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Quick Take on 2005 Schedule

Quick Take on 2005 Schedule

Week 1 vs. Chicago

There were suggestions that it would be appropriate for New York to play Washington to open the season on September 11, but the NFL chose to pit the Skins against da Bears. A rematch of one of 2004’s most forgettable games, one that featured Mark Brunell and Chicago’s Jonathan Quinn combined to go 18 for 44 passing for 160 yards (3.6 yards per pass). Neither QB should be in the lineup for the opener.

Week 2 Monday night at Dallas

A major confluence of jinxes here with Washington having problems with Dallas in general , Parcells having it over Gibbs (eight straight), Gibbs’ mediocrity on Monday night (9-15). The Redskins haven’t won in Dallas since Heath Shuler led them to a 24-17 win there in 1995.

Week 3 Bye

Bye should be favored by a field goal. Sorry, an old one there. Pretty early for a bye, not many bumps and bruises to heal or regrouping to do. The schedule makers have been pretty good about having it more towards the middle of the year in the past, so they were due to get the early on.

Week 4 vs. Seattle

Since about 2000, the Seahawks have supposedly been the NFL’s up and coming team. If they are 1-2 coming in to this one, the deathwatch could already for Mike Holmgren’s coaching tenure.

Week 5 at Denver

Portis vs. Bailey. Of course, it won’t come to an individual matchup between the two, but that’s what will be talked about endlessly prior to the game.

Week 6 at Kansas City

The second of tough back-to-back road games against the AFC West. The Redskins have never won in KC and they haven’t even come close since 1971.

Week 7 vs. San Francisco

If the Niners do draft a quarterback with the first overall pick, this could be either Aaron Rodgers’ or Alex Smith’s first NFL start. San Francisco will be coming off of their bye week and assuming that Tim Rattay isn’t getting it done through the first five weeks, this would be a good time to make the switch.

Week 8 at NY Giants

Washington’s season took a decided turn for the worse at the Meadowlands in Week 2 last year. Patrick Ramsey threw three picks after coming in for an injured Mark Brunell.

Week 9 Sunday night vs. Philadelphia

The last three Eagle games at FedEx have been prime-time affairs. The first two were Eagle blowouts by a combined 68-14. Last year the Redskins had a chance to take the lead late, but Ramsey threw an interception and Philly was able to hang on.

Week 10 at Tampa Bay

Gibbs and Bucs coach John Gruden both have Super Bowl rings and both have tough roads to hoe to get another one. Which son of a quarterback will be calling the signals for Tampa Bay—Brian Griese or Chris Simms?

Week 11 vs. Oakland

This is the first of two straight home games against head coaches fired by Dan Snyder. Norv Turner returns and there’s no doubt that the Raiders will play awfully well, at least according to Norv.

Week 12 vs. San Diego

Following the Norv Bowl is the Marty Bowl. Perhaps if he’d abandoned his ultra-conservative style sooner he would still be coaching the Skins. The only Redskins team ever to lose to the Chargers was coached by Marty Schottenheimer.

Week 13 at St. Louis

In 2000 Norv Turner’s Redskins went into the house of the defending Super Bowl champion Rams and came out with a 33-20 win to raise their record to 7-4. They lost the next four in a row, costing them the playoff spot that seemed certain and costing Turner his job.

Week 14 at Arizona

Dennis Green’s team is aiming for the division title. Of course, in the NFC West that means a .500 record.

Week 15 vs. Dallas

This is the first of three straight division games to close out the season. If the Redskins are going to make the playoffs, or even have a respectable season, they will have to win this one.

Week 16 vs. NY Giants

It was against the Giants at FedEx that Ramsey got his first win as a starter under Gibbs last year.

Week 17 at Philadelphia

Perhaps the Eagles will have clinched everything that they can clinch and the Skins will be playing against Koy Detmer instead of Donovan McNabb.

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No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

MOBILE -- Jay Gruden is making jokes about Kirk Cousins again, and that's good news for Redskins fans that worried about a fracture between coach and quarterback. 

It all started in the weeks following the Redskins dreadful Week 17 loss to the Giants as Gruden and Cousins seemed to be throwing slight jabs at one another.

