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Skins Seahawks Stuck on Stupid

Skins Seahawks Stuck on Stupid

Skins, Seahawks Stuck on Stupid

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When one thinks of similar NFL teams, one rarely thinks of the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks. One is East Coast smash-mouth, the other is West Coast, well, West Coast. For most of the past 30 years Seattle was AFC indoors on turf in the slick, new Kingdome, Washington was NFC, outside on grass and mud in ancient and rickety RFK Stadium.
In the past five years, however, the teams have grown more and more similar. Seattle moved to the NFC. They both now play on grass in new stadiums that are named for companies (Qwest and FedEx) that did not exist when the Seahawks were formed in 1976. They both have deep-pockets owners who seem to be willing to do anything to win. And they both, by vastly different methods, are stuck on stupid.
Since 2000 the Seahawks have had one coach, Mike Holmgren. The following year, Homgren inserted quarterback Mike Hasselbeck, running back Shaun Alexander and wide receiver Darrell Jackson into the regular lineup and since then that trio as started the lion’s share of games at their respective positions. They have built their roster largely thorough the draft. The result of such stability at key positions has been staggering mediocrity. Since 2000 they are 43-40 with an 0-2 playoff record.
At least they have a winning record. The Redskins have been worse by about a game and a half a year, going 36-46 with nary a whiff of the playoffs. Since 2000 they have been through four head coaches (no, Robiskie doesn’t count), seven different starting quarterbacks (with numerous shuffles among them), three primary running backs and four primary wide receivers. They have gone after free agents and they have made some major trades
To be sure, the Seahawks have taken a flyer in free agency from time to time with players such as defensive end Grant Wistrom. Hasselbeck came in a trade, albeit one that wasn’t noticed much at the time. And Washington has had some draftees such as Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels around since the turn of the century.
Two different paths, one result where most NFL teams measure success—not a single playoff win. What we have is one extreme, excessive stability and another, excessive instability. Neither has worked out very well.
Looking at the coaches, perhaps Seattle should have taken a closer look at Holmgrem’s Super Bowl ring and seen Bret Favre smiling back at them in one of the stones and let the coach go. A change of direction at the top might have gotten this talented team deep into the playoffs. Had the Redskins stuck with Marty Schottenheimer, they may have a few playoff appearances under their belts. Maybe Spurrier would have figured the pro game out by now. Maybe Norv would have. . .uh, nope, forget it, and the one about the Ballcoach as well. But Marty may have gotten it done.
At the running back spot, Washington had a choice to make a few years ago—either take a huge cap hit to keep Stephen Davis, one of the best running backs in the game, or let him go. They chose to let him go figuring, perhaps, what’s one more change in a sea of them.  This year, Seattle chose to take a big cap hit to keep Alexander, one of the best backs in the game, rather than let him go. Their knee jerk reaction towards stability dictated that they keep him. Through three games it seems like that was a good move. We’ll see in another 13 games and next offseason, when Alexander will be an unrestricted free agent, how such a commitment to stability works out in the long term.
The turmoil has continued for the Redskins even after the hiring of Joe Gibbs, who will coach this team for as long as he wants to, with the team firing both of its 2004 starting wide receivers and making a quarterback change 18 minutes into the season.
On Sunday, this clash of the wannabe titans will take place. Continuity vs. chaos, order vs. turmoil.
Dumb vs. dumber. We’ll see which is which

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Need to Know: Redskins likely to return at least 16 of their 22 starters from last year

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Need to Know: Redskins likely to return at least 16 of their 22 starters from last year

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 23, 34 days before the NFL draft.  

Stability at the top of the depth chart

A Redskins defense that ranked 27th in total defense and was dead last against the run is likely to return nine or 10 of the players who were the primary starters in 2017. The Washington defense, which was 16th overall and 27th running the ball, will certainly return seven starters and could have eight the same as last year.

