP? And the most important: which Nationals starting pitcher has the most quality starts this season?

The answer to all four of those questions: Gio Gonzalez.

I propose to you that the Nationals ace is none other than Gio Gonzalez. While Stephen Strasburg is good, Gio is better.

In 29 starts this season, Gio has two complete games and 20 quality starts (that's an actual stat). He's 19-7 with an ERA of 2.93 and has struckout 191 batters. Opposing hitters average against him is .206 and he's given up just nine home runs all season long.

Personally, I think that Gonzalez is more of a guaranteed win that Strasburg is. While I feel that guaranteed wins is a myth and ridiculous theory, out of all five Nationals starting pitchers, Gonzalez gives the Nationals their best chance at victory.

Not convinced yet?

Gonzalez is just as solid on the road as he is at home. His ERA is less than one point more when on the road, but, he is 11-3 versus 8-4 when in Nats Park. His opponents batting average is worse when on the road as they hit .205 against him.

Want more?

Gonzalez has been just as strong Post-All Star Break as he has been before the break. His ERA is 2.94 which is just .02 higher than before. He is 7-2 with two complete games and an opponents batting average of just .224.

In the month of August, Gonzalez had an ERA of 2.64 with a record of 4-2. He's been even better in his first two starts in September. In two starts, he's got an ERA of .69 and opponents are batting .133 against him and he's 2-0.

Have I convinced you yet?

Gio Gonzalez, on paper and on the mound, is better than Stephen Strasburg. While losing Strasburg for the playoffs is certainly debilitating, don't forget the fact that Strasburg isn't the only Nationals starter. In fact, Gonzalez is a candidate for the Cy Young award as the leagues best pitcher.

So now that the hoopla of Stephen Strasburg being shutdown has hopefully...shutdown, let's fire up the campaign to win Gio Gonzalez a much deserved Cy Young. The Nationals, and arguably the MLB's, best pitcher needs his recognition.

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Don't Start the Bandwagon!!!...Yet.

Okay. First off, I don't want to be THAT guy...but, I just want to make sure that everyone understands what we're dealing with here...

Yep! The Redskins ONCE AGAIN looked good in their regular season opener. They convincingly overpowered a high powered team and "shocked" the NFL with a 40-32 victory over the Saints. But, haven't we seen the movie before? I believe so!

Four of the past six seasons the Redskins have taken care of business in their regular season opener. The past three seasons (this one included), the Redskins have began the season 1-0. However, everything seems to fall apart in the weeks following.

In 2010, the Redskins began with a thrilling 13-7 win against the Cowboys and followed that with a 30-27 overtime loss to the Texans and then an embarrassing 30-16 loss to the Rams. They went on to finish the season 6-10.

In 2011, the Redskins kicked off the season with a convincing 28-14 dismantling of the New York Giants and were 3-1 entering the bye week. They then followed that up with six straight losses, including the Eagles and Cowboys, and finished the 2011 campaign 5-11.

Do you see where I'm going with this yet? I bet you don't! No seriously! Read on!

It's common for Redskins fans ACROSS THE GLOBE to crazy over an opening season win. ("If you wanna crown their asses...then crown them!!") But, the Redskins aren't who we thought they were....or are they?

Usually, you would expect something along the lines of "don't get your hopes up, DC, the Redskins are just going to let you down". But...

I don't think they will this season.

The Redskins showed a lot of great things that they haven't shown the past two years (this includes the players AND coaches).

On offense, Mike Shanahan and Co. are handling quarterback Robert Griffin III like they should have handled Donovan McNabb: they are tailoring an offense to HIM. They aren't forcing RG3 into running THEIR offense, they're running an offense for HIM. Which is genius...and something I may have stated before...I don't know. ANYWAYS, it's a genius idea.

Another thing about the Redskins new awesome offense is that it helps out the offensive line. With Robert Griffin III's ability to run and the little wrinkles that the Redskins have put in to move him around the field, a lot of pressure is taken off of the line and the Redskins actually have a solid line. They block well and are getting good at running the zone blocking scheme.

Alfred Morris seems to be an immovable object for the Redskins and always finishes going downhill. Aldrick Robinson is going to be the Redskins breakout player of the year and Dejon Gomes and Cedric Griffin are both poised for solid seasons in the Redskins secondary.

So, don't start up the Redskins bandwagon just yet. We've seen the Redskins spoil a hot start in years past. This time, however, I think will be different. The Redskins have many more positive things going for them this time around and are poised for a solid season. Maybe not playoffs...but this team has some good potential.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Redskins Injury Updates

Not long after the Redskins announced that rookie free safety Jordan Bernstine was sidelined for the season with multiple torn ligaments in his right knee, the Redskins signed his replacement.

The Redskins went with third year safety Jordan Pugh as his replacement. Pugh was cut this month by the Carolina Panthers. He announced the signing himself via Twitter today.

In 27 career games with the Panthers, Pugh had 31 tackles, one forced fumble, and one interception. In 2011, he had nine punt returns for 218 yards with a long of 32 yards.

