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Opportunities Lost

Opportunities Lost

The NFL is a merciless business. If you have a weakness, the other team will exploit that soft spot immediately and often.

The Redskins went into Sunday’s game in Seattle with a glaring weakness. They have one of the league’s best receivers in Santana Moss. The receiver that lines up opposite Moss is merely filling a roster spot. When he was in the lineup, James Thrash was an excellent special teams player but not much of a threat as a receiver. Taylor Jacobs can’t get separation from anyone and, in the rare times that he does get open, he makes you long for Rod “50/50” Gardner when it comes to hanging on to the ball.

If a team can take away Moss and not have to pay for devoting so many resources to that task, the job for the opposing defense becomes that much easier. For a while during the season-ending five-game winning streak, Chris Cooley was a viable option and he made some plays yesterday, but having an H-back as a threat is not the same as having someone who is capable of getting open deep down the field.

Yesterday the Seahawks were able to pack the box with eight and nine defenders with relative impunity. That led to a string of three and outs in the early going, a stretch during which the Seahawks were finding their bearings offensively and adjusting to the absence of league MVP Shaun Alexander from their lineup. It was an opportunity lost for the Redskins as they had just a 3-0 lead before Seattle got it going on offense.

The offensive problems weren’t all about the lack of a second receiver; Ray Brown missing some time due to cramps didn’t help either. Cory Raymer, a center, was clueless during a critical series in the third quarter. One of the reasons he stuck around as a backup with a seven-figure cap number was that he supposedly could provide depth at both interior line positions. At least on this critical day, that wasn’t the case.

And, certainly, while the quarterback gets too much of the blame in losses, the play of Mark Brunell has to be called into question. He was wild high all day, missing Cooley and Moss in critical situations. While he has said frequently that his right knee, injured in the win over the Giants, had nothing to do with his problems, there is no question that it did. Kudos to Brunell for not making excuses, but it’s no coincidence that his play deteriorated considerably in the three games after the injury.

The quarterback and receiver positions will be addressed this offseason. In the latter category, another receiver will be brought in via free agency or the draft, perhaps both, to provide depth and push David Patten for the second receiver spot.

At quarterback it will be primarily a matter of distributing existing assets. It appears that Brunell goes into the offseason as the starter. He is less than a full year younger than Brett Favre, the NFL’s oldest starting quarterback. But as we saw in 2005, there could be plenty of twists and turns in the quarterback story before the 2006 season opener and as the season unfolds

The view here is that it’s not a certainty that Patrick Ramsey will be traded. If Gibbs is not yet comfortable with Jason Campbell starting games—and at Brunell’s age the chances of him making it through 16 games are extremely slim--he may decide to forgo the third-round pick he might be able to get in exchange for Ramsey.

It was a disappointing end to the season because of the missed opportunities. But there is little question that this team went as far as it deserved to in terms of the talent on the roster. A modest upgrade there, along with playing a third season under the same coaching staff, should help the Redskins take the next step.

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Zach Brown's Twitter frustration not aimed at Redskins, per source

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USA TODAY Sports

Zach Brown's Twitter frustration not aimed at Redskins, per source

Redskins fans desperately want Zach Brown back on the roster for the 2018 season, and a Wednesday morning tweet made many Washington fans freak out when the linebacker posted, "I guess the respect level is still low..."

Don't freak out Redskin fans.

The tweet has nothing to do with contract negotiations between Brown and the Redskins, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Instead, this is about a recent addition to the Pro Bowl. 

MORE: FIVE POTENTIAL FIRST-ROUND PICKS

Tuesday night, the NFL announced Falcons linebacker Deion Jones would replace injured Panthers LB Luke Kuechly in the Pro Bowl. 

Brown made the Pro Bowl in 2016 playing with the Bills, and during Pro Bowl voting earlier this season his Twitter feed had many messages supporting a second straight trip. 

Jones had a strong season for a good Falcons defense, but he finished with just 11 more tackles than Brown despite playing in three more games.

In fact, Brown was the leading tackler in the NFL before missing the final three games of the season with a litany of injuries. Remarkably, Brown kept the NFL tackle lead after he missed Week 15, though the rest of the leauge caught up to him by Week 16. Playing in only 13 games, Brown still finished ninth in the NFL in tackles, and also added 2.5 sacks. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Josh Norman wears a kilt during Scotland trip and it's hilarious (VIDEO)

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@NFLUK

Josh Norman wears a kilt during Scotland trip and it's hilarious (VIDEO)

Josh Norman traveled to Scotland as part of an NFL promotional trip, and in turn, Josh Norman wore a kilt. 

It's awesome. 

Norman, along with Broncos wideout Emmanuel Sanders, decided to give the traditional Scottish formal attire a try, and the results were spectacular.

Norman even broke out in a tradional Scottish jig, sending the folks in the Glasgow audience into a frenzy.

Norman likes to have fun, and though the 2017 season didn't provide him many opportunities to do so, he's taking advantage while overseas. After Glasgow, Norman and the NFL crew went to Manchester, England, where he caught up with old friend and Manchester United star Paul Pogba for a jersey exchange.

Remember, Pogba hung out with the Redskins when the team played in London in 2016, and joined the Redskins Extra crew after the game. 

Plenty more cool pictures and videos from Norman's trip available via @NFLUK.

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!