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More serious NFL stories ignored in favor of RG3 but Redskins must learn to live with it

More serious NFL stories ignored in favor of RG3 but Redskins must learn to live with it

On Sunday in MetLife Stadium, 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks refused to go back into the game against the Giants in the second half because he was unhappy over having to split playing time with Aldon Smith, who had just returned from a suspension. In that same game, veteran QB Eli Manning threw five interceptions, the primary reason his team lost the game. In Kansas City, Marshawn Lynch didn’t go into the locker room at halftime with his teammates and after the game he again defied NFL policy by refusing to meet with the media. In Green Bay, the NFC East-leading Eagles were blown out by the Packers, giving up 53 points in the process.

And in Landover, Maryland, Robert Griffin III made a comment that was taken out of context and the narrative became that he threw his teammates under the bus. The next day, his coach said he should worry more about himself and his inadequate level of play.

So, what was the big topic on the web, on talk radio, and even in non-sports media? It was, of course, Griffin. Not the player who defied his coaches during a game and refused to play. "We’ve addressed it and had those conversations," said 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Onward.”

Apparently, that statement, reminiscent of Bill Belichick’s “We’re on to Cincinnati”, was good enough for both the local and national media.

No talk of the veteran quarterback imploding. Not much about the running back who stayed on the bench and gave a middle finger to the media. An ugly loss by the division leaders doesn’t move the needle.

No, there wasn’t a whole lot of media buzz that was, as Lynch would say, ‘bout that action. Not much bandwidth expended, air time filled or newspaper ink spilled with actual conduct issues and on-field disasters. Nope, it’s been all about Griffin.

No doubt the 49ers get a pass on the Brooks situation because they have been to the last three NFC title games. Manning is a two-time Super Bowl MVP. The Seahawks are the defending Super Bowl champs. The Eagles have had success in recent years and are the defending NFL champs. The Redskins have not earned any benefit of the doubt.

But the Tennessee Titans haven’t been much more successful of late and they have been dealing with an ugly incident. Video came out showing that Titans tight end Chase Coffman intentionally gave a brutal cheap shot to a Ravens assistant coach who was on the sideline during a game last week. The NFL fined Coffman $30,000 but he started and played 30 snaps in the Titans game last night.

Bet you haven’t even heard of that incident. A player essentially committed assault on a coach from the other team and he’s not suspended or even widely criticized. ESPN carried the game last night and I don’t recall Coffman being mentioned at all during the game or pregame. I wasn’t intently watching the whole time, please correct me if I’m wrong here.

During the pregame they brought in their panel of ex-players and coaches and each of them had stern words for Griffin. Although I’m certain that none of them watched the eight-minute press conference or read the 1,200-word transcript to get the context for the pull quote, that’s fine. It’s what they do. But the lack of attention paid to Coffman seems wrong.

All of this is not really a complaint; it’s just the facts. Griffin has drawn attention, both positive and, lately, negative, since he came into the league. And Redskins have been click magnets and talk radio call generators for almost as long as such media have existed.

The out-of-proportion media attention is not going to change unless and until the team starts winning and maybe not even then. It’s clear that the organization needs to do a better job of managing the situation since it apparently isn’t going to go away on its own.

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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Redskins withdraw contract offer to Junior Galette

Redskins withdraw contract offer to Junior Galette

It looks like the Redskins are moving on from Junior Galette.

Citing a team source, Chick Hernandez of NBC Sports Washington is reporting that the team has withdrawn its contract offer to Galette, the veteran pass rusher who finally got on the field last year after missing all of his first two seasons in Washington with injuries. He is an unrestricted free agent.

The Redskins may have a replacement for Galette lined up. They had former Bear Pernell McPhee in for a visit earlier this week and there was a report that they made him a contract offer after that. McPhee subsequently visited the Falcons facility, but he has not signed anywhere. However, there have been no reports that a deal is imminent as of this morning.


As for Galette, Hernandez mentions two possible destinations. One is the Browns, who have two key connections to Galette. Scot McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who signed Galette after he was cut by the Saints after the 2014 season is in the personnel department in Cleveland. In addition, Gregg Williams, who was the Saints’ defensive coordinator when Galette made the team as an undrafted rookie, currently has the same position with the Browns.

Another possibility is the Rams. The connections there are Joe Barry, the linebackers coach in LA who was Redskins’ defensive coordinator during Galette’s first two years with the team, and head coach Sean McVay, who was the offensive coordinator in Washington while Galette was on the other side of the ball.

Galette has said on social media lately that his first choice is to remain with the Redskins but that the money had to be “fair”. The interest in a return to Washington was mutual but evidently, the organization’s idea of fair and Galette’s differed by too great a margin to bridge the gap.  

Last year, Galette didn’t have an impressive sack total, getting three in a backup role. But he got plenty of pressure on the quarterback and that can be just as important as sacks.


Galette developed into a feared pass rusher with the Saints, getting double-digit sacks his last two seasons there. After signing him to a lucrative contract extension, the Saints abruptly released Galette due to some off-field issues. McCloughan and the Redskins signed him soon after the start of training camp in 2015 but before he could even play in a preseason game, he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in practice and he was out for the year.

His much-anticipated return the following year ended before it even started. Shortly before it was time to report to training camp, he tore the other Achilles and he was on the shelf again.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.