-----------------------------------------------END UPDATE--------------------------------------------------

Today, two Washington Redskins had their injury status updated. Both of them were injured in the teams season opener this past Wednesday.

This player was receiver Pierre Garcon. Garcon sat out the second half of the game against the Saints due to a foot injury that he sustained in the first half. He had four receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown prior to being sidelined.

Garcon had x-rays done on his foot to see if there was any damage. X-Rays came back negative and you can probably expect Garcon to be ready to go against the Rams. If Garcon isn't able to play, however, there really is no need to worry. Aldrick Robinson showed the Redskins coaching staff why it was a good idea that they kept him. He played exceptionally well and had four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.

The second bit of injury news was not so great. Redskins rookie safety Jordan Bernstine said today that he is out for the remainder of the season after he tore multiple ligaments in right knee yesterday. Bernstine was covering a kickoff when the injury occurred. Bernstine had to be taken off the field on a stretcher as a result of the injury.

Bernstine is now the third safety that the Redskins have lost and the second one for the remainder of the season. Tanard Jackson won't be playing this season as he violated the leagues drug policy. Brandon Meriweather should be back with four weeks, but don't expect him to be back soon after spraining his MCL and PCL in preseason.

For now, the Redskins will have to rely heavily on Madieu Williams and Dejon Gomes at the safety positions. Reed Doughty will have his playing time significantly increased, as well. The Redskins should be fine without Bernstine. He got very limited playing time on defense and was really only used on special teams.

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Source: ESPN, Fredericksburg Star

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Redskins "Upset" Saints

RG3, above, celebrates his touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon.(Photo:
While most of the football world predicted an angry Saints team to demolish the Redskins, there was a select group of 53 people that thought otherwise. Those 53 people, plus a few more, expressed their concern for everyone else's negativity.

Those 53 men defeated one of the best teams in the NFL today 40-32 and this is how they did it.

While most of us will wake up tomorrow morning and see articles headlined Redskins Upset Saints (much like this one), Redskins players will take it as an insult above all else. The team that the Redskins put on the field today was a team that Redskins fans have been waiting a long time for.

To start off, the Redskins scored 30 or more points for the first time since the 2010 season. This offense just exploded behind one crucial spark plug: Robert Griffin III.

Many experts predicted Russell Wilson or Andrew Luck to have the best season in the NFL, but the best debut goes to Washington's very own Robert Griffin III. RG3 looked like a regular everyday field general out there yesterday as he lead the Redskins on four straight scoring drives (field goal, touchdown, touchdown, field goal) in their first four offensive possessions.

Griffin III out performed one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Drew Brees and even finished the first half with a perfect passer rating of 158.3. He finished with a 73% completion percentage and 320 yards with two touchdowns including an 88 yarder to Pierre Garcon in the first quarter. Griffin also had 10 carries for 42 yards. But, most of all, no turnovers.

He took care of the ball. The one pass that he forced came in the first half and, thankfully, slipped right through the hands of a Saints defender. He ran when he couldn't pass and threw the ball away when there were no good options. Simply put, he played like a season veteran.

But believe it or not, it wasn't all Robert Griffin III yesterday. Another rookie emerged (even though he was already a stud) in the running game. Sixth round draft pick Alfred Morris took the hand off 28 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his touchdowns came in the second half where the Redskins relied on him heavily to run down the clock.

One of the last receivers to make the team, Aldrick Robinson was believed to be used in four to five receiver sets. When Pierre Garcon went down in the middle of the game with a foot injury (x-rays negative), Robinson took that as he chance to shine.

And shine he did. Robinson caught four passes for 52 yards and one touchdown. Robinson's five yard touchdown reception capped off a successful second quarter touchdown drive. In my opinion, with his effort today, Robinson moved himself up on the depth chart.

Defensively, the Redskins played one of their best games under Jim Haslett. Of the 52 passes that Drew Brees attempted, 13 of them were deflected and most of them were at the line. Stephen Bowen, Brian Orakpo, and Ryan Kerrigan did a good job at getting their hands up in the passing lanes and knocking down balls. The Redskins front seven held the Saints offense under 40 yards rushing.

Dejon Gomes and Cedric Griffin answered the call at cornerback. Last season, cornerback was a constant weakness in the Redskins secondary and many feared that that would be the demise of them yesterday. Gomes had an interception and multiple deflections and Griffin forced a fumble on a would-be Marques Colston touchdown run and catch. The fumble went out of the back of the endzone and the Redskins took over at the 20 yard line.

London Fletcher was a quarterback of the defense today and shifted them into multiple different looks in one single pre-snap read. He checkmated Drew Brees in the chess match between the middle linebacker and the quarterback. The 15-year veteran showed no age as he was flying all over the field and getting in on every play.

The Redskins played a complete game today. Simple as that. They didn't turn the ball over and controlled the ball for most of the game. The Redskins offense was on the field 19 minutes longer than the Saints offense. It just goes to show that the old saying the best defense is a good offense still has some truth to it.

Next week, the Redskins head to another dome. This time, they'll take on the upset minded St Louis Rams and will be looking to improve to 2-0 on the season before the head home for their home opener.