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TGIO--Thank God It's Over

TGIO--Thank God It's Over

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

Some day we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.

--Bruce Springsteen

He didn’t hesitate.

When a reporter asked Joe Gibbs last night if he was “relieved” that the preseason was over and that the preparation for games that count was now officially underway, there were no qualifiers from the coach. He didn’t say anything about never having too much time to evaluate players or about wanting more time to get ready. The reporter couldn’t even finish his question before Gibbs interrupted.

“Yes. Yes, certainly. . .When you ask me if I’m glad it’s over, I’d say ‘yeah’.”

He was speaking for himself, but he was also speaking on behalf of Redskins fans, players, reporters, and coaches everywhere.

Thank God it’s over. Let the real games begin.

It started off with a real downer in Clinton Portis’ shoulder injury just a few minutes into the first game, and it’s been going further into the toilet from there. A couple of days later we learned that Shawn Springs had undergone a surgical procedure on his groin (ouch!). In the first quarter of the Jets game we had the chilling sight of Cornelius Griffin on the ground grimacing with a knee injury. The fact that it turned out to be minor did little to raise spirits as the Redskins put on another mediocre showing. After that one Joe Gibbs’ words said, “concern” while his tone of voice and body language said, “pissed” during his uncharacteristically brief post-game press conference.

Instead of being greeted as a deal that would help the team, the T. J. Duckett trade was dissected and labeled by many as a panic move that was a sure sign that Portis’ shoulder was much worse than the Redskins were letting on. Then in the one supposedly semi-meaningful preseason game, the one where the starters go deep into the contest, it was no contest as the Patriots pasted the Redskins 41-0 with even stalwarts such as Jon Jansen looking shaky.

This past week we’ve had Al Saunders hauntingly bringing back Norv Turner’s notorious “what we do works” statement and Gregg Williams shrugging off the defense’s lack of effectiveness by claiming that he had done “zero” game planning. The excuse making seemed to be quite beneath two such accomplished coaches. “What we do” plus “zero” added up to another lackluster exhibition performance against the Ravens, the only positive aspect of which was the fact that it put the preseason in the rear view mirror.

We can now turn our thoughts to serious issues such as Mark Brunell’s durability, who the #2 quarterback behind him is, Portis’ shoulder, Duckett’s role in the offense, Springs’ status, Adam Archuleta’s learning curve in Williams’ defense and other such pressing matters. But let’s just take a day here to savor the end of the agony that was preseason 2006 and enjoy the fact that we no longer have to suffer through it. Those questions marks will still be there tomorrow.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book has an account of every game the Redskins played from when the moved to Washington for the 1937 season through 2001. For details and ordering information go to http://www.RedskinsGames.com

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

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Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.

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I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

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