I’m sure that this will alarm many Redskins fans, but it shouldn’t. Before getting into that, let’s look at the changes.

On defense, the nine starters who are assured of returning are DE Stacy McGee, DL Jonathan Allen, OLB Preston Smith, OLB Ryan Kerrigan, ILB Zach Brown, ILB Mason Foster, CB Josh Norman, S Montae Nicholson, and S D.J. Swearinger.

As of right now, a tenth returning starter has to be penciled in at nose tackle. Yes, if the season started today it would be Ziggy Hood at nose tackle again. More on that in a minute.

The only starting spot that is certain to turn over is the cornerback opposite Norman. Even though Bashaud Breeland’s contract agreement with the Panthers fell through due to a failed physical he is much more likely to land on another NFL team than he is to return to the Redskins.

It is impossible to think that the Redskins will not do something to address the nose tackle position, whether it’s in the draft or in free agency. Then again, it’s impossible to believe they have run the 3-4 defense since 2010 without coming up with a long-term solution at the nose.

On offense, the seven starters certain to return are WR Josh Doctson, WR Jamison Crowder, OT Trent Williams, C Chase Roullier, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses, and TE Jordan Reed. RB Samaje Perine could be an eighth returning starter depending on if the Redskins take a running back early in the draft.

The new starters will be QB Alex Smith, WR Paul Richardson, and someone at left guard.

Having between 16 and 18 returning starters from a team that went 7-9 in 2017 may not be enough turnover for some fans. That’s not a completely unreasonable point of view. However, there is such thing as having too much churn in your starting lineup and some stability for the Redskins may be a good thing this year.

They had five new starters on defense last year and a new defensive coordinator. They also had a new coordinator on offense along with two new wide receivers and, by midseason, changes in the starters at running back and center. This is not counting all of the on-the-fly changes that had to be made due to injuries.

Continuing to make changes in the starting lineup is not always a recipe for success. Sometimes you just need to pick a group of players and, to the extent that you can in the free agency-salary cap world of the NFL, stick with them. Sure, you have to address weakness like nose tackle and possibly running back and fill holes created by free agency departures. However, it is often better to give a player time to acclimate to a system and, especially with a rookie, time to learn the fine points of the game.

Tearing things down and starting over again after a mediocre season is a recipe for, well, more mediocre seasons.

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.

Tandler on Twitter

In response to a tweet about this article that said that the Redskins led the league in losing important players in injuries:


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 25
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 127
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 171

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Terrelle Pryor reportedly closing in on deal with new team

Terrelle Pryor reportedly closing in on deal with new team

Former Washington Redskin Terrelle Pryor may have found a new home after a tumultuous season in Washington.

The 28-year-old wide receiver appears to be on the way to the New York Jets for the 2018 season according to Ian Rappaport.

Last season, Pryor only played in nine games for Washington and was sent to injured reserve after Week 11. His season ended with ankle surgery and it closed the book on a short stint in the nation’s capital.

In his nine games, he never got on the same page with former Redskins’ quarterback Kirk Cousins. Targeted only 37 times, the six-year veteran only had 20 receptions for 240 yards and a single touchdown.

This is coming after a 1,000-yard season on the dismal Cleveland Browns team that went 1-15 in 2016. As a free-agent, he signed with Washington on a ‘prove-it’ deal for one-year, eight million last off-season. He was expected to a significant amount of touches alongside Josh Doctson.


With so much anticipation it was easy to say that Pryor’s lone season in Washington was a disappointment.

If he does sign with the Jets, Pryor joins a New York franchise that is still continuing to rebuild. They currently own the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and are in search of a quarterback.  A year ago they finished 5-11 under third-year head coach Todd Bowles.

Transitioned to wide receiver in Cleveland, Pryor was drafted into the league as a quarterback.  He spent three seasons in Oakland (2011-13) all as a quarterback making 10 starts. In Cleveland (2015-16) he made the transition to wide receiver before going to Washington in 2017.