Gruden, in his end of year press conference, explained that while Cousins "showed flashes" in 2017, when the team goes 7-9, the coach can't say any player was outstanding: 

You know when you’re 7-9, you know it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ You know there’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent when he played was Pro Bowl type, Brandon when he was healthy was Pro Bowl type guy. Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know we’re 7-9. He did some great things, threw for over 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns I believe. So, I think he’s a very, very good quarterback without a doubt, but as far as getting us over the hump from 7-9 to winning a division with all the injuries that we had, I think he competed and did some good things.

Cousins, in his year-end radio appearance with 106.7 the Fan, explained that he wants the team to do better but doesn't think the 7-9 record should fall on his shoulders alone. (Quote via Washington Post)

What I gathered from the comment was 7-9 and the quarterback play are causally related and that quarterback play is 7-9, 7-9 is the quarterback play. I saw that and I thought, ‘I think it’s slightly more complicated than that.’ I think there’s a few more dynamics in play as to what your final record is. … At the same time, his job is to evaluate. That’s a big part of his role and his position. In that comment, he’s just doing his job, he’s evaluating the position and he has the right to say what he wants to say.

Both comments were fairly innocuous, but also clearly at odds. Combine that dialogue with the undercurrent of another offseason contract negotiation, and it seemed things between coach and quarterback weren't quite right. 

On Tuesday, speaking at the Senior Bowl, Gruden cleared the air. Asked directly about tension between he and Cousins, the coach was blunt. 

"No." 

Gruden went on to explain his answer about Cousins 2017 play, the now infamous 7-9 line.

"When I say 7-9, if I say one player played great that means I'm saying everybody else was not very good," the coach explained (full video above). "I think we all have to stick together, we all have to improve from a 7-9 season, coaches, players, everybody."

Cousins was good in 2017, throwing for more than 4,000 passing yards for the third straight season. He also showed that he can produce offensively without a great supporting cast, as injuries robbed the Redskins of many of their best passing game threats and seriously damaged the offensive line. 

The quarterback did play two terrible games in the last month of the season, however, including a three interception stinker in the Week 17 finale.

It's possible that Gruden had that fresh in his mind when he spoke in early January, and with the benefit of a little time, his assessment mellowed by late January. 

Either way, Gruden joked about Cousins deserving a vacation, and even said the QB needs a tan. Gruden often uses humor to defuse touchy situations with Redskins players, and maybe he just did it again. 

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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Redskins have begun contract talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms

Redskins have begun contract talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms

Redskins fans want Zach Brown back. Bad. And for weeks there had been no news about contract talks between Washington and Brown. 

Now that's changed.

"We've been talking to his agent," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Tuesday. 

Gruden, speaking from the Senior Bowl, explained that the team would like Brown back in 2018 but Washington also understands that the linebacker might want to explore the free agent market. 

"It’s a process," Gruden said (full video above). "These guys have a chance to be a free agent, they had a good year and they want to check what the market is sometimes. If we can get them before they get to free agency, great, but if not, the bidding wars will begin."

For Brown, free agency will look different in 2018 than it did last season when he signed a one-year. bargain deal with the Redskins. 

Prior to injuries forcing him to miss the final three games of the season, Brown led the NFL in tackles. For two straight years, 2016 in Buffalo and 2017 in Washington, Brown has proved to be a tackling machine and arguably the fastest linebacker in the NFL. Brown also signed new representation last offseason, Jason and Michael Katz of CSE Football, and should Brown hit the free agent market the Katz brothers will aggresively market their client. 

Washington Senior Vice President of Football Operations Eric Schaeffer will handle the contract discussions for Washington, and is known as a shrewd negotiator. 

Like many business deals, this will come down to money. Brown established himself as a fit in Washington, both on the field and in the locker room. Interior linebackers do not command top dollar like pass rushers do, but Brown will still expect to be compensated appropriately. 

Further complicating matters for Washington, the Redskins only have Josh Harvery-Clemmons, Zach Vigil and Martrell Speight under contract for 2018. 

It's too early to predict what "it's a process" means from Jay Gruden, but Redskins fans should draw some encouragement that talks have begun with Brown. 

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!